Bat Modifications and Alterations - Policy Statements
No bat, in any level of Little League Baseball or Softball play, is permitted to be altered. This is of particular concern especially when it is clearly done to enhance performance and violate bat standards. Making such alterations to bats is clearly an inappropriate attempt to gain an unfair advantage, and cheating has no place in our program. Umpires, managers and coaches are instructed to inspect bats before games and practices – as they always should – to determine if bats might have been altered.
This includes using the appropriate Little League Bat Ring. If a bat does not clearly pass through the correct size ring, or if it has a flat spot on it, the bat must not be used. (This may simply indicate the bat has become misshapen with use, and does not necessarily indicate it was purposely altered. Still, the bat must be removed.)
Other signs to look for include contorted or mangled end-caps or knobs on non-wood bats. This could indicate that machinery was used to “shave” the inside of the bat to make it lighter. Bats with evidence of this type of tampering also must not be used.
Little League International wishes to make it clear that tampering with bats (or any other piece of equipment) is dangerous, and the equipment must not be used in any Little League game or practice.
With the Little League® International Board of Directors formally adopting USA Baseball’s new standard for bat performance testing, Little League International fully supports this program. For more than seventy-five years, Little League has used improvements in science, engineering, and technology to take the sport of baseball to higher levels. By utilizing the most current advancements available, manufacturers can now develop bats with a wood-like performance, which is important for the long-term success of the game. Developed by a USA Baseball committee of scientific experts, Little League Baseball® has decided to adopt the new bat standard for mandated use effective January 1, 2018. All national members of USA Baseball, including Little League, are encouraged to adopt this new standard. Little League-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017, and our current bat regulations will be in effect until then. That includes the moratorium prohibiting the use of all 2 ¼ inch barrel baseball bats constructed with composite material in the barrel, unless approved. Visit LittleLeague.org for detailed information. Little League looks forward to working with USA Baseball, and will begin educating our local leagues, and the parents of our 2.1 million baseball players, preparing them for the important change coming in 2018.