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If you’re a fan of baseball, you probably think that when it comes to baseball bats, “one size fits all.” If you play the game, you know that baseball bats comes in a variety of sizes and weights, each designed to fit the specific needs of individual players. And if you’re a coach, responsible for instructing and helping young boys and girls, you know “how to size a baseball bat.”
What’s more, you understand that “sizing a bat” properly enables your young players to perform at a high level on offense.
7 Simple Steps To Size A Baseball Bat
As players of all ages know, the baseball bat is a key component of the game. Combine the right bat with athletic ability and even the youngest, most inexperienced, hitters can become successful on the baseball field.
But young players, those that are members of little league teams and local pick-up baseball squads need help selecting the best bat for them. That’s where a good coach or knowledgeable dad needs to step up and pitch in.
Here is what needs to be done …
Make sure the bat you choose for each youngster on the team is legal. Organized baseball entities, such as the Little League, set standards for baseball bats that must be followed. For instance, the bat a player uses must be stamped with the logo of the official supplier.
That provides proof that the bat features the approved length, barrel size and knob required by the league. It also means that the bat has been crafted in a material (appropriate metal) that is also required by the league.
The bat must also have a 1.15 BPF. That stands for “Bat Performance Factor.” Simply stated, BPF measures how fast a ball comes off the bat after contact has been made.
Most amateur baseball leagues allow players to use metal bats instead of wood bats. That’s because metal bats are lighter, easier to swing, more durable than wood (they don’t break) and they enable young players to “hit with power.” Wood bats, generally constructed of ash, are frequently used for practice. However, both metal and wood bats need to be “sized” for every player.
Length is a key element in bat sizing. The knowledgeable coach or dad needs to consider a child’s age, height and weight before purchasing a bat. A sizing chart (see below) should be used for help in making the right selection.
The barrel of the bat is also a critically important consideration when deciding on the appropriate bat for a young player. A larger barrel makes it easier to hit the baseball but harder to swing the bat. A smaller barrel can dramatically increase swing speed and enable the batter to hit with increased power.
The weight of a bat is, like every other component, very important. If the bat chosen is heavy, it very likely means that the increased mass will allow the player to hit the ball farther. Of course, if the bat is too heavy, it will slow down a player’s swing and could result in lots of strikeouts. Nevertheless, it is advisable to select the heaviest bat your young slugger can effectively handle.
Handles and grips do not affect swing or power, but are important for other reasons. A thicker handle provides more stability and lessens the risk of a player swinging and losing control of the bat which, when it happens, can result in injury to an innocent by stander.
The coach or “involved” dad that follows these steps will be able to put the proper bat in the hands of a young athlete. However, there is still one more step that is required for proper bat selection..
You now have everything you need to know to size a baseball bat and turn even the youngest baseball players into “little sluggers.”
Some more tips can be seen in the following video:
If you still have a question or two that requires an answer, send me a note. I’m more than happy to hear from you and help you. And if you have a comment about the game, send it, as well. I look forward to hearing from you.