Science of Baseball Bats

Science of Baseball Bats

Science of Baseball Bats

As coaches, teachers and leaders of America’s favorite pastime, nobody knows better than you how important it is to have the right equipment and players on your team to win. When you are looking for quality gear for your baseball, softball or tee ball team you want the most bang for your buck. Choosing the right bat for your players can mean the difference between a winning season and a consolation prize. What kind of bat will your winning team be swinging at the plate this season?

BBCOR Certified

The current standard for adult baseball bats is called BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution). This certification levels the playing field to ensure that composite or alloy bats perform similarly to a traditional wood bat. This is what is currently being used for high schools & colleges – less power behind the hit with less flex.

What to consider when purchasing a bat

Here are a couple of things to consider when purchasing a new bat:

  • WEIGHT: As a general rule bigger, stronger players will usually prefer a heavier bat that will provide maximum power. Smaller players usually benefit from a lighter bat that will allow for greater bat speed. To help determine the right weight for you, swing a variety of bats and see how much weight you are comfortable with.
  • LENGTH: Length and weight combine for peak performance. A longer bat provides greater reach, which will allow you to hit balls on the outside of the plate. But remember that a longer bat may be heavier, and the extra weight could slow down your swing speed. Like checking the weight, you need to swing bats of different lengths to decide what length best suits you.
  • LEAGUE REQUIREMENTS: Please consider the requirements of your league before you purchase a new bat.

Appropriate bat for the appropriate player

  • Youth Baseball Bats: A typical length to weight ratio is between -8 and -13 with a 2 ¼” diameter barrel. These lighter weight bats are sometimes referred to as “Small Barrel Bats”. Please double check that they are approved for play in your organization.
  • Youth Big Barrel Bats: These bats typically have a length to weight ratio of between -5 and -12 with barrel diameters of either 2 5/8” or 2 ¾”. Also known as “Senior League Bats”, most of these bats are approved for USSSA play.
  • Coach Pitch Baseball Bats: These bats are lighter and shorter with a larger barrel, designed for players 8 and under. The length to width ratio is between -10 & -12 with a barrel size of either 2 5/8” or 2 ¾”. These bats are also known as “Junior Big Barrel Bats”, and are used in coach pitch games.
  • Tee Ball Bats: designed for kids 6 and under. They are meant specifically for use in a tee ball games. Typically, these bats are offered in a -10 to -14 length to weight ratio.

What is “Weight Ratio”?

Weight ratio “drop” is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat. If you are looking for a 32” bat and the weight says drop (-10), then the bat weighs 22oz. The formula is the negative number subtracted from the length will equal the weight in ounces of the bat. If you have any questions about figuring out which bat is right for you and your team, please speak with a BSN SPORTS baseball specialist today, or check out the selection of baseball, softball and tee ball equipment online at

Chadd Edlein is the Director of Merchandising at BSN SPORTS. Chadd has been working for the company over 17 years.

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