Bat Sizing

Bat Chart*

Success at the plate often comes down to this: making consistent hard contact against live pitching. To do this, it’s important to swing the right bat for you. That means a bat that’s long enough to cover the strike zone, light enough to swing with ease, heavy enough to generate power, and, of course, permitted in your league. In order to find the ideal size for you, consider the following guidelines:

WeightHeight
3'-3'4" 91.44cm‑101.6cm 3'5"-3'8" 104.14cm‑111.76cm 3'9"-4' 114.3cm‑121.92cm 4'1"-4'4" 124.46cm‑132.08cm 4'5"-4'8" 134.62cm‑142.24cm 4'9"-5' 144.78cm‑152.4cm 5'1"-5'4" 154.94cm‑162.56cm 5'5"-5'8" 165.1cm‑162.56cm 5'9"-6' 175.26cm‑182.88cm 6'1"-Over 185.42cm‑Over
Under 60 Lbs. Under 27.22 Kg.26" 66.04cm27" 68.58cm28" 71.12cm29" 73.66cm29" 73.66cm     
61 - 70 27.67kg-31.75kg27" 68.58cm27" 68.58cm28" 71.12cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm    
71 - 80 32.21kg-36.29kg 28" 71.12cm28" 71.12cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm   
81 - 90 36.74kg-40.82kg 28" 71.12cm29" 73.66cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28  
91 - 100 41.28kg-45.36kg 28" 71.12cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm  
101 - 110 45.81kg-49.90kg 29" 73.66cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm  
111 - 120 50.35kg-54.43kg 29" 73.66cm29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm  
121 - 130 54.88kg-59.00kg 29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm 
131 - 140 59.42kg-63.50kg 29" 73.66cm30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm 
141 - 150 63.96kg-68.04kg  30" 76.2cm30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm 
151 - 160 68.49kg-72.57kg  30" 76.2cm31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm
161 - 170 73.03kg-77.11kg   31" 78.74cm31" 78.74cm32" 81.28cm32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm34" 86.36cm
171 - 180 77.56kg-81.65kg     32" 81.28cm33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm34" 86.36cm34" 86.36cm
Over 180 Over 81,65kg      33" 83.82cm33" 83.82cm34" 86.36cm34" 86.36cm
MOST POPULAR LENGTH BY AGE
AGE5 - 78 - 91011 - 1213 - 1415 - 16
LENGTH24" - 26" 60.96cm‑66.04cm26" - 28" 66.04cm‑71.12cm28" - 29" 71.12cm‑73.66cm30" - 31" 76.2cm‑78.74cm31" - 32" 78.74cm‑81.28cm32" - 33" 81.28cm‑83.82cm

Length

Bat length is measured in inches from knob to end cap. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to hit balls on the outside part of the plate. However, longer bats also tend to have more mass towards the end of the bat that requires more power to swing them. We recommend swinging bats of different lengths to decide what option best suits your swing. The right combination of length and weight will help you reach your peak performance.

Baseball bats most commonly are found between 24-34 inches. Please check the size chart for examples of what length may be appropriate for you.

Many baseball players mistakenly believe a longer bat means more plate coverage, but this is not always true. Since a longer bat often means a heavier feeling bat, a bat that is too long for you can slow down your timing and prevent you from catching up to and hitting inside pitches. Even some Major League players swing bats as short as 32 inches. When choosing your bat length, you should keep plate coverage in mind. You should also consider your swing and stance relative to the plate.

Weight**

Bat weight is measured in ounces (oz.). A bat’s weight is often tied to its “weight drop” -- its length in inches versus its weight in ounces. For instance, a 32-inch, 22-ounce bat would be referred to as a -10 bat.

bat length (in.) – bat weight (oz.) = weight drop

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the competition or league level (meaning, from youth league up to the pros) the lesser the weight drop. A lesser weight drop means the bat feels heavier. So a -5 bat will feel heavier than a -10 bat.

Selecting the right bat weight depends on three main factors: sport, league rules, and player preference.

  • Leagues have rules identifying which weight drops are permitted for play. Prior to choosing a bat, we recommend finding out if your league has a specific standard for bat weight drops in order for them to be permitted. For more information on league rules, please refer to the Your League section.

  • Players with less experience generally swing lighter bats in order to have better bat control. More experienced players generally swing a heavier bats to help maximize power. A way to tell if a bat is right for you is your swing speed. A bat that is too heavy is harder to swing, causing a loss in momentum, reduced distance or a miss altogether. If a bat is too light for a player, the player could miss out on the extra force they could generate from a heavier bat. A happy medium needs to be found. It is highly recommended you demo a bat against live pitching speeds in order to find the best weight for you.

Most common weight drops in various baseball leagues are -12, -10, -9, -8, -5, and -3. As you progress toward high school baseball, the weight drop lowers (the bats become heavier). When moving to a heavier bat, you may then decide to drop an inch in length to more easily handle the additional weight. This is a matter of personal preference and comfort at the plate as you advance in age, league and skill level.

Shop By Weight Drop

*This is for example purposes only. The best way to find the right size bat for you is to demo the bat, preferably against live pitch speeds.

