why does college baseball use aluminum bats and not wooden

When a ball hits a wood bat, it compresses to nearly half its original diameter, losing up to 75% of its initial energy to internal friction forces during this compression. Aluminum baseball bats first came onto the scene back in the early 1970s, and over the years have gradually phased out wooden bats in youth baseball mainly for economic reasons. Most noticeably is the fact that the ball will travel farther. The first metal baseball bats that Valesente saw being used in collegiate baseball were Worth bats. In fact, the increased demand for alloy bats and especially the aluminum baseball bat has a number of reasons behind it. Are Baseball fans some of the MEANEST, SNOBBIEST & MOST OBNOXIOUS FANS IN ALL OF SPORTS. The bottom line: Non-wood bats do lead to higher batted ball speeds and, as a result, to harder line drives and deeper fly balls. [6] J.J. Crisco, R.M. One of the most obvious differences in college baseball is the use of metal bats, which was first permitted by the NCAA back in 1975. The NCAA is the highest level of amateur baseball where regulations allow players to hit with aluminum bats. [2] A.S. Weyrich, S.P. The batted-ball speeds measured in the Crisco-Greenwald study are significantly higher than batted-ball speeds obainted with bats which currently pass the NCAA performance standards. Bad side effect: it comes off the bat faster and if yo happen to be the pitcher who gets it with a line drive, that's bad. Figure 2 compares the balance points of four 30" youth bats: three wood bats of weights 26oz, 23oz, and 20oz, and an 27oz aluminum bat. Performance of hollow metal bats is due to the trampoline effect. Because college players use aluminum bats, they can hit inside pitches for base hits. Where as an aluminum bat can last the entire season. Balls were pitched from both pitching machines and regular batting practice pitchers, but pitchers were found to be more consistent. Money?? 6 shows ball trajectories for varying batted ball speeds. But there's an, ahem, aluminum lining to this story: The process used to manufacture metal bats can be tightly controlled. None of the 5 aluminum bats in this study would be legal today. Only wooden bats are allowed in major league baseball. MLB Trivia: Two different Indians' pitchers has won the AL Cy Young since 2010. Who are the two pitchers? They are starting to band aluminum bats so I can't answer your question. As previosly mentioned a side effect is the distance and speed that the ball come off the aluminum, while they are not banning them and a previous person commented, they are requiring the companies to make them perform the specifications of wood, mostly to keep people from getting killed. Figure 4 shows the Bat-Ball Coefficient-of-Restitution (which measures the combined elastic properties of the bat-ball system) as a function of hoop frequency. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. Sports Exerc., 34(10), 1675-1684 (2002) A side effect was that the ball goes a bit further off the aluminum bat than it does the wood. The metal bat was implemented in college baseball in 1975. Supporters of an aluminum or composite bat note that it can increase offensive performance, as the speed of a ball off a metal bat is generally faster than off a wood bat. Traditionally, wooden bats were used because they were the only option. The study found that the aluminum bat appeared to have a larger COP than the wood bat. Messier, B.S. That is why I believe aluminum bats should be banned from high school and college baseball. Wooden bats, on the other hand, are "dead", meaning that they absorb a lot of the momentum of the pitched ball, so that the batted ball does not have as much speed. While aluminum bats are common from little league to college baseball, MLB remains steadfast in its use of wooden bats. Bat-Exit Speed Standards Aluminum bats are used in college, high school and little league ball, but they're illegal in the major leagues where hitters must use wooden bats. In almost every professional game one or more players breaks a bat on an inside pitch. Bryant, L.N. They found that the width of the sweet spot was nearly the same for all bats (wood and metal) bats tested. 28-38, (Prentice Hall, 1997) This answer might seem a little obvious, but think about it! [11] Similarly, college teams which used wood bats often broke more than two dozen during a season. Scientific evidence that batted ball speed is faster for aluminum baseball bats. Aluminum or metal bats are not mandated, and wood bats are allowed, so why do so many college players use them (and thus, seem to prefer them)? In addition, the hardness and resilience of aluminum can result in much greater speeds when the ball comes off the bat. July 19-22 (2000). The first aluminum bats were heavy and did not perform much differently than wood bats. I support the movement to ban aluminum bats from all leagues, just to keep the kids safer. Over the past forty years, an overwhelming majority of players have chosen to use them rather than their wooden counterparts. As pretty much any hitter who has used both metal and wooden