District 4

New Bat Standard Takes Effect January 1, 2018

Starting January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will implement the new USA Baseball Bat Standard. Little League-approved baseball bats that are approved for use for the 2017 will no longer be suitable for use in any Little League game or activity starting January 1, 2018.

Note: The new USABat standard does NOT apply to Softball. There is no list of approved softball bats. In softball, the bat only needs to meet the specifcations of Rule 1.10 for a softball bat.

 
2018 Season Bat List

Decertified USA Bats:

Decertified BBCOR Bats:

2018

Minor and Major

  • USA Baseball marking
  • 2 5/8" barrel maximum

Intermediate (50/70) and Junior

  • USA Baseball marking
  • 2 5/8" barrel maximum
  • NO BBCOR ALLOWED

Senior

  • ALL bats must be BBCOR

2018 Tee Ball Bats

Starting on January 1, 2018, all Tee Ball bats in the Little League Baseball® Tee Ball program 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 (available September 1, 2017) via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program for use with approved Tee Ball baseballs for Little League play. Tee Ball bats for Little League Softball® Tee Ball programs must follow the Little League Softball Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies.

USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program

 
USA Baseball Announces New Youth Bat Performance Program

USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations (NMOs), adopted a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats in 2015. Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its NMOs - including Little League Baseball and other youth organizations - USA Baseball concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.

The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.

Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USA Baseball bat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.

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.

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 thier 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.

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.

How will I know which bat to buy?

All new bats that bear the USABat mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations.

When can I buy the new bat?

It is the intention of the bat manufacturers to make the new bats available in the fall of 2017, in sufficient time for the 2018 season.