Measuring for a baseball bat correctly is an important part of the buying process. It ensures you have a bat that you are comfortable with and enables you to swing the bat effectively. Of course, measuring is not the only aspect. There other things that play a part, such as the weight and rules and regulations for certain leagues. This article will show you how to measure for a baseball bat, as well as the other details to keep in mind.
Or if you are in a hurry, this infographic shows the methods you can use for measuring for a baseball bat.
Please include attribution to baseballchimp.com with this graphic.
How To Measure Yourself For a Bat
Measuring yourself for a baseball bat is easy to do. One thing you can do is simply swing the bat to check the length is comfortable for you. If you prefer to be more precise, then the following will help you measure yourself correctly.
1. The first method you can try is called the wingspan method. Basically, you will need to measure from the centre of your chest to the end of your index finger. For this, you must ensure your arm is fully extended to get an accurate measurement. This measurement will give you a suitable bat length.
2. A second method is to place the bat down next to you, with the end cap on the ground (the top of the bat). If you can reach the handle with your palm, then the length should be suitable.
3. Lastly, you can check the length by turning the knob of the bat into your chest, so that the bat is facing away from you. The length should be suitable for you if you can reach out and grab the barrel.
How To Measure A Child For a Bat
Measuring a child for a bat is just as easy and can be done using the child’s height and weight, as described below.
Using Height to Measure
1. Measure your child’s height while they are in their baseball cleats, as this is what they will be wearing when they are playing. If your child is between 3 ft and 3 ft 4”, the ideal bat length to start with is 26”.
If your child is 3 ft 5” or over, then you need to add an inch to the length of the bat for every 4” to 5” in height after they have reached 3 ft 5”.
2. Another way to determine if the bat is too long or too heavy is to stand your child next to the bat and place the end cap on the ground, with the handle against your child’s leg. The knob of the bat, should be level with their hip. If the bat goes past your child’s waist, then the bat is too long.
Using Weight to Measure
Using weight to measure your child for a baseball bat is also an option. However, this is a less effective way and measuring by height can be more accurate. An even more effective option is using a combination of both height and weight, which the chart below can help you with.
As a guideline, children who are under 60 lbs will get on well with a bat that is between 26” and 29”. This of course, depends on their height. If your child is between 70 lbs and and 90 lbs, then a suitable bat length would be between 28” and 32”.
The weight of the bat is another thing to check for to ensure that it is not too heavy. The weight of a bat is measured in it’s “drop”. Drop is the measure of how heavy a baseball bat is and is always a negative number. It is the length-to-weight ratio, which would be the length minus weight.
For instance, if the length of a bat is 30” long and weighs 20oz, the drop of the bat would be -10. The lower this number is, the heavier the bat will be. The higher the number is, the lighter the bat will be.
Baseball bats have different drops and depends on the material, length and shape of the bat. Adult wooden bats are usually -3 and youth bats are usually in the range of -5 to -7. Players who are stronger and bigger will usually use a heavier bat, whereas smaller players will use a bat that is lighter.
The best way to decide if a bat is the right weight for you is to swing different bats and see what kind of weight you are comfortable with. Another way is to hold the bat from the handle and extend your arm out to the side. If you can hold the bat there for 30 to 45 seconds, then the weight should be suitable for you. If you can’t hold the bat there, then it is probably too heavy for you.
Choosing an ideal weight can be made a little easier by using the following charts.
Rules and Regulations
Now that you know how to measure for a baseball bat, there are some rules and regulations to follow when it comes to bat sizes and weights. Different leagues have different rules which are there for safety reasons and to level the playing field.
BBCOR – College and High School Bats
BBCOR was created by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), which certifies the performance of baseball bats. BBCOR stands for Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution.
All high school and college baseball bats must be BBCOR certified. Instead of measuring just the exit speed of the ball, this standard has been updated to measure the trampoline effect. The standard means that non-wooden bats perform more like wooden bats, which improves player safety and provides a level playing field.
The length-to-weight ratio of college and high school bats must be -3 and the length should not be greater than 36”. Lastly, the diameter of the barrel should not be larger than 2 ⅝.
USSSA Baseball Bats
USSSA rules are mainly used for “travel ball” or tournaments. USSSA bats must either have the 1.15 BPF stamp on the taper, or have a BBCOR certified stamp. If not these things, then the bat must be wooden. Also, the diameter of the barrel must not be greater than 2 ¾”. All USSSA bats must also be manufactured by an approved manufacturer.
USA Baseball – Little League
The USA Baseball Bat standard applies to Little League Baseball, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie Boys, Dixie Youth, AABC and PONY Baseball. For children under the age of 14, the approved barrel diameter is up to 2 ⅝”. The USA Baseball Mark will also need to be stamped onto player’s bats. These new bats are designed to perform like BBCOR and wooden bats, which will ensure the long term integrity of the game.
Now that we have covered how to measure for a baseball bat and gone over the rules and regulations, we hope you are feeling more confident when deciding which size baseball bat to get. Remember to keep in mind that comfort is the main thing to aim for. If you are uncomfortable holding the bat, then it will interfere with your swing. Comfort is key!