Yes, you can technically use a baseball bat for hitting in softball, but there are several reasons why that may be either impractical or disallowed.
We’ll get into those reasons in a minute, but first, it will be helpful to know …
Difference Between Softball and Baseball Bats
The main differences between baseball and softball bats are in their length and weight.
Generally speaking, softball bats are longer than baseball bats. For instance, the most common length of softball bats is 34 inches, while many baseball bats are 33 inches or shorter. (These are adult models — youth models usually fall in the 30-inch range.)
Though shorter than softball bats, baseball bats usually have thicker barrels (where the bat hits the ball), which makes them heavier. The most popular adult slow-pitch softball bats weigh in at about 28 ounces, while baseball bats range from 32 to 38 ounces, or even heavier in some cases.
Finally, while most softball bats are made of aluminum, many baseball bats are still made of wood.
Why NOT to Use a Baseball Bat for Softball
Now, with those differences in mind, it’s not to hard to figure out why it might be hard to hit a softball with a baseball bat.
For starters, the shorter baseball bat makes it more difficult to reach across the full strike zone in softball. That difference becomes more pronounced in fastpitch softball, since the pitch arrives very quickly from just 43 feet away.
Likewise, the heavier baseball bat increases the time it takes batters to complete their swings, making them more prone to falling behind a pitch. Again, this is more pronounced in fastpitch softball than in the slow-pitch version.
Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!
OK, maybe not the law, exactly. But many softball organizations have rules governing the equipment that players can use, and that includes bats in many cases.
Most fastpitch leagues, for example, regulate that all bats must have a 2-inch barrel diameter, measure 34 inches or less in length, and weight 31 ounces or less.
So, yes, you could use a baseball bat in softball. But you probably wouldn’t want to … and you likely wouldn’t be allowed to!