Topic: Drop 3 Bat In Middle School?


psm2010    -- 09-25-2010 @ 7:29 PM
  Hey guys maybe you all can clarify this for me. I thought drop 3 bats were only mandatory in high school. I was recently told the rule also applied to middle school. If that is the case how did you guys prepare your sons? My son is 11 years old and is a little guy. He is doing push ups and sit ups each night, as well as wrist rolls with light weight. Any other suggestions? Don't know if it matters but we live in North Carolina.

Thanks for the help.


Harley    -- 09-26-2010 @ 6:30 PM
  Have him practice his swing using a wood bat with a 1 pound do-nut on it.  When using a -3 in a game have him choke up.

I believe that 2011 will be the last year that BESR bats will be allowed for HS. Only BBCOR bats will be legal for 2012. I don't know what Middle School allows.  You might find some cheap used BESR bats just before the season starts.

-Harley.


Baron    -- 09-26-2010 @ 7:01 PM
  If there are minus 5 bats still kicking around it would do your son no benefit to keep using it.

A good legal-type bat purchase will help him in the long run. Bad speed comes from being quick with his bat versus swinging hard. Swinging hard with a bat bigger than the player should be swinging will sometimes provide for an exciting moment - if he runs into a pitch but it will provide bad habits that will be difficult to break.

Using a lighter bat at 11 years of age allows your son the chance to "see the ball longer" - before he has to pull the trigger.
Harley's suggestions are spot on.

We bought several HIT Hands Inside Trainer and it has helped tremendously.
http://insiderbat.com/

What drills are you doing with your son?


psm2010    -- 09-27-2010 @ 7:51 PM
  Harley- I have been looking around at wood bats, but the bats I am finding only list length not weight. Is there a standard weight to length ratio? Are you recommending that I have him start using a -3 in games now or build up to it and start in the spring?

Baron- I agree with you in regards to swinging hard vs. bat speed. I actually had him change to a lighter bat than what he was using, but now I'm thinking I may have made things worse long term. We do LOTS of tee work and soft toss. I find that by doing those two things allows him to concentrate on doing things right and it gives me a chance to really see what he is doing and not doing. Sometimes I will have him break his swing down into steps for a few swings then we will put everything together and swing live. I also throw him golf ball size wiffle balls that he hits with a broom handle size bat. I have been thinking about picking up the Hands Back Hitter that is advertised on this site, but we just bought him a new catchers mask and helmet, now he needs cleats;not too mention tournament fees. It's never ending isn't it. I don't seem to remember my Dad spending this much on baseball:)


DelawareBlue    -- 09-27-2010 @ 8:49 PM
  I was recently told the rule also applied to middle school.

If your state and local schools play under NFHS (National Federation of High School) rules, or FED, the rules apply to all levels - varsity, JV, and middle school.  So the same bat standards apply to the middle school kids that apply to the varsity guys.  So yes, only BESR certified bats are legal under NFHS rules regardless of the level.  By definition, all non-wood BESR bats are -3.

I'm not aware of any state that allows middle schools to use bats that do not meet the BESR standard.  They may be out there, but the threat of litigation in the event of an injury makes that unlikely.  There are a few states that do not use NFHS rules, but most of them use the same bat standard.

NFHS recently outlawed almost all composite bats for the 2011 season so stay away from those.

Harley is correct that 2011 will be the final season for BESR bats.  Effective 1/1/2012, all bats used under NFHS rules must meet the new BBCOR standard.  NCAA is going to BBCOR with this year, so you'll see more BBCOR bats on the market.  You'll probably see some good deals on BESR bats, as well.  Just remember they will only be good for one year.

Bill


Baron    -- 09-28-2010 @ 8:04 PM
  psm2010>>I agree with you in regards to swinging hard vs. bat speed. I actually had him change to a lighter bat than what he was using, but now I'm thinking I may have made things worse long term.

Baron
I doubt that swinging a lighter bat would ever make things worse, because the hitter/your son is accountable as to when he swings/pulls the trigger. We stress quick versus hard like I mentioned and you commented on. IMO the worse thing all LL dads did way back when - was go buy their boy a Thumper-sized bat. Most late 20's/early 30's original dads "wanted" our boys to be STRONG and hit the ball FAR. That is the origin of kids "barring" or ing their hands, where the bat and the big muscle groups of their arms become one piece.  That is one of THE toughest bad habits to break.

Little did we know...that at 46'6" the game "can be taught that way". However when kids leave the small diamond for the 90' diamond everything changes. More kids are equal in ability where as certain few kids use to dominate on the LL diamond.

psm2010>>We do LOTS of tee work and soft toss. I find that by doing those two things allows him to concentrate on doing things right and it gives me a chance to really see what he is doing and not doing. Sometimes I will have him break his swing down into steps for a few swings then we will put everything together and swing live. I also throw him golf ball size whiffle balls that he hits with a broom handle size bat.

