Some kids love diamonds because they shine, others love diamonds because they can play a great game of tee ball on one. If your young kids love baseball and want to give it a shot, they are going to need to start small. After all, tee ball is where most baseball players make their debuts!
Tee ball is the perfect introduction to baseball – and you will want to give your child or players the best equipment to enjoy the game with! Although there is other fantastic gear out there, finding the best tee ball bat is a necessary place to start. To help you along, we have compiled a treasure trove of information to keep your search simple and sweet.
By the end of this article we will have answered the following questions for you:
- What exactly is a tee ball bat?
- Main things you should look out for when buying one
- How to size it properly for the player
- What is the best tee ball bat for kids?
- Pros and cons of some top brand equipment
What Is A Tee Ball Bat
Before we talk about the bats, let’s chat about the sport. Tee ball is a team sport that is basically a very simple version of baseball and softball. This version exists for young kids, to introduce them to the world of baseball. A tee ball bat is what players hit the tee ball with. So, if your child is likely to be rotated into the batting position, having their own bat is essential.
Tee ball bats are designed for kids to use. They are lightweight, so they are perfect for budding baseball players, generally under age six. They aren’t designed to hit a live pitch – but to hit off a tee. Again, this is perfect for practicing, getting to grips with the gear, and avoiding potential injuries.
Having their own best tee ball bat to play with, instead of sharing with the team, will help kids to improve their playing skills, especially if they enjoy practicing at home. If you are sharing a bat amongst team members, it is also important to be on the lookout for damage.
Typically, children between the ages of four and seven play tee ball, and the tee ball associations look for this age range to play in their leagues. They also specify the best tee ball bat sizings. Currently, the bats need to be 25 to 26 inches long, 2.25 or 2.63 inches in diameter, and must weigh a maximum of 20 ounces to be used in league games.
An important thing to keep in mind is that tee ball bats are not a long term investment. Kids generally play the game for one or two years before switching over to baseball – which is something to think about if you are considering buying a bat that your child will grow into.
What To Look For in a Tee Ball Bat
Choosing the best tee ball bat for your child is important. Some parents may just grab the first bat they see on display, but it very well may be too long or heavy for the player. This will impact the ease at which kids play tee ball – it will throw off how well they swing and hit.
The tee ball bat with the right features will help your little player get ready to score their runs in the future! So, it really is important to pay attention to length, weight, barrel diameter, temperature, and length to weight ratio.
Before launching into features, it is good to know that many tee ball associations require players to play with a bat that has a USA baseball logo stamped onto it.
Although this is a feature that is commonly ignored when choosing the best tee ball bat, it can be important in terms of durability. Bats for all sports, of any material, can become damaged when used in temperatures outside of what they can to withstand.
Most brands indicate the minimum temperature that the bat can handle on the packaging. That said, a general rule is to steer clear of temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Luckily for those hot summer days, there isn’t a maximum heat the bats shouldn’t be exposed to. However, composite bats, which make use of reinforced carbon fiber polymer, can have more pop (bounciness) in higher temperatures.
Length is something quite important in choosing your tee ball bat. From the knob, or the bottom of the bat, to the end of the barrel – length will impact your child’s play. Generally, the length of the tee ball bats is measured in inches. The most common lengths for them are 24, 25 and 26 inches.
Although most players will find themselves quite enjoying the swing of the 25 or 26 inch bat, some bats are as long as 28 inches. Although, as mentioned previously, the tee ball associations only allow 25 or 26 inch bats – which is something to keep in mind if your kids want to play in the leagues.
Whilst length is measured in inches, weight is measured in ounces. The general weight range for the best tee ball bat choices is around 13 to 18 ounces, and most players have found themselves comfortable with bats that are approximately 15 or 16 ounces.
However, this is very dependent on the player, and you do get tee bats that weigh up to 20 ounces, as well as others that weigh as little as 10 ounces! Again, in terms of the tee ball associations – make sure that your bat doesn’t weigh more than 20 ounces if your kid wants to play in leagues.
Length To Weight Ratio
The weight of the tee ball bat minus its length gives you the drop weight of the product. As the weight will always be less than the length numerically, the drop weight will always be a negative number. As an example – if your bat is 23 inches in length, and weighs 13 ounces, the drop weight of the bat is going to be -10.
Most of the best tee ball bat products have a drop weight range of around -10 to -13. Depending on the drop weight is your ease of swing. A bat with a drop weight of, say, -13, will be very light to swing. On the other hand, a bat with a drop weight of -10 requires the player to swing with more strength as it will be a fair amount heavier.
The diameter of the barrel is another fairly important thing to take into consideration. This is essentially how thick, or thin, the barrel of the tee ball bat is. Generally, there will be a 2.25 or 2.63 inch diameter. For tee ball associations, you can use either measurement.
The diameter of the barrel determines the surface area of your bat, which will impact the ease with which you hit the tee ball. Fatter barrels can be a big help to younger players, as they can make contact with the ball a lot more easily.
