How to Load a Softball Bat

By Sharon Hadrian

Despite being banned from official leagues, loaded bats serve a variety of purposes. End-loaded bats, where the bat's weight is redistributed toward the end of the barrel, allows hitters to maintain the same swing speed while applying more force to the ball. The result is, according to research from Kettering University, that the ball travels a greater distance.The hitter gains an advantage in a home run derby or fun league. By contrast, knob-loading adds weight to the bat handle. Although it is uncommon for players to swing a knob-loaded bat in a game, it can be a useful training aid to strengthen a hitter's wrists.

End Loading

Lift the end cap out of the bat barrel using pliers. Slowly work your way around the outside of the cap, loosening the edge in stages if the cap is extremely tight.

Place the end cap on a flat surface with the inside facing up.

Pour the liquid rubber compound into the end cap. Be careful not to overflow the cap or get compound on the outside of the cap.

Leave the end cap to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Apply epoxy glue to the interior rim of the end cap. Paint a thin layer of glue over the small plastic grips.

Place the end cap back into the bat barrel. Use a mallet to hammer it into place.

Knob Loading

Remove the end cap.

Stand the bat vertically on a flat surface with the barrel facing up. Steady the bat with boxes, towels or other available materials.

Place the funnel at the top of the bat and pour a small amount of liquid rubber compound into the funnel.

Leave the bat in an upright position overnight, allowing the rubber to settle and harden at the knob end of the bat.

Glue the end cap back into the barrel.

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