USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations has adopted a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats. Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its National Member Organizations, — including the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball & Dixie Boys Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball — USA Baseball has 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 USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which applies to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, was implemented on January 1, 2018.
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 USA Baseball bat standard establishes a wood-like performance standard for youth baseball bats, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.
- USABat is USA Baseball’s certification standard for youth baseball bats that establishes a wood-like performance for non-wood bats
- Beginning January 1, 2018, participating National Member Organizations, which include the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball & Dixie Boys Baseball, Little League Baseball, PONY Baseball and the NABF, adopted the USABat Standard for youth baseball bats. Additional organizations adopting USABat include Dizzy Dean Baseball and a wide variety of city and county parks and recreation departments around the country
- Under the USABat standard, metal and composite bats must feature the USABat certification mark to be authorized for play in youth leagues within the participating National Member Organizations. Solid, one piece wood bats may be used with or without the USA Baseball mark
- For non-wood and multi-piece wood youth baseball bats (non-TeeBall bats), the USA Baseball mark signifies that the bat has undergone lab testing to confirm that it performs at a wood-like standard and has been certified under USABat
- Bats with the BPF 1.15 stamp are no longer be permitted in leagues that have adopted USABat. Some older youth divisions will allow both USABat and BBCOR .50 certified bats
- Retailers and licensed bat manufacturers began selling certified baseball and tee ball bats featuring the USA Baseball mark on September 1st, 2017
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