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The purpose of this research study is to investigate the advantages of using technologically advanced, or high priced, baseball bats in the Little League Baseball. The study will examine the benefits or advantages of using technologically advanced baseball bats, mostly made of Aluminum, over the wooden bat that has been traditionally in use.
In recent years, the subject of baseball bat performance has led to debates among players, regulating bodies, and even scientists and researchers. These debates arise due to the use of new technologies in making bats leading to baseball bats that perform exceedingly better than the traditional wooden bats. Research carried out in field studies and in simulated laboratory tests have concluded that technological advancement s have indeed improved the efficiency of bats, especially those made of Aluminum (Nathan et al, pp.).
These studies have also provided information on how best to improve bat performance regarding bat-ball collision (Russell, para. 1). These findings have led to debates on whether or not Aluminum bats should be used for playing baseball as they give unfair advantage to those who use them.
Aluminum bats have a number of advantages over wooden bats. Since it is harder than wood, the weight of aluminum bat can be varied more than wooden bats (Science Buddy). They are also less elastic than wood, implying that the bat loses less energy through rebound.
Lastly aluminum bats do have sweet spots that are relatively larger hence easement of the ability to frequently hit balls (Oracle).
Another important type of bat is the composite baseball bat, these types of bats are identical to Aluminum bats, but have a graphite wall on the inside. The bats are easy to swing, and provide relatively greater trampoline effect. They also have very low damping speeds, in addition to less bending stiffness (Kolenich. Para. 2).
Statistical evidence from the NCAA, the body that regulates collegiate baseball in the US, clearly indicates that technological advancements have led to improved performance in baseball. These improvements have been realized in areas such as batting averages, home runs per game, and strike out per nine innings from 1970 to 2010 (NCAA). These findings are shown below.
Fig. 1. Batting Averages
Fig. 2. Home Runs per Game
Fig. 3. Strike Outs per Nine Innings
Terms, Concepts, and Questions Relating to the Study
To complete the study, I will investigate the following aspects of the game of baseball:
Physics of baseball;
Sweet spot of a baseball bat;
The grip of a baseball bat.
The research will aim to answer several questions relating to the variables in the game of baseball. For example, is the distance better with a specific bat, does technology improve the feel/ grip of the bat. Are composite bats better than Aluminum bats? Does weight affect the speed of the bats? The results of the study will be useful to baseball coaches, baseball associations, and the players.
This study is targeting the little league baseball since it is vital that adoption of technological advancements in baseball should begin from the lowest levels and as the players move to the major leagues, they get used to the techniques, rather than introducing them to technologies after they have become seniors.
For this purpose, I will conduct my research mostly by following my son’s little league team, interviewing coaches, researching the internet, and actually buying a bat made using the latest technologies for my son to use for the research work. The schedule of my research work will follow the Dickinson Little League in Dickinson Texas.
Kolenich, Eric. Check swing: Composite bats’ place in baseball is getting a closer look. Richmond Times Dispatch. 2009. Web.
Nathan, Alan M., et al. A Comparative Study of Baseball Bat Performance. 2010. Web.
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Division I Baseball Statistics Trends (1970-2010). 2010. Web.
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Oracle. The Physics of Baseball: Aluminum Bats. Web.
Russell, Daniel A. Physics and Acoustics of Baseball and Softball Bats. 2010. Web.
Science Buddy. Baseball Bat Debate: Baseball Bat Debate, Wood or Aluminum. 2011. Web.