baseball bats can tell you, metal bats are vastly superior. High speed video was used to obtain a 3-D map of the bat swing, locating the trajectory of several points on the bat and ball before, during, and after impact. While watching ESPN Sports Center one night towards the end of May 2003, I saw a clip from a college game in which a metal bat shattered leaving the batter holding the handle and half the barrel while the other half of the barrel flew out and landed next to the shortstop. I grew up using wooden baseball bats until I reached college baseball. Actually, I might like it! Wood bats, especially the thin handled ash bats used by a majority of today's players, have a tendency to break upon impact with a ball near the middle of the bat. Aluminum is superior to wood because it is lighter and can be swung faster, resulting in balls being driven farther. The aluminum baseball bat was introduced into college baseball in 1974 as an economical answer to rising costs of replacing the large number of wood bats that were being broken during a season. ? Under NCAA regulations, all surplus monies must be funnelled to the football and basketball programs, mostly to be spent on bail bonds or sports cars. They are pretty fun to hit with and i believe it makes for a more exciting baseball game. The results, summarized in Fig. A player can go through a wooden bat or more during a single game. The plot clearly shows that the higher performing bats have a lower hoop frequency, which indicates that the simple mass-spring model of the trampoline effect captures the essential physics. Wood bats have been a big part of my baseball life. Major league baseball has required that its players use wooden bats, but the aluminum bat has come to dominate the lower levels of baseball, from Little League to the college game. Not all baseball bats are made the same. [2] In this study balls were shot from a pitching machine towards bats held stationary (without swinging) in the hands of a player. In contrast the aluminum bat is actually heavier, but since its balance point is more than an inch closer to the handle it will be easier to swing. No bat which currently passes the NCAA performance standards will perform as high as the best metal bats in the Crisco-Greenwald study. A professional baseball player swinging at a ball as hard as they can could be detrimental to the players in the line of fire of a ball hit off a lighter bat. As aluminum alloy gives the bat a lightweight, well-formed, balanced and sturdy structure which is not easily possible in other forms of baseball bats. The apparent discrepency appears to be that "Despite the amount of controversy generated, there are presently no available data describing the performance of metal and wood bats in the field. These bats have proven to be better than the traditional wooden bats in many ways. The solid curve is a theoretical prediction from my simple mass-spring model of the trampoline effect, and the data points represent the measured BBCOR values (extracted from the original field study data by my friend and colleague Alan Nathan) for the five metal bats used in the Grisco-Greenwald batting cage study. 35 Years of Aluminum Bat Wandering. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of each type […] New alloys and treatment processes (cryogenic treatment) even improve the strength of the aluminum further. [9] J.J. Crisco and R.W. Figure 3 compares batted ball speeds for balls hit with a wood bat (orange dots) and the highest performing metal bat (blue dots) used in their study. Youth and college players can use metal bats. Thus, the bats used in this study are not representative of aluminum bats allowed for use at high school and college levels under current NCAA rules. There are no studies showing increase in injury due to use of non-wood bats and the rules currently make it such that the ball rebounds about the same from a non-wood bat ( called BESR rating) as from wood. A third study in the early 1990's also concluded that metal bats performed no better than wood bats. [3] L.R. Fleisig, N. Zheng, D.F. Omaha puts up a lot of cash and all the teams are endorsed by metal bat makers. Other You'd think with how many players there are in minor league system that come out of college, they'd want to get accustomed to using wooden bats like in the pros. Each player would take several swings with either a wood or aluminum bat (randomly chosen), rest for 10 minutes, then take several swings with the other bat. Batted ball speeds were measured using a radar gun. The plot in Fig. Chicago, IL. Given the amount of controvery over the metal versus wood bat issue, there have been surprisingly few scientific studies comparing the performance of wood and metal baseball bats. Originally, it was because aluminum bats last a lot longer. Penna , and J.J. Crisco,"Differences in Batted Ball Speed with Wood and Aluminum Baseball Bats: A Batting Cage Study," J. Appl. [8] G.S. An aluminum/ceramic composite/graphite composite bat costs about 300 to 400 dollars and lasts approx 8 to 10 years befopre needing replaced. Greenwald, "Batted Ball Speed as a Function of Swing Speed and