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New Baseball Bat Standards for 2018 (Video)
by posted 07/30/2017


Have you heard that there are new bat standards are coming?


Did you know that all bats used in 2017 and prior will not meet the new bat standards?  Yes, all of it is true.  Let's give you a little run-down on what is happening.

As of January 1,, 2018, Little League and other youth baseball organizations will adopt a new USA Baseball guideline for baseball bats used in games and in practice.

Why the change?

The NEW performance standard for youth non-wood baseball bats will limit the performance to the highest rated wood bats.  The move to the new guideline means that we will adopt wood-like bat performance. Since the 90's the BPF standard used for little league has resulted in bats that perform a little bit better than wood. This has happened due to technological advances in bat design.  The new standard brings integrity back into the game with a wood-like standard.  The manufacturers have known about the change for several years, and although little league and USA baseball has been talking about it since 2015, the cut-off to change is coming and will be in play for Spring 2018.  


How is fall ball affected?
No change for fall ball. The rule change does NOT go into effect until January 1, 2018, so all current youth baseball bats, which are marked with a 1.15BPF stamp, will continue to be legal in Little League®, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken, PONY, Dixie and AABC through December 31st, 2017.


When will new bats be available?

Retailers will have the new bats on September 1, 2017.  Look for bats with this logo.

On January 1, 2018 USA Baseball will be implementing the rule change to the bats. If you are 14 years old or younger and play Little League®, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken, PONY, Dixie or AABC, you will need to use a new bat marked with the new stamp. The bats currently on the market, which are marked with a 1.15BPF stamp, will no longer be legal for play in these leagues.

USSSA youth baseball will NOT be implementing this rule change to the bats. So if you are 14 years old or younger and you play on a travel ball team, or are playing in a tournament governed by USSSA, you can continue to use the bats marked with the 1.15BPF stamp indefinitely.  All current model Easton bats marked with the 1.15BPF stamp will be allowed in USSSA play for all events extending beyond January 1, 2018.

Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2018, under the new USA Baseball rule, all players 14 and under (not including Tee-Ball) will be able to use approved USA Baseball 2-5/8" barrels in Little League®, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken, PONY, Dixie and AABC.

Bats marked with the new USA Baseball stamp will NOT be available for purchase until September 1, 2017.


Click the image below to redirect to a great video that explains in detail about the bat changes.  


Why the change to a wood-like standard? 
USA Baseball's national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.

Why not just use wood bats?
Wood is a scarce resource. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood, where its performance will be limited to the highest performing wood.

How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?
Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups.

Why is USA Baseball involved?   
The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard. Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard.



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