Question: What equipment is needed to participate?
Answer: Registration fees cover the cost for a uniform (hat, jersey, socks, and belts – no belts for Tee-Ball). The league equips teams with catcher's gear, batting helmets, and hitting machines for machine-pitch divisions. Players are expected to provide their own fielding glove and safety equipment (i.e., protective cup for catchers). Baseball cleats (no metal spikes) are recommended. Players typically prefer to use their own bats but it is not a requirement.
Question: How long should a baseball glove last?
Answer: The best answer to this question is; it depends! Some people replace their glove when the leahther weakens or when a they notice hard hit balls no longer stick in their glove. Sometimes too, if the ball is caught closer to the fingers than the pocket and the leather gives too much, the ball will not be secured. If itfeels like the ball went through the glove, where in actuality the glove wasn’t strong enough to catch the hard throw or hard hit ball, then that is a big indicator that it’s time to replace it. Again, it depends because there is no right or wrong answer, but as long as the glove catches well, the laces are tightened to your liking and you oil your glove from time to time, your glove should last for a while.
Question: Can players wear sunglasses?
Answer: Yes it is players are allowed to wear sunglasses.
Question: Are players required to wear chest guards?
Answer: No, players are not required to wear chest guards however MPTLL does believe it is a good idea especially for players that play the pitcher position.
Question: Is it true the bat I bought for my player last year (2017) cannot be used again?
Answer: PLEASE NOTE, NEW LITTLE LEAGUE BAT STANDARDS take effect JANUARY 1, 2018. As a result the only approved bats after January 1, 2018 are those with the USA BASEBALL stamp of approval (See below).
To help parents, an online resource page dedicated to baseball bat information, including the latest bat rules and regulations is maintained by Little league. Click here to review the new USA Baseball Bat Standard being implemented. The new bats started hitting retail shelves in September, 2017 and parents considering a new bat for their player need to review this list of approved bats before purchasing: Little League Bat Information website.
Question: Where can I learn more about the USA Bat Standard?
Answer: CLICK HERE for more information regarding the 2018 rule changes related to the USA bat standard.
Question: How do I choose the right type of bat?
Answer: The first thing to make sure is that the bat is on the Little League approved list of bats. Beginning in 2018 the bat must meet the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat). All T-Ball bats in the Little League Baseball® T-Ball program must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text. Bats for the major and minor leagues must contain the new USA Baseball marking and have a maximum barrel of 2 5/8”.
T-Ball bats: -10.5 to -14 length-to-weight ratio and are meant for youth players who are hitting baseballs or softballs placed on a tee.
Coach Pitch bats: -9 to -12 length-to-weight ratio and meant for players who are in coach pitch leagues and for velocities less than 40 mph.
Youth bats: -9 to -13 length-to-weight ratio and meant for youth players 9-13 years old.
Fungo: Fungo bats are lightweight bats used by coaches to hit infield or outfield practice.
Training: Training bats range from one-hand trainers to weighted bats to thin barrel diameter bats to improve hand-eye skills.
Question: What is the bat length-to-weight ratio or drop?
Answer: The “drop” as some may call it, or the number with the minus in front of it as others call it, or the length-to-weight ratio. What this term defines is the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. The larger the number, the lighter the bat. Bats come in a variety of length-to-weight ratios varying anywhere between a -3 to a -14. Example: If you have a -11 length-to-weight ratio and a 30-inch bat, you will subtract eleven from the 30 inches, and that will give you the weight in ounces (19 ounces). 30 (bat length) - 11 (the drop) = 19 (bat weight)
Question: How do I determine the length and weight my player should be using?
Answer: Use your player’s height and weight and then review the chart below to determine bat length. As far as the best bat weight, it is difficult to make a recommendation because it will vary from player to player depending on personal preference, hitting style, bat speed, and strength.
Question: What barrel diameter do I need?
