Best Softball Bats for Youth (by Age)

Choosing the right bat for young players can be a difficult task, whether they’re starting their first softball season, or simply choosing a new bat each year that will support their growing bodies. That’s why we’ve done the research for you, and narrowed it down to the best possible bat you can buy for a young player based on their specific age.

We know how important it is to give your child the best possible chance of success during gameplay, so they can feel confident in themselves and enjoy the game to its fullest.

Use our easy to read guide to choose a bat for your upcoming season, so the only thing you have to worry about is having fun out there on the field.

Choosing a Youth Softball Bat – The Basics

If you want your child to excel at any sport, you first need to provide them with the right equipment. For softball players, gear selection is extremely important because of the many factors in a bat’s design that impact a player’s style and performance.

Your child’s weight, strength, height and speed isn’t exactly the same as their peers. So, the best softball bat for them is likely to be different too. This is why it’s important to consider a bat’s composition before buying it to make sure it’s optimized for your child’s specific needs. For example, soft ball bats are generally heavier and take more energy to swing. With this in mind, are you choosing a bat that’s lightweight enough, and designed for young players with smaller hands to maintain a sturdy grip on the bat? What about making sure the bat you choose is designed to minimize bat vibration and hand sting upon the ball’s impact? And if your child is just starting out and doesn’t yet have the confidence to swing with maximum precision and accuracy, are you choosing a bat that’s specifically designed with a larger “sweet spot”?

Keep reading for some helpful tips on picking the best softball bat for your child’s next game.

1. Look At Recommended Sizes

Head to a sporting goods store and you’ll find a variety of tools designed to help you make optimal gear choices. Softball size charts, for instance, are common in these stores. Just look for your child’s current height and weight. Then, read the recommendation provided on the chart. It’ll give you a suitable bat length and weight based on your child’s dimensions.

Image Source: <a href="https://www.softball.com/custserv/content.jsp?cmsName=BatSizingChart">Softball.com</a>

2. Do Some Quick Calculations

You can also do your own calculations to find an optimal bat length. This is sometimes useful for children who are outside the average height and weight categories for their age group. For example, your son or daughter might be very tall for their age.

To play fastball skillfully, a child aged 5-7 years needs a bat that’s 61 to 66cm long. Kids aged 8-9 years should play with a bat that’s 66 to 74cm in length. For each year after this, add approximately 2.54cm (or one inch) to the optimum bat length.

3. Know How to Shop for Drop

If you hear the term ‘drop’ used when discussing youth softball, just know it refers to the difference between a bat’s weight and length. The best softball bat for your child is, again, one with a drop that’s suitable for their age range or closely matched to their specific dimensions. Typically, children under ten play better with a smaller drop number (between -13.5 and -10).

4. Don’t Forget to Pick It Up

It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many people buy softball bats without handling them properly first. To get the perfect match, make sure your child has a chance to touch, carry, and manipulate the bat. Let them swing a little (as long as it’s safe to do so) and get a feel for how it sits in their hands.

5. Consider Handle Diameter

While it’s easy to overlook handle diameter, it’s actually a very important feature. It can certainly have a big impact on how your child plays. All softball bats are tapered at the handle end but thickness varies. You may find a slimmer handle more comfortable for a child with smaller, slender wrists. On the other hand, thickness reduces impact vibrations and boosts speed. Consider a compromise between comfort and performance.

6. Find the Right Material

Finally, we come to what is, perhaps, the most important feature of all – the softball bat’s composition and material makeup. There are traditional wooden bats, lightweight alloy bats and bats made from composite materials like cork, felt and polyurethane. The right choice for your child will depend on what type of game they play and the rules laid out by their team, club, league or organization.

Common Types of Fastpitch Softball Bats

Lightweight Alloy Bats

The most common type of alloy bat is the aluminum softball bat. It is lightweight, reasonably strong and inexpensive to buy. For these three reasons, it continues to be a popular choice with little leaguers. One of the biggest advantages is they can be played right away.

Alloy bats don’t require any ‘breaking in’ or practice play before they’ll perform at a high level. They do, however, give a smaller ‘sweet spot’ than wooden bats. So, it’s a little bit harder to hit forcefully and accurately with one of these.

