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Author Topic: Grading - the great mystery  (Read 1946 times)

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Kulli

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Grading - the great mystery
« on: October 24, 2018, 08:49:43 AM »

It was touched upon briefly in another thread, so in an effort to avoid derailing discussions about GM's snazzy new range, I thought I'd start a dedicated thread.

Some points for discussion.

Bat makers gradings, how many do it on looks/density and how many on performance. I guess most go on a mixture, but at the end of the day, they're businesses looking to maximise profits.

Do we believe that bats with straighter (and more) grains perform better in general, or do most of us buy high-quality bats because we like the way they look/make us feel?

Someone mentioned bats being bumped up and down grades at the final batmaker check. It's noticeable here that people will go wild over the idea of a 12-grain blemish free bat at a mid to low level grade, but as pointed out, does that really mean it's a duffer, and what we should be after is the high graded bats that look pig ugly?

Is it in bat makers interests to find a way to measure a bats performance empirically. Or would that be a waste of time anyway because performance out of the packet does not give an indication of performance once played in?
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SD

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 12:03:40 PM »

When one company has an unhealthy near-monopoly over the supply of willow to the market, and that company sets the price point for each piece of willow based on its aesthetic appearance, the commercial reality is that the manufacturer is going to struggle to downgrade a finished bat of they purchased the cleft as a high grade.  I guess that it is only those manufactures who can control their own willow supply who can afford to look more closely at performance. 

Add to that the difficulty in objectively quantifying and assessing performance and the nature of a cricket bat that needs playing in to reach its maximum performance.

I assume like most on hereq, i have had expensive, beautiful looking bats which have underwhelmed in their performance and some lower grade bata that have been great performers.  The more I have played, the more I feel it is a lottery in terms of performance
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Novak

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 12:08:47 PM »

Interesting a lottery, says it all .
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SLA

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 12:16:02 PM »

When one company has an unhealthy near-monopoly over the supply of willow to the market, and that company sets the price point for each piece of willow based on its aesthetic appearance, the commercial reality is that the manufacturer is going to struggle to downgrade a finished bat of they purchased the cleft as a high grade.  I guess that it is only those manufactures who can control their own willow supply who can afford to look more closely at performance. 

Add to that the difficulty in objectively quantifying and assessing performance and the nature of a cricket bat that needs playing in to reach its maximum performance.

I assume like most on hereq, i have had expensive, beautiful looking bats which have underwhelmed in their performance and some lower grade bata that have been great performers.  The more I have played, the more I feel it is a lottery in terms of performance

Yeah. Agree. I've owned 20 or so bats costing between 30 and 250. The best bat I ever owned cost me 80 (a GM 808), the one with the best ping cost me 50.

More expensive bats look prettier, last at least a season, and most of them play at least reasonably well, whereas the cheaper bats (under 100) are a real lottery. Some break almost immediately, other play like a 2x4, others can be great value.

My suspicion is that grading is done 90% by looks, with a few companies who claim to "grade on performance" maybe moving a few bats up and down grades based on what they sound like when you bounce a ball on them. You can't really grade on performance, because its impossible to predict how a bat will perform until you fully knock it in and then get it out into the middle.

 
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Bats_Entertainment

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 12:22:30 PM »

To be fair to JS Wright's, they do say lower grade willow is equally likely to perform.

Or maybe this is just what they have to shift most of?
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Cholrudee

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:36:11 PM »

70 USD for an English Willow Grade 1 Cleft is not expensive.
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Novak

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 12:37:07 PM »

There is no doubt in my mind that the performance of a bat
Can only be told when out in an open net where you can see how far the ball travels

No amount of ball bounces really tells on a bat .

You can sometimes tell how much a hammer or a heavy bat knocking in hammer bounces off with a single strike and keeps bouncing as a result

Hope that makes sense
Definite con a bat is graded on performance
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Yorkershire

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 01:16:39 PM »

To be fair to JS Wright's, they do say lower grade willow is equally likely to perform.

Or maybe this is just what they have to shift most of?

True they make no mention of better performance in terms of cosmetics.

Since all the grades go through the same press at a manufacturer, all you can go on is the cosmetics and the bat mallet test at that moment in time. As we all know after knocking in and playing, bats open up at their own time.

Also again you hear about some pros being ultra picky, others not being bothered. I remember the Younis Khan bat pics someone pout up recently. The grains didn't look even and  weren't ruler straight, yet it seemed to be favourite of his as it was well used and repaired.

People on this forum are an exception to the average weekend cricketer as we are all proper bat geeks. I know of many good players that score runs week in week out, that have just popped into local cricket store and bought from the big brands, and may be grade 2s or lower in some cases. Oh and none of them are scrutinising their bats like the people on here, 1 bat until it breaks.
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DorsetDan

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 01:57:01 PM »

When one company has an unhealthy near-monopoly over the supply of willow to the market, and that company sets the price point for each piece of willow based on its aesthetic appearance, the commercial reality is that the manufacturer is going to struggle to downgrade a finished bat of they purchased the cleft as a high grade.  I guess that it is only those manufactures who can control their own willow supply who can afford to look more closely at performance. 

Add to that the difficulty in objectively quantifying and assessing performance and the nature of a cricket bat that needs playing in to reach its maximum performance.

I assume like most on hereq, i have had expensive, beautiful looking bats which have underwhelmed in their performance and some lower grade bata that have been great performers.  The more I have played, the more I feel it is a lottery in terms of performance

There's very little difference in price between clefts of different grades
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Novak

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2018, 02:02:57 PM »

Are you saying the prices between grade 1 plus Vs grade 2 are quite similar from j s Wright ? Just trying to interpret above

What is the differential in price
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Bats_Entertainment

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2018, 02:04:39 PM »

GM seem to take delivery in trunks and split them themselves? Is this common?
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Kulli

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 02:07:42 PM »

GM seem to take delivery in trunks and split them themselves? Is this common?

Presume they also have their own willow supply.

EDIT - or possibly as they want to control all of the drying process themselves.
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Novak

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 02:09:17 PM »

Yeah that interesting GM take delivery in trees .

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Cholrudee

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 02:14:57 PM »

It's common practice among volume Asian buyers to take the whole scalped tree rather than clefts which allows them to grade their own willow.
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Grubby

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Re: Grading - the great mystery
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 03:23:56 PM »

If you buy part made bats the cost between G1 - G3 is very small. G1 100 G2 90 G3 75
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