If the barrel is thinner, it will be harder for players to hit the ball. However, this has its benefits – it will train the player to have a more focused swing, as the margin for error is less. This will be useful if your child decides to pursue baseball, or softball, when they are old enough.
How To Size A Tee Ball Bat
Choosing the size for your young player’s tee ball bat is crucial to their early game development! In the section above, we spoke about the factors to consider when you buy a tee ball bat. However, you also need to know how to choose the weight, length and barrel diameter!
Luckily, there are three very easy methods to choose from to test for the correct length, and an equally easy way to test for the correct weight of the bat. The barrel diameter, on the other hand, depends on the age and experience of the player.
There are a couple of ways of testing which length bat your little player should be using. First up – get your child to stand with their arms stretched out to the side, with the knob of the bat placed at the center of their chest.
With the bat parallel to their arm, step back and watch where the end of the barrel is. If the barrel reaches their palm, comfortably and without them stretching, then the bat is the correct length.
The second way of measuring if the bat is the correct length is also very easy to execute. Place the knob of the bat at the center of your child’s chest again – this time, with the bat facing forward. Ask them to reach one of their arms forward and hold the barrel of the bat. If they can reach the barrel where the diameter is at its thickest, that means it is the right length.
Lastly, ask your child to stand up straight and straighten their legs fully. Make sure they don’t lean against the wall for this one. Ask them to hold the knob of the bat in one hand, facing downwards, parallel to their leg. If the end of the barrel reaches the ground while they are holding it straight, then it is the right length.
Looking for the right weight of the tee ball bat is also fairly simple, and involves the use of the drop weight. This should be displayed on the packaging. If it isn’t – simply refer to the section above where we explain drop weight calculation.
To test for the right weight, ask your child to hold the knob of the bat, and hold it out to the side for about half a minute to 45 seconds. If it dips slightly before this, as your child’s arm gets a bit tired, then the bat is too heavy. If they can keep holding the bat for that long, then it is going to be a comfortable weight for them to swing with.
Diameter Of The Barrel
If the player is very young, or just starting out, it is more beneficial to have a thicker barrel diameter. This will allow them to hit the ball more easily.
However, if your player is in the upper age range of four to seven years old, would like something more challenging, or would like to train their hitter’s eye – a smaller barrel diameter is recommended.
Best Tee Ball Bat Reviews
If you are tuned into the world of baseball, you will have heard the top-shelf brand names like Easton, Rawlings, Axe, and Mizuno. There are plenty of great brands out there, just waiting to make your kids happy!
1. Rawlings Raptor USA Youth Tee Ball Bat
The Rawlings Raptor best tee ball bat is one of our favorites, made by a brand with an excellent reputation. In the mid-price range, this product offers great value for money and comes in three sizes – 24, 25, and 26 inches. It is offered in two color schemes, both of which will definitely appeal to your young player.
Made from an alloy, the Rawlings Raptor is known for its durability. This is important if you are sharing a bat between team members, or practicing a lot. Tee ball bats are much lighter than normal baseball bats and although tee balls are softer than baseballs, tee ball bats are more prone to damage.
This bat is stamped with a USA baseball logo. The drop weight is -12, so it is on the heavier side for swinging, if you have young children under five years old. However, the end of the barrel is perimeter weighted, which will offset the energy needed for the swing.
For older children, it is on the lighter side. This means that although it will be easy for them to swing, it won’t generate a lot of energy for the hit. The barrel diameter is 2.25, which fits the specifications for league games. This bat offers a large sweet spot – allowing for more room for error than many other bats out there.
- 25 inch barrel diameter
- Three sizes offered – 24, 25, and 26 inch length.
- Made from a durable alloy
- Offered in two color schemes
- Stamped with a USA baseball logo
- Perimeter weighted end cap transfers energy to the swing
- A large sweet spot
- A large sweet spot could become problematic, as kids will be used to a larger surface area to make contact with the ball
2. Franklin Sports Venom Tee Ball Bat
This USA Tee-ball association approved bat is stamped with their logo. This means that it can be used to play in any tee ball league. The Franklin Sports Venom bat is constructed from an aluminum alloy to increase durability. At the lower end of the price range, these bats are a steal!
This is great for kids who want to practice a lot, or for teams sharing a bat. For drill practice, the material used is efficient and effective. Also – there is quite a thrill in hearing the tell-tale ‘pop’ of a connecting hit. Franklin is a very trusted brand in terms of game gear, and certainly know how to make one of the best tee ball bat options.
In selecting these bats, you get a choice of nine drop weights. This is great for getting the perfect control for your little player’s swing. In addition to this, the bats come with a very handy Hi-Tack grip, to stop the bat from slipping. This is great in helping your little players learn how to correctly hold a bat, and aids them in swing practice.
There are three funky color schemes to choose from, to help personalize the bat. They come in white, green or blue designs that your kids will love! In terms of length, the three standard sizes of 24, 25, and 26 inches are available to choose from. These bats are designed for smooth swing and maneuverability. The weight of this bat is very well balanced, boasting a light frame that still offers good energy upon contact with the ball.