Wooden Bats

It’s common to find children practicing with wooden bats but using alloy bats for tournaments and competitive matches. It’s because, generally, they’re slower. Wooden bats are heavier to swing. They can be wielded very powerfully but rarely as forcefully as a metal bat.

It’s why some leagues restrict players to wooden bats only – the risk of injury to others is reduced. Wooden bats are particularly well suited to slow pitch games and swinging practice at home or out in the park.

Composite Bats

There are many different kinds of composite bat so make sure to do your homework and pick a product that suits your child’s needs. The advantage to using composite materials is they tend to create well balanced bats.

When considering composites, know several different materials have been used to create a bat that’s lighter than wood but more accurate than alloy. The downside is they’re more expensive than either of these. They also need to be ‘broken in’ as a wooden bat does.

Best Softball Bat for 6 Year Old

Mizuno is trusted by some of the top fastpitch softball players in the world, including Team USA Legend Jennie Finch. This is a company that knows how important it is to have the right equipment during the early stages of a young player’s career. The Minzuno Finch is an extremely lightweight bat with a classic one-piece construction, forged from Mizuno’s MZ 1700 Alloy, and a cushioned grip to eliminate vibration.

Mizuno Finch Fastpitch Softball Bat (-13)

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
$69.95
My 6 year old daughter is small, even for 6, but she can swing the heck out of this bat. The ball jumps off the bat already and it has very few swings on it. This bat is balanced and is a great pick for a 5 – 8 year old player. I highly recommend this bat.
Coach Gil
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Best Softball Bat for 7 Year Old

The Easton MAKO 11 features an ultra-thin 29/32″ handle with an All Sports grip, which makes it easy to handle and control for young players with small hands and a light grip. Crafted from aluminum alloy, this bat is both durable enough to withstand hard hits, and lightweight enough for learning fast swing speeds.

Easton MAKO 11 Fastpitch Softball Bat, 30"/19 oz

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
This is a great bat my 7 year old daughter is on a u8 team and uses this bat, it is long enough for her to attack the strike zone but also light enough for to swing aggressively. Great bat for 6 to 8 year olds.
Brandon
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Best Softball Bat for 8 Year Old

The DeMarini Bustos allows young players to reach their full potential with cutting-edge bat technology, including a 2-piece hybrid comfort grip and fiber reinforced composite handles to prevent hand sting and vibrations. This bat’s handle and barrel are also performance matched, meaning that the bat responds to the energy of a fast moving ball with optimal flex and recoil. Built with DX1 Alloy, and a rotation index to remind players to constantly rotate their bat during play, this bat will continue to perform season-after-season.

DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Bat (-13), 30-Inch/17-Ounce

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
My 8 year old was hitting markedly harder from the first time she used it. She loves the reduced vibration vs. an aluminum bat. She LOVES this bat. I should note that due to more weight being in the barrel, she had to get used to a bat that feels a bit heavier.
Keith
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Best Softball Bat for 9 Year Old

The DeMarini Vendetta C6’s fully carbon composite design gives it unparalleled flex, acting as a springboard for the ball to launch it maximum distances. This bat features a C6 composite barrel and an Internal Rails Hybrid Handle to help eliminate vibration and hand sting when making hard hits, while still maintaining power. DeMarini also knows the importance of a well structured end-cap for a bat’s swing weight, feel, and even sound. With Clutch End-Cap technology developed exclusively for DeMarini , this bat is optimized for all three of those performance factors.

Demarini Vendetta C6-12 Fastpitch Softball Bat (White/Black, 31-Inch/19-Ounce)

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
We have used demarini bats for years. I bought this bat for my 9 year old. She has always been a great hitter and she bats both ways. We had the bustos bat the last couple of years and it was a good bat. We felt it was time to get a good composite bat. The vendetta c6 is a great bat! Lightweight, easy to swing and no sting in the hands. Last year she hit well with her bustos bat. This year she is crushing the ball in practice and in games. She is the youngest on her under 12 team and has the highest batting average!
Flash
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Best Softball Bat for 10 Year Old

DeMarini’s CF Zen Fastpitch Bat takes advantage of a 3-Fusion Technology System, meaning that each section of the bat was designed to work together, symbiotically, for optimal performance. For example, this bat’s 3-Fusion end-cap and handle work together to redirect energy back down the barrel when making contact with the ball for powerful hits. This bat’s Paraflex Composite materials also give the bat optimal flex. It’s these technologies that continuously puts DeMarini’s at the top of the game, with some of the lightest swinging and highest performing bats on the market.