**Manufacturing tolerances, performance considerations and grip weight may cause variations from the listed weight.

Leagues

Governing Bodies

Governing bodies (for example, the USSSA and USA Baseball) set unique standards for bat performance. Bat manufacturers make bats to meet these standards. Each standard, however, is different. So, bats meeting one standard may not meet another. Bats are marked with logos identifying the standard which they meet.

Leagues adopt the standard they deem appropriate for play under their particular rules. League adoptions vary region by region, so we highly recommend consulting your coach and/or league official to understand the standard adopted by your league prior to purchasing a new bat.

The following information will help you understand in the standard adopted by your league.

Select your governing body or league*:
*Regulations for each league are subject to change. In order to have the most up-to-date information, please contact your coach or league official.

BBCOR Certified logo
BBCOR

College and High School Baseball

  • -3 Drop Weight
  • Barrel Diameter 2 58” or less
USSSA logo
USSSA

Senior League Baseball

  • Wide Weight Drop Range
  • Wide Barrel Range Diameter
USA Baseball logo
USA Baseball

USABat Standard

  • No Weight Restriction
  • Maximum Barrel Diameter of 2 58

College and High School Baseball

  • Maximum drop weight of -3
  • Maximum barrel diameter of 2 58
  • Most wood bats are allowed under BBCOR rules

There are multiple ways to recognize a BBCOR bat. The easiest way is to look for the BBCOR certification stamp where the handle meets the barrel. Another way to identify a BBCOR Louisville Slugger bat are the knob and the packaging sticker, both of which are blue.

BBCOR knob
BBCOR Sticker
BBCOR Stamp

Wood bats are also legal for BBCOR play and do not need the BBCOR mark. Wood composite bats on the other hand do need the BBCOR mark to be legal for play.

Not all -3 BBCOR bats feel the same. Often, a line of BBCOR bats is made with varying swing weights, from light-swinging to balanced to end-loaded. The swing weight is influenced by how the bat’s weight is distributed. End-loaded bats have more weight toward the end cap, more and have a relatively higher swing weight for that reason. More balanced bats have their weight distributed more evenly and have a relatively lower swing weight for that reason. For more information on end-loaded and balanced bats, please see the Bat Tech section.

USSSA - United States Sports Specialty Association

USSSA (United States Sports Specialty Association) is one of the largest baseball associations in the United States. USSSA separates their regulations by age group, with a range of permitted weight drops and barrel diameters. In order to find the most accurate information about what can be used in your USSSA league, we recommend contacting your coach and/or league official, or checking the USSSA website.

Ways to recognize bats certified for USSSA play include the USSSA logo on the taper of the bat, and the red knob and packaging sticker.

USSSA knob
USSSA sticker
USSSA Stamp

Weight drops vary in Senior League baseball, but players 10 years old and under often use -10 weight drop bat. Players 11-12 years old will often use a -8 weight drop, and 13 year old players often use a -5 weight drop.**

**These are recommendations. Check with your coach/league official to find out what your league rules allow.

Youth Baseball

Effective January 1st, 2018, USA Baseball will adopt a new bat standard for youth baseball bats. All players participating in leagues that have adopted the USA Baseball bat standard will be required to use a USA Baseball-certified bat (a “USABat(s)” Standard). On January 1, only bats that have the USA Baseball mark will be legal for play in these leagues.

Louisville Slugger bats that pass the USA Bat certification will have these marks:

USA Baseball Knob
USA Baseball Sticker
USA Baseball Stamp

The following national member organizations will be adopting the USA Baseball bat standard beginning January 1, 2018:

Pony League Logo
Little League Logo
Dixie Youth Baseball Logo
Cal Ripken Baseball Logo
Babe Ruth League Logo
All American Baseball Center Logo

Louisville Slugger USABat FAQ

*In order to have the most up-to-date information or if you have specific questions about your league, please contact your coach and/or league official.

Bat Technology

A bat is more than just a hunk of metal or wood. It is a carefully-engineered tool that allows players to get the most out of every swing. Every component of the bat, from the knob to the end cap, is designed to maximize every ounce of performance. There are four main tech components you need to know for your bat: material, barrel diameter, construction and weight balance.

Material

One of the biggest influences on bat performance is its material. Bats are made of metal, composites, or wood. Metal and composite bats, are typically made of composite or alloy material, are traditionally used for youth baseball through college baseball. Wood, meanwhile, is used throughout the professional levels, as well as for specific amateur and travel ball leagues/organizations. Please read below to learn more about bat materials and how they affect performance.

Composite Vs. Alloy

Non-wood bats are built from either alloy, composite, or a combination of the two.

Composite bat cross section
Composite

Composite bats are made with a layered material (often carbon fiber) that is easy to distribute, giving us the ability to make bats with a variety of swing weights, from balanced to end-loaded.

Pros of Composite:

  • Minimize the sting from a mis-hit ball by reducing vibration to the hands

  • Often have a larger sweet spot than alloy bats

Alloy bat cross section
Alloy

Alloy is a mixture of two or more metals, and has been commonly used in baseball bats for years.

