Apr 27, 2016 - SPC Sports News    Comments Off on How to break in your new Baseball Glove

How to break in your new Baseball Glove

There’s nothing like getting a brand new baseball glove. That first time you put it on your hand and smell the new leather is memorable. Getting a stiff new glove into game condition can be a daunting task.

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do –

1 – Don’t stick it in the oven or a microwave.

Ever.

The laces dry out and shatter. Trust me on this – I’ve relaced three brand new gloves that had laces damaged by customers who in effect baked their glove.

2 – Don’t drive your car over it. Think about this – you just spent a decent amount of money on a quality glove and now you want to run a 2,000 pound vehicle over it? Save the gas…and the leather.

3 – Don’t cover it with oil. Sure, oil softens the leather up and makes it more pliable. Oil also sits in the glove making it a bit heavier. In addition, it can soak into the padding of the palm. And eventually, oil will start to break down the leather.

Now, here’s what you CAN do –

1 – Play catch with it. By far, this is the absolute best way to break in a glove. It will form exactly to the shape of YOUR hand and in time will become exactly the way you want it.

2 – It’s OK to use a mallet to pound the pocket of a glove, especially a catcher’s mitt. That will help soften the leather a bit. Just don’t over-do it.

3 – Use a lanolin-based cream in moderation. I generally recommend putting it in the pocket; some will put it on the outside of the fingers, too. Unlike oil, lanolin-based creams don’t soak into the leather and don’t make the glove heavy.  Professional Baseball Instruction has a couple of these creams in stock in our pro shop including Gloveolium (a fine Rawlings product). I’ve also used shaving cream with a lanolin base.

4 – Put a ball in it and tie the glove closed and/or put it between a mattress and bed spring.

5 – See #1.  Play catch with it.

Sep 20, 2014 - SPC Sports News    Comments Off on Baseball/Softball Bat Buying Guide

Baseball/Softball Bat Buying Guide

BAT BUYING GUIDE

Baseball and softball bats have drastically changed over the last decade with new technology that makes it easier to change the design of the bat. The bats are no longer made of just aluminum, but can also be made with composite. There are also strict regulations on what bats can be used at each age level. With all these changes, the choices of buying a baseball or softball bat can become overwhelming. To help you out, we will break down the differences between some of the different types of bats, how to size yourself for them and how to choose the proper weight.

How to Choose the Correct Size Baseball or Softball Bat

When it comes to choosing the size of your bat, there are different ways to measure for it. The best way is to choose what you feel comfortable swinging. A general rule to follow is to never go up more than an inch at a time. This makes it easier to adjust for the new bat without drastically changing your swing. Don’t worry, if you are new to the game or want to re-size yourself, there is a way to estimate what size you should be using. To measure yourself, you want to measure from the center of your chest to tips of your index finger. To measure properly, make sure you have your arm straight out to your side, like in the picture below.

how-to-measure-the-right-size-of-a-baseball-or-softball-bat

baseball-and-softball-bat-sizing-chart

How to Choose the Correct Baseball or Softball Bat Weight

Before looking at weights, it is important to understand the terminology of bat weights first. A bat weight is measured by the minus or drop weight. Drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat. So a bat that is 30 inches and has a drop weight of (-10) will weigh 20 ounces. The bigger the drop weight is, the lighter the bat will weigh. The only league that regulates bat weight is High School and College bats, which have to be a (-3).

When choosing the weight of your bat it is important to remember that neither the heaviest nor the lightest bat the best to go with. It is best to find the best balance between the two. After finding a baseline for the length of the bat, it is important to incorporate the length of the bat into deciding on the weight. If you choose a longer bat, it might be better to go with a lighter bat. But if you choose to go with the perfect fit for the bat, it might be a good option to go up an ounce in weight.

The reason that it is important to choose the right balance between length and weight is because it makes a difference in the physics of the swing. For instance, if you have a long, light bat, you can swing it very fast, but it will not have much inertia behind it. If you swing a short heavy bat, you will not have the fastest bad speed but will have plenty of inertia. The choice of which length and weight is a personal choice of what you are comfortable with. The charts below will help give you a ballpark idea of what size and weight you should be using.

little-league-baseball-bat-sizing-chart

big-barrel-pony-league-baseball-bat-sizing-chart

high-school-and-college-baseball-bat-sizing-chart

fastpitch-softball-bats-sizing-chart

Recent Bat Rule Changes

Recent Rule changes in most of the leagues have been made to try to make the game safer and more competitive. For this reason, new safety standards have been issued to new bats and they are expected to be used by every player.

