Spring isn’t too far away, and it’s almost time to hit the playing field for another youth baseball season! If your child is gearing up for an organized competition, it’s the best time to pick out a good bat. Here’s a helpful list of what to look for in a quality youth league baseball bat.
In baseball terms, an “adult” is any person over the age of thirteen, so ensure you’re purchasing the correct equipment for this age classification. Kids over this age will most likely play in little league, PONY, USSSA, NFHS, or the NCAA, meaning they’ll need a BBCOR-certified bat. BBCOR, or “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution,” refers to a bar’s overall measurements and composite. A BBCOR bat must have:
- A barrel diameter under 2⅝ inches
- A length under 36 inches
- A length to weight ratio under -3
Most products should feature a BBCOR certification image on the packaging but always double-check before buying an expensive bat.
Length and Weight
Finding a properly sized baseball bat is imperative for youth development, and it can also prevent injuries. While all kids grow at different sizes, the standard age-to-length recommendations are as follows:
- Ages 5 to 7: 24 to 26 inches
- Ages 8 to 9: 26 to 28 inches
- Ages 10 to 12: 28 to 31 inches
- Ages 13 to 14: 31 to 32 inches
- Ages 15 to 16: 32 to 33 inches
- Age 17 and over: 33 to 34 inches
Weight is more subjective in the world of baseball, and ultimately, the best weight is up to the preferences of your child. Have your kid test out a few products that match their required length and see which bat swings the most efficiently.
Types of Materials
Metal bats are mainly alloy and composite, but some feature hybrid mixtures, including carbon. A great bat material for youth baseball remains aluminum alloy since it’s lightweight and helps add more power to a swing. Composite bats are more expensive. However, their pop is far greater than alloy. They’re also officially BBCOR certified.
Hybrids offer more variety, but a batter must break them in before using them regularly. But you can always opt for a professional bat shaving to get results quicker.
Knowing what to look for in a quality youth league baseball bat is ultimately up to the preferences of the batter. Provided the equipment follows league regulations and is safe to use, it can have variations to suit personal preferences. Remember to have your child try out as many variations as possible before purchasing.