USA Baseball Bats Update

            USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S. This year they’ve set new regulations for youth league bats that will affect players across the country this upcoming season. Players in AABC, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth & Dixie Boys, Little League Baseball, PONY Baseball, NABF, Dizzy Dean Baseball, and Perfect Game now must ensure their bats are stamped with the official USA Baseball stamp of approval. Whether you’re a player, coach, or parent, everything you’ll need to know about rule changes – from why they exist to what bats will be allowed in the 2018 season – is stated below.


            Similar to the mandated BBCOR regulations that began in 2010 to manage baseball bat use in high school and college, there will be no exceptions to the newly required certification enforced by USA Baseball. Much like in the NFHS and NCAA, any athlete who steps up to the plate with a bat missing the USA Baseball stamp will be turned away until he or she has the proper gear. How these new rules will be enforced is where the similarities to the BBCOR regulations end.


BBCOR’s purpose was to limit the drop weight of bats to -3 due to safety concerns for high school and college athletes. Meanwhile, according to USA Baseball, their new stamp sets no restriction on the drop weight of youth league bats so that children can still utilize lightweight gear. Instead, the purpose of the stamp is to bring all bats to a single standard that will accurately mimic that of a wooden bat. This means that what is truly being regulated are the technologies and materials used in the production of youth league bats. Furthermore, USA Baseball is adamant that, unlike BBCOR, their new rules are not for safety purposes, as youth baseball remains one of the safest sports for young athletes. The USA regulations are simply enforced to maintain an environment of fairness and competition within the sport.


Also worth mentioning, those with children playing tee-ball in 2018 will need to get a bat that is 26 inches or shorter. However, since tee-ball regulations are not concerned with bat material, you can go through the bat certification process to update previously owned bats. Follow this link to purchase an official USA Baseball sticker for $2 and simply place it on your child’s tee-ball bat. As baseball season quickly approaches for youth players, the time to act is now. Most major bat manufacturers have gotten in front of the new regulations and as a result, there are plenty of options when it comes to outfitting your player or team in 2018. To see a full list of certified bats at every level, visit the USA Baseball website at Once you have equipped your player or team, it’s time to enjoy a fairer – and better overall – baseball experience.

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