USA Bat Standard | What is the 2018 USA Bat Standard?
Effective January 1, 2018, USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States, will adopt a new method for measuring bat performance for testing Baseball Bats. Since the new USA Bat Standard may affect your bat purchase I will break down every part of the new rule change, including what changes to expect, why a change is being made, and who this new standard will affect.
What are the key takeaways regarding these new youth baseball bat rules?
- In order to maintain the integrity of youth baseball, the USABat Standard will create wood-like performance in youth bats while allowing younger players to use light-weight bats that could not be achieved with wood bats.
- AABC, Babe Ruth / Cal Ripken, Dixie, Little League, and PONY will all be affected by the USA Bat rule change, but USSSA will not. USSSA Baseball will allow the use of a bat that carries the new USA Bat stamp (as long as barrel diameter, drop weight, material specifications, etc. match the specific division's requirements).
- AAU has decided not to adopt the rule change.
- USA Baseball Stamped Bats will not have a drop weight limit.
- USA Baseball will allow the use of 2 5/8" big barrel bats for all age levels.
What will the USA Bat Standard change and why?
With the creation of the new 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 USA Stamp.
What National organizations will be affected by the new bat standard?
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Babe Ruth Baseball / Cal Ripken Baseball
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- Little League Baseball
- PONY Baseball
USSSA Baseball and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) will not be affected by the USA Bat Standard and Youth Big Barrel bats with 2 5/8 inch and 2 3/4 inch barrel diameters will still be produced with the USSSA BPF 1.15 certification.
What will the USA Bat logos look like on the baseball bat?
Here is where the logos will be placed on the bat, as well as what the logo will look like.
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 USA Bat 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 USA Bat 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.
Other notes regarding the new USA Bat Standard.
- All current league-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017.
- With the implementation date of 2018, bat manufacturers are allowed sufficient time to conduct necessary research, design, testing, and manufacturing of these new bats.
- Bats that are regulated by the new USABat Standard will be available to purchase on September 1, 2017.
- The organization that will adopt the USA Bat rule change will also then allow players to use a bat with either a 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter, as long as it bears the new USABat stamp).
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