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Combat Bats

Combat Slowpitch Softball Bats

Combat Slowpitch Softball Bats

COMBAT BASEBALL & SOFTBALL BATS -- it started with a love of the game.

a drive to create the "best damn bats" in the industry. rich in composite sporting goods history, combat has been supplying composite and hybrid composite bats to brand name companies since 1998, but we grew tired of towing other companies' corporate lines. We decided to create a new identity of our own, where we could focus our efforts on a true players� bat line under our own brand, combat.

our mission was to design and manufacture composite bats that were made by players for players and to create the best bats on the market. as a grassroots company, our focus is on the player and our plan is simple: to support the softball and baseball community with unparalleled technology.

we strive to understand what players need and want. our staff consists of elite level players, past greats and weekend warriors. not only are our staff regarded as composite design, manufacturing, and engineering experts, but we are also diehard fans and players of the game.

our promise -- we will continue to produce the most innovative, highest performing, best feeling, and durable all composite bats possible. we will continue to support the softball and baseball communities through grassroots sponsorship and player development. we will provide the best value and service to our retail partners.

why composites?

compared to aluminum, wood and other materials used to make bats, composite materials (carbon, glass and kevlar fibers embedded in a plastic resin) are lighter, stiffer and stronger.

of most importance, unlike bats made of other materials, composites are anisotropic which means bats can be designed to have different stiffnesses and strengths in different directions. the anisotropic property of composite materials allows combat bat designers the opportunity to increase stiffness along the handle (reducing vibrations and reducing sting) and to decrease stiffness along the barrel (increasing trampoline effect and thus improving bat performance), resulting in combat all composite bats with optimal performance and feel.

further, composite bats can be designed for a wide selection of combat swingweights.

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Man 1: Let�s talk about how we make Combat bats. This right here are all of the different fibers that make up a bat. So if you can imagine there are synthetic fibers of fiberglass and Kevlar. Aramid is the new generic graphite/Kevlar material.

All of these socks� You almost have an infinite number of ways that you can weave the material. Most manufacturers buy this material with the resin, the sticky stuff, the glue already on it, and it is known as pre-preg. So everybody has pre-preg.

What Combat does that is very different than everybody else is we get this woven ourselves and we inject our own resins into the bats. So we are actually starting with dry material where everybody else is starting out with this pre-impregnated material. And the pre-impregnated material needs to be shipped in refrigerator trucks and stored in refrigerator rooms.

So if you go to a facility that is manufacturing bats, they will have a room the size of this warehouse that is refrigerated. It apparently has the consistency of like a Laffy-Taffy. It is very sticky and very difficult to work with.

So we feel that in general that is a way that we manufacture our bats totally different than everybody else. And that allows us to, I think, control our costs and also control the way the bat performs.

So you see here the knitting material makes one bat at a time, and it is the position on the barrel that you place all of those different materials. So the socks are pulled over the mandrel and then they go into the mold. And when they come out of the mold, they are hot and they are hung on a rack. And then the bats take one total cycle of the manufacturing facility. And by the time they come back they are cooled and they are ready to be trimmed, sized, weighted, and then sent to the painting facility.

Man 1: So the decals are applied and the bats are finished.


So I think what you said is absolutely accurate in the fact that if there are standards out there that every manufacturer has to meet, everybody wants to make the bat that meets the standard.

So if the standard for whichever particular individual organization, is it a BPF 1.15 for little league�?

Rob: What does that mean?

Man 1: Bat Performance Factor. It is basically a formula. And they put in all of the data and they spit out 1.15. And as long as you are below that you pass the standard.

Man 2: Which would be like exit velocity�

Rob: So you shoot a baseball at it and how far it bounces off of it, or the speed at which a baseball comes off a bat?

Man 1: Yeah. The actually put the bat in some type of holder. And it swings and hits the ball. And all the bats are tested to make sure they meet the standard.

Rob: Like at a consistent strength?

Man 1: Correct. And I think they are always hitting the ball on the sweet spot, too. So they need to find the sweet spot on the bat, because that is of course where you will get your maximum performance.

So in reality then, when you look at every bat manufacturer, they want to make a bat that reaches 1.15 and doesn�t go over. So what are we all managing then? We are managing not the fact that we can make a bat that when you hit the ball directly on the sweet spot that it will perform this maximum allowable level. But what we are managing is when you don�t hit it on the sweet spot, the performance of the bat.

Rob: How far off the curve.

Man 1: Yeah, exactly. Or if you do hit it on the sweet spot, or off of the sweet spot, or on the handle, how does it feel in your hand? Does it hurt? Does it sting? Does it feel good? So having a soft feel.

And the other thing that everybody has to come know is that the bats performance better after they are broken in. Basically what you need to do is you start to, the minute you hit the ball, you start to break down the resin and you start to get all of those individual level layers of composite material working together. So you are kind of like breaking down the glue that is in between them.

And the quicker you can break in a bat, the better performance you get.

How many hits does it take to break in a bat?

Man 1: Excellent question. Combat always says that we are hot out of the wrapper. You take the plastic wrapper off and you are going to get maximum performance immediately. But most people say then, �Well, this bat takes longer to break in. This bat takes in shorter to break in.� I think most people think a minimum of 100 hits, and sometimes as many as 300.

