Little League Issues Policy Statement on Bat Alterations
While Little League International has not received any reports of Little League volunteers or players making alterations to bats designed to increase their performance, it has been an issue in some upper levels of play.
In an effort to ensure this does not become a problem in Little League, this policy statement has been prepared and may be distributed to volunteers, parents and players.
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.