Also known as “cherry on top,” “mushball,” “cabbage ball,” “puffball,” “blooperball,” “mushball,” and “Chicago ball,” 16-inch softball is a variant of the game that uses a larger, softer ball and does not require gloves or mitts for defenders. This version of softball closely resembles the original game as it was developed by George Hancock in 19th century Chicago, and it remains a popular pastime in Chicago, New Orleans, Portland (Oregon), and Atlanta (Georgia), where leagues have been active since the 1960s. It enjoyed some popularity in Nashville (Tennessee) during the early 1980s as well.

The gameplay for 16-inch softball closely follows that of standard softball matches, with the exception that it is played with a larger ball measuring 16 inches in diameter, as opposed to the standard 12 inches. Teams may be composed of co-ed, all-male, or all-female players and may choose to participate in either competitive or recreational leagues. Rule variations may exist depending on the specific field or league in which the game is played, particularly in co-ed leagues where rules may govern the male-to-female ratio of teammates and batting order. The National Softball Association (NSA) also provides a set of rules that govern the play of 16-inch softball.

Local organizations often host regular weekly games and their own playoff systems for 16-inch softball. In addition, national organizations like the NSA offer various competitions. By performing well in NSA competitions, teams can qualify and compete in the 16-inch softball world series. Due to slight variations in rules among local associations, the NSA world series is played under its own set of world series rules. One notable change in these rules is that Chicago area players, who are typically not allowed to wear gloves during regular play, may choose to wear gloves during world series games.

Best 5 Bats for 16-inch Softball

1. DeMarini Windy City Single Wall Slow Pitch Softball Bat

The DeMarini Windy City slowpitch softball bat is a prime example of the company’s innovative and industry-leading products. With game-changing technology and attractive aesthetics, every DeMarini model is lightyears ahead of the competition. The Windy City series was intended for the genuine 16-inch softball Chicago-style players. This one-piece, single divider configuration is produced along with DeMarini’s SC4 combination which furnishes a brilliant life span with an end-stacked swing weight. Suggested for use with mush balls, this lethargic pitch bat is destined to be one of the principal bats you snatch out of your pack. Each DeMarini softball bat is made proudly here in the USA.

Get ready to dominate the Windy City with the DeMarini Windy City Single Wall Slow Pitch Softball Bat. This bat boasts a standard 2 ¼” barrel diameter and a 12.5” barrel length, along with the proven RCK handle that fits perfectly into any player’s grip. Don’t wait any longer to get your hands on one of these top-performing DeMarini slow-pitch bats.

Key Features

  • Made In The USA
  • One-Piece, Alloy Softball Bat
  • Single Wall Barrel Design
  • End Loaded Swing Weight
  • SC4 Alloy Construction: Provides Unbeatable Longevity
  • Intended For: More Restrictive Tournaments & Leagues
  • RCK Knob: It is Anatomically Designed To Fit Perfectly Into Any Player’s Bottom Hand
  • Recommended For: Use With 16 Inch Mushballs
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: One Year
  • Approved For: USSSA, ASA, NSA, & ISA

Specifications

  • Barrel Diameter: 2 ¼”
  • Barrel Length: 12 ½”
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Bat Construction: One-Piece
  • Swing Weight: End Loaded
  • Color: Black, Purple
  • Series: Windy City
  • Brand: Demarini

Pros

  • Huge sweet spot
  • Lightweight
  • Great pop

Cons

  • The Batters grip is ripping 100-200 swings in.

Recommendations

Although this bat is designed with mushball players in mind, it can still be used in traditional slowpitch leagues, provided that you are strong enough to handle its significant weight and still achieve great bat speed. DeMarini created this bat with the intention of catering to mushball players, but its performance capabilities extend beyond just that.

DeMarini Windy City Single Wall Slow Pitch Softball Bat

Learn More: Best Slowpitch Softball Bats For Cold Weather

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2. DeBeer Clincher Slowpitch Softball Bat

This bat has a 40% more slender shell than single divider technology giving you the most ideal presentation contrasted with the single divider market. The smooth new blue and grey will truly make your bat stand apart at the plate or in the enclosure. As usual, DeBeer has put forth an extraordinary attempt to keep their bats first in class and has indeed done as such. Assuming you need to expand your exhibition and yield in your Clincher association, this is certainly a decision for you. Maximize Clincher execution requires thin-walled, extreme end-loaded bats and DeBeer delivers with the new Clincher. The Clincher is approved for play in ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, and ISF. 