So that is certainly something else that we are trying to manage, is how quick that bat breaks in and you get the best performance that you can get out of that bat.

Roy: �will last X amount of hits?

Roy: My feeling is that as Combat gets bigger and bigger, and they have started with little league, which is a wonderful thing because as kids go out of league, the go to senior league. As kids get of our senior league, they go into high school. Then they are softball players and so on.

Man 1: Well let�s walk through the product. Let�s get kind of a line presentation of this and this. : Well let�s walk through the product. Let�s get kind of a line presentation of this and this�


Let�s go through and kind of give us the whole spill on B2 and then B1.

Rep1: OK. Let�s start with the Combat B1. So you got the general information on what we think makes Combat different from all of our competitors.


I think we are the only guys making bats in North America, Canada, not the US�

Rep1: Not yet. But yeah, I don�t think anybody is making them in Mexico anymore either.

Roy: DeMarini, I know that they have been doing a lot of components, like putting together in the US. Making? I don�t know.

Rep1: From what I have been told everything is now in China. We even have heard that from people who look at our competitors bat. The year it was made in Mexico it was a really good bat. The year the same bat came from China it wasn�t a good bat anymore.

So we are of course using that as, �Well they don�t even know what is going on over there and they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing and making what they are supposed to be making.�

History of Combat Bats

What can we say about the B1? The B1, which back in 2007 became known as, �I need the black bat,� and as you can see it is a beautiful metallic dark green, but it was called the black bat mainly because of what happened at the little league world series that year.

Combat, not at all a sponsor, an official little league sponsor, although the official little league approved, had two teams that were swinging what became known as the black bat. And luckily one of those teams ended up winning the world series championship, beating the team from the Japan. And luckily they won it in the eighth inning by a walk off homerun by a young man that was swinging a Combat.

From that day, the black bat became infamous and we started to get a tremendous amount of calls for, �What were those kids swinging at the little league world series? I haven�t heard of it. I didn�t know anything about it, but obviously they are very, very good bats.�

There was even a story that the Venezuelan team, which was 100% Combat, purchased from a dealer in Southwest Texas who I guess had relationships with the people in Venezuela, that as they were going through the international bracket putting up some big scores, that after they were eliminated the Japanese Mizuno sponsored team took their interpreter and got together with the Venezuelan interpreter, and they ended up buying the Venezuelan�s Combats off of them so that they could swing them. This is a picture from the championship game.

Combat Bats Technology

Rep1: OK. So the B1 is what we would call single barrel technology, meaning it has got about seven layers of composite fabrics. We make one entire bat. It is that technology that allows it to break in very quickly.

We talked about the fact that we are using dry composite materials in our own proprietary resin. And the other important feature of it is the fact that it gives you tremendous performance at tremendous value at $199 pricing.

Rob: What are other manufacturers with similar quality bats retail for?

Roy: The highest we make is $250. So in reality, $250 is the highest little league bat that is out there, which is the B2, which is $250. That seems to be where DeMarini, Easton. Our top of the line bat, what we say is our best bat, is $250.

Rep1: What we found with this bat is every year, everybody that owned a bat wouldn�t always want to know what the new bat is, and they would want to buy the next newer bat. Even though the next newer bat was $20, $30, $50 more or whatever it was, it was like, �Well I have got to have the newest bat because the newest bat is going to be the hottest bat.�

This bat, for whatever reason, still has a tremendous following. Even though there are more expensive bats out there, there are still people that clamor to and swear by the B1.

Rob: So every year y�all don�t relabel it and change the colors.

Roy: This hasn�t changed.

Rep1: Not in three years.

Roy: so they haven�t said, �Hey, this is the B1, but we have improved. We have done this.� It is the same as it was in �07. It is the same bat, but we still consider it a 2010 bat, 2010 model.

Rep1: Everybody says that it is immediately hot out of the wrapper. They walk out on the field, peel the wrapper off, boom, start hitting bombs with it.

This is just for your information. In 2008 we came out with a new line of bats called the Virus. And the Virus technology was where we built two barrels for every bat. We put one down inside the other.

So we had an outer sleeve barrel and an inner core barrel. That ended up giving you 14 layers of composite materials.

Roy: Was there anything in between the two shells? You put one inside the other, so basically is it wall to wall?

Rep1: Yeah.

Roy: So there is nothing in between it, no carbon of any sort?

Rep1: No other different filler. That bat, we have Virus technology throughout our product line. On the youth baseball side, I guess, is an example of what works in the laboratory versus what works on the field.

What we found with the Virus was while it was a more durable bat and definitely a bat that would provide greater distance and greater performance, because of the additional walls and the added end loaded weight of it, it tended to have a shorter sweet spot and a longer break in period.

Now on the slow pitch and fast pitch softball side it has not been issue, and Virus technology has been very strong. On the little league baseball side, people still said, �I spent a little bit more money and bought the Virus, but I really prefer the B1.�

Combat Bats �Gear Technology�

So the next generation was what we call gear technology. Gear technology was something that we had put in the line in the slow pitch softball side. If you can imagine when a ball makes impact on a bat, it produces waves of energy. The waves of energy basically go down to the handle knob and then bounce back to the barrel.

