There are many baseball leagues and each comes with its own set of regulations, jargon and specifications regarding the bats that can be used. Amidst all this, it can be somewhat intimidating to determine which bat is perfect for a given league and to be sure whether or not the bat will be eligible.
One of the most pertinent issues regarding this confusion is that many people are often unclear about the junior big barrel bats, senior big barrel bats and youth big barrel bats. Some people may not know which bat is eligible of which league, others may not know the exact features and characteristics that define each of these types of baseball bats.
To make your task easier, we have explicitly defined each type of these bats and elaborately explained the key difference between the junior, senior and youth big barrel bats. It is important to know this difference because if your young one is playing in the junior or senior league, you need to know which bat is right for him to use and can offer maximum performance.
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In general, players who are aged under 13 fall into two broad categories. One of these is the Junior League, which is where Junior Big Barrel bats are used in specific circumstances. The other is the Senior League, which is where Senior Big Barrel bats, also known as Youth Big Barrel bats, are used. Following are the defining features of each type of these bats. These features will help you tell them apart quickly and determine exactly which category is best suited for your young one.
Junior Big Barrel Bats
Junior big barrel bats are used by the youngest baseball players. Typically, these bats are used by players who are aged between 4 and 8. The defining feature of junior big barrel bats is that they have a barrel diameter of 2 3/4” and their weight drop is somewhere between -10 and -12.
It is important to note here that junior big barrel bats are not used in actual games. Instead, they are meant only to be used in Coach Pitch leagues. In other words, these bats are intended to help the young players get a hang of swinging a light-weight bat.
These bats have very thin walls and are light-weight while at the same time packing a large enough barrel for a young player. As a result, a young player can more easily swing them and hit the incoming baseball more accurately when using such a bat.
These bats are not used outside of Coach Pitch leagues because they are fragile. They are perfect for Coach Pitch games where the coach can easily control the pace of the pitch. But in Machine Pitch or Kid Pitch games where the pace of the pitch can’t be controlled, these bats can dent easily and so, they are not used.
This is why they are limited only to Coach Pitch leagues. Once a young player gets a good hang of swinging the bat and hitting the baseball using a junior big barrel bat, he or she can go on to try their hand on more durable bats in actual games. In Machine Pitch or Kid Pitch games, for instance, the young player will have to go with another junior league bat.
Senior Big Barrel Bats
Senior big barrel bats are also known as senior league baseball bats. As the young players grow older and advance in their ability to swing a baseball bat more effectively, it makes sense for them to wield a more professional bat. This is where the senior big barrel bats come in. These bats are the next step from junior league bats. They are meant for use by players who are aged between 8 and 13.
The defining characteristics of a senior big barrel bat is that it packs a barrel diameter of 2 5/8 inches or 2 ¾ inches. These bats can only be used in such youth leagues which allow the use of senior big barrel bats. These bats have a weight drop somewhere between -5 and -12. Most of the senior big barrel bats used today are also required to carry a USSSA-approved certification to be used in senior league matches.
Compared to junior big barrel bats, senior big barrel bats come with either the same barrel diameter or slightly smaller diameter. They are also slightly heavier compared to junior big barrel bats. Yet, the key difference between the two is that junior big barrel bats are exclusively meant for younger players who use them in Coach Pitch leagues while senior big barrel bats are for older players who can wield them in actual league matches.
Youth Big Barrel Bats
Youth Big Barrel bats are also known as Big Barrel Youth bats. These are exactly the same as senior big barrel bats. In fact, youth big barrel bat is simply another name for a senior big barrel bat. The reason why this name is used is simply because this name refers to the type of the bat, while senior big barrel refers to the category of the bat.
Youth big barrel bats are the key transition between junior league bats and adult BBCOR bats. In a way, they are an important stepping stone between the two categories. Youth big barrel bats, with their lower weight to length ratio and sizable barrels prepare a player to eventually move on to BBCOR bats with their -3 weight drop profile. For this reason, youth big barrel bats come with weight drop as low as -5, putting them rather close to the adult BBCOR bats in design and performance.
Most of the Youth big barrel bats used today come with USSSA-approved certification. And nearly all of them are perfectly eligible for use in Senior League matches. So if you want to get a good Senior League bat, you can be sure that a youth big barrel bat fits the bill well.