Key Features

  • 7046 Alloy
  • ProTAC Grip
  • BPF 1.20
  • Polished Finish
  • End Load Design
  • High Recoil Power Plug
  • Designed for 12”, 14” & 16” Clincher Balls
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: One Year
  • Approved For Play In ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, and ISA

Specifications

  • Handle: 34/36” oz, 34/38” oz 
  • Barrel: 2 ¼”
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Color: White, Blue, Grey
  • Deals: Bundle & Save
  • Brand: DeBeer

Pros

  • It’s a Monster 
  • It will destroy the mush ball

Cons

  • It feels much heavier than it is
  • It takes a little while to get used to 

Recommendations

The design of these bats is primarily intended for the use of 12″, 14″, and 16″ Clincher softballs, commonly referred to as “mushball.” If your league utilizes these types of softballs, you can potentially see significant improvements in your performance by using this bat. It’s crucial to ensure that you can handle the weight of the bat and generate sufficient bat speed, regardless of the bat you choose to use. Note that this bat is not recommended for use with any other type of softball besides those specified.

DeBeer Clincher Slowpitch Softball Bat

Learn More: Best Slowpitch Softball Bats For Cold Weather

3. Louisville Slugger TPS Chicago Wood Slow Pitch Softball Bat

Louisville Slugger is well-versed in crafting wood bats to cater to the needs of players. The Louisville Slugger TPS Chicago Wood Slow Pitch Softball Bat is specially designed for use in Clincher associations and leagues that use 16″ softballs. It is produced using lightweight, solid, and adaptable Northern White Ash wood that gives players a really sympathetic perfect balance. This bat includes an enormous 2 5/8″ barrel distance across, which is a large portion of an inch bigger than customary lethargic pitch bats. Therefore, the Louisville Slugger Chicago isn’t ASA Approved. In the event that you play ASA ball, you can in any case utilize this bat for training rather than your high-dollar metal bat. Utilizing a wood softball bat won’t just assist you with hitting better in the game, it will save your metal bat from taking swings in batting practice.

The mileage of BP and hitting heavier enclosure balls can harm costly metal bats, which is the reason practice with a wood bat has been demonstrated to be exceptionally helpful. Swinging a wooden softball bat will foster a superior sense of perfect balance, more grounded wrists, and a superior eye by taking batting practice. The Chicago wood bat has a taped hold that gives players incredible control whether it be practically speaking or games.

Key Features

  • Taped Grip
  • Black Finish
  • Non-Cupped End
  • Great Practice Tool
  • Northern White Ash Wood
  • Recommended For: Use With 16 Inch Mushballs and In Clincher Leagues
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: One Year
  • Approved For: NOT ASA Approved

Specifications

  • Handle: 34/31” oz, 35/32” oz, 36/33” oz
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 ⅝”
  • Drop: -3
  • Material: Wood
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Deals: Bundle & Save
  • Color: Black, White
  • Series: Chicago
  • Brand: Louisville Slugger

Pros

  • Solid Line Drive Base Hit Bat.
  • Has sweet spot
  • Too expensive metal bats

Cons

  • Normal softball leagues do not permit this bat because the diameter of the barrel is too big.

Recommendations

Typically, players can use wood softball bats without any issue in ASA competitions or association games. However, some umpires may disqualify wood bats that do not have the ASA stamp. While the Louisville Slugger TPS Chicago Wood Slow Pitch Softball Bat lacks an ASA stamp, it is likely to be approved. Thus, if you are in search of a slowpitch wood bat, this bat can be used.

Louisville Slugger TPS Chicago Wood Slow Pitch Softball Bat

Learn More: Best Non Composite Softball Bats 

4. DeMarini Juggy End Loaded Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat

The DeMarini Juggy End Loaded Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat has recently undergone an upgrade and is ready for the 2023 season. It features a two-piece design made entirely of DeMarini’s. 4 One composite material, which offers impressive pop and long-lasting durability. With a 0.6mm bat hold and the licensed RCK handle that fits impeccably into your hand, you will not track down a more lavish softball bat accessible. This 2016 DeMarini Juggy Senior Slowpitch Softball Bat includes a 2 ¼” barrel width, a 12” barrel length, and an end-stacked swing weight for more force at the plate. With the 1.21 BPF associations, this softball bat is supported for play in SSUSA and other senior softball associations. But, it does NOT come with a warranty.

See Also:   Best USSSA Bats for 10 Year Old for 2023 Reviews & Guide [Best Rated]

Key Features

  • 100% Composite Design
  • 0.6mm Bat Grip
  • End Loaded Swing Weight
  • SSUSA 1.21 BPF Certification
  • Two-Piece, Fully Composite Construction
  • RCK Knob: Perfectly Fits In the Bottom Hand For A Comfortable Grip
  • Big D End Cap: Absorbs Vibration While Keeping Swing Weight Low
  • 4. One Composite Material: Provides Insane Pop With Long Lasting Performance
  • Recommended For: Use With 16 Inch Mushballs 
  • Approved For: SSUSA & Other Senior Softball Organizations

Specifications

  • Barrel Length: 12”
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 ¼”
  • Material: Composite
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Deals: Bundle & Save, Closeout Bats
  • Bat Construction: Two Piece
  • Swing Weight: End Loaded
  • Color: White, Red, Gold
  • Series: Juggy
  • Brand: Demarini

Pros

  • Good pop
  • Long-lasting performance
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No manufacturer warranty

Recommendations

Upgrade your swing with the DeMarini Juggy, the grand slam slowpitch softball bat that you’ve been searching for. With its Extra Big D end cap that retains vibration and keeps the swing weight low, this bat is sure to take your game to the next level. Request a DeMarini slowpitch softball bat today and experience the difference for yourself.