So the gear technology is ridges in the taper. On the slow pitch softball bats they are actually on the outside of the bat. On the baseball little league bat they are inside. That traps the waves of energy and propels them back into the barrel, which adds to performance.

It also takes a little bit of weight out of the taper, so we can lengthen the barrel which gives you a greater sweet spot. It is the single barrel technology of the B1, so you have the immediate gratification, a very, very short break in period, and it is that combination.

There is also more graphite and Kevlar and better quality materials in the B2, and that combination has made it a better performing bat as well as a more durable bat.

Roy: Since the gear is in the throat right there, is that supposed to�OK. So is it supposed to be quicker? It goes down and back quicker as opposed to going down and all the way back.

Rep1: Right. Plus a softer feel and less vibration in your hands.

Roy: OK. So other than the gear, and then of course the difference of being, let�s say, of Kevlar, carbon, fiberglass, whatever, same thing. These are different things that make the B2 different than the B1. Anything else to add to make it what makes different?

Rep1: Just the fact that if you were to�

Roy: Capture the same?

Rep1: If you were to take a similar size bat, you see that the taper here starts a little sooner. So I think you have a little bit larger sweet spot because you have a little bit longer barrel.

Rob: The B2 has a longer sweet spot?

Rep1: The B2.

Roy: That, to me, would also be another good key point to say, that the B2 has a little bit larger sweet spot because of the gear mechanism that is enabling the length of shell to be a little bit longer�

Rep1: The barrel to be a little bit longer.

Roy: So it doesn�t have to taper.

Rep1: Here is the perfect example with two 30/20�s. You can see more meat here than you do here.

Rob: Let me take a picture of that.

Rob: So you can repeat again the major difference between those two?

Man 1: Roy mentioned, I guess, the upgraded materials that are used to make the B2.

Man 2: [xx], the carbon [xx], the Kevlar, fiberglass, etc, and then the gear. So the gear thing, which his wherever it is placed in here, instead of the impact of energy going all the way down to the end of the bat, the knob, then coming back, it hits your gear and goes from here to here and back quicker; a little bit quicker transfer of energy.

Rob: Which means that you are hitting the ball farther?

Man 1: Yeah, I guess it would enhance the trampolining effect of the bat. I am trying to see. Do you have a gear up here to show them?

Man 2: What do you mean? Oh, the softball? Which model?

Man 1: It is the gear Virus.

Man 2: The slow pitch?

Man 1: Right.

Rep1: Oh, it�s in the taper. Little League Baseball said, �Oh, you can�t have anything on the outside of the bat.� So we therefore are using this gear technology inside as the way of explaining it to people.

Rep1: So that is the little league line right now outside of the Throttle. We talked about Virus a little bit, but that one actually is going away. We do have another bat called the Throttle that is similar to the B1 and the B2 in its makeup, except once again is made of mostly fiberglass, composite fiberglass material; very little of the Kevlar and the graphite.

Rob: So it is cheaper?

Rep1: So that is the price point bat.

Rob: So what price is that?

Rep1: I think $179, $159? Yeah $159.

Roy: Yeah, if you are spending $159 you are going to spend $250.

Rob: OK. It is not like a $30 bat or something.

Roy: No. If they had that bat at like $120 or $99.


Rep1: �was the way to go. We had senior league and adult baseball Virus bats. And yet all of our customers, those 11 and 12 year olds, that were playing little league team in their town, but then also playing in their sponsored travel batting cage team where they hit�

Everyone of them told us every time we ran into a little kid, he is like, �Why can�t you do a B1, B2 big barrel?� So Combat did listen. And this year, brand new for the 2009-2010 season are big barrel youth bats, the B1 and the B2.

Rob: I don�t understand the big barrel and the not big barrel. Are they different?

Roy: Right. So little league is 2 1/4. Look at the size. Look at the head of this. It is like, you know, Bam Bam. Look at that.

Steve: That is a baseball bat?

Rep1: That is a youth baseball bat.

Rob: But that is not little league?

Rep1: Correct. If you play little league you cannot swing a big barrel. If you play with these travel teams that are going around and playing tournaments, they don�t have any rule as to the size of the barrel. So they basically allow�

Rob: Even though it is the same age kids playing? It could be the same exact team�

Roy: Different set of rules.

Rep1: Correct.

Rob: So when you say Little League, you mean Little League trademark league�It is like Dixie League. Can they use the big barrel?

Roy: No. Generally, Dixie would be considered 2 � inch max barrel., I don�t know if you have had this, but I have had guys come in and go�

Rep1: And then the big barrels are 2 5/8ths. So both the B1 and the B2 senior league bats, and they are categorized in the industry as senior league�

Roy: Not like old people senior league.

Rob: What age is it for senior or grades?

Roy: It is a very difficult question to answer and here is why. Generally it is around 12 to 13, 14, 15ish years old. In certain states, mainly in the South, kids seven years old are using these big barrel bats. They don�t even use a small diameter.

I am like, �Well he is seven!� That is what they use. They do. And actually they make�I don�t know if Combat has come out with it, but it has been a pretty good seller. Mikken and Easton�Mikken now, but Easton will have them momentarily, what they call a coach pitch big barrel bat.