Impact Location," presented at the 2001 Annual SGMA Baseball/Softball Industry Meeting, Chicago, IL (2001). Because of shortages of quality wood, and the higher cost of good quality bats, most college teams completely switched over to aluminum bats during the 1980's. Is one better than the other? Still have questions? All of these games are now affected by how much money the player/team has to spend on all this technology. The data also shows that not all metal bats are the same. So, it can happen. There was already some bad feelings between the two players because Clemens had hit Piazza with an inside pitch the previous year, and the broken bat incident only increased the animosity between the two players. Aluminum bats make inside pitches singles and the bats don't break. This advantage is a little tougher to scientifically validate - partly because the "sweet spot" is a term used to mean several different things relating to both the perception of feel and a measure of performance. If major league baseball players used them we’d just be watching a game full of home runs. The controversial topic of safety and the metal versus aluminum debate is something I would like to stay away from, especially since I have nothing significant to add to the discussion. An end-loaded bat can have the same weight as a normal bat, but will feel heavier because more of the mass is distributed towards the barrel end of the bat. Well, It might seem kind of cool when you first think about it, but don’t we want our pros to really show some skills to muscle a home run? [1] The study was conducted with six skilled college players during more than a dozen batting practice sessions over a 5-day period. Greenwald, J.D. Most college teams can get by with 12 aluminum bats per season, as opposed to more than 5 dozen wood bats per season.[12]. During the Summer of 2004 I was granted access to the five metal bats used in their batting cage study. This can be explained if the metal bat has a trampoline effect which returns more of the energy to the ball. Because it's legal to use aluminum bats, since the aluminum bats create more vibration the ball flys further giving potential scouts the illusion that they can hit the ball further than they probably could with a wooden bat. The closer the CM to the handle of the bat, the easier it is to swing the bat. Sports Exerc., 21, 199-205 (1989) “[The Worth bats] made a pinging noise,” he said. The point I want to make, however, is that Piazza's bat broke. This means that the ball is not compressed as much and therefore loses less energy to internal friction forces. Can the Los Angeles Dodgers repeat in 2021? [4] J.J. Crisco and R.W. In a hollow bat, however, the bat barrel compresses somewhat like a spring, when the ball impacts it. Aluminum bats are lighter and hit farther than wooden bats. [11] Phil Patton, "Wooden bats still reign supreme at the old ball game," Smithsonian, 15, 152-165 (1990) Data was collected for each player until 30 line drives were produced within a certain range of locations in the outfield. Russell, " "Hoop frequency as a predictor of performance for softball bats," Engineering of Sport 5, Vol. [10] D.A. Marucci Cat8 -3 College Baseball Bat. Specically, the difference shows up in the location of the center-of-mass (CM) - otherwise known as the balance point. "Any idiot can see that the ball jumps off an aluminum bat faster than off of a wooden bat," said Jim Morris, head baseball coach at the University of Miami. [1] F.O. Aluminum is lighter and more durable, and aluminum bats are easier to swing than wood bats of equal size, making them ideal for younger players … The reason why high schools and colleges use aluminum bats over wood is … The figure shows that for a given swing speed, the metal bat can potentially hit the ball 5-7mph faster than the wood bat. The data from the Crisco-Greenwald study should NOT be used to argue against the use of aluminum bats because this data does not represent the status of bat performance under current NCAA rules. The data shows an average batted ball speed for wood bats (W) around 98.6-mph, while balls hit with metal bats (M1-M5) left the bat with speeds averaging between 100.3 mph and 106.5-mph, up to 8-mph faster than wood bats. Therefore, BBCOR bats with lighter barrels do not equal wood in some batting scenarios, they have LESS pop. 12-17 (2003) The physics behind the trampoline effect is somewhat complex, though a simple model can be used to illustrate the main concepts, as explained elsewhere on this website. Wooden bats are heavier and solid, whereas aluminum and titanium bats are much lighter and hollow. Because the barrel of an aluminum bat is hollow, the distribution of mass along the length of a metal bat is considerably different than it is for a solid wood bat. Aluminum is the material most commonly used for baseball bats from little league through high school and college. Personally, I might as well have gone to the plate with a wet sock than a wood bat. [7] Smith, L, Broker, J, Nathan, A, “A Study of Softball Player Swing Speed,” Sports Dynamics Discovery and Application, Edited by A. Subic, P. Trivailo, and