Little League Bats

Little League has a list of approved bats that can be used. This list is made by Little League, however it is only a guide for which bats are legal. Just because a bat isn’t on the list, doesn’t mean it is not approved.

Big Barrel Bats for Pony and Travel Ball

Pony leagues along with most travel ball team require the players to use a bat with the USSSA stamp. Almost all new bats will come with the stamp, aluminum and composite. Depending on the league, it may not allow bats that do not have the stamp.

New-USSSA-Big-barrel-stamp-rule

High School and College Bats

High School and College bats now have to use BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) certified. This new measurement standard replaces the old BESR (Bat Exit Speed Ratio). The new measurement is designed to measure the trampoline effect of the bat and ball on impact, rather than just the exit speed of the ball. This allows the bats to be closer in competition with wood bats. With this new rating system, it is important to make sure that you do not use a BBCOR bat unless you have to, because it will put you at a disadvantage of not hitting the ball as far, as compared to a non-BBCOR bat.

BBCOR-rule-changes-for-high-school-and-college

Fastpitch and Slowpitch Softball Bats

The two big stamps for softball bats are ASA and USSSA. ASA bats are more restricted and thus don’t hit the ball as far as USSSA bats will. Depending on what league you play in it will depend on what regulation bat you should buy. It is best to check your league before purchasing a bat.

difference-between-ASA-and-USSSA-softball-bats

How to Choose Between Alloy and Composite Bats

When it comes to choosing the material of your bat, it is pretty easy to choose between wood and non-wood bats. Wood is reserved for the professionals, practice bats, and tournaments; with the exception of the states that mandate the use of wood. But once you decide on a non-wood bat, it is hard to decide between the different names each manufacturer uses for the different metals and composites.

Alloy bats, also called metal and aluminum bats, have been around longer than composite. Alloy bats tend to be less expensive than composite bats. Alloy bats do not require a break-in time, which means that the bat is at its prime right out the wrapper. Alloy bats tend to last longer and even when they get damaged, they tend to dent, rather than crack. This means they can still be used once damaged, where as a composite can’t be used once it is cracked. The alloy bats tend to have a smaller sweet spot and less “pop”. A good rule of thumb is the more expensive the alloy is, the longer the sweet spot is and the better balanced the bat will be.

Composite bats are made out of a layered material similar to carbon fiber. This makes it easy to control the weight distribution of the bat. This allows the manufacturer to make it balanced or end-loaded, depending on the style of the bat. This is the reason that composite bats tend to be more expensive than alloy bats. The composite also reduces more vibration to the hands to reduce sting from a miss-hit ball. The composite bats tend to have a larger sweet spot and more “pop”. The pop comes once the bat is broken in. To break in a composite bat, it is recommended that you hit between 150-200 hits with a regular baseball or softball, not a rubber batting cage ball. It is also important to slightly rotate the bat each time you hit the ball, to evenly break in the bat and to make sure it lasts a long time. This is the only recommended way to break-in your composite bat. Methods such as hitting it against a tree or rolling the bat, are not recommended and will damage the bat and void the manufacturer warranty.

If you like both alloy and composite, it is possible to get a hybrid bat. Hybrid bats have a composite handle and an alloy barrel. The benefits of getting a hybrid bat are that you can get the composite handle, which reduces vibration and the alloy barrel for the performance and the cost savings.

One Piece Bats vs. Two Piece Bats

One piece bats are typically stiffer and more balanced. The one piece design does not allow for more vibration control, so they tend to have a lot of vibration on miss-hit balls. Two piece bats tend to have more flex and have less vibration. The down side for a two piece bat is that they tend to be end- loaded, meaning they have a heavier swing weight. Generally, power hitters tend to benefit more from the two piece bats for the added flex and contact hitters tend to benefit from one piece bats for the better balance. The choice between the two is based on your personal preference.

Jun 27, 2014 - DeMarini News    Comments Off on 2015 DeMarini CF7 and Voodoo BBCOR Baseball Bats

2015 DeMarini CF7 and Voodoo BBCOR Baseball Bats

There’s a new talk of the town in the BBCOR market. DeMarini is bringing the next evolution in bats with the new 2015 CF7 & Voodoo Overlord FT.  Whether you’re a player looking for the ultimate in Lightweight Responsiveness (CF7) or the most powerful bat on the market (Voodoo Overlord FT) DeMarini has the perfect bat for you.  Both bats feature the all new D-Fusion FT handle.   It’s an extra stiff Paradox +Plus composite rod paired with a thermo-fused taper which eliminates vibration and redirects energy back into the barrel. The FT (flame tempered) treatment fuses handle to barrel for an even stiffer feel with no vibration.  Translation: Game changers for the game changers.

