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Berwyn Paoli Little League

Choosing the right bat

Bat Standards

As detailed in the Bat Standards section of the site, Tee Ball, Baseball (Minors, Majors), and Challenger Divisions require bats with the USA Baseball logo (first two logos on left). Softball bats require one of the three certifications listed (last three logos on right):



Bat length is an important consideration. Too long, and you risk compromising bat speed or swing mechanics. Too short, and you limit your plate coverage, giving up a portion of your strike zone. Having the right bat length can help your player find the comfortable middle ground. There are three ways you can measure whether a bat is the right length:

  1. Position the bottom of the bat in the center of your player’s chest, pointing it to the side, parallel to an outstretched arm. If your player can comfortably reach the top of the bat with his/her fingertips, the bat is the right length.
  2. Position the bottom of the bat in the center of your player’s chest, facing outward. If his/her arm can reach out and grab the barrel of the bat, then it is the correct length.
  3. Stand the bat up against the side of your player’s leg. If the end of the bat reaches the center of his/her palm when he/she reaches down, it’s the appropriate length.

If you’re unable to hold a bat and measure using these methods, use this size chart as a guide. While this chart can help get you started, use the measuring techniques described to find your ultimate fit.


The best weight is based on feel. If your player takes multiple swings and the bat feels heavy or begins to drop, then it’s probably too heavy. Have your player hold the bat handle and extend their arm to the side. If they can’t hold the bat extended for 30 seconds, it’s probably too heavy.

Be sure to look at the drop weight (drop) as well. A bat’s drop is the measurement determined by subtracting the weight from length. For example, a 20-ounce bat that is 30 inches long will have a drop of -10. The greater the drop weight (-12 drop is greater than -8 drop), the lighter the bat. Larger, stronger players tend to favor less of a drop weight, which can result in increased power. Smaller players can benefit from greater drop weight, which can help with bat speed.


There are two main materials you will see when choosing a bat: wood and metal. As most children compete with metal bats, this section will maintain that focus. If you would like to learn more about wood bats, please visit: how to buy a wood baseball bat.


  • Ready for use right out of the wrapper—no break-in time required.
  • Have a smaller sweet spot but are more durable than composites.
  • More affordable than their composite counterparts. 


  • Larger sweet spot and put out less vibration to the hands (less sting when making poor contact).
  • Require a break-in period of about 150 to 200 hits (hit the batting cage or tee).
  • Tend to be more expensive.

Hybrid options are also available. These bats are typically made with composite handles, which minimize vibration, and alloy barrels, which require no break-in time.


The main difference between these two options is how much flex and energy transfer your stick will have.

  • ONE-PIECE: A continuous piece of metal. Upon contact, there is little flex or give in the bat, resulting in little or no energy loss. This can be great for a balanced, powerful swing, but mishits can cause stinging in the hands.
  • TWO-PIECE: Constructed by fusing a barrel and handle together. This split design can create more flex and whip in the swing, resulting in faster bat speeds. Two-piece bats can also withstand vibrations, making them a good option for players looking to curb that stinging feeling.
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