Best Softball Bats for Youth (by Age)

Choosing a bat for your youth can be a difficult task, regardless of them starting their first softball season or choosing a new bat each year with them outgrowing last season’s bat.

Before starting you should also check your league’s requirements for or restrictions on (if any) bat lengths and weights.

Our easy to read guide will help you choose a bat for your upcoming season.

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 very important because there are myriad factors that have an impact on play 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 performance levels and bat composition before buying. For example, does your child need a slow or a fast pitch bat? If they’re playing fast ball, their gear must be designed for it (and vice versa). Generally, soft ball bats are heavier and take more energy to swing.

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 optimum right 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.

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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 fast ball 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 Finch Fastpitch Softball Bat (-13)

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
out of stock
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

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

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
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.
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Best Softball Bat for 8 Year Old

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

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
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.
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Best Softball Bat for 9 Year Old

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

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
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!
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Best Softball Bat for 10 Year Old

DeMarini 2019 CF Zen (-10) Fastpitch Bat

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
out of stock
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.
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Best Softball Bat for 11 Year Old

Louisville Slugger 2018 Proven -13 Fast Pitch Bat

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
out of stock
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.
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Best Softball Bat for 12 Year Old

Easton FP17HL12 Hyperlite 12 Fastpitch Softball Bat

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
out of stock
My 12 year old daughter loves this bat. Her hitting improved with the first swing. Nice composite bat for the money.
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Best Softball Bat for 13 Year Old

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

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
out of stock
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!
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Best Softball Bat for 14 Year Old

Louisville Slugger 2014 Xeno FPXN14 Softball Bat (-10)

Last update was on: May 23, 2019 7:45 pm
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.

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