Wooden bats vs. Aluminum

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Wooden Bats vs. Aluminum Bats The thought in many peoples minds in the baseball community is the overwhelming issue of switching to wooden bats in high school and little league play. Since 2003, all bats are required to meet the “Bat Exit Speed Ratio” (BESR) performance limitation, which ensures that aluminum bats do not hit the ball any harder than the best wood bats. Because aluminum bats produce harder-hit balls, thus putting pitchers in jeopardy only 60 feet 6 inches from home plate .Amateur teams around the world, including virtually all American high schools and colleges, initially switched to aluminum as an economy move decades ago. The bats didn't break, like wood, and lasted far longer. But each new generation of metal bats turned out to be more potent -- and dangerous. An increasing number of serious injuries stemming from hard-hit balls prompted various organizations, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to look at the bats and begin placing limits on the type of alloys allowed or to change altogether. A batter can hit the ball off the handle of an aluminum bat, and instead of breaking, as wood often does, the bat sends the ball looping over the infield for a single or along one of the foul lines for a double. ''You hit the ball with an aluminum bat and it goes,'' Bernazard said. ''With wood bats, you have to hit the ball in the 4 or 5 inches of the meat of the bat. With aluminum bats, you hit it anywhere and you can get a hit.'' In the Brown study, young ballplayers hit more than 1,000 pitches from a machine using two brands of wooden bats and five brands of metal bats. Balls coming off the fastest bat, a metal one, went an average of 93.3 miles per hour, while those hit by the slowest bat, a wooden one, went 86.1 m.p.h. In addition, 37 percent of the balls hit with metal bats traveled more than 100 m.p.h., compared with 2

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