BAT BUYING GUIDE
Baseball and softball bats have drastically changed over the last decade with new technology that makes it easier to change the design of the bat. The bats are no longer made of just aluminum, but can also be made with composite. There are also strict regulations on what bats can be used at each age level. With all these changes, the choices of buying a baseball or softball bat can become overwhelming. To help you out, we will break down the differences between some of the different types of bats, how to size yourself for them and how to choose the proper weight.
How to Choose the Correct Size Baseball or Softball Bat
When it comes to choosing the size of your bat, there are different ways to measure for it. The best way is to choose what you feel comfortable swinging. A general rule to follow is to never go up more than an inch at a time. This makes it easier to adjust for the new bat without drastically changing your swing. Don’t worry, if you are new to the game or want to re-size yourself, there is a way to estimate what size you should be using. To measure yourself, you want to measure from the center of your chest to tips of your index finger. To measure properly, make sure you have your arm straight out to your side, like in the picture below.
How to Choose the Correct Baseball or Softball Bat Weight
Before looking at weights, it is important to understand the terminology of bat weights first. A bat weight is measured by the minus or drop weight. Drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat. So a bat that is 30 inches and has a drop weight of (-10) will weigh 20 ounces. The bigger the drop weight is, the lighter the bat will weigh. The only league that regulates bat weight is High School and College bats, which have to be a (-3).
When choosing the weight of your bat it is important to remember that neither the heaviest nor the lightest bat the best to go with. It is best to find the best balance between the two. After finding a baseline for the length of the bat, it is important to incorporate the length of the bat into deciding on the weight. If you choose a longer bat, it might be better to go with a lighter bat. But if you choose to go with the perfect fit for the bat, it might be a good option to go up an ounce in weight.
The reason that it is important to choose the right balance between length and weight is because it makes a difference in the physics of the swing. For instance, if you have a long, light bat, you can swing it very fast, but it will not have much inertia behind it. If you swing a short heavy bat, you will not have the fastest bad speed but will have plenty of inertia. The choice of which length and weight is a personal choice of what you are comfortable with. The charts below will help give you a ballpark idea of what size and weight you should be using.