F. Alam, RMIT University, Melbourne Australia, pp. The bars in the chart represent the average and spread for the top 10% (ie, fastest 10%) of all hits across all players for each bat. One memorable example happened during 2000 World Series between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Burkett, S.S. Chen, G.S. Penna, "Batting performance of wood and metal baseball bats," Med. You may be wondering why high school and college baseball players use aluminum bats but league players use wooden bats? This is why most college teams switched to aluminum in the early 1980s, because wood bats would break a lot, high quality wood was harder to find, and so wood bats became more expensive. Announcements Prohibited BBCOR Baseball Bats (September 2019) NCAA Bat Testing Protocol Federal Court Dismisses Bat Manufacturer’s Antitrust Lawsuit (Posted 3/25/13) Many people have argured that the fact that aluminum bats don't break has a noticeable impact on the game of baseball. Major League Baseball players can't use aluminum bats because wooden bats maintain historical continuity, keep offenses reasonable and improve safety for players on the field. If bats were lighter, players would be able to swing with a greater force than they are able to with wooden bats, making it easier for professional players to hit a pitch. The horizontal axis (Impact Speed) represents the swing speed of the bat. Figure 6. In the complete analysis of all of the data, bat M1 was found to perform statistically the same as a wood bat, while bats M3 and M4 were noticeably better and bat M2 was dramatically better. They learn while playing in highschool and college that inside pitches get hit for runs. Because the NCAA views wood bats as a “burdensome” or “hardship” cost. Aluminum bats are extremely dangerous to infielders because of the speed they generate and the force behind the batted ball. 48, 505-510, (1977). <<>> In other words, I simply want to provide an explanation, backed up with experimental evidence, why it might be possible for a metal bat to outperform a wood bat. Originally, it was because aluminum bats last a lot longer. Aluminum bats would be much too light for Major League Baseball. Again, the only published study todate which offers evidence of an enhancement in performance for metal bats due to an elastic property of the bat is the Crisco-Greenwald study. Just like I pointed out from my early years, metal bats have a way of making the ball fly. Baseball, Tennis, Golf - we'd be better off if they all went back to wood instead of the high tech composites. They are banding them because they cause more injury and for the balls to go farther. Aluminum bats were introduced long before modern sponsorships; they were legalized because of the sharply rising costs of wooden bats. Ruchmann, and M.J. Berry, "Effects of bat composition, grip firmness, and impact location on postimpact ball velocity," Med. Hester and K. Koenig, "Performance measurement of baseball bats," Journal of the Mississippi Academy of the Sciences, 38(2), 7-10 (1993) Then there is performance. Most college and high schools use aluminum bats because they dont break and they are on budgets. Furthermore, most of the energy temporarily stored in the barrel is returned to the ball, and the energy which is lost in the bat compression is a small fraction of what would have been lost in the ball if it had impacted a wood bat instead. The results of these two studies are in contrast to what players, coaches, and league officials all know - that metal bats do outperform wood bats. Krahenbuhl, and P. Lu, "Dynamic and performance characteristics of baseball bats," Research Quarterly, Instead I would like to look at the physics of baseball bats and investigate the scientific data to support the claim that metal bats perform better than wood bats. Piazza's bat broke and the barrel portion bounced out towards Clemens on the mound. What I want to do here is discuss experimental evidence that a trampoline effect really does seem to be partly responsible for improvement in performance of aluminum bats over wood. They were not able to explain differences in this effect between the five metal bats they tested, and so could not explain how the trampoline effect improves performance. This means that baseball players can swing an aluminum bat with much more speed than they could with a wooden bat. Plotting the data this way normalizes the results so as to remove the effect of different moments-of-inertia (see reason [1]). 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Given swing speed of the aluminum bat can last the entire season References [ ]... Does not show a difference in the size of the bat with the lowest hoop will. Picked up the broken bat and threw it towards Piazza as he ran towards first by 12... Can potentially hit the ball, including college play, including college play including. Pitch to Mets catcher Mike Piazza 's also concluded that metal bats in this study would be legal.! Argured that the fact that aluminum bats collected for each player until 30 line drives were produced within a range!

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