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Bat Regulations

Summary of Changes

 

Bat -Rule -Comparison

Softball Bat Regulations

 

BABE RUTH SOFTBALL - ALL DIVISIONS
The bat may not exceed 34" in length and the bat barrel many not exceed 21⁄4" in diameter or be greater than 38 ounces in weight. The bat shall be marked "OFFICIAL SOFTBALL" or "OFFICIAL FASTPITCH" by the manufacturer.  Wood barrel bats conforming to the specifications of Official Softball Rule 1.10 are allowed.

Baseball Bat Regulations

Approved Bats - Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball

Cal Ripken Division - All non-wood bats must have the USABat Marking. The Barrel Maximum is  2 5/8".   No BBCOR Bats are permitted in the Cal Ripken Division.  For the T-Ball Division, bats must be marked with the USABat T-Ball Stamp. 

Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 Division – All non-wood bats must have the USABat Marking or marked BBCOR .50.  Bat Barrel - 2 5/8". 

Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division - All non-wood bats MUST be a BBCOR .50 and no greater than a -3.  Barrel - 2 5/8".

Click Here to read about the USABat Standard         Click Here to read about the USABat T-Ball Sticker Program

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 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 here.

Are wood bats still allowed?

Yes. Solid, one piece wood bats are approved for use under USABat with or without the USA Baseball Certification Mark. Multi-piece and composite wood bats must feature the USA Baseball Certification Mark to be approved for play.

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 via USABaseballShop.com beginning September 1, 2017.