Everything You Need to Know about ASA/USA Softball Bats and Other Gear
Softball has been one of the most popular sports in America virtually since its inception in 1887. It is a sport that is easily beloved by all and one of the rare sports that has both men’s and women’s leagues to this day. There are even three variations of this sport: fastpitch, slowpitch, and modified.
In order to keep the sport and its three variations uniform and fairly played by all, certain advancements have been made, one of which being governing entities.
Governing entities in softball assist in rule-making and rule adherence in various leagues and tournaments in the sport of softball. There are five major entities, but one of the most authoritative of these five is ASA.
What is ASA?
ASA, which stands for Amateur Softball Association, is one of the most popular governing entities in softball. ASA was founded in 1933 in Oklahoma City, OK in order to assist in providing uniformity in the rules for the game of softball.
In ASA, there are currently two major divisions: adult and youth programs. Amongst these two programs, there are 87 local associations with over 245,000 teams and more than 3.5 million players.
However, as of January 1st, 2017, USA Softball (another softball governing entity) and ASA together renamed and rebranded themselves to USA Softball. USA Softball is now the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball and the most powerful governing entity in softball.
This means that all those pieces of equipment that have the stamps for ASA, like ASA bats and ASA softballs, will now be changed to USA.
Are ASA and USA the same?
Yes, ASA and USA are the same as of January 1st, 2017! The rebranding name of “USA Softball” has been used since that date and will continue to be so going forward. You may notice “ASA/USA” on various products and in other locations, which assists in the name transition and avoiding confusion.
What has changed since the rebranding?
Fortunately, not much has changed since the brand name change. The name has indeed been altered, of course, and as has the logo, but everything else, such as the rules, regulations, and other specifications, remain unaffected.
How do you tell if a bat is ASA/USA-approved?
On ASA bats and balls that have been released before the name change, you may notice an older “ASA-approved” stamp on the pieces of equipment. For newer gear, there will be a stamp based on which type of softball it is approved for play in.
For fastpitch softball bats, in particular, the stamp will say “USA Softball Certified” on them. For slowpitch, you will see a stamp that says “USA Softball.” Both of these stamps assist in clarifying that you can indeed use them in ASA/USA-approved leagues and tournaments legally.
Can you use ASA bats in USA play and vice versa?
Fortunately, because these two are ultimately the same entity, you can indeed interchange ASA bats and USA bats and all other approved gear. Therefore, ASA bats and ASA balls are legal for USA play, as are USA bats and balls for ASA play!
What makes a bat ASA/USA certified?
USA Softball takes its certification process seriously for all bats and balls. The ASA Bat and Ball Certification Program has a rigorous testing program.
First, those applying for the certification stamp must send in test samples to an ASA-approved testing facility after signing a testing agreement. Following the ASA performance standard and the Official Rules of Softball, the samples are either approved or not. If they are approved, then the manufacturer is awarded a license agreement and can then apply the certification stamps on that particular model.
Bats are tested using the ASA 2000 Bat Performance Standard, which is based on the batted ball speed (BBS). This particular measurement takes into account both the swing speed of the bat and pitch speed. It wasn’t created by ASA/USA, but by the American Society of Testing and Materials, specifically their F08.26 subcommittee.
What are the best slowpitch ASA/USA bats in 2021?
There are several options for the best slowpitch ASA/USA bats available from 2021. However, we have listed two options that have caught our–and the public’s–attention.
2021 Miken Freak Primo
Miken has been trusted by slowpitch softball players for years. Therefore, it is no surprise as to why we need to mention the 2021 Miken Freak Primo. It has a lively barrel with a .5-ounce maxload. It is a four-piece composite bat with a barrel that features Tetra-Core Technology for optimal performance.
2021 AXE Avenge Power Cap
The 2021 Avenge Power Cap from AXE is arguably the best slowpitch bat from AXE to date. It is a two-piece balanced bat with a springboard inner core. Plus, the swing speed has been specially enhanced in this bat with the assistance of the new Hyperwhip Composite Cap.
What are the best fastpitch ASA/USA bats in 2021?
For those looking for the best fastpitch softball bat that is ASA/USA certified, then you can certainly consider these two options, as they are the top two fastpitch softball bats of 2021.
2021 Louisville Slugger LXT
It shouldn’t come as a big shock that we have chosen the 2021 Louisville Slugger LXT to be featured in our list. The LXT was specifically designed for lightning-speed swings and an extended “sweet spot” for optimal offensive performance.
2021 DeMarini CF
The CF from DeMarini has been a dependable piece of fastpitch softball weaponry for years, which certainly does not exclude the 2021 DeMarini CF. The trifecta of the Paraflex Plus Composite barrel, the 3 Fusion Connection, and ReAction endcap is ideal for increased power, speed, and comfort for its user.
When you are looking for ASA/USA-certified bats, be sure to check out our options here at HbSports. We have an abundance of dependable softball (and baseball) gear to properly equip you everywhere on the diamond. If you have any questions, give us a call at 888-540-BATS. We can’t wait to help you reach your full potential on the field!
- Blog Admin