What size bat for an 8 year old...

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March 12, 2009 3:26 PM

Lots of parents asking me this question. My son and I pick out his bat by eye and feel. General guidelines to share with others?
 
 
 
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March 12, 2009 3:29 PM

Depends on how big and strong he is. There is a wide disparity in size among 8-year-olds. They should not all be swinging the same sized bat.

One thing's for sure, if you let the kid choose, 99% of the time he will pick a bat that is too big for him. Most kids that age should probably be using 27's and 28's. A rare kid might swing a 29. Some of the smaller fry should perhaps still be using a 26, or choking up on a longer bat.

A big myth is that if the bat is lighter, you can go longer. Not true. The further the load is from the hands, the more torque it takes to control the barrel. Weight saved in the handle area does not really change this much. It may improve bat speed, but it doesn't improve bat head control.
 
Last edited by Midlo Dad March 12, 2009 3:30 PM
 
 
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March 12, 2009 8:18 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Midlo Dad:
Depends on how big and strong he is. There is a wide disparity in size among 8-year-olds. They should not all be swinging the same sized bat.

One thing's for sure, if you let the kid choose, 99% of the time he will pick a bat that is too big for him. Most kids that age should probably be using 27's and 28's. A rare kid might swing a 29. Some of the smaller fry should perhaps still be using a 26, or choking up on a longer bat.

A big myth is that if the bat is lighter, you can go longer. Not true. The further the load is from the hands, the more torque it takes to control the barrel. Weight saved in the handle area does not really change this much. It may improve bat speed, but it doesn't improve bat head control.



I agree,it also depends on how good the mechanics of the kid.A long sweeping swing and the kid will not be able to handle the longer or heavier bats.I would recomend that MOST stay in the -10 to -11 range.IMO,the -12 are too long for their weight distribution.Reasons stated above.


My son has a short compact swing and he is strong and has been able to handle the -9 bats since he was 6,he started using a 29", 20 oz bat when he was 8.He was on a machine then and he is still using the same bat now at 10 against live pitching.So,it is definatley something that is dictated by the kid himself but the above guidelines are good imo.
 
 
 
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March 12, 2009 8:41 PM

Last edited by RJM March 12, 2009 8:42 PM
 
 
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March 12, 2009 10:02 PM

If I saw a kid with a long, sweeping swing, you're right, I'd get him a shorter bat. Then start drills to make him CUT THAT OUT.

Fix it while he's young!
 
 
 
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March 12, 2009 11:00 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Midlo Dad:
If I saw a kid with a long, sweeping swing, you're right, I'd get him a shorter bat. Then start drills to make him CUT THAT OUT.

Fix it while he's young!


AGREED,just be sure they are ready and WILLING to "fix" it.

Young kids can be tricky,they want to succeed,but they want to play and have fun without too much effort for the most part.Finding fun and productive drills are key when dealing with youngsters.

A big part of that is putting bats in their hands that they CAN be succesful with will make it more fun for them.Not talking about bats with the most "pop" but those that the kids can actually swing and be productive with.
 
 
 
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March 12, 2009 11:25 PM

I've heard a general rule for length was to stand the bat vertically on the ground and have the bat knob come to his hip bone.My son just turned 9 at 4'7"-85 lbs. and he swings a 29"/-10 in games.It's an aluminum barrel-composite handle so it feels heavier than it is.For comparison,he swings a 28"/-7 aluminum bat that he says feels lighter than the game bat.I think that size of the player matters more than age.We have some boys on our team that are swinging bats in the 15-16oz range but they are significantly smaller.
 
 
 
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March 14, 2009 9:19 AM

Never buy a bat without swinging it a few times---the "feel" has to be right for the player---even the same model bat if bought on line may not feel the same as that same model if bought "live"---the feel of a bat is unique to each player

FOOTNOTE: and 8 year olds come in all size and shapes
 
Last edited by TRhit March 14, 2009 9:19 AM
 
 
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