In previous blog posts, we have briefly discussed various bat certifications and regulations, such as USA, USSSA, and BBCOR. It’s important to know that you are getting the right baseball bat for your league, so we decided to dive back into this a little more.
What Are Bat Regulations?
There are a few different categories that baseball bats can fall into, and each requires their own regulations to be met. These categories, or certifications, are usually determined by the league you are playing in.
USA Baseball is the national governing body for baseball within the United States. They, along with other organizations, developed a method to measure performance standards in youth baseball bats, and determined minimum and maximum standards that must be met. USA Baseball bats are fabricated from non-wood materials like scandium alloy, but are designed to have a wood-like style of play.
USA Baseball standard regulations apply to bats below the NCAA and NFHS levels, typically considered youth baseball. Some organizations that have adopted USA Baseball as their standard include: 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. This list continues to grow as USA Baseball becomes the generally accepted method of testing and certifying youth baseball bats.
In order to ensure that your youth baseball metal and composite bat measures up, and is acceptable to be used within any of these leagues, it must feature the USABat certification. Without this, you may be disqualified from using that bat in play. For solid, one piece wood bats, the certification mark is not necessary, they can be used with or without it.
USSSA and BBCOR
BBCOR certifications ensure that your big barrel bat has no more than a drop 3 difference from length. BBCOR certified bats are recognized and approved for NHSF sanctioned play, and in some 14U and 13U leagues. These bats are at least 29 inches in length.
USSSA certifications cannot be applied as a temporary affixment such as a sticker or a decal. These certifying marks must be permanent and included in the manufactured design. USSSA or other graphics applied post-manufacture subject the baseball bat to disqualification and suspension of play. Such altered bats that utilize the USSSA certification without express permission may also be subject to prosecution in violation of Federal Trademark Law.
Bats with small barrels that are shorter than 23” may not require the new USSSA mark, however, bats with barrels longer than 23” do. Requirements for 15U, 14U, and 13U leagues vary, so be sure to check if yours requires BBCOR or USSSA certifications.
Standards for baseball bats have been developed to ensure both player safety and performance equality. It is always a good idea to check your league’s regulations and requirements before purchasing a bat to verify that it will comply. Whatever standards are set for your league, Rude American USA has you covered. Shop USA, USSSA, or BBCOR bats today.