Answer: The approved barrel diameter of a bat may vary. However according to 2018 LIttle League rules bats may not be larger than 2 5/8. The best advice is to make sure the bat has the USA Baseball stamp of approval (see below).
Question: Which bat material is better: alloy, composite, hybrid, wood, wood composite, or bamboo?
Answer: One is not better than the others. Each material is going to offer unique pros and cons. What it ultimately comes down to is personal preference.
Aluminum or Alloy is going to offer more of a “ping” sound on contact. These bats will not require a break-in period, and they are going to be at its peak performance right out of the wrapper. Alloy bats are susceptible to denting toward the end of their lifespan. Composite is going to offer more of a “crack” or “thud” sound on contact. Some composite bats may require a slight break-in period of about 50 swings off a tee or soft-toss, but due to regulation changes, many are as good as alloy out of the wrapper. Composite bats are susceptible to cracking toward the end of their life-spans. These bats are composed of carbon, glasses, and Kevlar fibers that are embedded in a plastic resin. Hybrid bats are going to offer a lightweight composite handle with an alloy barrel which is said to reduce handle vibration. Wood is provided in a variety of options. Maple, Birch, and Ash are the most popular. Wood bats offer that classic and authentic feel but are more susceptible to cracking and breaking in comparison to aluminum and composite bats. Bamboo bats look and perform like a wood bat, but Bamboo is technically a grass. These Bamboo billets are comprised together to make a single bat and are often more durable than a natural cut wood bat.
Question: Should I buy a one-piece or a two-piece bat?
Answer: One-piece bats are stiffer in comparison to a two-piece bat and will offer less flex during a player’s swing. These bats tend to be geared more toward a power hitter with above average swing speed. Two-piece bats will offer more flex during a player’s swing. This causes a whip-like action through the swing zone and results in more inertia and power. These bats tend to be geared more towards a contact hitter or a hitter that could use assistance in improving bat speed. Because the handle is separate from the barrel, two-piece bats tend to help mitigate felt vibration on mishit balls.
Question: Do I need a balanced or an end-loaded bat?
Answer: Balanced bats will have their weight distributed evenly throughout the entire length of the bat and are geared more towards your average player with average or slower bat speeds. End-loaded bats have a portion of their weight focused towards the end of the barrel and are geared more towards your power hitters looking to hit for the fence.
Question: Which bat offers the biggest sweet spot and the most “pop”?
Answer: Typically, a larger barrel diameter will result in a larger sweet spot or hitting surface. The pop of a bat is not a physically measured feature. It will vary from player to player and bat to bat.
Question: Do bats require break in time?
Answer: Aluminum / Alloy bats do not require a break-in period. These bats are “hot out of the wrapper” and can be used in a game right away. Composite bats may require a break-in period typically about 50 swings off a tee or by soft toss with a ¼" rotation of the barrel after each swing.
Question: How long or how many seasons will a bat last?
Answer: Bats cannot be guaranteed to last a specific amount of time or a specific number of seasons because of so many variables. These variables include the amount of use the bat receives, the number of players using the bat, and how well the baseball bat or softball bat is protected. Most alloy and composite bats do feature a manufacturer’s warranty.
Question: Are there any tips for taking care of a bat?
Answer: Limit the bat to individual use. Do not use in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store the bat in extremely hot or cold temperature areas. Do not use the bat to hit the dirt off your cleats. Use regulation leather covered baseballs and softballs. Avoid the dimpled yellow cage balls. Do not hit waterlogged balls. Routinely check your bat for any damage. Rotate your bat ¼ turn each swing to distribute the hitting surface evenly.
Question: Do bats come with a warranty? What do I do if my bat breaks or otherwise becomes defective?
Answer: Not all bats feature a warranty, but most alloy and composite bats feature a full twelve-month manufacturer’s warranty. Warranties will differ from bat to bat. If your baseball bat or softball bat should break or become defective, and it comes with a warranty, you need to go through the warranty replacement process with the manufacturer. Check the manufacturers website to find out their process.