[This information was collected from several websites, including CheapBats.com
Have your child grab a bat and hold it with the barrel on the ground. The handle should reach right about to his hip (but not to his waist).
In the example above, my son is about 56 inches tall and close to 70 pounds. He is graduating from a 29 to 30 inch bat, which is consistent with the chart below…
This is just a rule of thumb, of course. A player may be stronger than the typical kid that is his height and weight (let’s not exaggerate just how strong they are though!). On the flip side, know when your child may need a lighter bat than may be typical.
Of course, the length of the bat is only one half of the equation. You might find the right size bat for your child, but it may actually be too heavy for him.
The ideal bat weight is actually a bit trickier, and we should approach it differently depending upon the age of your child.
Here is a chart for a general rule of thumb (based on age and either player height or weight)…
Just to make the ideal weight of the bat a bit more complicated, you should also consider the “drop” weight — or the difference between the length (in inches) and weight (in ounces).
For example, a bat that is 30 inches long and weighs 20 ounces would be considered a “drop 10″ (otherwise expressed as -10).
Younger and smaller players will have a much higher drop — a greater difference between the length in inches and weight in ounces. These players are typically not as strong, so the focus is on a lighter bat for greater bat speed.
As a child ages, though, they get bigger and stronger. While bats typically won’t be longer than 34 inches, the weight will begin to catch up to the length.
Here’s a chart that provides a basic rule of thumb for 2 5/8” barrel bats (found in most travel ball tournaments)…
Little League uses 2 1/4″ barrel bats with different drop restrictions…
Know the Rules!
Understand that your league or tournament may have restrictions on the allowed drop. For example, your Little League may not allow a drop 3.
Similarly, before you invest in a bat make sure that the composition (alloy, aluminum or composite) is allowed by your tournament or league. If you check their website, they should include very specific guidelines — maybe even a list of makes and models they allow.
What other questions do you have about determining the ideal length and weight of your child’s baseball bat?
Let me know in the comments below!