DeMarini Juggy End Loaded Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat

Learn More: Best Slowpitch Softball Bats For 52 Core Balls 

5. DeMarini ONE Balanced Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat

For the 2015-16 season, the redesigned DeMarini ONE Balanced Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat is back and better than ever. Made from DeMarini’s 4. One composite material, this two-piece bat boasts impressive pop and durability to elevate your game. Experience the power and performance of the DeMarini ONE today. With a 0.6mm bat hold and the protected RCK handle that fits impeccably into your hand, you will not track down a more rich softball bat elsewhere. Extra the Big D end cap that ingests vibration while as yet keeping the swing weight low; the DeMarini One is the homer bat you’ve been searching for.

Get your game on with the DeMarini ONE Senior Slowpitch Softball Bat, featuring a 2 1/4″ barrel length, a 13-inch barrel diameter, and a perfectly balanced swing weight. This bat is approved for play in SSUSA and other senior softball associations with a 1.21 BPF certification, but it does not come with a warranty. However, you can still purchase with confidence and take your performance to the next level. Order your DeMarini slowpitch softball bat today.

Key Features

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Thin, 0.6mm Bat Grip
  • SSUSA 1.21 BPF Certification
  • Two-Piece, Fully Composite Construction
  • Big D End Cap: Absorbs Vibration While Keeping Swing Weight Low
  • RCK Knob: Perfectly Fits In the Bottom Hand For A Comfortable Grip
  • 4. One Composite Material: Provides Insane Pop With Long Lasting Performance
  • Recommended For: Use With 16 Inch Mushballs 
  • Approved For: SSUSA & Other Senior Softball Organizations

Specifications

  • Handle: 26” oz, 27” oz, 28” oz, 29” oz, 30” oz
  • Barrel Length: 13”
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 ¼”
  • Material: Composite
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Deals: Bundle & Save, Closeout Bats
  • Bat Construction: Two Piece
  • Swing Weight: Balanced
  • Color: White, Black, Blue
  • Series: ONE
  • Brand: Demarini

Pros

  • Grip feels good
  • Good pop
  • Greater sweet spot
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • No manufacturer warranty

Recommendations

The famous saying goes, “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” Time may take a toll on our abilities, but it should never discourage us from pursuing our passions. At DeMarini, we take pride in providing senior softball players with a slowpitch bat that enables them to compete at their best and relive their glory days. With this new addition to our lineup, all the seasoned players can make a comeback and climb up to the top of the league stats page. It’s a bone we’re excited to throw their way.

DeMarini ONE Balanced Senior Slow Pitch Softball Bat

6. Miken Freak  Primo Balanced ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat

Introducing the Miken Freak Primo Balanced ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat – the ultimate choice for serious players. With its balanced design, this bat provides a superior feel and unbeatable pop, ensuring that you perform at your best every time you step up to the plate. Don’t settle for less – elevate your game with the Miken Freak Primo Balanced ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat. It features our breakthrough Tetra-Core technology which increases compression for greater responsiveness of the barrel. As a result, you’ll feel the ball jump off the barrel every swing. In addition, it combines a balanced end load with our sensi-flex handle to provide the perfect flex to generate optimal swing speed through the zone.

Key Features

  • Made in the USA
  • 4-Piece composite construction
  • 100% carbon fiber barrel
  • Sensi-flex Handle: Provides the perfect flex to generate optimal swing speed through the zone
  • F2P Barrel Flex Technology & Revolutionary 100 COMP Composite Fibers: Delivers legendary performance and durability
  • Breakthrough Tetra-Core Technology: Increases compression for greater responsiveness of the barrel
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: One Year
  • Approved For Play-In: All ASA Leagues

Specifications

  • Bat Weight: 26” oz 
  • Barrel Length: 12”
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 ¼”
  • Material: Composite
  • Bat Type: Slowpitch Softball
  • Color: Black, Red
  • Swing Weight: Balanced
  • Age Group: Unisex-Adult
  • Series: Freak
  • Brand: Miken
See Also:   Top Quality Best BBCOR Wood Bats for 2023 Reviews & Guide [Top Picks by Expert]

Pros

  • Balanced
  • It has great pop
  • Great swing feel

Cons

  • As per a few users, It isn’t long-lasting.

