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When To Transition From Drop 5 to Drop 3 BBCOR Bats

Drop 5 vs. Drop 3 BBCOR Bats

As baseball players progress in their careers, they will encounter a time when they must make the transition from a drop 5 bat to a BBCOR baseball bat. The timing of this transition can be confusing and may vary depending on the player's level of play, age, and skill level. In this article, the Bat Experts at JustBats discuss and outline when a player should transition from a drop -5 bat to a BBCOR bat. Let's dig in. 


Drop 3 vs. Drop 5 Bats

Baseball players are faced with a decision when it comes to choosing a BBCOR bat: should they go with a drop 5 or a drop 3? Drop 5 bats are lighter and easier to swing, while drop 3 bats offer more power. So, when should you transition from a drop 5 to a drop 3 bat? When choosing between drop 3 bats (also known as BBCOR bats) and drop 5 bats, several factors need to be considered, including:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Strength 
  • Hitting Style
  • Goals

League requirements and restrictions should also be considered. Some leagues have strict rules regarding the maximum drop weight of a bat, while others require that a player must use a -3 BBCOR bat (such as high school leagues). 

Drop 3 BBCOR Bats

BBCOR bats are regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Every player in high school and college baseball will be required to swing a BBCOR-approved baseball bat

BBCOR bats have a regulated drop weight of (-3). This means they are heavier bats and will require hitters to have better control of their swing if they want to have success at the plate. Furthermore, BBCOR bats have a lower "trampoline effect" than say USSSA baseball bats, which means they do not generate as much power in contact with the ball. You can think of these bats similarly to wood bats or USA baseball bats in terms of performance. The main benefits of a BBCOR bat (compared to a wood bat) include:

  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • Size of the sweet spot 

[NOTE: BBCOR bats are required in high school and college baseball leagues.]


Drop 5 Bats

First, let's define what a drop 5 bat is. The Drop of a bat is a term used to describe the difference between the bat's length in inches and its weight in ounces. For example, a 32-inch bat that weighs 27 ounces has a drop 5 (-5) designation. Drop 5 bats are commonly used in USSSA and USA baseball leagues, typically by players in the 11-13 age range.

[NOTE: USSSA drop 5 baseball bats will have a higher level of performance than BBCOR or USA Bats.]


When To Start Using A BBCOR Bat

Baseball players will be required to transition to a BBCOR baseball bat when they enter high school.

The typical age range at which a player transitions from a drop 5 bat to a BBCOR bat is generally 13-14 years old. However, other factors such as size, strength, skill level, and league rules may also influence the decision. In general, players who are physically larger and stronger may make the transition at a younger age, while smaller and less physically mature players may benefit from continuing to use a drop 5 bat up until they are required to swing BBCOR.

Here are some additional factors to consider when deciding when to transition to a BBCOR bat:

  • League Rules: As mentioned earlier, high school and college leagues require BBCOR bats. Be sure to check with your league to determine when the transition is required.
  • Player Size and Strength: Players who are physically larger and stronger may benefit from using a BBCOR bat earlier than their peers who are smaller and less physically mature.
  • Player Goals: If a player has aspirations of playing at the high school or college level, it may be beneficial to make the transition to a BBCOR bat earlier in their career to help them adjust to the bat's feel and performance.

In conclusion, the transition from a drop 5 bat to a BBCOR bat is an important decision that should be made based on a variety of factors. While the general age range for the transition is 13-14 years old, know that all hitters will be required to swing a BBCOR bat once they reach high school. Transitioning prior to high school is an optional decision. We recommend keeping an open stream of conversation with your player and coaches before making the leap to a BBCOR bat. Other factors such as league rules, player skill level, size and strength, and player goals may also influence the decision.


If you are interested in purchasing a new drop 5 or BBCOR baseball bat, be sure to check out the full selection of baseball bats at JustBats. Every purchase made from JustBats comes standard with free, fast shipping and a satisfaction guarantee. If you are looking for drop 5 bats or BBCOR bat recommendations, please contact our team of Bat Experts. You can reach us via phone (866-321-2287), email ( or LIVE CHAT. We’re JustBats, and we’re with you from Click to Hit!

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