Are approved bats changing in 2018?

Yes. Please note that as of January 1, 2018, the new USA Baseball Bat Standard will be implemented. Little League-approved baseball bats that are approved for use for the 2017 season will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity starting on January 1, 2018. See the Little League International Bat Information page for details.

Do I need to buy a new bat?

As noted above, Little League-approved baseball bats that are approved for use for the 2017 season will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity starting on January 1, 2018. But you may not need to buy a new bat. SVLL will provide at least one new USABat for each team at each level. And we are considering requiring T-ball players use league-provided bats. (Stay tuned for an announcement when/if that becomes official.)

But since there is a high demand for new bats which meet the USA Baseball Bat standard, if you do want to purchase a new bat it may be best not to wait.

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.

Have any USA Baseball approved bats later been disallowed?

Does the standard impact Tee Ball?

Yes. Under the USABat standard, certified tee ball bats will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads, "ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS."

Can I use a Tee Ball bat that does not feature the USA Baseball mark?

All Teel Ball bats 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 via the USA Baseball Sticker Program.

What is the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program?

The USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program is an initiative designed to allow for the continued use of tee ball bats that were manufactured prior to the implementation of the new USABat standard. This program will allow individuals and families to purchase approved stickers marked with the USA Baseball logo and langugage which reads, "ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS." Stickers will be available for purchase online via USABaseballShop.com beginning September 1, 2017.

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 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.

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 & Dixie Boys Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.

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.

Who were the scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee?

Alan Nathan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois
Dan Russell, Ph.D. Professor of Acoustics at Penn State University
Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. Research Director of American Sports Medicine Institute

Is safety the reason for the change?

No. Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.

How do I get answers to questions not answered above?

For more information, email  USABat@usabaseball.com.