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» How to Shave a Softball Bat or a Baseball Bat: Bat Shaving 101

The Popular and Shady Side of Bat Performance: Shaving and Rolling

Bat Shaving and Bat Rolling Legal or not? There is a slight grey area for rolling but shaving is a definitely NOT. Some would say rolling is not altering the bat and there is some validity behind that point which I will explain. There a couple websites that offer these services and just about anyone can offer these services on EBay .

What is Bat Rolling?

Bat rolling breaks in a bat very quickly; by placing it in between 2 rollers and adding pressure. This pressure causes the composite fibers to break up, which allows the barrel to flex more (but not past any natural occurrence through normal hitting). This trampoline effect is a proven fact Bat rolling will break a bat in as if 200-500 balls were struck. Most bat manufactures state that a warranty is void if the bat has been “altered but there is not a lot of clarification on just what does altering mean.

What is Bat Shaving?

Bat Shaving involves expanding the inner wall or “shaving” it out. This will cause the barrel to flex beyond any natural occurrence. The cap is opened up and a digital lathe removes the material from the inner barrel. Bat shaving will increase the batted balls tremendously and that is why it is such a popular option; on the flip side a lot durability is lost.

What are some of the Rules about Altering Bats?

Just about every league has rules on altering bats, including: little league, High School, college and recreational softball. Here is the NCAA rule on “illegal bats”:

Rule 2 Definition

SECTION 42 A bat that does not display the BBCOR certification mark, or in the umpire’s judgment or upon appeal of the opposing team, has been altered so as to affect the distance factor, or cause an unusual reaction…..

 

Little League also has Bat Altering Policies:

No bat, in any level of Little League Baseball or Softball play, is permitted to be altered. This is of particular concern especially when it is clearly done to……

 

Is Bat rolling Legal?

Sometimes it is subjective as far as the rules go because they state things like; no altered bats instead of bat rolling is illegal. Most would agree that rolling speeds up the bat break in process .  A well broken in bat will be the same out come as a rolled bat, I believe this is where the justification comes in for most. Some do not agree and even want composite bats outlawed. It would be like saying you cannot use your hands or an oven to break in your glove you have to play catch and that just sounds ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is that the bat testing industry uses bat rolling to set the standards for legal play . In my opinion bat rolling is disliked among bat manufactures because of the warranty issue and bat replacement. I am not really sure why associations ban rolling because the standards are set not to go past the limit with rolling.

Is Bat Shaving Illegal?

Yes, there is a clear cut (pun intended) reason why shaving is an alteration. Most rules were specifically written to disallow these types of modifications. There is a place for shaved bats though. They are definitely a confidence builder when hitting batting practice (in safe conditions). They also are widely used in homerun derby situations where the associations’ rules do not apply.

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