Your First TBall Set: The Essential Guide and #1 Best Choice
- A quality first tball set is a worthwhile investment and, in this guide, we’ll show you the most important items to include in your hitter’s first tee ball set.
- Batting Tees are obviously a requirement of tee ball, but a quality batting tee lasts longer, helps hitters learn how to swing hard through the baseball, and helps teach the various contact points by simply moving the tee to different locations and heights.
- Tee ball bats generally start at 24 inches and may up to 28 inches in length.
- Your child will also likely outgrow this first glove quickly, so there’s no need to break the bank with this part of your first tee ball set.
Tee Ball, also known as (and used throughout this article interchangeably) TBall, T-ball or teeball, is a slightly modified version of baseball for youngsters, where a specialty safety ball is hit from an adjustable tee-ball tee rather, than being pitched. It's a great way to introduce young hitters to the game of baseball and is simplified so children can learn the basic skills of the game and have fun playing America’s pastime.
There’s a ton of baseball hitting and training aids available for hitters, but not all are appropriate, or necessary, for a young hitter heading into his first season playing tball. At Tanner Tees, we are often asked by parents & first-time coaches "what essential equipment should be included in their first Tee Ball Set?" A quality first tball set is a worthwhile investment and, in this guide, we’ll show you the most important items to include in your hitter’s first tee ball set.
Safety Balls for Tee Ball
It makes sense that balls for Tee Ball would be softer and lighter than regulation baseballs, so developing players can hit and field balls easier. Safety Tee balls look the same as baseballs (most have a durable synthetic leather cover), but weigh in between 4 and 5 ounces (as opposed to regulation baseballs that weigh between 5 and 5-1/4). Safety tee balls are also made with a molded core or sponge rubber center.
Rubber baseballs can also be helpful. They are constructed wholly from sponge rubber and are easily tossed and caught. Best of all, they don’t hurt if they are missed when catching it.
Batting Tees for Tee Ball
Batting Tees are obviously a requirement of tee ball, but a quality batting tee lasts longer, helps hitters learn how to swing hard through the baseball, and helps teach the various contact points by simply moving the tee to different locations and heights. Even toddlers can practice swings on a tee, maybe not getting them ready for the big leagues yet, but most kids find swinging a stick at a ball is a lot of fun.
Resist the temptation to purchase the cheapest tee in the marketplace. Investing in a Tanner batting tee will ensure that it lasts for years and will provide dependable tee workouts. Many of our customers are tee-ball league presidents who are reluctant to purchase a higher-priced batting tee. From our experience, plastic or PVC made tees have no warranty and don’t last past the first few practices, especially for young hitters because they will contact the tee often.
When purchasing a batting tee, it is important to consider its components and core features. It should be adjustable, made of metal and portable. Tanner Tees, the original pro-style batting tee, has a Low Ball (16-23 inch adjustable) stem and a Youth/Short (20-32 inch adjustable) stem that are perfect for your future Hall-of-Famer. For an additional resource on selecting the right batting tee, be sure to check out one of our past articles entitled: "How Do I Know What the Right Tee is for My Hitter?"
Selecting a Tee Ball Bat
Selecting the proper bat length is extremely important for your young hitter. If the bat is too short, too long or too heavy, they won’t be able to swing/drive the ball like they should. Tee ball bats generally start at 24 inches and may up to 28 inches in length. There are three ways to measure a proper bat length for your tee baller.
Tee Ball Bat Measurement #1
Have your young hitter place the bottom of the bat in the center of their chest, pointing the bat to their right or left side. If they can comfortably reach the top of the bat with their palm, the bat is the proper length.
TEE BALL BAT Measurement #2
Position the bottom of the bat in the center of their chest with the bat facing outward. If the child’s arm can reach out and grab the barrel of the bat, then it is the proper length.
TEE BALL BAT Measurement #3
Stand the bat up against the side of the child’s leg. If the end of the bat reaches the center of their palm when they reach down, it is the proper length.
The weight of the bat starts as low as 10-1/2 oz and can be as heavy as 18 oz. It is important to choose a bat the child can freely swing with conviction! The majority of tee ballers use a bat that is between 15 and 16 oz.
Gloves for Tee Ball
Parents can save a little money with tee ball gloves. Less expensive gloves tend to be softer and more flexible, which gives your tee baller better control and feel for the ball during gameplay. Your child will also likely outgrow this first glove quickly, so there’s no need to break the bank with this part of your tee ball set.
Tee ball gloves are measured from the heel of the glove, just below the palm, to the top of the glove, just above the index finger. Gloves can measure from 8 to 15 inches, but for a typical 4, 5 or 6-year-old, the gloves will measure approx. 8 to 10-1/2 inches.
As with most of the other items we mentioned above, gloves can also be found at sporting goods stores, although you will often find a larger selection of gloves for tee ballers online, rather than brick and mortar locations.
In addition to being a great source of exercise and introducing your youngsters to baseball/softball, tee ball allows them to learn and build key social skills, such as teamwork and cooperation! Choosing the right tball set for your beginner is the first step.