Any average 12-year-old softball player is likely to have one bat that she prefers over all the others, especially if she has some experience with the game. While that might not be entirely a bad thing, the problem usually comes in when her bat of preference is not one that can enhance her performance. And that is where your adult, objective judgment should come into play.
But with so many softball bat brands in the market today, even you can get a little confused as to which one is good for her. If you want to pick a bat that can unleash the full potential in your kid, niece, or young acquaintance, you need to consider factors like the size, material, barrel, and handle among many other things.
To make the whole process easy for you, we have prepared this buying guide for you.
Top 10 Best Softball Bats For 12 Year Old* editor rating based on quality and value
Louisville Slugger FPQS152 2015 Quest (-12)
|(4.8 / 5)|
Easton FP14S400 FS400-12 Fastpitch Softball Bat
|(4.8 / 5)|
Easton MAKO COMPOSITE Youth Baseball Bat
|(4.8 / 5)|
Easton MAKO TORQ Youth Baseball Bat
|(4.9 / 5)|
Louisville Slugger Fastpitch X12
|(4.85 / 5)|
Easton S50 Youth Baseball Bat
|(4.8 / 5)|
Easton MAKO 11 Fastpitch Softball Bat
|(4.7 / 5)|
DeMarini CF7 -10 Fastpitch Softball Bat
|(5 / 5)|
Easton FP14S50 FS50-10 Youth Fastpitch Softball Bat
|(4.9 / 5)|
Anderson Bat Company Women's Rocketech 2.0 Fast Pitch Softball Bat
|(4.9 / 5)|
Things to Consider When Buying a Softball Bat
Fastpitch vs. Slowpitch Bats
Is your kid a fast pitcher or a slow pitcher? The answer to that question will point you in the right direction in your bid to get the best softball bat for her. How so? Well, a fast pitcher should be in a position to hit the ball with accuracy and send it flying at very high speed. For any average 12-year-old fast-pitcher, a shorter and lighter bat will do that effectively because she can swing it with ease.
If she is a slow pitcher, a heavier and longer bat might be the better option because speed will not be so much of an issue. The long and heavy bat will generate more momentum and power than a short and light one. That said, you should also ensure that the bat is neither too long nor too heavy for her to swing as that will only make it harder for her to hit the ball.
So what is the correct bat length and weight that you should settle for? That will be covered in the next two sections. However, the point to take home is that if your kid is a fast pitcher you should choose the exact recommended length and weight. But if she is a slow pitcher, it is okay to add a few inches to the length and a few ounces to the weight, more so if she is bigger than an average kid in her age.
The Appropriate Bat Length
There are various ways of determining the most suitable bat length for your youngster but the most efficient methods usually take her height and weight into consideration. The rule of thumb is that you should measure your kid’s height and weight and then use the following chart to determine the best bat length for her:
Not a fan of reading charts? Here is a clear guide:
1) Use her age: at 12 years, your kid should be able to swing a 29 to 32-inch bat without any problem. But mind her weight and height as well because they will help you determine the exact length.
2) Use her weight: if your child weighs less than 70 pounds choose a bat that is no more than 30 inches in length. If she weighs over 70 pounds, then considers going for a 31 or 32-inch long bat.
3) Her height: if the child is less than 50 inches tall, choose a bat that is at most 30 inches long. If she is over 50 inches tall, then you can go for the 31 or 32-inch long bats.
The Best Bat Weight
Length is not the only important thing to put in mind when choosing a softball bat, you also need to choose the most appropriate bat weight.
If you give your child a bat that is too heavy, she will find it hard to swing it, and that will make her underperform. At the same time, if it is too light, she won’t be able to generate the required momentum and force to send the ball farther away. Therefore, the key is for you to get the precise bat weight that will enhance her performance.
While it is recommended that 12-year-olds should have light bats, it is okay to give a fairly heavy one to your child if she is stronger than average kid or if she has more skills and experience in the game. This chart should help you choose a bat with the most appropriate weight.
Alongside length, bat weight is used to determine the bat’s drop. Drop refers to the difference between the length of the bat (in inches) and its weight (in ounces) and is a measure of how fast the ball comes off the bat. The best drop weight is anything from -8 to -12.
The standard barrel size of youth bats ranges from 2.5 to 2.75 inches. It is totally okay to choose a bat within that range. However, note that a bat with a smaller barrel will weigh less than one with a bigger barrel. That means if you are aiming for a heavy bat then choose one that has a big barrel.
The Bat’s Material
A softball bat can either be wooden or metallic. Unless she is playing in a professional league that demands wooden bats, always settle for the metallic ones. Aluminum (and its alloys) or graphite are the best options because they are durable and light enough for your child to swing.
Consider the Handle
If your child has a small hand, you might want to settle on a bat with a small handle that will match the hand. On the other hand, if her hand is big then a bigger handle will serve her better. Generally speaking, a bat with a small handle makes it easier to rotate the wrist compared to one with a big handle. The bat will be even better if its handle is gripped.
As you might have noticed, there is more to choosing a bat than just physical preference. If you are buying one for a 12-year-old child, make sure it is of the right length and weight.
We have provided charts that you can use to determine those two features. At the same time, it will be prudent of you to choose an aluminum bat with the recommended barrel of 2.5 to 2.75 inches. If your young champ is going to play in a particular league, be sure to read all the regulations regarding bats before you make your final choice. The last thing you want is to choose a bat that she can’t use in the competition.