Overview – Survey of Little League Adult Participants and Volunteers in New Jersey
The survey was conducted via Internet over three days in October 2006. It was provided to 21,300 adults who participate in Little League Baseball/Softball activities in New Jersey. The 21,300 total represents all New Jersey residents for whom Little League International has e-mail addresses. Those receiving the survey were asked what position they hold in the local Little League or District, and were asked to respond to the following:
- More than 10 years ago, the major manufacturers of non-wood bats reached an agreement with Little League to limit their bats to a “Bat Performance Factor” (BPF) of 1.15.
- The BPF is essentially a measure of a non-wood bat’s performance (how fast the ball exits the bat when hit) in relation to a standard wood bat’s rating of 1.00. A very good wood bat’s BPF is 1.15.
- That means today’s best non-wood bats (usually made of aluminum) used in Little League perform statistically the same, in terms of how fast the ball exits the bat, as the best wood bats.
- For the last 10 years, bat manufacturers have only been producing non-wood bats for play in Little League that do not exceed the 1.15 BPF. Most of these bats are already printed with the BPF of 1.15, but beginning in 2009, all bats used in Little League Baseball must be imprinted with the BPF.
- Little League reached this agreement in the early 1990s with the manufacturers of non-wood bats because it noticed the number of reported injuries to pitchers who were hit by batted balls had increased to about 145 in a year.
- Since that agreement, these types of reported injuries have decreased to their current level of 20-30 per year.
- Little League also has addressed the baseballs used in games. Requirements for baseballs to have standardized hardness and liveliness have been in place for several years as well.
- Some people prefer wood bats because they are more traditionally associated with baseball. Players in local Little Leagues have always been able to use wood bats if they wish.
Question: Based on the facts noted above, do you believe there should be a ban on non-wood bats in New Jersey as the legislation proposes?
- Total Respondents: 3,030
- 1,052 responded "YES" (35 %)
- 1,978 responded "NO" (65 %)
Respondents by Position in the Local League or District
District Administrators: These are generally the most experienced volunteers, having risen through the ranks of local leadership in a variety of capacities to be elected triennially by their constituent leagues.
- Total respondents: 12
- 1 responded "YES" (8 %)
- 11 responded "NO" (92 %)
Assistant District Administrators / District Staff: These also are experienced volunteers, appointed annually by their District Administrator.
- Total respondents: 20
- 4 responded "YES" (20 %)
- 16 responded "NO" (80 %)
Local Little League Officers: These are generally the more experienced volunteers at the local league level, having been elected to leadership positions on the local Board of Directors by the league membership.
- Total respondents: 316
- 79 responded "YES" (25 %)
- 237 responded "NO" (75 %)
Local Little League Board of Directors Members: These are volunteers of varying degrees of experience, elected by the local league membership.
- Total respondents: 239
- 75 responded "YES" (31 %)
- 164 responded "NO" (69 %)
Managers and Coaches: These are volunteers of varying degrees of experience, and are appointed to these positions by the local league President, with approval from the Board of Directors.
- Total respondents: 1,168
- 440 responded "YES" (38 %)
- 728 responded "NO" (62 %)
Umpires: These are volunteers of varying degrees of experience, and are appointed to these positions by the local league President, with approval from the Board of Directors.
- Total respondents: 46
- 19 responded "YES" (41 %)
- 27 responded "NO" (59 %)
Parents: Respondents in this group listed no specific position with the local league, other than having at least one child in the program.
- Total respondents: 1,129
- 399 responded "YES" (35 %)
- 730 responded "NO" (65 %)
Others: No specific position was listed for these respondents.
- Total respondents: 100
- 35 responded "YES" (35 %)