USA Baseball Youth Bat Regulations Effective 1/1/2018
Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?
To date, the following organizations are participating:
Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball
Dixie Youth Baseball
Dixie Boys Baseball
Little League Baseball
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.
Who were the scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee?
Alan Nathan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois
Dan Russell, Ph.D. Professor of Acoustics at Penn State University
Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. Research Director of American Sports Medicine Institute
Why wait until 2018?
The implementation date of 2018 will allow bat manufacturers sufficient time to conduct the appropriate research, design, testing, manufacturing and shipping needed to get new bats into retail outlets. This date also allows the participating national member organizations adequate time to educate their memberships of the USABat standard.
Is my current bat good for league play?
Yes. Current league-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017.
Is safety the reason for the change?
No. Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.
How will I know which bat to buy?
All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations. A full list of certified bats can be found at usabat.com.
Does the standard impact Tee Ball?
Yes. Under the USABat standard, certified tee ball bats will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS.
Can I use a Tee Ball bat that does not feature the USA Baseball mark?
All Tee Ball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text. Tee Ball bats that were produced and/or purchased prior to the implementation of the new standard can be certified using an Approved Tee Ball Sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program.
What is the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program?
The USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program is an initiative designed to allow for the continued use of tee ball bats that were manufactured prior to the implementation of the new USABat standard. This program will allow individuals and families to purchase approved stickers marked with the USA Baseball logo and language which reads: ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS. Stickers will be available for purchase online at https://usabaseballshop.com beginning September 1, 2017.