What is Bat Rolling?
Bat rolling is a process that accelerates the break-in process of composite bats. This process is executed by placing the bat into a «rolling machine». The bat will fit horizontally in the machine between two rollers, compressed, and sometimes heated. The bat will then be rolled in the machine for a few minutes, or until the person supervising is convinced it is broken in and ready for play.
Many people believe that heated bat rolling increases the performance of the composite bat. To some degree, this is true. The more you use your composite bat, the hotter it gets. This does not necessarily have to be done by heated bat rolling. The more hits you make off of your composite bat, the hotter it will get. If you choose to break in your composite bat the traditional way, just remember to rotate the bat 1/4 of an inch between each hit.
The benefit of using the bat rolling process with a machine is that your composite bat will break in faster. Bat rolling should also ensure that the entire bat is broken in evenly. This eliminates you having to rotate your bat between swings. However, bat rolling comes at a price. Most companies charge anywhere from $35 to $100 for this process. It's up to you, as a consumer, to decide if you want to pay a company to efficiently break in a bat for you, as opposed to taking time out to do it yourself.
Is It Illegal?
Bat rolling is not illegal. As a matter of fact, all composite bats must be rolled in testing before they are deemed legal for play. This is to make sure that as the bat gets hotter after more use, and it will not exceed the bat performance standards put in place. This is done for the safety of the players on the field.
There are other bat rolling processes, however, they cause the bat to be illegal for play. Bat shaving is an example of one of these processes that will alter your bat performance, causing your bat to be way too hot for play. If you are caught with a shaven bat, you will not only be ejected from the game but could face much more serious consequences depending on the league.
Bat rolling is most prevalent amongst the slowpitch softball community, but in some occasions, fastpitch softball players also take to bat rolling. If you want to save time and money by breaking in your composite bat yourself the traditional way then be sure to check out our article on "How To Break In A New Composite Bat".
Speaking about a bat controversy...have you seen this?