The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Length of a Baseball Bat

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Standardized
Result
Schultz. Holtz Geometry Textbook. Student Edition. Evanston, Illinois: Holt McDougal, 2003: 558. "What is the ratio of the volume of this sculpture to the volume of a real baseball bat that is 35 in. long?" 0.89 m
Fomosa, Dan & Paul Hamburger. Baseball Field Guide An In-Depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006: 39. "The official rules concerning bats begin, 'The bat must be a smooth round stick no longer than 42 inches.'" < 1.07 m
Hanlon, Thomas. The Sports Rules Book. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1998: 26-27. "The bat is a smooth, round stick not more than 2.75 inches in diameter at its thickest, and no longer than 42 inches." < 1.07 m
Kindall, Jerry. Sports Illustrated Baseball: Play the Winning Way. New York: Time Inc., 1988: 25. "For college and professional players, the bat should be from 34 to 36 inches long." 0.86 - 0.91 m
Dickson, Paul. The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary. USA: Harcourt Brace, 1999: 50. "There are different regulations for bats at various levels of organized baseball and softball, but major leagues require that it be made of a single piece of wood, which cannot be longer than 42 inches or thicker than 2 ¾ inches at its thickest point." < 1.07 m

Home ruuuuun!

If you were to hear that resonating near you, you definitely know that someone is watching a baseball game. Brought to the United States by British and Irish immigrants, baseball developed into an extremely popular national sport.

For players to maximize their ability to score, they must be able to choose the right bat. The bat influences how fast and accurate you can swing, and how far the ball will go. When baseball first started, bats came in different sizes, but now, regulations limits its length and diameter. MLB states that only wooden bats are permitted in professional baseball, and they have to be "a smooth, round stick not more than 2 3/4 inches (0.07 m) in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches (1.07 m) in length." Bats can be made of various types of woods, usually, ash or maple. There is ongoing debate on whether ash or maple is better. At one time, hickory was the most popular type of material. Metal bats are also available, and depending on a player's league regulations, they may be able to use them.

Comfort is essential to choosing the perfect bat. Always take a few swings to see how it feels. If you are content with the swings, then congrats, you're heading in the right direction! If not, pick up another one and try again. Two other factors are important to choosing a bat: length and weight. A bat too long would be too heavy, but on the other hand, a bat too short will cause you to lose power, as rhythm can be obstructed if you swing too fast. To check if the bat is the right weight for you, stand up straight, grip the bat at the base of the handle with your dominant hand, and hold your arm parallel to the ground creating an upside-down L. If you can keep that position for 20 seconds, then you are strong enough to use the bat.

Well, what are you waiting for? Bat basics 101 is over, so go get yourself a bat and start swinging!

Silu Chen -- 2009