If you’re going to play America’s pastime, you’re gonna need a bat. So go get one, slugger…
Step 1: Check the rules If you’re in a league, look up the restrictions for bats, both in material and size. Bats are usually made of wood or metal. The sweet spots are the same, but metal bats are easier to swing—though they’re often more expensive and banned from some leagues.
TIP: Little League bats typically must be under 2¼' in girth and less than 33' long.
Step 2: Visit a store Go to the store and pick out a few bats within your budget and size restrictions.
TIP: If you wear batting gloves, take them with you to the store and put them on them while handling the bats.
Step 3: Find your bat size Match your height with the appropriate bat size. Though there’s no hard-and-fast rule for matching a batter with his or her bat, there are some guidelines from which to start.
Step 4: Kids 8 to 10 Kids 8 to 10 should bat with a 16- or 17-ounce bat if they’re under 50' tall, all the way up to a 20-ounce bat if they’re over 60' tall.
Step 5: Kids 11 and 12 For 11 and 12 year olds, bats should fall between 18 to 23 ounces.
Step 6: High schoolers and older For high schoolers and up, bats range from 27 to 31 ounces.
Step 7: Test the bat Once you’ve selected the appropriate bat, pick it up and feel it. Take a few swings, being careful not to hit anybody or anything.
TIP: Take the bat with one hand and move it around with your arm extended. If the bat is too heavy for you, you’ll try and bend at your elbow—rather than your wrist—to move the bat around.
Step 8: Buy a bat Purchase the bat that feels the most comfortable. Take it to a batting cage and start swinging for the fences.
FACT: In 2007, New York City approved a ban on non-wood baseball bats for all high school games, saying balls fly off the bats at faster, more dangerous speeds.