Baron - Great drills you are doing. Make sure you do some top hand and bottom hand drills whereby isolating the hands - will give you an idea if there is one hand contributing to any mechanical flaws.
Also take 100 old tennis balls and with a sharpie write the same number in four areas on the ball. (We only use 0-1-2-3-4-5-7-8. If you use 6 and 9 the hitter might be correct with whatever he says.) After flipping soft toss to the hitter and immediately after contact - have your son holler out the number on the ball. As the feeder YOU have to be creative and "palm" the ball - otherwise the hitter can see the number in your hand.
Another drill is to grab two whiffle/tennis balls in your hand at the same time. One on top of the other. It takes some talent to do this correctly (LOL). On your downward movement with both balls (soft toss) - just before you’re up swing where you let the balls go...tell him - "top or bottom". When you let the balls go, gravity and Mother Nature takes over and it has become a fantastic drill for vision and concentration.

psm2010>>I have been thinking about picking up the Hands Back Hitter that is advertised on this site, but we just bought him a new catcher’s mask and helmet, now he needs cleats;not too mention tournament fees. It's never ending isn't it? I don't seem to remember my Dad spending this much on baseball   Text

Baron - IMO you don’t need the Hands Back Hitter - BUT the H.I.T. Hands Inside Trainer is a good investment.
You are right! Things cost way too much!

Baron

This message was edited by Baron on 10-1-10 @ 4:15 PM


psm2010    -- 09-28-2010 @ 9:14 PM
  Baron,

I like the drills you mentioned, I will definitely be doing those. We do one hand drills when we do soft toss. Is that what you were referring to when you say "Make sure you do some top hand and bottom hand drills whereby isolating the hands - will give you an idea if there is one hand contributing to any mechanical flaws"? Thanks again for the input.


Baron    -- 09-28-2010 @ 11:43 PM
  Yes...one hand ISO drills during soft toss!


Harley    -- 10-04-2010 @ 2:04 PM
  Lots of great advice from everyone. As Yakyu pointed out, no two wood bats are the same. Baron has some nice drills. Delaware is a great authority on the MS rules.

I have my son do both over and under training. Practicing with a heavy bat and a 1 lb do-nut over the winter helps to develop the muscle strength that will be needed to swing the -3 bat in the spring.  Swinging a broomstick helps to develop speed.

Lance Johnson was having trouble making it to the majors because his bat was too slow so one day he pulled a cap off of an aluminum bat, filled it up with sand, put the cap back on, and then spent all winter doing T work with it. The next spring training he made the team and proceeded to lead the majors in triples for many years.

Using a -5 for Fall ball sounds like a good way to transition to the -3 for the spring, but he might not have the needed strength to hit well with the heavier bat yet.

Even though BESR bats will be legal for only one year, I would get a used one for next year.  I have heard that the BBCOR bats have no pop at all in them.  Some have told me that even wood bats have more pop than BBCOR bats.


-Harley.


pushpushboy76    -- 10-18-2010 @ 6:12 PM
  Bob,
       I live in Georgia, and in middle school. Im 7. I use a 56oz. 60in.
combat. I once hit 16 home runs in one game. Ima beast. How bout you?[
Toughtful Remarks, Logan


pushpushboy76    -- 10-18-2010 @ 6:13 PM
  Bob,
       I live in Georgia, and in middle school. Im 7. I use a 56oz. 60in.
combat. I once hit 16 home runs in one game. Ima beast. How bout you?[
Toughtful Remarks, Logan


smpost82    -- 10-18-2010 @ 7:03 PM
  16 HR's in one game? Think you guys need to re-read this:
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greybeard    -- 10-19-2010 @ 5:43 PM
  Back to the original post: choke up.

Ever see pictures of Ty Cobb or Barry Bonds holding a bat?  Nasty personalities and steroids notwithstanding, they both choked up and were two of the best hitters in history.


treylortrache    -- 10-19-2010 @ 11:04 PM
  I'm feeling your pain on this one, not much you can do.  
When my kids were playing middle school they swung -
5's, until one certain coach with a team full of 8th
grade studs started making a stink about it because it
gave him an advantage.  Trouble is, our middle school
(like many others) has no rule making body to govern
such things. When this first came to light, I made note
to our MS AD of the fact that NFHS rules are altered
for middle school programs in the most drastic way
already....they pitch from 54' with bases 80' apart.  
How can it be customarily accepted that these kids
aren't ready for the grown man's game on the big field
but are required to swing a grown man's bat? He said,
good point, but didn't even know who to take it too.


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