Systems and Industrial Engineering
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721-0020
Copyright © 2004 Bahill
We will discuss several new scientific discoveries about baseball
and softball. (1) There is an ideal bat for each individual baseball
and softball player. To determine the ideal bat we must consider
(a) the coefficient of restitution of the bat-ball collision,
(b) the sweet spot of the bat, (c) the ideal bat weight and (d)
the weight distribution of the bat. (2) The coefficient of restitution
depends on properties of the ball and the bat. (3) The ball will
go the farthest if it hits the bat at the sweet spot. We will
demonstrate several definitions of the sweet spot of the bat.
(4) Hitting a baseball is the hardest act in all of sports. This
act is easier if the right bat is used, but it is difficult to
determine the right bat for each individual. Therefore, we developed
the Bat ChooserTM to measure the swings of an individual, make
a model for that person and compute the Ideal Bat WeightTM for
each baseball or softball player. A bat of this weight would make
the ball go the fastest after the bat-ball collision. The Ideal
Bat Weight is computed by coupling the muscle force-velocity relationship
for an individual to the equations for conservation of momentum.
(5) For most collegiate batters, outlawing aluminum bats would
produce faster batted-ball speeds, thus endangering pitchers.
(6) We have created simple models to help select bats for various
categories of people: for example for a typical nine or ten year
old the Recommended Bat Weight = Height/3 + 4. (7) There is an
ideal weight distribution for each batter. All of the university
softball players in our study would profit from using an end-loaded
References [43, 50, 75, 86].
This overview was designed for the inquisitive layperson. This
talk requires a zip disk drive, PowerPoint and a computer projector.
This talk takes one hour.