Buying a bat is often the most difficult piece of equipment to buy. The worst thing you can do is get a bat too heavy for your child. This will slow his speed down and often cause the bat to dip early in the swing giving him an upward golf swing. Having a bat too light will rob your child of power, however its better to error on a lighter bat side. Kids often get caught up in contests to see who has the heaviest bat. If your child gets involved his or her swing will suffer.
One rule of thumb is the a player should be able to hold the bat out horizontally with one hand for 5-10 seconds. If this isn’t possible or even a struggle, do not buy that bat. Generally bigger kids use bigger bats and smaller kids smaller bats.
One last consideration is that all Little league bats must not be bigger than 2 1/4” in diameter and if composite, it must be approved by Little league (Click here for Approved Composite Bats)
. One other key size mentioned below is "bat drop." Bat drop is the ratio between bat length in inches and bat size in ounces. A 28” bat that weights 16 ounces has a bat drop of -12. Here are some general guidelines by divisions for buying bats:
Single A (5-7):
Single A Division kids can still use their T-ball bat in most cases. 25-27” bats are common, usually with a -12 to -15 drop. A heavy bat here is asking for trouble so keep it light.
Double A (7-9):
At the Double A Division, balls are starting to get hit to the outfield so there is an advantage to having a heavier bat if the child can handle it. Most kids graduate to a 26-30” bat with a drop of -10 to -15. Use the horizontal arm method above before buying a bat.
In Minors most kids are using 27-31” bats. Keep in mind Barry Bonds used a 32” bat so it’s not necessary to go so big. For weights you typically see the smaller contact hitters using -13 to -12 bats and the bigger power hitters using -10 to -8 bats,
By the time kids are in Majors they have a good idea as to what size and weight they can use and often have multiple bats for different situations. 28-32” Bats are the norm with drops that range from -12 to -8. Each kid is different so make sure you accurately evaluate your child’s strength and ability.