So it is a -11 � with a big head on it. The Mikken one already I have sold a couple dozen. It is $140 retail.

Rep1: Wow. For coach pitch.

Roy: I hate when the use the word coach pitch, because it is not like, �Hey coach. You are going to pitch.� It is like younger kids. They only make it in 25, 26, 27, and I think 28. Those four sizes, that is it. So it is obviously for somebody that is going to be eight and under, and a big barrel bat with a bigger differential; 11.5 ounce differential. Where all of the senior league bats, all of them run from -5 to -10; that is it.

Rep1: And the reason it is hard to do the age is because you will go to some areas and�My area as an example. If you are playing middle school ball, you are basically a sixth, seventh, or eighth grader; you have to swing a -3.

Roy: And also, Westwood, this town that we are in, it is the same thing, -3. However, then those kids play on club and it is open. So they go from using a -3 to a -10. And it is huge.

And parents are like, �I don�t understand.� And I am like, �Well this school goes by high school rules��

Rep1: So as you might imagine, with the much larger hitting surface and a larger barrel, the performance of these bats and the ability for a young kid to hit the ball a young way with a bat that is -10 drop, so he can swing a 32, 22 ounce bat and he is probably a big 12 or 13 year old playing on a little league field with 250 feet to center and 210 down the line�.You read these things on the Internet sites and it is, �I hit 14 homeruns last week!� No wonder! I might even have gotten a hit when I was in little league with one of these.

So you are talking about similar technology to the little league B1 in the fact that it is what you would call a single barrel versus the Virus double barrel bat. And the difference between the B1 and the B2 is in the materials that are being used to manufacture the bat.

And unfortunately there is no gear in the senior league B2.

Roy: So are we saying that, in essence, the only difference is the material?

Rep1: Correct.

Rob: And there is no gear because�?

Rep1: That was a no brainer for me! You have a B1 little league and B2 little league. B2 has the better materials. B1 senior league, B2 senior league-gear and better materials, somehow the gear didn�t make it.

Roy: What is it? $210 and $270 retail?

And for no rhyme or reason are we selling one over the other at all.

Rob: But better materials, it doesn�t make that big of a difference?

Roy: I don�t know. �Hey it is better materials.� Guys are like, �Oh, OK. Better materials.� They look at it and they go, �Looks the same to me. It feels good. Swings the same. OK. This one is a few bucks less. Give me that one.�

Actually, one of them is a minus 10 and one of them is a minus 8.

Rep1: The minus 10 has a little shorter barrel than the minus 8. But there doesn�t seem to be any significant barrel length difference. When you look at our bat performance features�

Roy: Well the negative 8, correct me if I am wrong, the negative 8 would give you a little bit more length in shell, doesn�t it?

Rep1: Correct. That is why.

Roy: So Rob, in saying, �Why would I buy this one over this one,� one reason may be, �Hey, this kid is a huge kid. He is a big strong kid.� Again, the question of what weight to use is it is as heavy as you can swing.

So he may say, �I can handle both. I am a strong kid. I am going to get a little bit more surface length and shell with this one. It may be the way for me to go.� So he goes with the negative eight. It is 32 inches, 24 ounces versus going with the 32 inches, 22 ounces, two ounces lighter, but at the same time he has got more length of shell.

Rob: So you are trading one for the other?

Roy: Which is more important?

Rep1: What he is saying is if you look at the barrel length, it is an inch and a half longer barrel on the minus 8.

Rob: So within the B2 senior league that is the difference between the minus 8 and the minus 10?

Rep1: Yeah. And the B1 as well.

Rob: So one has more weight and one has more�

Rep1: Yeah. If you can imagine, it has more weight because it has more overall materials being used.

Rob: So the longer one is heavier.

Rep1: Correct.

Rob: So why would you get the one that is�?

Rep1: Because everyone knows bat speed is very, very important. I even heard a lot of that during the all star season. During the regular season it would be OK if he swung a minus 10, but during the all star season when the pitchers are better, I am going to go down to a minus 12 so I can get around.

Rob: So they get lighter bats with faster or better pitchers?

Rep1: Well I wouldn�t say in general, but you do hear�Right. Why do you want a lighter bat? So that you can get around quicker.

Steve: That is with a faster pitcher, a guy who is going to throw the ball faster?

Rep1: Yeah. Or just in general. Your bat speed is very important. You should be able to generate greater bat speed with a lighter bat. But then at the same time, you will have, I guess, less impact with a lighter bat than you would with a heavier bat.

Rob: But it is better to get a lighter hit than not a get a hit.

Rep1: Well yeah. I mean if you are consistently swinging late. Everybody knows the proper mechanics of hitting is the ball needs to be out in front of your body and you want to be able to make contact here. If you make contact here you are not producing as much power. Obviously if you are making contact here, you are not producing much power. But if you are making contact right here and hitting the ball on the sweet spot, it is the difference between popping up and popping out, or popping one out.

In the minus 10�s we make 27�s and 28�s. Some people say, �Well that is a littler kid and he would actually want a lighter bat. Why don�t you make the minus 12�s in a 27 and a 28?�

Well we could, but the barrel would be so short there wouldn�t be much hitting surface left on it.

