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Softball Bat Size Guide: Sizing Chart & More

WriterAubrey McShan
12 min read
Middle school softball player swings at the ball at home place wearing a dark uniform and helmet

Confused about how to choose the perfect softball bat size for your game? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the different weight, length, & material options you have in-store and online might feel overwhelming. Our experts created this complete guide so you can find the best bat for your skill level, league, and size with ease!

Key Takeaways

How to Size a Softball Bat

Using the right bat length is crucial for proper swing mechanics, improved bat speed, and accuracy when playing fastpitch softball. There are three main ways you can size a softball bat for yourself or your child: by height, age, & fit. Learn more about each method below.

Fastpitch Softball Bat Size by Height

The easiest way to find the right bat size for you or your kids is to use a softball bat size chart. Simply find the player’s height and weight to find the bat length in inches:

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Fastpitch Softball Bat Size Chart
Weight (lbs.) 41-44” 45-48” 49-52” 53-56” 57-60” 61-64” 65-68” 69-72” 73”+
Under 60 27" 28" 29" 29" 29" 29" 30" 31" 31"
61-70 27" 28" 29" 30" 30" 30" 31" 31" 31"
71-80 28" 28" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 31" 32"
81-90 28" 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 32" 32" 32"
91-100 28" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 32"
101-110 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 32"
111-120 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33"
121-130 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 32" 33" 33" 33"
131-140 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33" 33"
141-150 29" 30" 31" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33" 33"
151-160 29" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34"
161-170 29" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34"
171-180 29" 30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33" 33" 34"
180+ 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34" 34"

Fastpitch Softball Bat Size & Drop by Age

Occasionally you won’t know each player’s height and weight, so you can use this method if you know their age range and league. This chart will tell you the appropriate bat length and bat drop for each age and certification. 

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Softball Bat Size + Drop by Age/League
Player Age Bat Length (inches) Bat Drop Bat League/Certification
4-7 24-26” -11,-12,-13 USA Softball
8-9 26-28” -10,-11,-12 USA Softball, USSSA
10 28-29” -10,-11,-12 USA Softball, USSSA, ISA
11-12 30-31” -10,-11,-12 USA Softball, USSSA, ISA, NSA
13-14 31-32” -10,-11 USA Softball, USSSA, ISA, NSA
15-16 32-33” -8,-9,-10 USA Softball, USSSA, ISA, NSA
17+ 33-34” -8,-9,-10 USA Softball, USSSA, ISA, NSA

Expert Tip:

Use these charts only as a general guide. Ultimately, choosing a bat should depend on each player’s skill level, preferences, league, and age as a whole.

Softball Bat Size by Fit & Feel

You can also use your body to measure whether a bat is the correct length for you. This method is suitable if you’re shopping in person and you can touch and hold the bats. Simply follow any of these three methods: measure with your arm, your chest, or while standing up.

A depiction of how to measure your softball bat from your chest to hand

Step 1: Measure with Your Arm

  • Rest the bat's handle on the center of your chest and stretch your arm out.
  • If the bat's end is even with your knuckles, it's the right size.
  • If it hits your wrist or palm, it's too short.
  • If it goes beyond your fingers, it's too long.
A depiction of how to measure your softball bat hand extended out from your chest in front of you

Step 2: Measure from Your Chest

  • Place the knob in the middle of your chest.
  • Hold the bat straight out in front of you.
  • Your fingertips will touch the bottom of the barrel if the bat is the right length for you.
A depiction of how to measure your softball bat standing up

Step 3: Measure Standing Up

  • Hold the bat upright with the end cap touching the ground.
  • If the knob reaches the middle of your palm, the bat is likely the right length.

How to Choose a Softball Bat

Choosing a softball bat is so much more than its size! Other factors like the material, the certification, and the specific league of the bat also matter.

Expert Tip:

All softball bats used in league play, regardless of their type, must meet the safety standards set by the individual leagues you or your child play within.

Softball Bat Anatomy

Softball bats have six main parts: the handle, knob, grip, taper, barrel, and cap. A bat measures its length from the knob to the cap in inches. If at any point you need guidance on the parts of a softball bat, take a look at the following guide:

A depiction of the anatomy of a softball bat

Fastpitch Softball Bat Drop Weight

All fastpitch softball bats have a weight value and drop weight. Bat weights are measured in ounces, while drop weights are negative numbers.

