Before I go batty, let’s talk Wiffle Ball. Do kids play Wiffle Ball anymore? Probably one of the greatest and least expensive games ever. We’ve all seen the yellow hard plastic Wiffle Ball bat. The barrel diameter of the bat is 1 1/8″! Why is that? What the bat lacks in diameter, it makes up for in proper batting technique. In Wiffle Ball, I learned to keep my weight back, watch out for my buddy Peter’s nasty off speed slidercurvescrewballchangeup pitch. I learned fast hands, Peter could hurl that plastic ball at me what seemed like 90 mph. And Wiffle Ball taught me hand-eye coordination and how to make contact.
It happens every year at the beginning of the season, my wife and I do the equipment check. Does Zach need new cleats? Yes = $24.95. Does Zach need a new glove? No (thank goodness). Does Zach need new batting gloves? Yes = $19.99. Does Zach need new sleeves? Yes $9.99. Does Zach need a new helmet? No (thanks for the gift Grandpa Fred). Does Zach need a new bat? Yes = uh oh $$!
Choosing a new bat for Zach is a daunting task. All these questions, length, weight, barrel size and of course, cost. After much research and agony, here is what we chose for Zach that may help with your decision.
Zach began his Pinto season with his bat from T-ball. Small bat with a 2 1/4 barrel. He used this bat for a while until he was making good contact off the pitching machine. After a few dents in the bat and once Zach starting getting more strength, we decided to go up to a 2 5/8″ barrel bat (2 5/8″ barrel is the max barrel diameter our league allows). We saw kids using these bats were really getting a good pop off the bat. However, buying a new 2 5/8″ bat can be expensive. My wife and I were not prepared or ready to spend $200 for a new bat for Zach. Luckily, I was able to find a used bat which was a good length and weight for him at Play it Again for less than $15! I put some new tape on the grip and gave to Zach and he was thrilled.
There are many size charts and opinions out there about what bat to buy. I do feel the bigger barrel has made a difference in how the ball comes off the bat. However, i think having a proper swing is more important at Zach’s age. Also, batting takes muscles that need to be developed as a kid grows. Some kids will develop those faster than others naturally. But, from what I have seen, if a Pinto player makes contact, good things will happen. Like when I took Peter’s Wiffle Ball slider oppo field over the green monster on the handball court…tossing the Wiffle Ball bat in triumph.