Softball and baseball are two great pastime activities for many people in the USA and many other countries across the world. And it is one of those sports that both adults and young people seem to enjoy. Kids can start playing these bat sports at a very young age, but as they start out, it is always a good idea to introduce them to the game gradually. One of the best ways to do this is having them play tee ball which is how almost all the famous players in baseball and softball started out.
Throwing pitches and swinging bats at fast moving balls can be a little overwhelming for kids as it requires a lot of coordination. Also, the speeding ball can be scary which can discourage the little ones from participating in the sport. But, staring them out with tee ball makes learning easy and even more interesting for the little ones.
As you introduce your kids to softball or baseball, you will need to get them tee ball bats. Like with all the other baseball or softball equipment you need to make sure that you get the best. And this will only be possible if you know what the tee ball bats are all about and how to choose from the many options in the market. It also helps to know some of the best models and brands in the market.
Top 4 Best Tee Ball Bats In 2018
What Is A Tee Ball Bat?
Softball and baseball are some fun sports for all ages, but as kids learn or start out, they might not be able to swing the bat fast enough to hit the moving ball. But, hitting the ball from a stationary point is always simpler for kids of different ages. And this is what the tee ball is all about. The game or ‘version' of baseball will involve hitting the ball from a tee or stand which is adjusted to suit the child's height and age.
Overall, the tee ball rules will be similar to those for the regular versions of softball or baseball but with some slight modifications to suit the young players. For both boys and girls, the tee ball players will use a special tee ball bat. And according to the official rules, it can be made of hollow magnesium or aluminum, wood, molded plastic on a metal base or nylon and wood combination. The rules will allow for an addition of a filler material to the bat to improve the sound, but this is only if the filler does not add any significant weight to the bat.
The tee ball bats should be between 24 and 27 inches long and not more than 2 1/4-inch in diameter. Also, if you prefer to buy a wooden bat for your little one you can go for colored, flame treated and the natural finished ones. And if you have a bat that does not meet the tee ball specifications your kid can still use it in tournaments if it is small and light enough for him to swing. But, it is also significant to note that local tee ball leagues or teams might have their particular requirements and specification when it comes to the bat and so it will always be an excellent idea to speak to the coach before buying a bat for your kid.
Who Should Use Tee Ball Bat?
Typically, tee ball is a sport for kids that are between 4 and 6 years old. However, the exact age that you start your child depends on your preferences as a parent. And it is also important to note that local leagues will have different rules when it comes to age. Some tee ball leagues will start players as young as 3 years, and others will allow them to play until they are as old as 9. Hence, a tee ball bat will be appropriate for any kit that is within the tee ball playing age.
The loose age ranges also mean it might be difficult to know the right tee ball bat size for your 3 or 4-year-old, and so it is always a good idea to talk to a coach before buying a bat. Also, you can take your kid with you when shopping for a bat and have him try out a few so that you can get the most appropriate for their age and height. But, there are also a few features and factors that you can consider when shopping for a tee ball bat.
How To Choose The Best Tee Ball Bat
You can never be sure of what bat to buy for your little one as he starts out on tee ball because the many options in the market only make things harder for you. Whether you are buying a bat in an online retail store or a physical one you cannot afford to go wrong with your decision as it will affect not only your kid's performance but also his ability and speed of learning the sport. But, if you keep the following things in mind when shopping for a tee ball bat you should get something that will work well for your little one.
Length and Weight
Length is always one of the first factors to consider when shopping for a bat in baseball or softball and this is also the case when it comes to finding the best tee ball bat for your child. Almost all tee ball bats will be 24, 25 or 26 inches long and each of these lengths will have a weight associated with it. When shopping for a tee ball bat, you need to consider your child’s height to get the right bat length for him. And most online and physical sports stores will have a sizing chart to help you pick the right tee bat length for your little one.
When it comes to the weight, you can tell whether a bat is ideal or not by having the child hold out the bat at their side for about 30 seconds and test whether they can hold it without dipping down. Another essential factor to consider when it comes to the length and weight is the drop. The drop is the length to weight ratio which is one of the best ways to determine the right bat for your kid. And the tee ball bat drop will in most cases range between 10 and 14 with 10 being the most massive bat while 14 is the lightest.
The batting material is another vital factor that you should never overlook when shopping for the best tee ball bat for your child. And although there will be many materials to pick from, in most instances you can divide them into two which is metal and wood. Wooden bats will provide an authentic sound and feel, and so they will be a great way to introduce your small one to baseball or softball. It is also worth knowing that you will have different wood bat types and finishes to pick from and so you will still need to decide which is the most appropriate.
Metal bats are the most common and are what many parents will prefer to buy for their kids as they start out on the tee ball league. And there are in most cases three types of these bats which are composite, alloy, and hybrids. The composite tee bats will be a mixture of different materials with the most common ones being carbon fiber, fiberglass, graphite, and Kevlar. These bats are some of the lightest which makes them ideal for the young hitters, but they also take longer to break-in than the other types.
The alloy bats are in most cases one solid piece of metal aluminum being the most common material. However, some alloy tee ball bats will be a combination of aluminum and some other lightweight material. What makes them an excellent choice for your little one is that the wall is thinner than in other bats to add some pop.
Hybrid tee ball bats, on the other hand, will be a combination of the composite and alloy types. Typically, the barrel on these bats will be an alloy material as it gives it the extra pop while the handle is composite to reduce the total weight and deliver a faster swing speed. The hybrid bats are the famous two-piece tee ball bats and can be quite pricey if you compare them to the other types
Like with any other softball or baseball equipment brand also matters when it comes to tee ball bats, and you should never overlook it. The right idea is always to go for a tee ball bat from a reputable brand as you are more likely to get something that is easy for your little one to hit and also lasts for long enough.
