How to Buy a T-Ball Bat

Selecting the right T-ball bat will give your rising star a great advantage on the field.

T-ball is the first time in a child’s life where they truly realize the magic of baseball. To help them enjoy the game even further, make sure they are equipped with the best gear possible, starting with a T-ball bat. Here’s what you need to know before your child’s first at-bat this season.

SIZING

Almost all T-ball bats measure either 24˝, 25˝ or 26˝ in length and each of those sizes have a weight associated with it.

FINDING THE CORRECT WEIGHT

An entry-level T-ball bat will typically be a “drop 10” (-10), which is the bat’s length minus its weight. So, for example, if your child has a bat that’s 25˝, then subtract 10 and you’ll find that the bat has a weight of 15 ounces.  A bat with a -10 is usually the heaviest, while a bat with “drop 13” (-13) will be the lightest.

Bats increase in price the lighter they are, but it’s better to spend the extra money if your child has a hard time swinging say a -10 or -11. If your child is strong for his or her age, then your best bet will be to buy them a bat with a lower, heavier weight.

A second way you can identify the best bat weight for your child is to have them hold the bat out at their side and test to see whether they can hold it for 30-45 seconds without it dipping down. If they can do that, then it’s going to be a good weight for them to swing.

FINDING THE CORRECT LENGTH

In terms of finding the correct length, you’ll want to reference a sizing chart, like the one below.

Once you have a specific bat targeted, you can be sure it’s the correct length by measuring it three different ways:

  1. Have them place the bottom of the bat in the center of their chest, pointing it to the side, parallel to their outstretched arm. If they can comfortably reach the top of the bat with the palm of their hand, the bat is the right length.

baseball bat length

2. Position the bottom of the bat in the center of their chest, facing outward. If their arm can reach out and grab the barrel of the bat, then it is the right length.

youth baseball bat length

3. Stand the bat up against the side of their leg. If the end of the bat reaches the center of their palm when they reach down, it’s the right length.

youth baseball bat length

BAT LIFESPAN

Keep in mind that like any other piece of equipment such as gloves and cleats, your player will outgrow their bat after either the first or second year of T-ball. So, if you’re looking for a bat that he or she will grow into, keep in mind that they’re not going to be in the sport that long. After a few years of T-ball, they’re going to most likely move up to the baseball and softball levels, which means they’ll have to discard their T-ball bat for a more specific model tailored to those levels of play.

Remember, if your little slugger has the right T-ball bat it can lead to a fun, exciting first season.