By now, you have probably heard that on January 1, 2018, many of the nation’s youth baseball organizations adopted the USA Bat Standard, a new method for evaluating the performance of a baseball bat. Many questions have followed the adoption of the USA Bat Standard. What is the USA Bat Standard? Did my league adopt the new standard? How do I know if my bat is legal? What does this new bat standard mean going forward? To help answer your questions and give you a better understanding of these new changes, The Hardball Network has put together this quick guide to the new USA Bat Standard.
What is the USA Bat Standard?
Simply, the USA Bat Standard is a new method for measuring the performance of youth baseball bats. If you are 14 years old or younger and playing at the youth level your bat must be stamped with the USA Bat Standard logo to be approved for play. If your bat does not have this stamp it is illegal and can not be used in games or tournaments. The new Standard requires that all bats have the USA Bat Standard approved stamp on them and a barrel size of 2 ¼ – 2 5/8, There are no drop limit restrictions on the bat’s length to weight ratio.
Why was the USA Bat Standard Adopted?
Advancements in bat technologies allowed manufacturers the ability to create alloy and composite bats that far outperformed wooden bats. According to Little League Baseball, “USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game.” So, USA Baseball conducted a study that included both lab and field tests and concluded that advancements in science, engineering, and materials available allow bat manufactures the ability to manufacture bats that perform at wood-like levels throughout a there entire range of bats. The goal is to reduce the “trampoline effect” that alloy and composite bats have on the baseball. Reports have shown the USA Bat Standard has reduced exit velocity speeds by 3-5 miles per hour making the non-wood bats more comparable to the top of the line wooden bats.
Why Not Go to a Wood Bat Standard?
Many youth baseball organizations have not adopted a wood bat standard because wood is a scarce resource. Plus, there are many benefits to using alloy and composite bats at the youth level. For a further explanation of these benefits, be sure to read our article, What to Consider When Purchasing a Bat.
What If You Have an Older Bat?
Unfortunately, if you are using a bat below the NFHS (National Federation of State High Schol Associations) or NCAA (National Colligate Athletic Association) levels it must have the USA Bat Standard stamp on it to be approved for play. This probably means if you purchased your bat before January 1, 2018, it will not be allowed in game or tournament play.
If you are using a bat at the Tee Ball level it must have the USA Baseball mark on it. Although, if you purchased the bat before the implementation of the USA Bat Standard you can apply for a sticker through the USA Tee Ball Sticker Program to be placed on the bat. The sticker must read ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS. You can purchase a sticker at USABaseballShop.com
Which Leagues Have Adopted the USA Bat Standard?
Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
Don’t see your league listed above? Then, Be sure to double check your league’s website or with a league official for updates.
Where Can I Purchase an Approved Bat?
Here is a list of companies and retailer’s where you can purchase USA Bat Standard approved bats. Just look for the USA Bat stamp.
Axe Bat – Axe Bat is one of the fastest growing manufacturers baseball bats in the country.
DeMarini – Headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, DeMarini produce some of the most innovate bats in the industry.
Dirty South Bats – The new kids on the block, Dirty South Bats pride themselves on making some of the most durable bats on the market.
Easton – The world’s largest manufacturer of baseball and softball equipment.
Franklin Sports, Inc. – A very well known name within the baseball industry. Franklin Sports has been producing high-quality baseball equipment since 1946.
Louisville Slugger – Everybody knows the name Louisville Slugger.
Mizuno – Established in Osaka, Japan in 1906, Mizuno has been manufacturing some of the best equipment on the market for over 100 years.
Rawlings – Founded in 1887, Rawlings is one of the oldest and most trusted names in the industry.
Justbats.com – These people love talking bats pure and simple.
Dick’s Sporting Goods – A leading sporting goods retailer that offers an extensive assortment of high-quality equipment.
For more detailed information you can go to USA Baseball’s official website for an approved bat list.
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Do you want to learn more about other equipment in play? Just click on EQUIPMENT.
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