Why do people cheat? Because cheating takes little or no effort and is very easy to do. Since baseball and softball games are challenging and require hard work, dedication, and patience, there is little room for cheating, but not all baseball and softball are immune to cheating.
Bats are not immune to unethical practices in baseball and softball can be used as a tool to cheat. For instance, learning how to hit with power takes time to master and make contact with the ball, but there are few unapproved methods for bat break-in that give cheaters the advantage.
While procedures like this are illegal and unapproved, it is suitable for coaches, players, and parents to be informed appropriately of these methods.
Keep in mind these methods are prohibited and can only be tolerated in home run derbies. But the technique I am to tell you is widely accepted in baseball and softball and is not illegal.
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What Is Bat Rolling?
This is a method that accelerates the break-in process of composite bats.
This method is done in the following steps
- Place the bat into a rolling machine.
- After you have perfectly fit the bat horizontally between the two machine rollers, it is then compressed and sometimes heated.
- The bat is then rolled for some minutes or until the supervisor is convinced it has broken in and is ready for use.
A lot of people believe that the heated bat rolling process increases the performance of composite bats. To some extent, this is true. The more composite bats are used, the hotter they get. It does not have to be necessarily done by a heated bat rolling process. The more hits your composite bat makes, the hotter it gets.
If you decide you want to break in your composite bat using the traditional way, always remember to rotate the bat ¼ of an inch between each hit.
Bat rolling makes the break-in process faster but does come at a price. A lot of companies charge from 35 to 100 dollars for the bat rolling process. It is now up to you to choose whether you want to pay to break in your bat efficiently or save your money and take the time to do it yourself.
Advantages of Bat Rolling
Rolling a bat is a method that evenly puts pressure on a composite bat’s walls and extends its fibers in other to break down the epoxies keeping the bat together.
The same process happens every time you make contact, and it makes the fiber more flexible, which significantly increases the rebound level of the hitting surfaces.
When you roll a bat, it fortifies the fiber and makes it more flexible, considerably increasing its rebound. Bats could experience a change in hitting distance from twenty to forty feet.
Creates a Larger Sweet Spot
The sweet spot on a stock bat is where the barrel exhibits a possible trampoline-like effect. But when the bat is rolled, the fibers which make the barrel have all optimized for flexibility, completely turning the length of the barrel into a big sweet spot with a unified flex.
A rolled bat helps increase performance and improve feel, giving a tool that will help you become a better hitter and increase your base percentage.
Removes Dead Spots from Used Bats
Bat rolling helps remove dead spots in a barrel of a used bat that significantly drags down the bat’s performance. When hitting with your bat naturally, patterns of consistent contact are shown on the part of the barrel that is performing well. The other parts of the barrel have fresh composite and create less trampoline effect.
Disadvantages of Bat Rolling
Bat rolling decreases durability as it creates hits artificially. But youth players having durability issues are less, and most children can never hit hard enough to break in a bat.
Is Bat Rolling Illegal?
If you have ever been told that bat rolling is illegal and shouldn’t be used, I am here to tell you now that bat rolling is not illegal. Every composite bat is required to be rolled for testing before it is allowed to be used in play. This ensures that your bat gets hotter each time it is used and doesn’t exceed the bat performance put in place.
This was done to ensure the safety of the players on the field. But some other bat processes cause your bat to be illegal to use. An example of one of these processes is bat shaving.
Bat shaving alters your bat performance by making it too hot to be for play. If you are caught using a shaven bat, you will be removed from the game and face some legal actions depending on the league you are in.
Bat rolling is common among the slowpitch softball community, but on some occasions, fastpitch also uses the bat rolling process.
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What Is Heat Rolling?
A lot of bat rolling enterprises advertise that they do “heat rolling,” but what is heat rolling exactly. It is merely the process of heating your bat before you roll it.
After lengthy testing, we found that when you roll your bats after heating them, they become counterproductive to breaking in the bat. The heat for a limited time stretches out the bat’s fibers, so you cannot achieve any break-in when rolling it. Then when the bat cools, the fibers contract and go right back to where they were before. These were tested using bat compression and later used to take the readings before and after heat rolling.
Through this article, you know how to effectively roll your bat whether you decide to pay for it or do it yourself and what bat rolling improves in your play.
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