- USA T-ball Association approved
- Hi-Tack grip
- Many different drop weights offered
- Thee sizes offered
- Hi-Tack grip is useful in teaching young players how to correctly hold a bat
- There are many options of size combinations to get perfect control
- Purchasers have complained about bad and inefficient packaging
- There are some reports of the bats becoming dented after little use
3. 2019 Rawlings Quatro Pro Tee Ball Bat
We think that the Rawlings Quatro Pro is one of the best tee ball bat choices due to its fantastic combination of control and maneuverability. With a drop weight of -11 and length options of 25 and 26 inches, this bat offers exceptional balance and performance. The swing is comfortable, which makes all the difference to your little ones who are just learning the basics.
The barrel is 2.63 inches, which is the largest barrel diameter allowed in league games. This larger barrel makes it easier to make contact with the ball – which is great for younger and newer players. The sweet spot is also enlarged as a result. This is good because a bigger sweet spot can increase the confidence levels of your little players – an effect that often gets overlooked.
With an end cap on the bat, the swing of the Rawlings Quatro Pro is balanced – the weight is not changed, but the mass has. This makes hitting with this bat easier for younger players. Built from an aluminum alloy, this bat is durable. The best part – you get that satisfying ‘pop’ when contact is made with the ball.
Price-wise, this Rawlings bat is on the upper end. However, it is still well priced in comparison to real baseball bats. If you are looking to justify buying your kids a more upmarket bat, there is your ticket! In addition to all these features, this bat is approved for all league games, which is always a perk.
- Approved for all tee ball league games
- Drop weight of -11
- 25 and 26 inch lengths are offered
- The make is durable and balanced – and it makes a ‘pop’
- The frame is light, with a weighted end cap
- Large sweet spot
- There is only one drop weight to choose from
- There are only two lengths to choose from
- On the more expensive side of the best tee ball bat ranges
4. 2019 Axe Avenge Hyperwhip Tee Ball Bat
This best tee ball bat brand is unique in its handle designs. The Axe Avenge Hyperwhip boasts a patented handle that increases batting speed. It offers more control, and a grip specially designed for smaller hands.
Most young players find the combination of the ergonomic handle and the knob to be very comfortable. It also reduces the risk of hand injury – a very important factor to consider when getting a tee ball bat for your kids. An alloy barrel showcases good pop and increases the durability of the bat.
With three drop weight combinations to choose from, -11, this bat is approved for play in all league games. The barrel diameter is 2.25 inches. The design is sleek and professional looking – which will get your little player excited about a new bat. Just as well because these bats are also quite upmarket in terms of price.
The swing comfort is further heightened by the Hyperwhip end cap – which really uses the weight of the barrel for optimal hits. The sweet spot is definitely helped along by this end cap, which makes it easier for your child to get some hits in.
A fantastic aspect of this bat is completely non-physical. Axe offers a no-risk, month long return policy. This shows that the company has faith in the strength, and likeability, of their bats. If anything goes wrong, or if your kid simply does not like the bat, you can easily return it.
- Hyperwhip end cap for an even swing
- Patented handle and knob combination
- Drop weight of -11, available in three combinations
- 25 inch barrel diameter
- Ergonomic handle and knob combination reduces risk of injury
- The frame is light, yet balanced
- A large sweet spot is great for learning, but may not help your players when they start using normal baseball bats
5. Easton Ghost X
Although this best tee ball bat is priced on the higher end, the Easton Ghost X is superior to many others. The bat has been approved for use in all leagues across the country, which is a change from the previous model. In addition to this, in line with other bats of a similar material, that sweet ‘pop’ will be music to your child’s ears.
With a drop weight of -13, the Easton Ghost X is very light for players. This is great if your kids don’t have a lot of strength, or a great grip of the techniques yet. Speaking of grip – the ultra-thin handle is cushioned with all-sport grip to help players with their swings.
One aspect of the Easton Ghost X that makes it stand out from competitors across the board is the way it is made. Usually, bats are crafted out of separate pieces that get put together. This bat, in a potentially revolutionary fashion, is crafted from one single piece of carbon. This technology is actually patented and is reportedly very sturdy to hold.
Available in two different size combinations, this bat has a barrel diameter of 2.25. Easton experienced some outrage with a previous model that was actually banned from leagues – but they seem to have made an exceptional comeback. Although there may be some mistrust from the tee ball community as a result of this, the Ghost X is highly recommended for your little players!
- Approved for use in all leagues
- Drop weight of -13, in various combinations
- Single carbon piece bat as opposed to separate pieces crafted together
- All-sport grip used for the handle
- Drop weight is great for kids
- Light and incredibly sturdy frame
- Grip makes the swing easier
- Fairly pricey and upmarket
- The brand has racked up some trust issues amongst the tee ball community
Choosing the best tee ball bat for your little player is an exciting step towards helping them develop their baseball or softball skills. The right bat will improve their swing, and more importantly, add to reasons they will love the game.
There are lots of excellent options out there – but hopefully, this article has helped narrow those down. Soon, your sons and daughters will be having a blast on the diamond – and in a few years, scoring their first runs!