Roy: Rob I don�t know if this one is that good, because�

Rob: I can�t even tell by looking at it.

Roy: Well if you look right here�

Steve: Right there you can see it. Absolutely.

Roy: But does it mean anything to shoot a picture of it?

Rob: It would if I cropped it and said, �Hey, look here,� because I am sitting here looking at the whole thing and going, �I don�t see a difference.� But if you actually measure it�

Steve: So you are saying it is wider there than�?

Rob: Then that makes a big difference.

Rep1: Well it makes a difference down here where your sweet spot is. So if both of these bats have a sweet spot here�I mean that is where you want to hit it. And then now if you get jammed a little bit and you hit the ball here, and you get jammed a little bit and you hit the ball here�

Rob: OK. Tell me what these are.

Rep1: So you have both 32 inches. And you have a 24 ounce minus 8 and a 22 ounce minus 10. And as you can see, the minus 8, 24 ounce bat has a thicker barrel into the taper.

Roy: The throat extends a little bit fatter.

Rep1: And you can almost see it even where the C�s are located. The C�s are located a little bit deeper on this one as well. So therefore, if you are looking for the sweet spot, the sweet spot on the minus 8 is extended towards the handle greater than on the minus 10.

So if you should get jammed and hit a ball closer to your hands, you will have a better chance of getting better performance with the heavier bat.

Rob: Perfect. Let me get those again just so I make sure I identify them right. That is the B�

Rep1: So this is the B1 Senior League. We were looking at a 32/24 versus a 32/22.

Steve: There is a certain amount of science involved with it, but there is also a certain amount of confidence.

Rob: It is also feel.

Steve: �that I have the bat that gives me the confidence and I know I can hit anything.

Rob: Or at least you max your talent out and then it doesn�t matter how great, how specific it is to your situation.

Steve: Exactly. But it is all about confidence in the equipment you are using and you either have it or you don�t.

Rep1: Yeah. And then really very easily we have the same story in B1 and B2 adult baseball.

Rob: When you say adult baseball, that is anybody in high school, right? So is that ninth graders?

George: Well, yeah. High school and junior high for sure.

Rob: So after senior league they then graduate to these?

Rep1: You can�t say. It depends upon the town, right? In my town, our seventh and eighth graders, so that is basically junior high, they have to swing the minus 3. In some towns, they decided that�Hold on. Let�s back up.

What is little league baseball? You played minors, so you are seven and eight years old. And then you played majors and you are nine to 12 years old. And then if you are playing official Williamsport Little League and you play then what they call big league or senior league, you are 13-15 years old. Those kids are generally swinging minus 3�s. But in some areas, they are like, �Well it is OK to swing a minus 5.�

Rob: Why would they not want people to swing a minus five or a minus seven? Why do they have these rules to where they have to do a minus three? What is their logic?

Roy: Well they are also going to a bigger field. So the little league field is the smallest and then it gets gradually bigger.

Rep1: 60 foot base paths versus 90 foot base paths. I think the whole thing is preparing that kid to play adult baseball where he has to swing a minus three. So there are some areas where you go from a minus 12 to a minus three. It is a huge difference. I have no idea how a kid could make that translation except for the fact that he becomes a very poor hitter by the time he turns 13.

In other areas they are trying to build in a transition year. So Combat, as an example, makes a minus five. Other companies make sevens and eights.

Roy: Yeah. There are other companies that have minus fives, but the minus five is a real, real small category, which actually we never got any in.

Rep1: We haven�t made it. We don�t have any either.

Roy: For me, we sell it, because there are towns around here that they transition, and that is exactly what they are trying to do. They are trying to prepare; gradual increase. �OK. Here. You are in seventh and eighth grade. We will now go by negative five.� So in turn, from using a negative 10 to 13 you are kind of coming down, and then, again, going into high school it is a negative three.

Rep1: And then that begs the next question, �Why is negative three the magic number?� And that is because wood bats apparently are all about minus threes. So they wanted to make the synthetic bats, aluminum and composite, to more emulate the length and weight of a wood bat.

Rob: Because they are going to be using wood bats when they go pro.

Rep1: Never.

Steve: Well I was about to say one of them.

Rob: Yeah. One guy maybe.

Steve: Yeah. Out of several thousand.

Roy: Absolutely. We are 18 and under. We are high school and under. Do we sell some adult baseball? Yeah. Do I sell to the college kid that is going to the university of whoever? Heck no.

Rob: Why, because they get free bats?

Roy: Most of them are sponsored teams. Yeah. Are there some kids that get bats? Yeah, I mean�

Rep1: They will take a bat with them.

Roy: There are community colleges that are obviously not getting bats for free, so yeah the do. But truth be told, how many am I selling? Not a lot.

Rep1: And I think the bottom line is like I said. By the time next season rolls around it will all be worked out. There is no way that they could tell Easton that all of those new bats that are already on their way on the slow boat, turn the boat around and send them back. You have got to eat them! There is now way they could do that. So they will have to work it out.


We talk about the standards and everything that all these bats have to meet. That was addressed by ASA last year. We also talk about the bats performing better after they are broken in.

