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Bat Size and Time to Contact?

Apr 30, 2018
126
16
DD (9) started travel ball this spring with several other girls from rec ball. I was an assistant coach of the rec ball team so I know the girls pretty well. This weekend a couple of the girls came up and wanted to show me their new bats. I was pleasently surprised to see they had gone down in bat weight. Both girls are about my DD's height, one being more muscular and one less. Both girls were previously swinging much heavier and longer bats than my DD. The new bats are still bigger bats than my DD's, but just by one size (length and weight) now. Playing in our first tournament (brand new team with almost all first time travel ball players) this weekend it became pretty obvious that some of the other girls are swinging bats that are just way to big. The swing speed was just too slow, especially when we faced a 4th season A team pitcher. The coach commented to several of the girls about their swing speed being way too slow. I saw a post on here awhile back that talked about a team that would periodically have the team try out different bat sizes and evaluate the launch speed of the ball to figure out if they were using the best size bat for each player. After this weekend I have to think that time to contact has to play into this equation also. I have a Blast Motion on my DD's bat so I can see her time to contact. Checking her data from the last month showed an average of 0.18 seconds with a few down as low as 0.14 seconds. How does time to contact factor in and what would consider a maximum time to contact you would want to see to allow a hitter to have adequate time to process whether to swing or not?

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pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
2,113
48
FFS..:cool:

What size bats are they using? Our team is a second year 10U team and last summer as a first year 10U team the bat sizes ranged from 29 drop 11 to 32 drop 10. The kid who used the 29 could have used a 20 drop 19 and still would not have caught up to the best second year 10U they faced last summer. My DD turned 9 in Sept. (4'9" and 70 lbs) and last summer had no issues swinging a 31 drop 11 as an 8YO. Depends on the kid's swing mechanics/approach/explosiveness as much if not more than the kid's size/strength.
 
Last edited:
Dec 15, 2012
77
6
I like the use of analytics, but I am not sure how to apply them to 10U travel ball. I am interested to hear what others think. A couple of general observations that may help.
1). A quick check for bat size is to have each of the girls hold their bat out at 90 degree angle from their body. They should be able to hold the bat WITHOUT straining/dropping for 10 seconds. If they can’t do this they need to use a lighter bat. I’ve used this test with. Younger teams with good success. (This also gives parents a guideline when purchasing a new bat)
2). Make sure that your hitters are thinking Yes, Yes, Yes, No as opposed to No, No, No, Yes when batting. The load and mid swing should look the same for swings and holds. This will allow you minimize your reaction time.
3). The worst thing IMO we can do as parents is buy young players gear that is too large or that they can grow into. Bats, gloves, and helmets that are too big will impact players performance.
 
Jun 17, 2009
15,129
0
Portland, OR
FFS..:cool:

What size bats are they using? Our team is a second year 10U team and last summer as a first year 10U team the bat sizes ranged from 29 drop 11 to 32 drop 10. The kid who used the 29 could have used a 20 drop 19 and still would not have caught up to the best second year 10U they faced last summer. My DD turned 9 in Sept. (4'9" and 70 lbs) and last summer had no issues swinging a 31 drop 11 as an 8YO. Depends on the kid's swing mechanics/approach/explosiveness as much if not more than the kid's size/strength.
I encourage all my female hitters (ranging 8yo and up) to swing a -10 or heavier. Prefer not to see them swinging -11 or lighter.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
2,113
48
Sir ... you are the professor!
Exactly..I don't take tests anymore..I give them :p

Anybody know how the Blast motion sensor determines launch? Considering the above #, where frame count starts at launch, .14 seconds for an 9 YO seems
awfully low....
 

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