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Juiced Softball Bats Essay

What is an altered bat (also known as “doctored bat” or “juiced bat”) is a bat that has been physically altered from it’s “out of the wrapper” certified condition. (CincySoftball.com) Popular bat alteration include painting, end-loading, and shaving the barrel. Players, who are aware that the performance of composite bats tends to improve with use, attempt to shorten the amount for a bat to reach its maximum performance by employing the ABI (accelerated break-in). (CincySoftball.com) these characteristics of a bat are weight, inertia, and wall thickness. Instead it changes the properties of the bat how it flexes, and barrel stiffness. Other techniques used to juice a bat include doctoring, juicing, end loading, knob loading, and bat rolling. (ASAsoftball.com) Altered bats are supposed to be used for batting practice or home run derbies not sanction play.

Having a juiced bat greatly exceeds the standards of performance “guaranteed” by the certification stamp it bears. (CincySoftball.com) So many players try to attempt to artificially improve the performance of their bats by altering them in so many different ways. They think that they will hit the ball harder and farther. There will be times that the alteration to the bat is unnoticed, and those players get away with it. There is some disagreement about whether or not ABI (accelerated break-in) falls under the category of “bat doctoring.” (CincySoftball.com) Using an altered bat with the bat being certified is a federal crime. Many bat manufacturers have put a patent design logo on the bat.

If a bat goes through testing and does not pass the certification of ASA (American Softball Association), USSSA (United Softball Specialty Sports Association), NSF (National Softball Federation), ISF (International Softball Federation), NCAA National Collegiate Association), and Little League, or any other governing body that bears a certification mark this means that a particular bat model has tested in a rigorous laboratory experiment in which its performance has been measured and found to fall below some set standards. (CincySoftball.com) These certification marks are federally registered trademarks, and by altering their bat it is considered a federal crime.

Both the USSSA (United States Sports Specialty Association) and ASA (American Softball Association) have already started to impose big penalties for having a shaved or altered bat. There is some disagreement about whether or not ABI (accelerated break-in) falls under the category of “bat doctoring.” (CincySoftball.com) certain sanctions like the USSSA checks the bats at National Tournaments. There were 500 bats that were tested during USSSA tournament in 2004. There were 70 bats that didn’t pass the test in which 25 of them were altered or shaved and 45 of them were cracked or damaged and those were thrown away or destroyed. If a bat is found to have been juiced that player will be banned from sanction play for two years and if he refuses to give his bat up then the player will be banned for one year.

When a bat is altered or juiced there are severe safety concerns. Any player that uses a juiced bat can cause serious injury or damage to another player because his or her bat is juiced. A ball can go exceed speed limits of 104mph putting a pitcher or infielder at serious risk. If a pitchers or infielder are expecting a ball to be hit lower then 100mph then they are hit with a ball over that speed limit then the batter is taking a huge risk of injuring those players on the field. The biggest problem of players using altered bats is most rampant in adult men’s slow-pitch softball. (CincySoftball.com)

Several discussion boards have indicated that a trend of shaving composite bats has begun to make its way into youth baseball and also girls’ fast-pitch softball. (CincySoftball.com) A player can get hit by the ball when attempting to throw a runner out as he fields the ground ball to throw the runner out at first base. A pitcher can get hit by a line drive or serious injuries leading to death. So our concern is the safety of others and those around us. You are putting everyone at risk or even killing someone because you decided to use a juiced bat. So be honest if you play softball for fun or competing then play fair and follow the rules so everyone is safe and has a good time. .

References
“ASA The National Governing of Softball (2011). Retrieved July 30, 2011 from, http://www.asasoftball.com/about/certified_equipment.asp
“CincySoftball.com” Greater Cincinnati Softball News (2011). Retrieved July 30, 2011 from, http://www.cincysoftball.com/dugout/index.php?threads/100-000-00-fines-handed-out-altered- bats/14401


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