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USA Baseball Bat Standard: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of March 30, 2017

USA Baseball

Testing and evaluating of youth baseball bats has evolved into a science. So much so that the standard has also evolved to where USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States, is adopting a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats that will go into effect on January 1, 2018. The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), was developed by a USA Baseball committee of scientific experts.

Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball® will adhere to the new USABat standard. No bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity.

What this means for local Little Leagues, and Little League baseball players in the Tee Ball through Junior League Divisions, as well as Little League Challenger Division®, is that all current Little League-approved bats can be used during the 2017 Little League regular season and throughout tournament play, but can no longer be used starting in 2018. All of Little League’s current bat regulations will remain in effect until December 31, 2017. Be aware that this new bat standard effects Little League Baseball only. There are no changes to the bat standard or regulations for Little League Softball®.

Frequently Asked Questions about the USABat standard:

1. What is the definition of Bat Standard?+
2. Why is USA Baseball involved?+
3. Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?+
4. Does this change effect all divisions of Little League Baseball®?+
5. Will there be a new USABat Standard for softball bats?+
6. How will the Little League Challenger Division® and Senior League Challenger Divisions be affected?+
7. Will 2017 models, and older baseball bats still be allowed to be used in the younger Little League® baseball divisions, or during any other Little League activities, including practice or games?+
8. What will the new “approved” USABat label look like? +
9. How will a consumer know that a bat is approved for Little League play?+
10. How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard?+
11. Why the change to a wood-like standard?+
12. Do I have a choice to use Bat Performance Factor (BPF) or USABat bats in Little League®?+
13. Does this change mean that Little League® will no longer be using BBCOR bats in the Little League® Junior League and Senior League Baseball Divisions?+
14. Will each Little League® division have its own size, weight, and drop limits?+
15. Can the BPF bats be recycled or traded in for new USA Baseball-approved bats?+
16. Do the 1.15 BPF or BBCOR designations no longer matter in Little League®?+
17. Will the Little League® Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division and the Junior League Baseball Division be using the BBCOR standard or the USABat standard?+
18. Is safety the reason for the change?+
19. In 2018, will an umpire be required to inspect a bat before it is used in a game?+
20. What will be the barrel size of the new bats?+
21. Will it matter if the new bats are composite or alloy barrel?+
22. Are the 2¼ inch Little League® Major Division bats going to be manufactured according to the USABat standard?+
23. Will Little League® continue to have an approved bat list on the LittleLeague.org website?+
24. When will the bats be available for purchase?+
25. What stores/sports equipment retail outlets will sell the new bats?+
26. How will the new bat standard effect retail cost?+
27. How will wooden bats for Little League play be effected by the new USA Baseball bat standard? +