Tee ball can be the first time in a child’s life when they truly realize the magic of baseball. To help them enjoy the game even more, make sure they are properly geared up with the right tee ball bat. DICK’S Sporting Goods associate Ali Tatarzyn offers some helpful tips on how to find the proper length, weight and drop for your little slugger’s needs.
FINDING THE CORRECT LENGTH
“You can determine a proper bat length for your youngster with multiple measuring techniques,” Tatarzyn says. To measure the bat length, you can:
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.
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.
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.
“Having the right length bat is going to be important for their control, so plan accordingly,” adds Tatarzyn.
FINDING THE CORRECT WEIGHT
To determine the correct weight for your athlete’s bat, Tatarzyn says to look for the drop measurement, which should be displayed somewhere along the bat’s handle or barrel. The drop of a bat is the difference between the bat’s length and weight. For example, if your child has a bat that’s 25 inches with a 10-ounce drop, subtract 10 from 25 to find the bat’s weight of 15 ounces. Tatarzyn notes that most tee ball bats carry between a drop 10 and drop 14.
Players should be able to hold a properly weighted bat for 30 to 45 seconds out to their side without it dipping down. If they can do that, then it’s going to be a good weight for them to swing. “It’s pivotal that they have a properly sized bat because of their young age and limited capabilities,” Tatarzyn says.
BONUS PRO TIP: Keep in mind that like any other piece of youth equipment, your player will eventually outgrow their tee ball bat. After that, they’re going to most likely move up to youth baseball and softball leagues with different bat rules and needs. Be sure to read how to buy a youth baseball bat or how to buy a youth softball bat so you can keep your athlete geared up throughout their career on the diamond.
FINAL NOTES ON MATERIAL AND CONSTRUCTION
As is the case with bats designed for older athletes, tee ball bats can be made of two material options. Alloy tee ball bats can provide players with more durability, while composite tee ball bats offer enhanced feel, pop and bat speed.
Finally, Tatarzyn says that most tee ball bats available will feature a one-piece design. “This construction will give the bat a stiffer feel and more pop on the ball.”
Always be sure to check with a coach or league official prior to purchase to ensure that your tee ball bat meets league standards. Follow along with these tips and put some power in your little slugger’s hands with the right tee ball bat this season.