Recommendations

The Freak Primo bat is a game-changer that will help you dominate your USA leagues right from the get-go. Made in the USA from high-quality composite material, this bat offers unparalleled performance and durability. Get ready to take your game to the next level with the Freak Primo bat – it’s a must-have for any serious player.

 

Miken Freak  Primo Balanced ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat

Final Words

When it comes to softball, the bats are specifically designed to hit slower and heavier balls. That’s why it’s essential to choose a bat that is both durable and strong enough to send the softball flying. Fortunately, every bat for 16-inch softball mentioned in this article is highly efficient and ranks among the top-rated softball bats available. So, you can be confident that you’re getting a high-quality product that will elevate your performance on the field.

Whether you’re a professional or recreational softball player, selecting one of these bats can give you the edge you need to improve your performance on the field. These bats are approved for play in nearly every softball league and have been highly recommended by players across the board. This genuine review of softball bats specifically designed for 16-inch softball emphasizes the quality and benefits of each product, giving you the confidence to choose the right bat for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a 16-inch softball used for?

A 16-inch softball is a larger and softer ball used in a variation of softball called “16-inch softball,” also known as “Mushball” or “Super-Slow Pitch.” This variation of the game is typically played in Chicago and other areas of the Midwest. The larger ball size and slower pace of the game make it more accessible to players of all skill levels, and it also reduces the risk of injury. Because of its larger size and softer texture, a 16-inch softball is easier to catch and allows for more hitting and catching opportunities during a game.

2. What does compression mean for softball bats?

Compression testing is a method used to measure the amount of pressure required to compress the barrel of a bat by 1/4″. The lower the amount of pressure needed to compress the bat, the easier it is for the bat to achieve maximum trampoline effect when the ball makes contact with it. Composite barrel bats, in particular, tend to become easier to compress the more they are used. This is because repeated use can cause the fibers in the composite material to break down and create more space for the barrel to compress, leading to a higher trampoline effect and increased hitting distance.

3. Do softball bats make a difference?

Yes, softball bats can make a significant difference in a player’s performance. The type of bat you use can affect the distance and direction of your hits, your swing speed, and your overall comfort at the plate. Factors such as the bat’s weight, length, material, and balance can all impact your swing and how well you connect with the ball. Choosing the right bat for your playing style, strength, and skill level can help you hit the ball farther and with more accuracy, giving you an advantage on the field. Additionally, different softball leagues may have different rules regarding bat specifications, so it’s important to choose a bat that meets those regulations to avoid penalties or disqualification.

4. What makes a good softball bat?

Several factors contribute to making a good softball bat. Here are some important features to consider:

  1. Material: The material of the bat can affect its durability, weight, and performance. Common materials for softball bats include aluminum, composite, wood, and hybrid blends.
  2. Weight: The weight of a bat can impact your swing speed, power, and control. Heavier bats tend to have more power but may be more challenging to swing, while lighter bats can be easier to control and swing quickly but may not hit the ball as far.
  3. Length: The length of a bat should be appropriate for the player’s height, stance, and swing style. A longer bat can help you reach farther pitches but may be more difficult to control.
  4. Barrel size: The barrel size refers to the diameter of the hitting surface. A larger barrel can provide a bigger sweet spot and more hitting surface area, but it may also make the bat heavier and less maneuverable.
  5. Grip: A comfortable grip can enhance your control and reduce vibrations from the impact of the ball.
  6. Performance metrics: Bats with higher performance metrics, such as a higher bat performance factor (BPF), can provide better hitting performance.

Ultimately, a good softball bat should fit the player’s individual preferences, swing style, and skill level. It’s essential to choose a bat that feels comfortable and confident in your hands, allowing you to hit the ball consistently and with power.

5. Do you need a glove for 16 inch softballs?

A larger and softer ball is used in 16-inch softball (also known as a clincher, mushball, cabbage ball, puffball, blooperball, mushball, and Chicago ball) as compared to regular softball, and no gloves or mitts are used by the fielders.

Reference:

  1. Biesen, E. D., & Smith, L. M. (2007). Describing the plastic deformation of aluminium softball bats. Sports Engineering, 10(4), 185–193.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02933570
  2. Russell, D. W. (2010). Swing Weights of Baseball and Softball Bats. The Physics Teacher, 48(7), 471–474.  https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/10.1119/1.3488193
  3. Smith, L. M. (2008a). Progress in measuring the performance of baseball and softball bats. Sports Technologyhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19346182.2008.9648486
  4. Smith, L. M. (2008b). Progress in measuring the performance of baseball and softball bats. Sports Technology, 1(6), 291–299. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19346182.2008.9648486