Because of safety, they are setting a standard that they bat cannot perform better than this standard. But of course they are testing a bat right off that wall with the wrapper peeled off, not after it has been broken in. And that is what the memo from the NCAA said, was they took the bats from all of the college teams after the world series and tested them all, and over 80% of them were performing above the standard.

Rob: So they are too hot.

Rep1: Right. And it is like, �Well no kidding!� Everybody knows that!

Rob: What about juicing bats? I have seen online where people have this machine, like a bat roller.

Rep1: Correct. That actually became part of the ASA standard, where they built into their test the test of the bat brand new and then after it was rolled. I guess Easton hast he clarity�If it has been rolled it changes color or something.

Roy: I heard from a guy that is real gung-ho on softball that they pop the thing off and they roll it, and it does change the color, but what they do is they get the paint to match the color and they spray-paint the inside of the bat.

But what I said was, �OK. I understand that. But it is freaking paint.� You can�t tell me from just hitting and hitting it is not going to flake away on the inside. But you know, where there is a will there is a way. These guys will find it. They will do anything to hit the ball an extra inch.

Roy: So the minus 3 bats were similar to what we were looking at in the�

Rep1: Yeah, the same story as the B1 and B2 senior league.

Rob: And these are the adult baseball?

Rep1: Correct. Here you can�t really deal with barrel length because they are all the same weight versus barrels, so the barrels are the same size from B1 to B2.

Steve: So the differences between the B1 and the B2 are�

Rob: Materials.

Rep1: Yeah, the materials that they are manufactured with.

Rep1: I think that is where everybody with this company is hoping to get to, is to have, as Roy was saying, as those kids grow and get older, is to have an adult baseball bat that is as popular as the youth baseball bat.

Want to break down the other one, too?

Roy: The Morph?


Rob: Is fast pitch softball all female?

Rep1: No. There are definitely guys that play it in some parts of the country. I think there is also what is called modified softball, too, where that is pretty popular in the city of Philadelphia, as an example.

Slow pitch has got to have an arch. Fast pitch is the whole windmill thing. So modified is where you can throw it as hard as you can.

Rob: Like overhand like a baseball?

Rep1: No, without the windmill thing. Still underhand, but all you can do is go up to here. But yeah, I think I just�

Let�s go to the SGA website that just came out with the 2009 or 2008, one of the participation sports surveys that they do every year.

But yeah, when we are talking about fast pitch we are certainly concentrating on the girls.

Rob: Isn�t it like the fastest growing segment in the industry?

Rep1: Yeah. Certainly if you look at the participation. Girls playing sports in general is growing incredibly fast. And yeah, I would say fast pitch softball is probably growing faster than baseball participation. But baseball, I think, has been relatively strong; where I think a few years ago it had a little bit of a downturn. But I think it is back without a problem.

Rob: What ages are we looking at?

Rep1: Here we are looking at youth straight through college.

Rob: OK. So it is the same as with the boys.

Rep1: The product line two years ago�Let�s back up. In this line, we definitely have started with and have stuck with Virus technology. We described that Virus technology was building basically two bats and putting one inside the other.

Rob: With no space in between the walls.

Rep1: Correct. What that does is increases your durability, increases the working of the different layers to increase performance. The first year we had the Virus FP. It was kind of like a black and blue bat. We probably don�t have any left. It was our first high performing women�s fast pitch bat.

Then the ASA changed the rules. And the guts of the rules said that instead of a bat brand new having to meet a particular bat performance factor, it has to always be under that bat performance factor through the life of the bat. And they developed a test to try to emulate that.

Combat scientists said, �OK. Let me look at the test because that is what we have to deal with here.� We don�t really have to worry about anything else except passing the test. And while throughout the industry most people felt the bats were going to be dumbed down so that they could pass the new test, Combat said, �No problem. Our existing bat will pass that test.� And therefore the ASA, which is setting this standard, and the standard is an exit speed of 98 MPH, said that Roy, the manufacturers�Back that up.

They said that the manufacturers had to stop manufacturing bats on a particular date and had to be done selling them by a particular date. And then after that future date they could not longer sell any bats.

So everybody clamored to first make as many of the bats as they could, because everybody would perceive them as being more valuable, and then at the same time get rid of everything that they had.

The end user and the dealers, all of the old bats were grandfathered in.

Rob: What year was that?

Rep1: That was last year.

Roy: Remember when we were talking about all these numbers before?

Rob: Yeah.

Rep1: Combat feeling that they could pass the new test with their Virus FP therefore changed the paint job and the name so that it was a new bat. They basically told all of their sales staff that it is the same bat with the hopes that the end user would gravitate to this like they did the old one, feeling that because of our technology and the way we manufacture bats and all that stuff we talked about previously, that this bat would be every bit as good as the existing bat.

Rob: You are talking about the break in period on these?

Rep1: On the little league side it seemed as though the break in period on the Virus versus the non-Virus technology was longer. I am not particularly sure if because the ball is different the girls are not as strong or whatever. The break in period has not been an issue.

