Bat Guidelines

Parents of Prospective Roland Park 11/12 Travel Players,

I’m passing this message along in the event folks are considering doing any holiday shopping for baseball bats for the upcoming season.  If so, this e-mail may save you some $$$$$ so please read it!

Last year, HCTB requirements forced many of us to purchase new, and expensive, bats that complied with the USA Bat Policy, i.e. bats stamped with the “USA Baseball” logo and we were no longer permitted to use USSSA bats.  HCTB has now reversed course so now the “old” USSSA bats will once again be permitted for league play along with USA Bats.  For those interested, I have included the league message below this e-mail.

Bats come down to personal preference, so if your player is happy with a USA bat, he can continue to use it. However, most kids prefer the older, big barrel (2 5/8″) USSSA bats as they have more pop which results in the ball travelling farther when hit. Right now, you can find tons of quality used bats USSSA bats on e-Bay at a fraction of their original cost and most are lightly used and come with new grips, making them feel like new bats. Another option would be to search local, used sporting goods retailers but that takes more leg work than shopping on-line. Please note that while 2 5/8″ barrels are approved, 2 3/4″ barrels are not approved for HCTB play; however, some tournaments may permits the use of those bats.

If some of you are parents of younger players who may play in the BCML, we do not know what their position will be on bat restrictions for 2019 so please check their website for updates and information.

I’ve tried to include as many of our former and current travel players as possible on this e-mail, but if I missed someone, please forward to them.

Please feel free to reach out to me or Coach Greg if you have questions about whether your bat or bats are legal, bats you may want to purchase, etc.

Thanks and hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.  Tryout dates and times for Spring ball will hopefully be announced before the December holidays.

Coach Phil and Greg

 


 

The HCTB Board has been asked to review the current bat policy and have come to a decision to update the 2019 bat rules by allowing both the USSSA and USA Bat stamped bats for play in the 8U-13U divisions.

Please understand that when we decided to follow the USA Bat policy, it seemed that the USSSA bats would be phased out due to the large amount of national organizations mandating the change.  This has not occurred as we had thought.

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

HCTB will be monitoring this issue on a year by year basis.

Here are the 2019 Bat Rules:

Age Group Bats
8U-10U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
11U-12U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
13U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel,  USA Bat (No barrel restrictions), or BBCOR
14U-19U BBCOR Only

 


If you are in the market for for a Big Barrel Baseball Bat, read this article BEFORE you purchase.

This applies to the 2-5/8 barrel Louisville Slugger similar to the 2-1/4 pictured above costing $350.

BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution) is something you’ve probably heard a lot about; it’s the standard currently governing adult baseball bats used in High School and Collegiate play. Rather than measuring the ratio of the ball exit speed to pitch and bat speeds, BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat.

Effective January 1st, 2018

USA Baseball is introducing a NEW standard. Traditionally, rules were always based on age groups. For example, 12U players are allowed to use baseball bats up to thirty-three (33) inches in length and less than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Now the new rule requires that bat barrels up to 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter are REQUIRED to carry the new USABat stamp.

USSSA has had a stated 1.15 BPF Small Barrel (2¼” barrels) and Big Barrel (2⅝” and 2¾” barrel bats) baseball bat performance standard in its rule book for 6 years for its sanctioned programs up to and including its 14U program. Read more

Traditionally, there has long been some confusion on the specific weight/length ratio limits, as well as the composition differences between wood, metal (aluminium), composite and BBCOR. When you move up to 13U they can use thirty-four (34) inch bats, and composite is allowed if BBCOR barrel is no larger than 2 5/8. Read more | Bat Standards | Announcement

Youth Baseball Bats that feature a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter and are often lighter, with a length to weight ratio between -8 and -13. Youth bats are sometimes referred to as small barrel bats or Little League baseball bats, and are used by players that play in leagues that mandate a bat with a 2 1/4 inch barrel. Most will be Little League approved bats and should also be legal in one or more of the following associations: Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, or USSSA. If you’re in search of youth baseball bat sales, check out our Closeout Youth Bats or Youth Bat Packs page for discount bats and great deals! Read more


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.

There will be no immediate change to youth baseball organizations’ bat rules. All bats, currently accepted for the respective leagues, remain permissible through December 31, 2017. Each participating national member organization will incorporate the new standard into their rules for the 2018 season and will begin, with this announcement, to inform their membership of the USABat standard.

Frequently Asked Questions about the USABat standard:

Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?
To date, the following organizations are participating (in alphabetical order): American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.

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.

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.

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.

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. Read more


Other bat retailers I recommend include:

One thought on “Bat Guidelines

  1. Brooks, I wonder why they don’t change the density of the ball instead of the bat? A massive argument could be made here… balls cost $5.00 vs $300.00+ for a bat. Is this indusrty driven: Easton, Marucci, etc. Also, not using wood b/c its limited resource is not a valid point. Composite materials are abundant + with the addition of: birch, maple, cherry no longer is everyone limited to ash trees. White and red oak, hickory, pecan and many other species have the specific gravity, density and flex for bats use. These are only a few of the domestic hardwoods.

    Like

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