Choosing the Right Baseball Bat Size: Youth Baseball Bat Sizing

Youth baseball bat sizing can be confusing if you don't go into a sports store with some simple tips on choosing the right baseball bat size.

Use the tips here to help you find the right bat for your young player.

Barrel size - Simply the diameter of the largest part of the bat, most Little League bats average 2-1/4 inch in barrel size. Senior and high school bats are larger, averaging 2-5/8 inch to 2-3/4 inch. Choosing a larger barrel size means there will a larger "sweet spot" on the bat, but the trade-off is a larger, heavier bat that may be difficult for younger players to swing quickly.

Bat taper - The diameter of the bat's handle is known as the taper. Normally, this runs 31/31 of an inch. Smaller taper results in a lighter bat, making it easier for players to come around quickly and really snap their wrists when swinging. A thicker taper means less sting when a batter doesn't hit the sweet spot.

Grip - The material wrapped around the handle is known as grip. Grips can come in leather or synthetic leather and over time, these materials will develop a sticky feel, making for a better grip on the bat. Rubber grips also reduce the shock of hitting a ball.

Youth Baseball Bat Sizing

No longer do you see youth baseball players swinging heavy wood bats in practice and games. Now, lighter is better and the use of lighter metal materials in baseball bat production helps kids swing that bat harder and faster. It's also a great way of helping young players learn bat control.

However, there are rules about how light a bat can be vs. the length of the bat as your player gets older. For example, the NCAA prohibits a baseball bat from being tgree ounces lighter in weight than the length of the bat is in inches. In other words, if a bat is 33 inches long, but weighs only 28 ounces, the bat wouldn't be legal. Why? Because strong hitters swinging ultralight bats were hitting the ball so fast, it was becoming a safety issue for infielders. High school leagues have now adopted this policy.

Why doesn't the rule apply at Little League level? Because of the lack of size and strength of this age player. A typical kid swinging a light bat just can't produce the power to hit the ball at an excessive and dangerous speed.

At this stage, a super light bat is perfect for helping a younger player learn bat control.

The length (inches) and weight (ounces) of a bat are printed on the bat by the manufacturer. You will also see another measurement, which is the number difference between the length and weight of the bat. For example, a 30 inch bat weighing 20 ounces would include the label "-10."

For youth baseball bats, look for bats marked "-10" or more for the proper size.

Though the right baseball bat size for each child varies, the table below will help you get started in finding the correct one for your son or daughter.

Tee ball: 25 inches - 27 inches, -9 to -13
Age 7 - 8: 26 inches - 27 inches, -10 or lighter
Age 8 - 9: 27 inches to 29 inches, -10 or lighter
Age 9 - 12: 28 inches to 31 inches, -10 or lighter
Age 12 - 15: 29 inches to 33 inches, -9 or lighter


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