DeMarini 2019 CF Zen (-10) Fastpitch Bat

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
$247.77
AWESOME BAT! had the CF8, but this one has much more “pop”. my 10 year old hit the ball twice as far on her first 2 hits with it. Highly recommend.
Kashmac
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Best Softball Bat for 11 Year Old

Louisville Slugger is one of the most trusted names in the game. Their 2018 Proven series is a 100% composite design with a 1-piece construction so the bat feels sturdy and easy to control. This design makes the bat great for younger players who are still learning how to control their bat at higher swing speeds. This well-constructed bat from a time-tested brand also comes at a great value.

Louisville Slugger 2018 Proven -13 Fast Pitch Bat

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
$44.99
Seems to be a solid bat at a great price. My 11 year old loves it. It has noticable pop compared to her old aluminum bat. She lacks bats speed, so the -13 helps out a bit. I’m not sure how long it will hold up, but for the price, you can’t beat it.
Adam
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Best Softball Bat for 12 Year Old

Easton’s Hyperlite bat is just what it sounds like: light. With Easton’s CXN zero two-piece Conation Technology, players can make big hits without experiencing vibration or hand sting. This bat’s ultra-thin 29/32″ composite handle and 1.2mm Hyperskin grip allows players to maintain a solid, comfortable hold on the bat throughout gameplay. This bat also has a smooth, evenly-balanced swing weight, so that players already feel accustomed to the bat on first use.

Easton FP17HL12 Hyperlite 12 Fastpitch Softball Bat

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
My 12 year old daughter loves this bat. Her hitting improved with the first swing. Nice composite bat for the money.
Jacqueline
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Best Softball Bat for 13 Year Old

The Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus series takes advantage of S1iD technology to create a larger “sweet spot” on the barrel where the ball will catch it maximum pop. It’s hard to understate the significance that this massive sweet spot has on both a player’s consistency and confidence. This bat also has a stiffer feel, with a zero-friction double-wall design to maximize flex while minimizing resistance.

Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus 17 (-10) Fast Pitch Softball Bat

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
$169.88
Good bat with great pop. My 13 year old plays select and everyone on the team loves this bat. Still breaking it in but so far so good!
Kevin
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Best Softball Bat for 14 Year Old

This bat from the Louisville Slugger Xeno series features S1iD inner disc technology, which maximizes barrel flex without increasing resistance. With a LS-2X composite thin walled, light weight barrel, this bat lets players hit at extremely fast exit speeds that come as close to the legal limit as possible without surpassing it. In other words, this bat allows players to hit hard and fast. This model is available in three different weight drops—(-10), (-9),(-8). This is a bat designed for the serious fastpitch player with high aspirations.

Louisville Slugger 2014 Xeno FPXN14 Softball Bat (-10)

Last update was on: September 17, 2019 5:03 am
out of stock
After only 3 games, the bat started really making a difference in her hits, lots more power. I also brought it to my competitive Co-Ed Adult League, and all the guys and girls were ripping the ball and loved the bat. If you are on the fence about this bat, (pun intended, lol) I don’t know if you will beat it for the price.
Brookeh

It can be challenging to find the right bat for young players who’s bodies are constantly growing and changing. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the best softball bats for youth by age, so you easily can locate the equipment that will optimize your child’s performance to give them the best possible chance of successful gameplay.

We chose these bats because they were constructed with specific technologies and features that will assist your child’s learning curve—such as larger sweet spots and reduced hand sting upon ball impact—so they can feel confident in themselves and enjoy themselves out on the field. After all, young players are at their best when they’re not only operating at peak performance, but having fun doing it.

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