Bat Rolling

Bat Rolling: The Latest Trend In Bat Performance

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bat rolling

There is a lot of debate in the baseball community about bat rolling. Some people swear by it, while others say it doesn’t make a difference. So, what is bat rolling, and does it actually improve performance? In this article, we’ll cover the basics of bat rolling, its benefits and potential risks, and how to find a reputable bat rolling service.


What is Bat Rolling and How Does it Work?

Bat rolling is the process of using a bat rolling machine to compress the fibers of a composite baseball or softball bat, thereby making it more flexible and improving its performance. The machine uses two or three rollers that rotate around the bat while compressing it. This process gradually breaks down the fibers of the composite material and creates a more even compression throughout the barrel of the bat.

The process of bat rolling can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the type of bat and the desired level of compression. Generally, the more passes a bat takes through the rollers, the more compressed it becomes and the greater the potential for improved performance.

The Benefits of Bat Rolling

The benefits of bat rolling include increased bat speed, improved pop, and better ball exit velocity. It’s important to note that these benefits are not guaranteed and can vary depending on the specific bat, the player’s swing mechanics, and other factors.

Bat rolling benefits:

  • A bigger sweet spot on the barrel
  • Eliminates any dead spots because equal pressure is applied to the entire surface. If a child were to break in the bat naturally, they would need to slightly rotate the bat after each swing. If all of the hits were on one side of the bat, the other side might have more dead spots. 
  • Game-ready right away. Most new bats take between 5000-1000 hits to be fully optimized. The amount of time you would save would be huge. 
  • Swing speed – when the ball is hit, the compressed fibers in the bat spring back and release energy, which helps to increase the bat’s speed.

The Risks and Potential Drawbacks Of Bat Rolling

While bat rolling can have benefits, there are also risks and potential drawbacks to consider. One of the biggest risks is that bat rolling can damage the bat, either by cracking the barrel or weakening the composite material. In addition, rolling a bat can void the manufacturer’s warranty, leaving the player with a potentially expensive and useless piece of equipment.

Another potential drawback of bat rolling is the ethical considerations of using altered equipment. Some players and coaches say that bat rolling is cheating since it modifies the bat’s performance beyond what the game’s rules permit. This can raise questions about fair play and sportsmanship, especially at the amateur or high school level.


Bat Rolling Process

There are two types of heat-rolling bat machines. Manual and automatic and they can both handle all sizes and weights.

Manually heat rolling bats requires the user to roll the bat by hand. Automated devices have a roller that does the work for you. The machines can be expensive, but some companies offer bat rolling services for a low price. It’s up to you to decide whether or not it is worth it. If you think it will give you an advantage, go for it. But, be aware of the potential risks involved.

Things To Remember

Bat rolling is illegal in some leagues. If you’re caught using a rolled bat, you could be suspended or even banned from the league. So, if you’re considering using a rolled bat, check your league rules first. 

Bat rolling can void the warranty on your bat. So, if you have a bat that you like and it breaks after you roll it, you won’t be able to get it replaced. 


What Is Bat Shaving?

Bat shaving is the process of removing the inner wall of the bat to make it lighter. This is done so that the bat can be swung faster and the hitter can generate more power. It is a process that is often used on youth bats because it makes the bat easier to swing and helps to improve the child’s batting average and power.

There are a few different ways that you can shave a bat. The most common way is typically done by removing the end cap and running a lathe down the inside diameter of the bat. A lathe is a machine that spins the bat while you use a cutting tool to remove the bat’s inner wall and remove the material evenly. This method is the most precise and gives you the most control over the thickness of the bat wall. 

Another way to shave a bat is to use a power drill. This method is not as precise as a lathe but is much faster. You will need to be careful when using a power drill not to remove too much of the bat wall. 

The last way to shave a bat is to use a hand saw. This is the least precise method, but it is the quickest. 

Bat shaving benefits

  • Reduction in swing weight: Some players believe it gives them a competitive edge by making the bat easier to swing.
  • Increase in the trampoline effect: The trampoline effect is the rebound effect that occurs when the ball hits the bat. A shaved bat will have more trampoline effect than a non-shaved bat, meaning the ball will come off the bat with more speed and power. 

However, there are also some drawbacks to shaving a bat. The most significant disadvantage is the reduction in durability. A shaved bat is likelier to break if it hits something hard, like a pitched ball. Additionally, shaving a bat will shorten its lifespan because you are removing material from the bat, which will weaken it over time. 

Some parents will do whatever it takes to give their child an edge. Don’t put other kids’ safety at risk just so you can see little Joey hit an illegal homerun. It might feed your ego, but your kid will know it was because he was using an altered bat.  


Rules About Altering Youth Bats

The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) is the voice of high school athletics and physical education in the United States. The NFHS writes the competition rules for most high school sports and activities, which more than 19,500 high schools use nationwide. 

NFHS has taken a stance on bat altering and is against it. They believe that altering a bat changes the fundamental nature of the game, and it is not in the best interest of the student-athletes.