2015 CF7

 

Single Word Description:  Balanced + Power

 

One liner Description:  All New Paradox +Plus composite barrel for faster swing speeds and maximum pop.

 

Headline:  Lightweight. HIGH Power. HIGH TECH.

COPY

For players who refuse to bow down to any limitation, the CF7 is the most powerful, lightest swinging DeMarini bat. Features All New Paradox +Plus composite barrel for faster swing speeds and maximum pop. The D-Fusion FT is flame tempered to have a stiffer feel, while eliminating vibration by redirecting energy back into the barrel.

TECH

Paradox +Plus Composite Barrel

Compact carbon makes for an even lighter and stronger bat delivering faster swing speeds and maximum POP.


D-Fusion FT Handle

Extra stiff Paradox +Plus composite rod paired with a thermo-fused taper eliminates vibration and redirects energy back into the barrel. The FT (flame tempered) treatment fuses handle to barrel for an even stiffer feel with no vibration.

 

RCK Knob

Anatomically designed knob to fit perfectly in the player’s hand.

2015 Voodoo Overlord FT

Single Word Description: Powerful

One liner Description: All-new X12 Alloy barrel with slight end load for added power and maximum pop.

Headline: Fueling a Fire for Power.

COPY

For players who want the extra power, the Voodoo Overlord FT is the clean up hitter in the DeMarini lineup. All New X12 Alloy barrel with slight end load for added power and maximum pop. The new D-Fusion FT handle is flame tempered for a stiffer feel and eliminates vibration by redirecting energy back into the barrel where it belongs.

TECH

D-Fusion FT Handle

Extra stiff Paradox +Plus composite rod paired with a thermo-fused taper eliminates vibration and redirects energy back into the barrel. The FT (flame tempered) treatment fuses handle to barrel for an even stiffer feel with no vibration.

 

RCK Knob

Anatomically designed knob to fit perfectly in the player’s hand.


X12 Alloy Barrel

A proprietary blend of allow agents designated to create optimal strength at the thinnest points.

Mar 26, 2014 - SPC Sports News    Comments Off on 2015 Marks a big year for Fast Pitch Bats

2015 Marks a big year for Fast Pitch Bats

This years fast pitch market comes with a lot of new competition. The 2014 Slugger Xeno is HOT as ever and soon there will be a drop 11 model for the younger 10U-12U players. The LXT features the same punch with a flexible handle to help speed up your swing. The Easton Mako took the fields by storm, with it’s massive barrel and great paint job. The new Worth 2Legit is the real deal and it seems Worth finally has a winner. The new 4 piece 100% composite bat seems to have it all. Performance, durable and great looking! It also comes with a 30 day money back.. If you try it and don’t like it. Simply return it for a full refund.

Dec 22, 2013 - Miken Sports News    Comments Off on 2014 Miken Psycho ASA and USSSA slow pitch line

2014 Miken Psycho ASA and USSSA slow pitch line

2013 marked the return of the Miken Psycho SuperMax slow pitch bat. It was made for USSSA, NSA, ISA and ISF only. It featured 1 oz SuperMax end loading and was one of the best performing bats of the year. Miken will expand on the popular bat for 2014 to include a balanced model to help speed up the bat head of a slower swing.

Now for the first time ever! There will be a Miken Psycho ASA model. With just a slight change to achieve an ASA approval the Psycho will be available in SuperMax and Balanced loading for ASA as well.

Dec 22, 2013 - SPC Sports News, Uncategorized    Comments Off on Best BBCOR Bat 2014

Best BBCOR Bat 2014

2014 is the year the BBCOR bats will start to separate themselves a bit. Most of this years new BBCOR bats were released in October 2013 so there is plenty of sales data and customer feedback to back the list

#1 2014 Easton Mako BBCOR – The new two-piece, composite Easton MAKO provides elite players with the edge they’ve been waiting for! The MAKO concept is simple: swing the fastest bat, with the biggest barrel.

# 2 2014 DeMarini CF6 BBCOR Constructing the CF6 using their new Paradox Composite barrel and handle on this two-piece design creates a more compact carbon that enables DeMarini to make the new CF6 lighter and stronger than ever before.

