2023 USSSA Slowpitch Softball Changes
As you might have noticed by now, things are changing for the slowpitch softball world! USSSA has officially announced they are ending the grandfathering of 2012 stamped bats as of January 1st, 2023. This means that any bat with the older 2012 USSSA stamp WILL NOT be accepted in any USSSA tournament (220 bats). ONLY 240 stamped bats will be allowed. The bat standard moving forward will be the 240 stamp and bat testing will pass at 240lbs for tournament play. This includes the USSSA Challenge Cup. This does not include local league play as those rules may change based on the local regulations. The difference between the bats will be the lowest allowed threshold for passing via compression test.
New Stamp VS Old Stamp
As the above image shows, any slowpitch bat with the OLD stamp cannot be used in any USSSA tournament play starting on January 1st, 2023. Any Slowpitch Softball Bats with the NEW stamp shown on the right are accepted in Tournament play.
What to expect with these changes:
PLEASE NOTE: THESE CHANGES ARE FOR NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY ONLY (INCLUDING CO-ED)… LOCAL TOURNAMENTS CAN CHANGE THEM
Performance seems to be the number one factor with this change. As the lowest compression threshold that's allowable (How much pressure needs to be applied before the barrel compresses) will be increased from 220lbs to 240lbs, this is going to reduce the trampoline effect you get from a lower compression barrel. This trampoline effect and barrel compression can get a bit detailed and confusing but we will try to break it down the best we can.
Essentially, the way you can think about this trampoline effect and barrel compression is that the lower the internal barrel compression is, (measured in lbs) the more of a trampoline effect you get when the barrel meets the ball because there's a lower amount of force/lbs it takes to cause the barrel to compress.
- Higher compression = A more rigid barrel that is less flexible which in turn causes less of a trampoline on the ball, which causes a slower exit speed of the ball off the bat.
- Lower Compression = A more flexible barrel thats easier to compress which gives more of a trampoline effect, which causes a higher exit speed of the ball off the bat.
Some bats, like the 2023 Axe Avenge Pro Flared Knob's starting internal compression is sitting around the 250-260lbs mark right out of the wrapper. This implies there's no serious break-in period as its already close to the 240lb threshold for USSSA play whereas other USSSA Bats on average sit closer to the 280-300lbs range as to allow a break-in period for the composite material. On average, 240 stamped bats have been shown to be less "hot out of the wrapper" than the 220 stamped bats but last quite a bit longer due to the higher compression and more rigidity of the composite material.
Overall, there is good and not so good news regarding this change. No more grandfathering in 220 stamped bats, consider them gone unless you are playing in local leagues where they might be accepted. 220 stamped bats have been shown on average to be more 'Hot out of the wrapper' with less of a break-in period, but tend to break quicker and easier. Good news however, is that the 240 stamped bats have better overall durability and longevity as well as some manufacturers are still producing HOTTTT out of the wrapper bats that are close to that 240 threshold point which require no serious break-in period.
IF YOU HAVE BOUGHT A 220 STAMPED BAT FROM US IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS, READ BELOW!
(We will not accept Trade-ins purchased after Nov.18th)
If you have purchased a 220 stamped bat from us here at Headbanger Sports, we will accept it back and SWAP it out for a 240 stamped bat so you can keep on playing! Exchanged bats are limited to our exclusives such as the Easton POW, Demarini Stadium, Demarini Phil Matte and Demarini Fu-Dawg. You MUST have a receipt from Headbanger Sports, as well as the 220 stamped bat has to have been purchased no more than 6 months ago (MAY 18, 2022 and stopping on NOV. 18th 2022), in order to qualify for an exchange. This offer will end on December 18, 2022 so don’t waste any time getting to us!
Feel free to give us a call to set up your return at 1-888-540-2287.
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