If you're in the market for a new Little League bat, there are many things to consider before making your purchase. Bats for Little Leaguers can be pricey, but the top-rated ones will meet league performance standards and help your little athletes do their best when it's their turn to bat. Selecting a bat made with the best materials and of appropriate length, weight and performance factor will ensure you've chosen the best bat for your player.
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Bat Performance Factor
When choosing the best Little League baseball bat, an important consideration is BPF, or bat performance factor. BPF is a measure of a bat's elasticity, which plays a role in how far a ball will travel when hit with the same force by different bats. The purpose of regulating BPF is to prevent an unfair advantage from being given to any batter. Generally, aluminum bats have a slightly greater BPF than wooden bats. BPF is printed on the barrel of a bat, and top-rated bats will comply with the standard for Little League baseball, which is 1.15.
Little League baseball bats can come in a variety of materials. The best one for a particular player will depend on his size, strength and preferences. Traditional bats are made of wood, but many players prefer alloy bats because of superior performance and durability. Hybrid and "half and half" bats are additional options that feature a mixture of materials, such as aluminum, alloy or carbon. Bats made of composite, fiberglass-like materials feature higher price tags and a "break in" period of about 200 to 300 hits with a genuine leather ball, but they may outperform alloy bats.
Size and Weight
The top choices for your Little Leaguer should include bats that are the appropriate size and weight for his body. Bat weight can typically range from 16 to 20 ounces, depending on the length of the bat and the strength of the player. Some players may do better with a slightly heavier bat, as this will help maximize batting power. Others are better off with a lighter bat, which will allow them to capitalize on swing speed rather than power.
Ensure that your bat meets league regulations before purchasing a Little League bat. In Little League, bats should be 33 inches or less with a barrel diameter no larger than 2.25 inches. If the bat is wooden and has any dents or imperfections from use, it must be able to pass through a standard 2.25 inch ring to be approved for play. A bat that has undergone any form of alteration cannot be used. Bats with any composite materials in the barrel are subject to approval by the Little League Baseball committee. Such bats must appear on the moratorium of composite bats that meet bat performance standards in order to be considered legal in Little League. An updated list of all bats that meet Little League Baseball regulations is available on the association's website.