Last Updated: January 9th, 2018
By: Taira Jordan
Before the 2018 Spring Baseball season gets in full swing, we wanted to let you know of important changes that will affect youth baseball and tee ball leagues in the upcoming season. Effective January 1, 2018, USA Baseball will be implementing a new youth baseball bat standard for the following youth baseball leagues: Little League, AABC, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie Leagues, and PONY baseball. If your youth baseball player plays in one of these leagues, they will need to buy a new baseball bat that meets this updated bat standard. Bats that meet the 2018 USA Baseball standard will feature the USA Baseball licensing mark prominently on the bat’s taper.
Since the wood used to make baseball bats is a scare and increasingly expensive resource, the new USA Baseball designated baseball bats are made to perform like the best wood baseball bats. This new wood-like performance standard for youth bats will create uniformity across the various U.S. youth baseball leagues and provide long-term longevity for the sport. For the first time, bat barrels can be either 2-1/4” or 2-5/8”. The new standard does not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made of lighter weight materials. Alternately, previously approved bats with a 1.15 BPF stamp will no longer be legal for play in USA Baseball leagues.
“Since the wood used to make baseball bats is a scarce and increasingly expensive resource, the new USA Baseball designated baseball bats are made to perform like the best wood baseball bats. ”
Tee ball leagues governed by USA Baseball will not be changing their bat standards. However, all tee ball players will need to have a bat that has the USA Baseball licensing mark on the taper. If their tee ball approved bat does not have this logo, players can buy a USA Baseball logo sticker and affix it to their bat to make their tee ball bat legal for 2018 USA Baseball tee ball play. All new 2018 USA Baseball tee ball bats will have the USA Baseball logo on their taper and will be legal for play.
Bat standards for softball leagues and those leagues governed by USSSA will also not be changing. Youth ball players on a travel ball league or a league governed by USSSA can continue to use bats displaying the 1.15 BPF stamp.