Pros of Alloy:

  • Stiffer feel through the swing zone

  • More durable material

Construction

One-piece bats are one complete piece of composite or alloy and are often used by power hitters, since they provide less flex on contact.

Multi-piece bats are comprised of two separate parts: the barrel and the handle. The handle is connected to the barrel through a transition piece in the taper area of the bat. Multi-piece construction helps minimize vibration on mis-hit balls. Those bats are preferred by contact hitters, since the two-part construction helps generate maximum swing speed without the fear of major sting on contact.

Swing Weight

A factor you may not see, but will definitely feel is the swing weight* of your bat. Bats are often segmented by their given length and weight. The Swing weight is a determination of how a bat’s particular weight is distributed along the bat’s length. For example, you can have two bats that are 30 ounces, but that have different swing weights because the 30 ounces are distributed differently in the bat. Bats can fall along the swing weight spectrum, from light to balanced to end-loaded.

End-loaded bats shift extra weight toward the end of the barrel, creating more whip-like action on a player’s swing and generating more power.

Balanced bats have a more even weight distribution, allowing for potentially greater swing speed for many hitters. This is preferred by contact hitters who want more control of their swing.

*Note - there are a variety of swing weights offered to meet player needs.

Barrel Diameter

The barrel is the thickest and widest part of the bat used to hit the ball. The barrel is where you want to hit the ball in order to achieve maximum performance.

Barrels come in different sizes, and are measured by diameter. Barrel diameter is measured in inches and, like weight drop, certain leagues limit the size of a bat’s barrel. Please refer to the Leagues to check your league’s requirements. Generally, these are the most common barrel diameters:

  • 234 inches
  • 258 inches
  • 214 inches

Wood

There are three main types of wood bats that players use

Ash wood sample
Ash

Still widely popular among big leaguers, Ash provides the ultimate in flexibility due to its unique grain structure. More forgiving than Maple, Ash rarely sees multi-piece fractures when the bat breaks. Visible grain lines allow for noticeable quality, giving you the confidence you need when you step up to the plate.

Maple wood sample
Maple

The species preferred by most pro players, Maple features the ultimate surface hardness and provides an unmatched sound and feel at contact. Naturally harder, Maple offers added strength at impact. Closed grains eliminate flaking commonly seen with Ash, allowing for superior durability.

Birch wood sample
Birch

The fastest growing species in professional baseball, Birch features the ideal combination of surface hardness and flexibility for increased durability. Its hardness (similar to Maple) provides great sound and feel at contact. Flexibility similar to Ash allows for forgiveness on non-barrel contact, decreasing the chance of multi-piece fractured breakage. Birch is less dense than maple, giving it a lighter feel on comparable turning models.

*Wood bats are more likely to break or crack on mishits than Alloy and Composite bats.

Construction

These are the types of finishes on a bat. A finish is the combination of the color and “look” of the bat. On top of the finish a hard coat is applied to make the bat’s surface even harder. On the top of the line MLB Prime wood bats, Louisville Slugger uses Exo Armour Premium Hardcoat which makes the bat twice as hard.

Finish

These are the types of finishes on a bat. A finish is the combination of the color and “look” of the bat. On top of the finish a hard coat is applied to make the bat’s surface even harder. On the top of the line MLB Prime wood bats, Louisville Slugger uses Exo Armour Premium Hardcoat which makes the bat twice as hard.

Gloss sample
Gloss
Matte sample
Matte
Distressed sample
Distressed

Seamless Decals

Louisville Slugger’s exclusive new Seamless Decals give MLB Prime bats a pristine look. All MLB Prime models feature branding that blends into the bat almost as intricately as the grain of the wood itself – without added stress from pressure and heat. This leads to a bat made of wood in its purest, hardest form with decals applied directly under the top coat. Thanks to innovative technology, MLB Prime bats continue to shine after countless trips to the plate.

Knob Style - Round Knob Vs. Flare Knob

Not all knobs are the same. Some bats have a more rounded knob while others feature a more gradual flare. The choice between the two simply comes down to personal preference.

Ink Dot

An ink dot on a bat certifies that the wood is MLB grade. Often MLB-quality wood bats are bone-rubbed, which is the process of making a bat denser by compressing the wood.

Ink Dot being applied to a bat
Ink dot example on a bat

Cupped Vs. Non-cupped

Cupping a bat is the process in which the end of the barrel is hollowed out to remove weight while maintaining length. This process creates a slightly more balanced feel to your swing and is especially effective on larger-barrel bats for increased swing speed.

Cupped bat end example
Non cupped bat end example

Turning Model

The turning model refers to the specific shape of the bat. Different turning models have different specifications. Here are the areas where turning models differ:

  • Barrel Measurement: is the diameter in the largest part of the barrel.
  • Barrel taper: indicates whether the bat has a short dramatic transition through the taper, or long transition through the taper.
  • Handle thickness: measures the diameter of the handle.
  • Knob taper: identifies what kind of taper exists for that turning model. Here are the three types.
    • No taper: handle comes straight into the knob with no flare.
    • Traditional taper: a gradual flare to the handle as it reaches the knob.
    • Max taper: an aggressive flare to the handle as it joins the knob for a wider feel in your bottom hand.