No players? Lower the barrier to entry… Aluminum bats may be the answer
The problem of lack of amateur baseball players is not yesterday or today.
It is pointed out that the high income level and uncertainty about success are adversely affecting the discovery and development of talented youth players, and as a result, it is leading to a downward leveling of Korean baseball. This point, which has been going on for decades, is raising its head again amidst a series of sluggishness in recent international competitions, but no proper solution has been found.
However, it is difficult to dismiss the reduced ‘baseball boy’ problem simply as a social phenomenon.
The realistic issue of ‘money’ cannot be overlooked. Aside from the uniforms given upon joining, various expenses such as spikes, gloves, bats, and protective equipment are required. Unlike hobbies, the quality of the equipment is high and it is inevitable that it is formed at a high price due to the nature of requiring professionalism as a player. Among these bats, made of wood, additional expenditure is unavoidable because you have to buy them again if they break due to not hitting the ball properly on the sweet spot. From the standpoint of parents who support players, it is difficult to readily recommend baseball to their children, which, in simple words, is ‘difficult, uncertain and costly’. 메이저놀이터
Ama baseball equipment supply and demand are different. There are cases where equipment is purchased as a group at the school level, but most are tailored to individual purchases. In the case of a wooden bat for academy players, it costs well over 100,000 won, and famous products made in the US and Japan cost more than 200,000 won. The size of the amateur baseball bat market is estimated at 4 to 5 billion won.
An amateur baseball expert who worked for a high school team in the past said, “If you are a talented hitter, there is no big difference whether you use a wooden bat or an aluminum bat. In other words, parents have to bear the burden, and even a wooden bat used by students costs over 100,000 won.” He continued, “As a result, the players feel burdened by the broken bat and cannot swing properly. It stands out when they have to hit a contact.” .
An official in professional baseball said, “The physique of amateur players is much better than before, but there is no hitter who can hit the ball properly. Most of the hitters use only strength to launch the ball with a wooden bat, which has less repulsive force than an aluminum bat.” “If you know, you don’t have to use your strength. To do that, you need to do basic training using the lower body. From that point of view, you need an aluminum bat.” He added, “There are concerns that the high repulsive force of aluminum bats will create ‘bubbles’, but if the repulsive force of aluminum bats is limited, as in the case of the US and Japan, there is not much difference from wooden bats.”
After the failure of the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic), the point that perhaps an aluminum bat should be used instead of a wooden bat in baseball is raising its head again. It’s a story that came out several years ago, but opinions in the field are still divided. Now it is necessary to look at it from the perspective of expanding the base of baseball, not simply the problem of wood-aluminum. In order to expand the pool of excellent players by lowering the economic entry barrier, it is worth considering the use of aluminum bats in depth.