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Equipment

The below information has been directly copied from the NWSA Equipment used in Wheelchair Softball

Softball Used In Wheelchair Softball
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Rawlings DeBeer F16 Softball

 The official softball of the WSA & NWSA

F16 softball.jpg

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Slow Pitch Bats For Wheelchair Softball

Summary of "Picking The Right Bat For 16" Softball

By: S. Brady Phillips (April 2010)

"The choice of bat weight should be based on the size, strength and hitting style of the individual. Stronger individuals can and should handle the heavier bats because they can generate enough speed. Players of a slighter build should go slightly lighter but nobody should use a bat less than 32 oz. In short, you should use the heaviest bat that you can still generate good speed with. In 12" softball you work the bat, in 16" softball make the bat work for you by using its extra mass to drive through the "mushier" ball"

Picking The Right Bat For 16" Softball

BAT ALLOY CHART - PUBLISHED 2006

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Things to Note:

  • The better the alloy, the stronger it is

  • The better the alloy, the larger the sweet spot

  • The better the alloy, the greater ball speed off of the bat, or trampoline effect (Dimension Fiberflex 2004, Xred, PST, and Wickeds are some of the top ball speed bats)

  • It is a good idea not to use the thinner alloy bats in weather below 60 Degrees unless otherwise noted. This will decrease structural integrity and possibly dent your bat

  • Always follow the care instructions included with your bat

  • Never hit the ball with the bat in the same spot every time, rotate your barrel to increase the life of the bat

  • Warranties are generally for factory defects and regular impact dents. Not all bats come with a warranty

  • Blem Bats and older bats usually have no warranty unless otherwise stated.

Wheelchairs Used In Wheelchair Softball

The manual wheelchairs used in Wheelchair Softball are the same sports wheelchairs used by the majority of disability sports. These sports include Basketball, Rugby, Tennis, Badminton, Handball and AWFL. Sports wheelchairs are designed specifically for the use in sports. No power wheelchairs or everyday use wheelchairs are to be used in wheelchair softball

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Example of the type of sports wheelchair that can be used for Wheelchair Softball is the Melrose Wheelchairs Orion

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Batting "Rack" For Wheelchair Softball-  Laven Rack

Blocks and batting racks are equipment used by hitters to hold the wheelchair still when hitting. Eliminating movement of the wheelchair during the batters swing is also critical in maximizing a hitter’s performance. It is equally important to be able to quickly push the chair to first base after hitting the ball. 

 

An important piece of equipment to assist is a Laven batter’s rack (known as a Laven Rack) or other wheel blocks. When a batter swings the bat, the rear wheel under the arm that is swinging the bat will move backward and away from home plate. The backward movement of this wheel significantly slows bat speed, and changes a batter's swing path, and reduces a batter’s ability to solidly contact the ball due to the adverse chair movement. 

 

The Laven batter’s rack (shown here) is designed to keep the chair stable by preventing backward movement of the rear wheel during the swing.  The rack’s design also keeps the rear wheel tight to the raised rail and also keeps the chair from rolling forward before or during the swing. The Laven rack also allows the batter to transition to a base runner quickly. 

 

Regardless of the blocking used, it is very important that the rear wheels don’t move backward during the swing and they allow the batter to transition to baserunner immediately.

NWSA Batting Rack- Laven Rack

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