1. Bat Legality
Yes, you can inadvertently buy your child an illegal bat, which will find them not up to bat and you out of a ton of cash. Make sure you look for a bat that’s legal for play in your league. It may need to have the stamp of an official supplier logo, as this indicates the bat is made of the right material, and fits the approved length, barrel size, and knob specifications. Little League rules require baseball bats be no longer than 22 inches, while Junior League wood bats must measure shorter than 34 inches. There are detailed rules depending on the league your child’s involved in, and often a simple Google search will give you the parameters to work with, but it’s always a good idea to check. An easy question volleyed at your coach or league before purchasing will make sure you buy a legal bat.
2. Wooden Versus Metal
There are many facets to consider when deciding between a wooden and metal bat for your child. You’ll find numerous articles and opinions expressing the strengths of one or the other, but the decision comes down to weighing the pros and cons of each and choosing the material that will help your child excel. Metal bats tend to be the most popular, regardless of league. They are definitively easier to swing, weigh less, don’t break, and can provide more power. However, if honing your child’s skills is your aim, metal bats may not be the way to go. They can mask poor technique and will make it harder for your child to improve his or her hitting technique.
Many parents elect to have their child train with a wooden bat, because it has been purported to help develop better swinging practices and techniques. While heavier, wooden bats offer better balance, and will help your child better understand the ways to make powerful contact with the ball. Using a wooden bat will require your child to learn and practice the fundamental swinging patterns that make for a successful hit. If you do elect to grab a wooden bat, you’ll need to decide between the types of wood. Ash tends to be the most popular option, but you’ll find a bevy of options.
Check out Woodbat.org for an interesting scientific breakdown of the history behind the woods used for baseball bats and send your child onto the diamond with in-depth knowledge of just how their new wooden bat is designed to help them hit that elusive homerun.
3. The Importance of Practice Before Purchase
Before deciding between the two mediums, give your child plenty of practice with each. Head to the batting cages a few times a week and each time have them work with a metal bat or wooden bat each time. If it gets too pricey, use Groupon. They often have discounted batting cage prices depending on your area and you can pay half of what you might have—your child will definitely thank you for all the extra practice time, and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to your bat.
4. When It Comes to Pricing
If you want to find the best price on a baseball bat, you’ll need to head online instead of to your local sport’s store. There’s simply no beating e-commerce prices, but that’s not to say you should head straight to Amazon. Use a website that has a plethora of baseball bats for sale from a variety of companies to make sure you can find the right fit for your child. Using a site dedicated to baseball bats will help you filter out the different options and make it easier for your child to offer their input.
The type of bat your child practices with can greatly affect their game. Their bat is their indispensable tool; it affects swing velocity, the contact they make, dictates how far and where the ball will travel, and their ability to make a sprint for first base after a successful hit. It’s important to put the time and monetary investment into finding the perfect youth baseball bat for your child.