How to Load a Softball Bat

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Despite being banned from official leagues, loaded bats serve a variety of purposes. End-loaded bats, where the bat's weight is redistributed toward the end of the barrel, allows hitters to maintain the same swing speed while applying more force to the ball. The result is, according to research from Kettering University, that the ball travels a greater distance.The hitter gains an advantage in a home run derby or fun league. By contrast, knob-loading adds weight to the bat handle. Although it is uncommon for players to swing a knob-loaded bat in a game, it can be a useful training aid to strengthen a hitter's wrists.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Liquid rubber compound
  • Epoxy glue
  • Rubber mallet
  • Funnel

End Loading

  • Lift the end cap out of the bat barrel using pliers. Slowly work your way around the outside of the cap, loosening the edge in stages if the cap is extremely tight.

  • Place the end cap on a flat surface with the inside facing up.

  • Pour the liquid rubber compound into the end cap. Be careful not to overflow the cap or get compound on the outside of the cap.

  • Leave the end cap to dry in a well-ventilated area.

  • Apply epoxy glue to the interior rim of the end cap. Paint a thin layer of glue over the small plastic grips.

  • Place the end cap back into the bat barrel. Use a mallet to hammer it into place.

Knob Loading

  • Remove the end cap.

  • Stand the bat vertically on a flat surface with the barrel facing up. Steady the bat with boxes, towels or other available materials.

  • Place the funnel at the top of the bat and pour a small amount of liquid rubber compound into the funnel.

  • Leave the bat in an upright position overnight, allowing the rubber to settle and harden at the knob end of the bat.

  • Glue the end cap back into the barrel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wait 24 hours before using your loaded bat. The epoxy glue will need time to set.
  • Fine-tune the weight you wish to add to your bat by weighing a small amount of rubber compound ahead of time.
  • Bat tampering is banned in most competitive leagues. Check with league officials before using any loaded bat. The umpire can, at his discretion, examine your bat and ban it from the game if he believes it has been doctored.

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References

  • Photo Credit girl playing softball image by pixelcarpenter from Fotolia.com
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