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5 Quick Tips to Sizing a Baseball Bat

At Phoenix Bats, we know the right bat, in the right wood, makes the difference. A big part of the process of selecting the right bat is determining the proper size for yourself or your player.

Hitters today have a fair amount of options when it comes to choosing a style of wood bat to call their own. However, the basics of choosing the right size metal bat or right size wood bat are fairly simple...if you go about it the right way. Below are five quick tips to help you properly size a baseball bat.

1. Check the Rule Book

A great place to start when choosing a bat size is to check out what is approved for your particular league. Most leagues follow the USA Baseball’s Bat standard (USABat) regulations as it is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the US. If the “bat of your dreams” doesn’t meet your league’s basic requirements for your age, you can rule it out right up front and save yourself a lot of time and money.

For example, new USABat regulations that just went into effect for 2018 allowing hitters of all ages to use bats up to 2 5/8 inches in barrel diameter. These standards can be quite strict and not all leagues go by USABat regulations, so it pays to check them out before you purchase your bat.

Fortunately, all Phoenix wood baseball bats are USABats compliant as they are single piece wood bats. Thus, no USABats stamp is even required, per USABats rule 27.

2. Make it Proportionate

Aside from swing ability, balance and natural ability, one of the most important aspects of being able to crush a pitch is making sure you select the proper bat size.  Sizing a baseball bat generally involves determining the proper length of your lumber based on your height and weight, with age being a secondary consideration.

Here are some general guidelines to follow that will help you get started on the right path to measuring your baseball bat.

1.     Easy Sizing Chart: As experts in precision wooden bat crafting, we have developed the bat sizing chart below to help you determine the proper length of your bat, proportionate to your height and weight.

< 60 lbs 61 - 70 lbs 71 - 80 lbs 81 - 90 lbs 91 - 100 lbs 101 - 110 lbs 111 - 120 lbs 121 - 130 lbs 131 - 140 lbs 141 - 150 lbs 151 - 160 lbs 161 - 170 lbs 171 - 180 lbs 181 - 190 lbs 191 - 200 lbs 200+ lbs
< 3'0" 25 26 26 27
3' - 3'4" 26 27 27 28 28 28 28 29 29 29
3'5" - 3'8" 27 27 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 29 29
3'9" - 4'0" 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30
4'1" - 4'4" 29 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30 30 31 31 31
4'5" - 4'8" 29 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 32
4'9" - 5'0" 30 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 32
5'1" - 5'4" 31 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 32 32.5 32.5 32.5
5'5" - 5'8" 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32.5 32.5 32.5 33 33
5'9" - 6'0" 32 32 32 32.5 32.5 33 33 33 33 33 33.5 33.5
6'1" - 6'4" 33 33 33 33 33 33 33.5 33.5 33.5 33.5 33.5+
6'5"+ 33 33 33 33 33.5 33.5 34 34 34 34+

After measuring your height and weight, find where the height column and the weight row intersect on the chart. That is the proper bat length recommendation for you or your hitter.

2.     Wingspan Check: This is an old school way to determine your personal bat size, but as a general rule is a solid "hands-on" way to measure. Begin by placing the knob of the bat at the center of your chest and extend the bat out parallel to your outstretched arm. If you can easily grip the barrel of the bat in this position, the bat is “in the ballpark” to being the length for you.

Don't have bats in hand to check? Just measure from the middle of your chest to the middle of your palm.  That's a solid way to hone in on the suggested length of your wood bat or metal bat.

3.     Resting Grab: Another "hands-on" method to determine the proper length of your bat is to stand with the bat alongside your leg, barrel tip touching the ground. If you can grip the handle of the bat in a normal standing position (without reaching for it) it’s a good guide as to the right bat length for your height.

3. Watch Your Weight

The “drop weight” of a bat is the difference between the bat’s length in inches and the bat’s weight in ounces. Sometimes known as the minus, determining the ideal drop ratio of your bat one of the most crucial factors in developing a proper swing technique. Why? If your bat is too heavy, or too light, it can really destroy your swing. Youth bats for ages 11 and under should be a -7 to -8 drop weight. The 12-13-year-old should be swinging a -5 drop weight (along with a full size 2.5" barrel). And for high school and up, a -3 or heavier drop weight is required. As a heads up, a power hitter's bat for a standard size bat rarely exceeds a -2 drop weight. The lower the number after the negative sign, the heavier the bat will be. So, a -3 drop weight bat is lighter than a -2 drop weight bat. So how do you find it the drop weight of a bat, if not listed? Check out the example below, and do the math:

[Bat weight in ounces]  -  [Bat Length in inches]  = Drop Weight

A 25-ounce bat measuring 30 inches long has a drop weight of -5

Conversely, if the drop weight is listed but not the weight, you can figure the weight by:

[Bat Length in inches]  - Drop Weight = [Bat weight in ounces]

A 30-inch long bat with -5 drop weight = 25 ounces

4. Find Common Ground

At Phoenix, we get a lot of questions about common bat sizes based on a hitter’s age and/or grade level. Questions like “What size bat do I need for high school?” or “What size bat should a ten-year-old use?” That’s a great place to start looking and the answer is easy. Check out the chart below to get a general idea of typical drop weights and bat lengths based upon age level. Some of the drop weights will vary based on the league you are playing in, so be sure to check before you purchase your bat. Regardless, with Phoenix Risk-Free Guarantee, we've got you covered if you order the wrong bat.

 

Ages Bat Length(in inches) Drop Weight
Under 7 24-26 -8
8-9 26-29 -8 to -7
10-11 28-30 -8 to -7
12-13 29-32 -5
14-15 31-33 -3
16-18 32-34 -3 to -2.5
18 & Over 32-34 -3 to -2

 

For a more precise measurement of length based on age, refer to section 1 above.

5. Put It All Together

When you consider these great tips and formulas to determine how to size a baseball bat, you need to keep in mind they are just starting points. Most experts agree what really matters most is finding a bat size and weight you feel most comfortable swinging.

If you are new to a wood bat and are swinging a metal bat now, we always recommend sticking with whatever length you swing in the metal bat. In this way, the great lessons and form that only comes from swinging wood get transferred back to the metal bat at the same point on the bat to maximize power and hits.

Couple these suggestions with the right wood in a properly weighted bat should put you well on your way to finding the perfect youth, high school, and adult wood bat. If you still need help, we’ve made it easy with these quick online resources. Check them out today:

 

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