The drop weight is calculated by subtracting the weight of the bat from its length. For example, a bat that has a length of 30 inches and a weight of 20 ounces will have a drop weight of -10.

Chart Depicting Bat Weight Decreasing as Drop Weight Increases

The larger the drop weight, the lighter the bat. Younger players will have higher drop weights because they can carry less weight, while adults will have lower drop weights because they can use heavier bats.

Fastpitch Softball Bat Drop Weight Table

Common Softball Bat Construction

Deciding between a one-piece or two-piece bat can be a tough decision. It mainly depends on your skill level and level of play. Generally one-piece bats offer more power, durability, and a lower price point, while two-piece bats offer more flex, vibration dampening, and a higher cost.

Marucci 2023 Echo DMND Fastpitch Softball Bat -10

One-Piece Softball Bats

One-piece bats are constructed of one continuous material piece.

  • Their stiffer build delivers a more durable bat with better balance — ideal for beginners.

  • While single-piece softball bats boast greater durability, they demand more strength to hit the ball across farther distances.

DeMarini CF 2023 Fastpitch Softball Bat -11

Two-Piece Softball Bats

Two-piece bats have a distinct barrel and handle, which are joined together.

  • The segmented construction has better flex when impacting the ball and less vibration — minimizing the sting during a hit.

  • It gives extra 'whip' in the swing, which results in increased speed and power.

Fastpitch Softball Bat Certifications

You’ll need to take into account the rules of the league you’ll be playing in when choosing a softball bat. There are four main fastpitch softball leagues: USA Softball, USSSA, ISA, and NSA. Rules differ between each one:

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Softball Bat Certifications Guide
Bat Certification MPH Standard BPH* Barrel Diameter Max Length (inches) Max Weight (ounces) Bat Materials Bat Pieces
USA (ASA) 98 MPH 1.20 2 ¼” 34” 31 oz Composite material, aluminum, or wood 1+
USSSA 98 MPH 1.20 2 ¼” 34” 31 oz Composite material, aluminum, or wood 1+
NSA 98 MPH 1.20 2 ¼” 34” 31 oz Composite material, aluminum, or wood 1 or 2
ISA 98 MPH 1.20 2 ¼” 34” 28 oz Composite material, aluminum, or wood 1 or 2
*BPH stands for bat performance factor

Each bat is stamped with one or more logos to certify the bat is legal for that league. Double-check with your coach to confirm which bats you can or can’t use.

Softball Leagues & Certifications

Fastpitch softball is generally played by women and is probably what most people think of when softball comes to mind. Slowpitch softball is a more laid-back version of the game and can be played by both men and women.

The basics of the games are the same, but the pitching styles are what really sets them apart. With slower pitches come bigger hits, while faster pitches allow for bunting and singles.

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Softball Leagues & Certifications Guide
League Ages Bat Lengths Drop/Weight Stamps
Fastpitch (Women’s + Girls) 7-22+ 27” - 34" -8, -9, -10, -11, -12, -13 USA, USSSA, NSA, ISA
Girls’ Slowpitch + Tee Ball 4-8 24” - 32" -10, -11, -12, -13, -13.5 USA, USSSA, NSA, ISA USA for Tee Ball
Adult Slowpitch 18+ 34" 24 - 30 oz USA, USSSA/SSUSA (Senior), NSA, and ISA

Types of Fastpitch Softball Bats

You’ll also need to consider whether your softball bat is balanced or end-loaded and if it’s single-walled or double-walled. These can affect the feel and performance of the bat.

  • Balanced Fastpitch Softball Bats: Offer better bat speed and a lot of contact; Ideal for gap-to-gap hitters.

  • End-Loaded Fastpitch Softball Bats: Have a little more weight at the end of the bat; Ideal for driving the ball and demonstrating power.

  • Double-Walled Fastpitch Softball Bats: Have 2 barrel walls that offer a trampoline effect, allowing the ball to ricochet faster off of the bat; Great for more experienced players.

  • Single-Wall Fastpitch Softball Bats: Have 1 barrel wall and are generally lighter with a larger sweet spot; Suitable for new players who are learning their swing and contact hitters.

Have Fun Out There!

Whether you play fastpitch or slowpitch, nothing sounds as good as hearing that ‘crack’ as your softball bat hits the ball. Now all you need to do is stop by your local Academy or shop online for all the season essentials.