1. First of all, make sure you understand your league rules for bats. They vary greatly so it’s important to know what your children are and are not allowed to use. Possible restrictions include materials, bat length, barrel size and length-to-weight ratio. Find out before you head to the store.
2. Materials. For kids between six and 12-years old, nearly every bat you’ll find is either made out of aluminum or is a composite of different metals. Composite bats will typically cost more, but they also have more “pop.” They are also typically lighter, which makes it easier for kids to control their swing and it increases bat speed.
3. Bat length. Here are some general guidelines to help you.
|Age range||Bat length range|
4. Barrel size. In general, the larger the barrel size, the more forgiving the bat will be to young hitters who may not hit the ball directly in the center every time. Many bat sellers will refer to “big barrel” bats as those with a barrel diameter of 2 5/8″ or greater. Again, make sure you check with your league for any restrictions.
5. Weight drop. This may be a new measure for many of you. The weight drop is an indicator of the ratio of the bat length to its weight. As you can imagine, if you could choose between two bats of the same length, the lighter bat is advantageous. A weight drop is calculated by subtracting the weight of the bat (in ounces) from length of the bat (in inches). So, if you have a 28-inch bat that weighs 18 ounces, it is said to have a -10 weight drop. Once again, make sure you understand your league rules because there may be restrictions on weight drop.
The quality brands that you’ll see most often include Easton, Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, Rawlings and Worth.