LBA: Coaches Corner: DETERMINING PLAYER BAT SIZE

DETERMINING PLAYER BAT SIZE
Selecting the correct bat for a player is important.  Not a season goes by where at least one or two players show up for practice with a bat not properly sized, most often too heavy.  Selecting a bat involves considering multiple factors:  player height, player strength, bat length, and bat weight.  A bat too heavy or long will result in slow bat speed, and will lead to incorrect and poor swing mechanics.  A bat too light or short can result in hits that don't go as far and will reduce place coverage (i.e. inability to hit a pitch on the outside of the plate).  Here are some suggested methods for matching up a bat to a player:
  • Have the player stand comfortably with one arm raised to the side, horizontal to the ground.  Place the knob of the bat in the middle of the player's chest, and extend the barrel alongside the arm.  If the longer fingers reach the end of the bat and wrap around the top of the barrel, the bat length is good.

  • With the player in the same position, place the knob of the bat at the player's armpit, and extend the barrel alongside the arm.  If the tips of the longest finger reaches the middle of the barrel, the bat length is good.

  • Have the player stand comfortably, with both hands resting at his side.  Stand the bat next to the player, and have him grab the handle, just below the knob.  With only that one hand, have the player raise the bat horizontal to the ground.  The player should be able to hold the bat in that position for ten seconds.  If they are unable to do this, you should consider a lighter bat.

  • Determine the height and weight of the player and use the the Bat Size Chart  (chart provided by GetGreat.com.
IMPORTANT:  Babe Ruth League has rules for bats that may be used in all their divisions, including the Cal-Ripken division, which comprises all LBA age groups.  These rules change yearly, and can be a little technical (and intimidating, but not overwhelming).  Please check the BR site for the latest details:  Babe Ruth League Bat Rules.