# 3 2014 DeMarini Voodoo Overlord BBCOR The 2014 Voodoo OVERLORD was designed for unfathomable, explosive power. The new breakthrough 2 piece D-Fusion handle allows it to crank up the performance of the barrel while improving feel.

# 4 2014 Easton S1 BBCOR The balance of the Speed Series S1 is designed to give you balance unlike any other BBCOR bat. Easton has laid the composite carbon fiber weaves in a way that allows for maximum barrel size and ultimate balance.

# 5 2014 Rawlings Trio BBCOR TRIO, a three-piece hybrid, blending a Comp Lite Endcap, 5150 Alloy, and a composite handle for ultra low MOI and increased barrel flex.

# 6 2014 Louisville Slugger Attack BBCOR The 2014 Attack from Louisville Slugger is equipped with Patented TRU3 Technology. With TRU3, Louisville Slugger has created revolutionary new transition technology to strengthen the link between the barrel and the handle of the Attack Bat to give it a trampoline spring and to dramatically reduce the vibration on contact.

Jan 5, 2013 - SPC Sports News    Comments Off on ASA Softball Bat Performance Standard for 2013

ASA Softball Bat Performance Standard for 2013

SLOW PITCH for 2013 and BEYOND in ASA 

There WILL be changes for Certification Mark and Test Standard for all bats used in the game of ASA Slow Pitch Softball for the 2013 season.

There will be a new Certification Mark to be used on future bat models manufactured for the game of Slow Pitch for 2013 and beyond. The current 2000 and 2004 Certification Marks will continue to be valid Marks for the existing Slow Pitch bats.

Any new models produced by the manufacturers will display the new Certification Mark for bats used in the game of Slow Pitch Softball for ASA.

The new certification mark will look like this image below (ASA Shield):All bats currently listed on the approved bat lists will remain legal for ASA; ASA will continue to perform random testing of all approved models to verify conformance of the approved bat performance standard, any model found out of compliance could be added to the non-approved list. All models currently listed on the non-approved list will not be allowed in ASA.

FAST PITCH for 2013 and BEYOND in ASA 

 

There will NOT be any changes for Certification Mark and Test Standard for all bats used in the game of ASA Fast Pitch Softball for the 2013 season.

The current 2000 and 2004 Certification Marks will continue to be the appropriate Marks for the Fast Pitch bats.

Any new models produced by the manufacturers will continue to display the 2004 Certification Mark for bats used in the game of Fast Pitch Softball for ASA

Jun 16, 2012 - Training    Comments Off on How to grip a baseball/softball bat

How to grip a baseball/softball bat

Instructions

 

    • 1

      Pick-up the bat and hold it – it should be in your fingers, the strongest part of your hand, and not your palms.

      Test: Place two fingers directly in the middle of your palm and close your hand. Now pull your fingers out. You will notice they come out with relative ease. However, place those same two fingers on the four fingers of your opposite hand and pull. It is much harder for your fingers to break free.

    • 2

      Line up your “door-knocking knuckles.” This may feel uncomfortable at first, however with practice it will become second nature. This allows your wrists to roll properly after making contact with the baseball.

    • 3

      Keep your fingers should be very loose and relaxed. The umpire should be able to take the bat out of your hands as you prepare for the pitcher to deliver the baseball. Watch major leaguers and you will see them wiggling their fingers while in their stance. Your fingers will naturally tighten around the bat’s handle as your proceed to swing. Remember: a tight muscle is a slow muscle. Do not choke the bat. This added tension will produce a slow bat, which means little or no power

 

Jun 9, 2012 - Equipment & Apparel Info    Comments Off on Marucci Black BBCOR Baseball Bat Banned By NCAA

Marucci Black BBCOR Baseball Bat Banned By NCAA

BBCOR Marucci Black Baseball Bat Banned By NCAA

 