Altering a bat can enhance the trampoline effect, allowing hitters to strike balls harder and farther. This creates a safety risk for pitchers and infielders, who usually stand closest to the batter when hitting the ball. The NFHS also believes that altering a bat can give a team an unfair advantage. 

The NFHS has stated that they are against bat altering. They are also urging all high school coaches and administrators to discourage their players from altering their bats.

“Altering of bats is not permitted. Using any device that would alter the performance characteristics of a bat is illegal. The term “altering” shall include, but is not limited to, the shaving or rolling of any bat. The use of any bat that has been altered shall result in the bat being declared illegal, and the player will be subject to ejection from the game.” 

National Federation Of High Schools (NFHS)

Here is a statement from Little League on altered bats:

No bat, in any level of Little League Baseball or Softball play, is permitted to be altered. This is of particular concern, especially when it is clearly done to enhance performance and violate bat standards.”

Aside from safety concerns, unfair play, and a host of other reasons, there are also potential legal repercussions. Can you imagine if a defensive player was injured due to your modified bat? Hello, lawsuit and possible criminal action. 

Little League

In short, please don’t do it. If you are caught, your child will be subject to ejection from the game and will always be known as a cheater. The pitchers are already at a disadvantage with these juiced bats. So stop ruining the integrity of the game and let the kids put in the work to help them improve. 


Why Do Some Think Bat Rolling Is Cheating?

There are a few reasons why people think heat rolling bats is cheating:

  1. Some believe that the process alters the bat’s trampoline effect, which makes it hit the ball harder.
  2. Some people think that bat rolling gives players an unfair advantage because it makes the bat easier to swing. 

However, there is no scientific evidence to support any of these claims. Several studies have shown that bat rolling has no significant effect on performance. In one study, researchers found that bat rolling decreased the bat’s trampoline effect. In another study, researchers found that bat rolling did not affect bats’ durability.

Finally, a study by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois found that bat rolling did not make bats easier to swing. So, if bat rolling doesn’t provide any significant advantage, why do people do it?


How To Find A Reputable Bat Rolling Service

If you decide to roll your bat, make sure to choose a reputable and trustworthy service provider to ensure proper and safe rolling of your bat. Look for a service that has experience working with composite bats, and check for reviews or testimonials from other players who have used their services.

You should also ask about the equipment used, as not all bat rolling machines are created equal. Look for a service that uses a high-quality rolling machine with adjustable pressure settings, and ask about the number of passes they typically make with each bat.

Finally, make sure that the service you choose is transparent about its process and results. A good bat rolling service should be able to provide before-and-after performance data. They should also be willing to answer any questions you may have.

Recommended Bat Rolling Services

World’s Hottest Bats – This company separates itself from other competitors because of the process they use to roll the bats.

When they are rolling a bat, they take the pressure they’d like to end up at, divide that number by four, and start there. For each of the subsequent three cycles, they increase that number by another 25%. Some rollers maximize the pressure on the first sequence, and this causes issues with durability or paint cracking. This more protracted process of gradually increasing the pressure by 25% is my preferred option should I ever roll a bat. 

Longballbats.com – If you are a member of any youth baseball Facebook groups, you’ve probably seen ads for this company. A friend of mine used them for his son’s bat and said the process was extremely smooth. He thinks it has made a difference in the bat, but without official measurements, it’s hard to tell.

Bigdogbatrolling.com – This company has been around since 2006 and offers many different baseball-related services from batt rolling to glove steaming

Clubrollers.com – One of the more affordable bat-rolling services available.


Many wish that bat manufacturers would just roll their composite bats before shipping them to the customer. With composite bats, kids need to get in a good 500-100 hits while slightly rotating the bat on each swing for it to reach its full potential.

If the bat reaches its full potential without modification, it still needs to pass the league or tournament’s compression test. If it fails the test, you cannot use it. However, if it meets the league standards and remains unmodified by shaving, then you should be able to use it.

Before you send your bat to one of these services, be sure to check my article on USA vs. USSSA vs. BBCOR bats


Can You Tell If A Bat Has Gone Through Bat Rolling

If done correctly, some modifications made through bat rolling are not always visible to the naked eye. If you don’t perform the bat rolling process correctly, you will notice the machine’s roller marks on the bat.

The paint might also suffer damage, resulting in a spiderweb appearance. Spiderwebbing occurs when someone applies uneven pressure across the bat’s surface. Bat rolling is a bit more challenging on some of the newer bats with the larger barrels. The graphics will also start to peel off, and you may be able to feel ridges if you run your hand across the barrel. 

bat rolling marks

Final Thoughts On Bat Rolling

In conclusion, using a heat rolled bat can provide significant benefits in terms of improved bat performance, including increased bat speed, improved pop, and better ball exit velocity. However, it’s important to weigh these benefits against the potential drawbacks and ethical considerations of using altered equipment.

Choosing not to use a heat rolled bat means you can avoid the risk of damage to your equipment, and you can have the peace of mind that you are playing with equipment that is within the rules of the game.

Ultimately, you should decide whether to use a heat rolled bat after carefully considering the potential risks and benefits. If you do choose to use a heat rolled bat, make sure to find a reputable service provider and follow all rules and regulations of your league or tournament.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.

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