I told you about my buddy in Georgia. He loves his Virus fast pitch bats. And he said he was getting tremendous performance out of them. He called me six months later and he said he felt that the bat had been broken in. He said, �But now it is really hot!�

So apparently it continued to break in and get hotter the more he used it.

Rob: Is that something we can put on the website? Is that off the record�kind of, �A customer said�?�

Rep1: Sure. On everybody�s website are reviews from end users. I don�t know if anybody takes them to heart to be honest with you. I was reading all of the Combat B1 reviews the other day at JustBats. And I am like getting all pumped up: �What a great product I am selling!� And then I went to all the DeMarini reviews and boy, it was the hottest bat, too!

Everybody loved the CF3. And everybody that owned a CF3 loved the CF4 except for one guy who didn�t think that he got more value for the $50 that he spent extra.

And then same thing on the B1/B2 argument. Everybody loves the B1 and everybody thought the B2 was better.

Rep1: So we aligned ourselves with Lisa Fernandez. I am sure you know who Lisa Fernandez is. Lisa Fernandez, I guess, could be considered one of the greatest fast pitch players of all time. She was like the Babe Ruth, the best pitcher and the best hitter on the Olympic team. So I think she hit for the highest average and then also blew everybody away with 20 strikeouts out of 21 batters.

I think she won Olympic gold definitely in 2004. I would have to look at her bio to find out if she was around in 2000 when they won gold as well. She played at UCLA. If they didn�t win four Division 1 championships, then they won three. She was the cog in every one of them.

She is in the stage of her career where she is not playing at the Olympic level, an elite level, anymore. But she is associated with this PFX tour.

Rob: What is that?

Rep1: That is a tour that goes around and users professional fast pitch athletes to promote the sport.

Rob: So there is a professional fast pitch?

Rep1: There is a league. It is the NPF. So we aligned ourselves with Lisa as opposed to one of these girls that is playing on what is now the national team, because there is no longer an Olympic team, because it is not in the Olympics anymore, because we feel that she will be working with the youth of America, the future fast pitch players.

We have two bats that surround the Virus FP morphed. One is the Lisa Fernandez FP. We kind of called it the Lisa Fernandez gold; you know, gold medal. It is our highest performing girl�s fast pitch bat. Much better materials in the bat than the Morphed. Much longer barrel and greater sweet spot, but still using the Virus barrel within a barrel technology.

So this is the bat that our collegiate teams are swinging, of which we have now 13 fast pitch college programs.

Rob: Are those 100%?

Rep1: Right, with the biggest one being Texas Tech. Those are both considered high end bats, meaning $240 on up. We had Throttle fast pitch in the line, and I think still do. But the thought was that we always needed an entry level all composite girl�s fast pitch bat, and that is also new this year, the Lisa Fernandez light.

So what this gives us for the first time is the -10 and -12 drop and the price point where the younger girl that is just looking for a good quality bat would go out and purchase at a lighter weight. I have coined this as the B1 of girl�s fast pitch, because it is not the Virus technology. It basically is a B1 as far as I am concerned.

Roy: Are we talking material differences between the gold and the blue?

Rep1: Yes.

Roy: OK. But at the same time, the gold doesn�t come in 8, 9, and 10 drop, and doesn�t come in a 12, the gold.

Rep1: Correct. But this is also Virus, barrel within a barrel. Basically what you just described in makeup is the difference between a Morphed and the Gold; better quality materials, both Viruses, and actually they both come in the same drops. This is single barrel like a B1.

Roy: So what is the repetition? I don�t get the difference between the Morph and the Virus.

Rep1: I agree, and I think that is why the Morph is dead. And price wise it is $20 difference.

Rob: $20 less?

Rep1: No. This is $20 more, so everybody is going to want to buy that.

Roy: In reality Rob, the Morph I wouldn�t even bother with. To me it is meaningless, because at this point I think we have barely anything left, and I don�t even think we even ordered them going forward. So I think we are looking at the differences as being double wall, better material versus what we are considering just what I would call our B1 little leagueish kind of bat.

But this one comes in a 12 drop. This one does not, right? 10 is the lightest.

Rep1: Correct. This is your better travel team girl, your high school, and collegiate player, and this is going to be more of your youth younger player. Not that nine year olds aren�t going to buy this in a -10�

Roy: No. It is too heavy. You can�t handle it.

Rep1: And then you talked about perception and what people get used to. I told you the whole story about the FP versus the Morphed FP. And I have got guys that own them both who will definitely tell me the blue one is much better.

Rob: Well it is faster.

Rep1: I am like, �Well it is supposed to be the same bat!�

Rob: The paint�

Roy: It makes a difference.

Rob: The way the light reflects off. Shorter wavelength.

Roy: That is right.


Roy: $299 retail.

Rep1: It has got gear technology.

Rob: Is this the slow pitch?

Rep1: It was the slow pitch bat.

Steve: Slow pitch; is that strictly like adult leagues, men?

Roy: 34 inch only. Generally usually only men.

Steve: OK. There�s not like a youth slow pitch?

Roy: Even the girls, at like a younger age, they don�t throw the ball fast, the guys go, �Well she doesn�t play fast pitch. She is playing slow pitch.�

Rep1: Technically its not swinging a 34/28 end loaded.

