USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S.
In conjunction with participating national member organizations (NMOs), it announced a new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, (meaning if your child is 14 or younger) will be implemented on January 1, 2018.
If your child plays in on of these NMOs, you need to purchase a new bat for the Spring 2018 season:
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Babe Ruth / Cal Ripkin Baseball
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- DizzyD Dean
- Little League Baseball
- PONY Baseball
(1) 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. However, USSSA will allow the use of a bat that carries the new USABat stamp (as long as barrel diameter, drop weight, material specifications, etc. match the specific division’s requirements – at least for now).
(2) For Dizzy Dean, 13 and up will need to use BBCOR bats. 13 and under will need to use a USABat bat or a BBCOR bat.
(3) Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has decided not to adopt the rule change.
NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard that was implemented in 2011, the new “USABat Standard” will create wood-like performance in youth baseball bats, or as USA Baseball’s Executive Director / CEO Paul Seiler stated, help “take another step forward in making our game more uniform at the youth level and ensuring the long-term integrity of the game”.
Bottom line? The new USA Bat standard is designed to perform similarly to a wood bat.
My children play in the Cal Ripkin league so their bat barrel size will change from 2 1/4 to 2 5/8.
What about tee ball bats?
Unlike standard youth baseball bats, tee ball bats (lengths 26″ and shorter) are not required to undergo lab testing to receive approval under the USABat Program.
However, to be approved for play within the participating National Member Organizations, tee ball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text that reads Only For Use With Approved Tee Balls.
Approved tee ball bats (26″ and shorter) under USABat will feature the USA Baseball mark.
USA Baseball will make a sticker program available that will allow individuals to purchase stickers to mark personal tee ball bats that were purchased prior to the implementation of the USABat Standard.
- Players within the affected organizations will also now be allowed to use bats with either a 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter (as long as they carry the new USABat stamp)