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Why And How To Tape A Fungo Bat (Explained!)

Conducting a good baseball or softball practice is not easy. Coaches have to repeatedly put players in as many real in-game situations as possible.

However, due to their often random nature, real game scenarios are rather difficult to duplicate.

This is where special training equipment, such as fungo bats, comes to play.

Fungo bats allow coaches to repeatedly send ground balls and pop flies to fielders while precisely hitting them exactly where they want.

Besides better accuracy, one of the reasons for using fungo bats is that they keep the regular game equipment from wear and tear caused by the numerous repetitions during practice.

Of course, fungo bats themselves are not immune to this,

So, coaches resort to various methods to extend the lifespan of these bats, including taping them.

Below, you’ll find out how to tape a fungo bat and the reasons why this is done.

Why Tape a Fungo Bat?

Fungo bats are longer and thinner than regular bats. This allows coaches to hit the balls with greater accuracy.

In addition, they can hold the bat with just one hand use the other to toss the ball.

However, the fungo bat design has its drawbacks.

Due to the more length and less width and weight, they can break more easily. Taping them makes them more durable and prevents splitting at the wood grains.

It also prevents, at least to some extent, the flaking where the top level of the grain comes off.

This way, the bat’s lifespan is prolonged.

Furthermore, some coaches feel that a couple of layers of tape takes some of the pop from the bat allowing them to hit the balls exactly where they want them.

In addition, many coaches and players put tape on their bats to improve their grip and handle the bat better.

How to Tape a Fungo Bat

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Rawlings Bat Tape, White
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Last update on 2021-12-03 at 09:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the first things that everyone new to baseball needs to learn is how to take care of the equipment, including fungo bats.

Proper maintenance will make the bats last longer and save you money as you won’t have to shop for new bats often.

Among the essential skills everyone in baseball should master is how to tape a fungo bat.

Fungo bats are one of the simplest, but most effective, tools for practice, and the correctly taped bat will only add to the quality of training and prevent wear and tear.

Just taping the bat is not enough, you have to do it the right way so you can have all the benefits of a taped fungo bat.

Two or three properly taped layers should do the trick. If you aim to take more pop out of the bat, you may apply additional layers of tape.

Starting to Tape your Fungo Bat

The best way to tape a fungo bat is on the fat end.

You should start about an inch above the spot occupied by the manufacturer’s logo. Create a line off and start carefully wrapping the tape around the bat.

Make sure that the tape is wound tight around the bat and gradually move it towards its end.

The bat tape  should always move in just one direction. If you spot any creases or sudden pattern changes, you should start over.

Too many of these small bumps may affect the way the ball comes off the bat.

Once you’re about half an inch from the endo of the bat, cut the tape off. At this point, your first layer is finished.

Make sure that the entire hitting area is covered with tape and go over it with your hand to make sure that the first layer is fairly even and smooth.

Wrapping the Fungo Bat in Multiple Layers of Tape

To tape the bat properly, you’ll need a couple of layers. When you finish the first layer, go back up the barrel and start another one.

Make sure that you apply the additional layers by moving in the same direction as you did when wrapping the first one.

Each new layer should follow the same axis as the one closest to the bat.

An additional layer should start at about the same spot as the initial layer, maybe a bit higher.

Don’t forget to make sure that new layers are also very taut. For every new layer, you repeat the same process.

As you get more used to taped fungo bats, you’ll get a sense of how many layers you need.

Most coaches apply between two and four layers of tape,

This should be more than enough to prevent splitting and flaking, while still preserving the original bat properties.

Is It Always Necessary to Tape a Fungo Bat?

Rawlings Bat Tape, White
262 Reviews
Rawlings Bat Tape, White
  • All-purpose 3/4" x 30" bat tape
  • White
  • All-purpose tape
  • Comes in White
  • 3/4" x 30" roll

Last update on 2021-12-03 at 09:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While taping a fungo bat is definitely useful, it’s not always necessary. This mainly depends on the material the bat is made of.

Aluminum fungo bats are more durable than wooden ones and there’s no risk of splitting at grains.

In most cases, they should serve you for a long time even without taping.

As far the wooden bats, the need for taping depends on the type of wood used.

If you’re using an ash bat, you should certainly consider taping. Because of the grain structure, ash bats are very prone to splitting and flaking.

On the other hand, birch and maple bats are closed-grain wood and should be able to withstand heavy-duty use without taping.

Still, using the tape on them definitely won’t hurt and some coaches do it to take some of the pop out.

Conclusion

Fungo bats are an extremely useful practice tool and a necessary part of every player’s development.

However, to be able to make full use of them, you’ll need to take proper care of your bats.

And, taping is a vital part of bat maintenance.

By learning how to properly tape a fungo bat, you’ll make it last longer and get the better performance out of it.

Keep in mind that fungo bats are designed for hitting gently tossed balls.

Using them to hit regular pitches or the balls out of the pitching machine will significantly decrease their lifespan, no matter how much tape you use.

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