Some of the prominent companies that make tee ball bats are Easton, Mizuno, Louisville Slugger and DeMarini. But, keep in mind that going for the best brand will not eliminate the need to check and ensure that the bat is the best quality and that it is the right size and weight for your child.
Price And Customer Reviews
Price matters a lot when it comes to a tee ball bat as they are not the cheapest things that you can buy for your child. Since there are also many other things that you will need to purchase as they join a tee ball team or start playing in a local league you need something that is within a reasonable price tag. And this is more so because your child may end up playing the game for just one or two years only. But also make sure that you do not compromise on the quality of the tee ball bat just to save a few bucks.
Reading best tee ball bat reviews or what other parents and coaches have to say about a particular bat is also a wise idea as it makes it easy to tell whether it will be appropriate for your kid or not.
Top 4 Best Tee Ball Bat Reviews
#1. Easton TB17SPD13 Speed Aluminum
Easton makes the model TB17SPD13 aluminum bat for the 4 to 6-year olds that develop an interest in baseball or softball and would like to start with tee ball. It is a one-piece 100% speed aluminum bat that is lightweight and easy to swing for the young players, and it comes in a drop of -13 which is ideal for most tee ball league players. The tee ball bat also features rolled end design that helps to transfer the energy back to the barrel for some impressive hits.
The Speed Aluminum bat features an ultra-thin 29/32-inch handle with a cushioned grip to make it easy and comfortable to hold and swing. It feels light on the hand, and it should be easy to handle even for the first-timers. And if looks matter to your kids the impressive graphics and color combination will impress them.
- Durable aluminum alloy construction.
- Cushioned grip helps to make it comfortable on your kid’s arm.
- The ultra-thin handle makes it easy to hold and swing.
- The -13 drop provides an ultra-light swing weight for extra powerful hits.
- It looks attractive enough for young players and with some beautiful graphics.
- The tee ball bat produces some excellent pop.
- This bat seems to dent easily.
- It will require some lengthy break-in.
- There are not many drop options available for kids that cannot handle drop -13 tee ball bats.
#2. DeMarini Voodoo 12-Drop Tee Ball Bat
The orange graphics and color combination on the DeMarini Voodoo 12-drop tee ball is the first element that will draw your attention when you get the bat. But besides the impressive look, it is also a high performing two-piece bat that features an aluminum barrel with an incredible pop straight from the box and an aluminum handle.
DeMarini Voodoo is available in two sizes which are 25-inch/13 oz and 26-inch/14 oz which means that it will work for a variety of players. Also, the lengths make it ideal for use in the junior leagues or for players that are training with coach tosses as they learn to hit moving balls.
- It comes in a fantastic orange color with some neat graphics.
- Sturdy, durable and high performing aluminum barrel.
- Also works great for players in the junior league.
- The grip is thicker than what you get from most other tee ball bats and hence also more comfortable.
- It has plenty of pop straight from the box.
- Your kid will not need to do a lot of breaking-in as it hits okay straight from the box.
- The end cap is plastic, and so it is more prone to breaking.
- It has a thin wall of aluminum on the barrel which can dent quickly.
- This bat might also not work for tee-ball players that prefer to swing something heavy for more powerful hits.
#3. Easton MAKO Beast -13.5 Tee Ball Bat
Easton’s MAKO is one of the most famous bats in the market, and this model is one of the best for tee ball. It features a high performing composite barrel with a rolled end design to focus most of the energy on the sweet spot. This bat has an ultra-light design that makes it easy to swing even by the youngest players. And the faster swing speeds means that the little ones can put more power to the swing with ease.
The balanced swing weight makes this bat easy to swing, and it also has a massive sweet spot that is hard to miss even for the little ones. For the grip, the bat comes with a hyperskin on an ultra-thin 29/32 composite handle.
- An ultra-lightweight bat that is very easy to swing for youth players.
- One of the most powerful tee ball bats in the market.
- High-performing composite barrel with a rolled end.
- The high-quality composite handle with a cushioned grip provides stability and an impressive feel on contact.
- It has a lot of pop straight from the box.
- It takes a long time to break-in.
- The graphics and color choice needs a lot of improvement.
- It might also not an ideal choice for the players that prefer to swing heavier tee ball bats.
- There are a few complaints about the durability.
#4. Rawlings Sporting Goods Storm Alloy T-Ball Bat
If your little girl is showing some interest in softball or baseball, this bat will be a good buy for you. It is a durable alloy bat that will be a perfect choice for girls playing tee-ball leagues, and it comes with some vibrant graphics and attractive color combinations that will make it very appealing to the little girls. But, apart from the looks, it is also lightweight enough and comfortable to swing for the tee ball players.
This drop -12 tee ball bat also features a crackle themed grip with just enough cushioning to make it comfortable and stable on the little girl’s hand. And the balanced weight makes it easy to swing with some incredible speed and power.
- Durable alloy construction for long-lasting performance.
- Ultra lightweight to make it easy to swing for the tee ball players.
- Vibrant graphics and paint make it appealing to the beginner girls.
- Crackle themed grip is both comfortable and very attractive.
- The -12 drop is what seems to be ideal for many girls playing tee ball.
- The bright graphics means that the bat will stain easily.
- It would be a better tee ball bat with a little more pop.
- This bat will require an extended break-in period.
Kids will develop an interest in softball or baseball from a very young age, but their success in either of the two sports will depend on their performance in tee ball. Getting the right tee ball equipment is one of the best ways to ensure that they develop an interest in the game and also that they perform well and learn to play the sport.
Buying them the best tee ball bat is always a good starting point. With the many brands and models in the market, you should not have a hard time finding something that will work for your little one. But, this is only true if you know what to look for when choosing a tee ball bat and for this, our guide and reviews above will be handy.