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
MEMORANDUM
June 6, 2012
TO: Head Baseball Coaches, Conference Commissioners, Compliance Officers
and Coordinators of Umpires.
FROM: Jeff Hurd, chair
Baseball Rules Committee
SUBJECT: Decertification of Marucci CAT-52 and Black bats.
This memo serves as the NCAA’s official notice of the decertification of the 
Marucci CAT-52 34-inch and Black 33-inch and 34-inch models. Effective
immediately, these bats will not be allowed for use in any NCAA baseball 
competition.
For ease of reference, photos of the bats are below: 
The NCAA originally notified Marucci of this decertification in April, at which time Marucci filed suit against the NCAA. A temporary restraining order preventing the decertification of the bats was issued immediately and the district court ordered the proceedings to be kept under seal. On June 5, the district court 
unsealed the case and dissolved the temporary restraining order against the 
NCAA, thus permitting the NCAA to proceed with the decertifying of the bats.
This was the second time Marucci was notified of one of their bats being 
decertified. In February, the Marucci Cat-52
33-inch model was found to be out of compliance and was decertified at that time. Team representatives are asked to check your team’s stock of bats and withhold 
these bats if your team is in possession of any. Conference administrators are 
asked to share this information with your umpires as well. If any of these bats are
attempted to be used during competition, it should be considered an illegal bat and 
subject to NCAA Baseball Rule 1-12-b, (see the penalty section for procedures).
In 2011, the NCAA implemented a baseball bat testing standard called the 
Baseball Bat Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) measurement. The decision to 
implement the standard was rooted in preserving the integrity of the game and 
ensuring the safety of student-athletes – as some non-wood bats hit the ball 
significantly faster and farther than wood bats, they can create a significant 
competitive advantage and also put players at greater risk of injury. The NCAA 
certfies only those non-wood bats that perform like their wood counterparts to be 
eligible for competition for this reason. All bats are tested prior to and throughout 
the baseball season to ensure they are within the BBCOR standards. If a group of 
a specific model of bats (three or more bats tested) are found to fail the 
compliance test, they are decertified and removed from use in NCAA 
competition.
For any questions on this decision, please contact Ty Halpin (Playing Rules, 
thalpin@ncaa.org) or Cameron Schuh (Public and Media Relations, 
cschuh@ncaa.org) at the NCAA. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 
JH:clm
cc: Mr. Gene McArtor
Baseball Rules Committee
Selected NCAA Staff Members

Jun 9, 2012 - Training    Comments Off on Fastpitch softball pitching tips and drills

Fastpitch softball pitching tips and drills

RISEBALL – To throw a good riseball, make sure the back of your elbow comes by your side at release. At release, drive the fingers underneath the ball. By pushing with the fingers at the proper release point with the back of your elbow brushing by the side, you should be able to get tight rotation on the ball. Be sure that when you workout with the TightSpin Trainer that you do it in the same release points that you would be in during normal pitching. This will not only create strength but also muscle memory. There is no other fastpitch pitching aid in the world that applies tension to a real fastpitch softball allowing you to work the muscles of the fingers, wrist, and forearm in the exact way that they are used to release the ball during live pitching.

CURVEBALL – The most important thing you should remember about throwing the curveball is that the palm of your hand is facing the sky at release. If it isn’t, you will not get the correct rotation on the ball. Snap the ball off at your back hip and follow through to your front hip. Place the TightSpin Trainer fastpitch pitching aid at the back hip, which is the same position that you are in during normal pitching. A good fastpitch pitching tip for the curveball is to get on two knees in the open position and practice throwing your curveball. This way you are already in the correct body position and all you have to think about is your wrist snap and putting the proper rotation on the ball.

SCREWBALL – A good drill for practicing your screwball is to get a hitting tee and place it about 15 feet in front of the pitcher. Place it in line with the center of home plate. Practice releasing the ball on the left side of the tee (right handed pitchers) and the ball should end up on the right side of the plate from the pitchers point of view. When you do this fastpitch pitching drill, don’t get frustrated if you hit the tee. This is normal. With a lot of practice you will eventually get it right and your screwball will be much improved. Make sure you work the TightSpin Trainer fastpitch softball pitching aid at your normal release point.

DROPBALL – A slightly shorter stride is usually helpful when throwing drop-balls. When throwing a drop, or any other pitch for that matter, make sure you keep your arm close to your body. Otherwise you could risk injuring your arm. When throwing the turnover drop ball you do not want to turn your elbow and shoulder out “chicken wing”. Focus on using the wrist and fingers to get up and over the ball.You may also find it helpful to throw a variation of the peel and turnover. By doing this the ball starts to peel off the fingers while you follow through up and over the ball. A good fastpitch pitching drill for the dropball is to take a string and tie it to two stakes about two feet off the ground. Get on one knee and practice thowing your dropball over the string and try to make it break down as it crosses the string. Also, some fastpitch softball pitchers find it helpful to take a slight crossover step and then throw the drop across their body. Again, work with the TightSpin Trainer at your normal release point.

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