Baseball Bat 101


Rules differ by league or state, and there are thousands of options out there.
This page is here to help you navigate through all of that.

(And if you're still not sure, chat with us by clicking on the blue CHAT button in the lower right of this page.)


A bat’s “drop” is a general way to classify a series of bats, and is presented as the “negative number” found on the barrel. Drop helps define how a bat feels to swing: the larger the drop weight, the lighter the bat will feel. Conversely, the smaller the drop weight number, the heavier the bat will feels. For example a 32” bat in a (-5) weight will feel much heavier than a 32” bat with a (-10) drop weight.

NOTE: Many leagues have specific rules that identify which weight drops are permitted for play.  Before choosing your bat, we recommend contacting your league or coach to verify if there are any weight drop restrictions for your league. 

*The drop of the bat as drop is not intended to, and should not be relied upon to, calculate the actual weight of the bat. Variances in the actual weight of the bat versus the labeled approximate weight of the bat as the actual bat weight may vary for numerous reasons, including without limitation manufacturing tolerances, certification calculations and standards, the grip weight, the length of the bat, performance considerations, cosmetics, packaging, any post manufacturing modifications/additions (such as the grip, knob sticker, or consumer packaging), and/or other reasons.

 -10 Drop
- 8 Drop  
- 5 Drop  
- 3 Drop  


A bat's length is measured from knob to endcap. Bat lengths typically range from 24"-34". It’s a common misconception that having a longer bat guarantees you’ll get better plate coverage.  In fact, choosing a bat that is too long may slow down your swing and not allow you to catch up to certain pitches. A combination of variables go into choosing the correct bat. True Temper Baseball features a unique approach with half sizes, which we believe provide a more precise fit for the player. It's kind of like shoes; whole sizes will work but sometimes a half size fits better.

Try our online fit tool to see which bat is best for you. 


The barrel diameter is the size of the barrel in inches. There are 3 main barrel sizes:  

  • Small Barrel = 2 1/4” diameter most commonly used in USA Teeball.
  • Big Barrel = 2 5/8” diameter used mainly in USA and BBCOR but can be mandated for some USSSA baseball leagues.
  • Extra Big Barrel =2 3/4” diameter used most commonly in USSSA baseball and in coach pitch / or junior big barrel.

NOTE:Many leagues have specific rules that identify which barrel diameters are permitted for play.  Before choosing your bat, we recommend contacting your league or coach to verify if there are any barrel diameter restrictions for your league.


True Temper Baseball offers multiple grip options as an additional piece of the bat selection process to help each player find the feel they desire.  

  • Standard Grip (1.5 mm thick)  Great all around grip. Preferred by players looking for better leverage to allow them to get their bat through the stike zone quicker.
  • Oversized Grip: (3.0 mm thick)  Preferred by players looking for better absorption of the sting to their hands when contact is made.


There are two primary bat constructions: 

  • One-piece bats are built from 1 material (usually an alloy). One-piece bats are often stiffer in comparison to a two-piece bat, providing more energy transfer to the ball on contact. These bats tend to be geared toward a power hitter with above average swing speed
  • Two-piece bats are built with a barrel that is connected to a separate handle piece using a connection system. This construction allows for different flex profiles to be engineered into the handle. More flex in the handle causes a whip-like action through the swing zone and can result in more inertia and power. Less flex in the handle helps improve energy transfer from the swing to the ball, and eliminates the feel of “barrel lag” in your swing. Another advantage, because the handle is separate from the barrel, is that two-piece bats tend to mitigate vibration on mishit balls.


Performance bats utilize different materials: 

  • Aluminum or Alloy bats offers more of a “ping” sound on contact. These bats do not require a break-in period, and are going to offer peak performance right out of the wrapper.
  • Composite bats offers more of a “crack” or “thud” sound on contact. Some composite bats require a slight break-in period of about 50 swings off of a tee or soft-toss. Composite bats are susceptible to cracking toward the end of their life-spans. 
  • Hybrid bats offer a lightweight composite handle with an alloy barrel which is said to reduce handle vibration on mis-hits.


How a bat's weight is distributed throughout the length of the bat can have a dramatic effect on its feels when swinging. There are two major types of bats:

  • Balanced bats feature an even weight distribution throughout the entire length of the bat. Balanced bats are geared more towards your players with average or slower bat speeds.
  • End-loaded bats focus a portion of their weight towards the end of the barrel. End-loaded bats are geared more towards power hitters looking to hit for the fence.


While these guidelines are accurate for most leagues, we always recommend checking with your local league for specific bat rules.

Either of these marks are legal for play in USSSA Baseball.

  • Approved for play in AABC, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, Little League, and PONY youth baseball leagues.
  • All bats must have the USA stamp to be approved for play.
  • Max barrel diameter is 2 5/8” for all players 14 and under.
  • Coaches and players might refer to these as “Youth” or “Rec” bats.
  • These are approved for play in USSSA.
  • Look for the USA stamp in the handle section of the bat.
  • Tball bats fall under USA Bat - these are any USA bats less than 26’’ in length.
  • Approved for play in USSSA leagues.
  • All bats must have the 1.15 BPF “thumbprint” mark.
  • Max barrel diameter is 2 3/4”.
  • These bats ARE NOT approved for USA Bat Leagues.
  • Coaches and players might refer to these as “Travel Ball” or “U-TRIP” bats.
  • For USSSA BASEBALL approved bats look for the USSSA 1.15BPF stamp in the handle taper.
  • Note: USSSA recently updated their logo that goes on the bat. BOTH versions of the logo (shown above) are legal for play in USSSA Baseball events.
  • Junior Big Barrel (JBB) also called “Coach Pitch” bats fall under USSSA 1.15BPF standard. These are USSSA bat less that 27” in length.
  • Approved for High School and College play.
  • BBCOR bats can be used in USA and USSSA leagues.
  • Are required to be -3 or heavier.
  • The barrel diameter cannot not exceed 2 5/8”.
  • Wood bats can also carry the BBCOR stamp.
  • Some middle school leagues may require BBCOR bats.