Rob: So she is playing fast pitch!

Roy: Right.

Rob: But that bat, what is it? If that is going to be composite, is it�I don�t have any idea what the description of it is.

Rep1: It is gear. So it will have the gear technology.

Roy: Double wall?

Rep1: I am not even sure, to be honest with you. I don�t know if it is virus or not. I would imagine, because everything we have in the slow pitch line is at least double wall. It is essentially this and this is basically what I got. I should have sent you a copy.

Roy: Yeah. I got all that.


Rep1: What you guys need to do is get yourselves to Bat Wars.

Rob: What is that?

Rep1: Then you will have a whole new appreciation for Roy�s customer and what he gets involved in on a daily basis.

Roy: Bat Wars is a place where you go and you would think that Derek Jeter was playing there, and the guy just wants to pull his pants down and go like, �OK. Who wants to give me a little hand release now?� �Dude, you are a !@#$ing softball player. You are an idiot. Get back in your tow truck and go home!�

Rep1: Well as an example, August 3rd and August 10th there are back to back Bat Wars at Cooperstown Dreams Park. If you ever wanted to be a 12 year old little boy again, go to Cooperstown Dreams Park. I think there are 27 fields, each one of them beautifully manicured. They look like major league ball fields but they are all little league dimensions.

And Bat Wars is set up there. And what Bat Wars is is it is a relationship between an online an cataloguer, Eastbay, I don�t know if you guys get there catalogue, and a magazine. I guess Baseball Today or Softball Today, or Softball-one of those magazines.

And they will set up inflatable cages, bring in seven inflatable cages, seven Juggs Junior pitching machines, and people sit next to these machines in a fenced in box that has been, I guess, custom built for them, and they will just put balls in. And then every manufacturer sends them bats. And all the bats are just laying out there.

And kids wait in line. And basically the magazine is getting all of their contact information. And then they wait in line and they can pick up to three bats and go into the cage and hit a dozen balls. And then when they are done they can get back into the end of the line if they want and just do it as often as they want.

Rob: So it is a huge demo?

Rep1: Yeah, exactly. And Combat is actually not doing it this year. One of the reasons we are not doing it is because you could see the manufacturers that were providing bats that were not legal.

The one that I went to was so obvious. Reebok was coming through with this new technology with the holes in the bats. And every kid that picked up one of these Reebok bats and went into the cage was just hitting these freaking bombs like crazy. There is no way that it could have been a bat that would pass today�s standard.

Roy: Meanwhile, the bat is not even out there now.

George: Yeah. They never made it. It never happened. But it was overwhelmingly the bat of choice.

Rob: So they just did that to build buzz up?

Rep1: I am sure.

Rob: But do the real bat manufacturers do the same thing?

Rep1: They might. I don�t know if they are sending juiced bats or not.

Roy: It wouldn�t be the first time.

Rep1: They do baseball. They do youth. I don�t think they do a fast pitch. They definitely do slow pitch.

Roy: I would think it would be more important to hit it out on a field where you could see where the balls go.

Rep1: Oh, they are.

Roy: How quickly the ball comes off the bat�

Rep1: They are definitely using one of their fields, and there is a fence. They are definitely doing that. We had our sales meeting down in Florida at that Disney complex, and it was the end of the year USSSA world championships. So it was the major division, which is the 32 fast pitch teams that all have a lot of sponsorship money. They are kind of in their own category these days.

And then there was A, B, C, and D class men�s, women�s, and co-ed. So you can imagine. There are thousands and thousand of players. And there is a bat wars going on. There is a tournament going on. There is a little vendor village going on. It was actually a blast if it wasn�t 98 degrees and 98% humidity. It was hot.

But yeah. We joke. Guys drive up to the softball field with an old clunker, a 1998 Datsun that they paid $1,000 for, and he has got about $5,000 in his bat bag.

Rob: Get those priorities straight.

Rep1: That is his customer!

COMBAT EMPLOYEES ARE PLAYERS Rep1: The other thing behind combat is the fact that our motto is �For players by players.� So all of the people associated with the company are ballplayers. The girls in that work in the warehouse play softball. The sales manager is a softball player. Everybody is involved in the game.

A lot of the guys that play on our sponsored teams work in management in the company. And a lot of them are really good slow pitch softball players because they were all minor league baseball players at one time in their life.

So they are athletes passionate about what they are building and passionate about what they are doing. And as a sales guy, we have of course joked with the fact that they need something to do during the week in between tournaments, so they gave them a job. So that way they kept them on the team!

Rob: I don�t think I could get a job there.

Rep1: But yeah. It was a real eye opener going to that tournament. These guys�Since I played slow pitch I had never been to a game, and certainly not a game at that level. They were playing at the Atlanta Braves minor league complex, so it was a major league stadium. And they were hitting the ball over the scoreboard in center field. I�ve never seen the ball hit so hard in my life, and doing it every at bat.

And they would hit it and go a couple steps to first, and when it goes out they just walk back to the dugout. They don�t round the bases. If there is a guy on second, he just goes into the dugout. He doesn�t run home.

Rob: Too many homeruns.

Rep1: Yeah. I sort of got that if it doesn�t go out they are like, �Damn!�

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