Faculty Advisor

Richman, Mark W.


The purpose of this project is to develop a calculational method to quantify in a simple way the performance of wooden baseball bats. The method propose is based on the rigid body dynamics, which predicts the outgoing velocity of the ball as a function of the location of the point of impact along the bat. Two measures of bat performance that we propose are the maximum outgoing velocity of the ball, and the span of the bat along which the outgoing velocity exceeds the incoming velocity. A third measure we introduce is a hybrid that accounts for both the span of the second measure and the size of the outgoing velocities along that span. We found that the shape of the bat that optimizes one measure of performance is different than the shape that optimizes another.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering