Are you lucky enough to have a child who dreams of being the next Ben Stokes or Kane Williamson? You can support their hobby by getting the right equipment, and for a junior cricket bat, size 1 is the first step. Below, we dive into the suitable ages and heights for using a size 1 cricket bat, and how to choose one. It’s usually the first bat someone owns, so there’s every reason to do your research and make the right call.
What Age Should Use Size 1 Cricket Bats?
A child’s age should be considered when choosing a cricket bat that is size 1. Usually, the bat will be perfect for the very youngest of fledgling cricketers. The size is about right for 4-5-year-olds. However, parents will know that kids don’t all grow at the same rate. It’s more about their height than their age when choosing a cricket bat. Batters up to 4ft 3” will find size 1 to be suitable.
Some people are tempted to give their kids bigger bats in the hope they grow into them. This doesn’t tend to work. It’s impossible to learn the right batting technique if the bat comes up past your waist!
Choosing a Junior Cricket Bat
When you walk into a sports shop or look at an online retailer you might find that the choice of bats is a bit overwhelming. Not only are the different sizes intimidating, bats vary hugely in price, and in quality. Some adults buying cricket bats for their children aren’t even that into the sport. So, how do you know what is suitable for your child prodigy?
Bat sizes can be intimidating if you’re new to the sport. You can buy sizes 1-6 for juniors, or the Harrow size more aimed at teenagers or some smaller adults, and full-sized bats once you are buying for an adult. There’s even a specific Long Handle size for those who reach 6ft 3” and higher in adulthood.
Size 1 normally means a 26 ½ inch bat, aimed at 4-5-year-olds, or children whose height is up to 4ft 3”. You don’t have to be overly strict with this, but once your child reaches 6 or older, and they are over 4ft 3” it is usually time to move to size 2. The sizes then go up incrementally until adulthood.
Durability and Quality
The quality of the wood is so important when you are buying a cricket bat for juniors or adults. Bats can break. Even if you are playing with practice balls, and your kid isn’t exactly facing 90mph deliveries, it’s possible that the ball can damage the bat if it is not up to scratch. Willow is best, with options such as English Willow and Salix Alba (often sourced outside Britain) being sturdiest.
Venture into a high street sports shop and you might find some bats made out of wooden composites that are likely to break when they are met with any force. Even for a five-year-old, this is not suitable.
You also need to consider the fact that kids may be clumsy. This bat might get dropped and flung around the garden during practice sessions.
This is something that those cricket fan parents who don’t know much about the sport may not even be aware of. Bats need to be knocked in. This is the process of gradually strengthening the fibres inside the bat by knocking it with a mallet, or even softly building up pressure with a cricket ball in a sock (yes, really).
Village Cricket Co bats come ready to play, with no knocking in required. This can be a huge timesaver and means when the bat arrives your kid can get playing straight away.
Sweet Spot and Pickup
All quality bats have a sweet spot. This is an area where they are most responsive, and a child learning to play cricket will want to learn how to use the “pickup” of the bat most effectively. Pick a bat that has a curvature and your little one might surprise you with just how far they can slog in the nets, no matter how young they are.
There is a balance to be struck with a bat or children. Spending a fortune on a bat is like splashing out on designer clothes. Even if they are great quality, your kid is going to grow out of them. Sadly, the same applies to batting pads and some other junior cricket gear. You need to ensure that the bat is affordable as well as offering reliability.
On the other hand, if you buy the cheapest bats available at certain sports retailers, they’re likely to break. Opt for a bat that is well-reviewed and offers a professional feel to give your child the best start, but you don’t have to break the bank to get them a reliable batting companion.
The Junior Cricket Bat by The Village Cricket Co
The Village Cricket Co set out with a mission to make excellent bats for the village cricketer that don’t break the bank. Made of Salix Alba willow, our bats come knocked in and ready to play. They’re available in sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and Harrow. Time to measure your little one and see which size is going to be best for them.
As well as being sturdy and durable, the bat is designed with an excellent pickup, so with a little practice your kid will be delighted at how far they can strike the ball. When they reach the next size up, you can even buy another Village Cricket Co bat, and ensure a similar design and the same high standard.
How do we keep the cost so reasonable? As well as sourcing directly from the manufacturer, we keep bats simple in their design with one option for every bat size. On top of that, we don’t sponsor professional players like some manufacturers. This would add an extra cost.