First College, next was High School, now at the Pony and Little League levels we will see a Youth BBCOR Bat!
Starting in 2018, to be legal for play in Little League, Pony, Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth, AABC, AAU, Dixie baseball, your bat will need the USABat stamp on it.
USABat Standard baseball bats will go on sale in the Fall of 2017. Major brands like Easton, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, and Rawlings are already hard at work on these new youth baseball bats with the USABat stamp.
Key USABat Standard Baseball Bat Facts
- Approved YBBCOR 2 5/8” barrels will be legal for all ages (14 and under) in Little League, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, PONY, Dixie, AABC, AAU.
- The 2 5/8” big barrel lengths will be much shorter than the current 2 5/8” 1.15bpf barrels used in today’s game due to the performance regulations put in place.
- All current youth baseball bats will continue to be legal in the above mentioned organizations through December 31st, 2017
- 1.15bpf bats will NOT be grandfathered in for the 2018 season.
- The goal is to make youth bats perform like a wood bat.
- There will be no limit to how light a bat can be, which should be helpful to younger players.
- According to USA Baseball, the governing body that oversaw the research and ratification of the new USABat standard, this change is being made for “integrity of the game”, and not “safety” reasons, as it claims “Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports”.
- USSSA, which governs nearly all travel ball teams, is not affected by the change to the USABat Standard, and currently has no plans to change their bats
Long story short, everyone who plays Little League, Pony, and the other organizations mentioned above will need to buy a new bat starting in 2018. These bats will perform like wood bats. Baseballs will likely not be hit as far with these bats, BUT the larger diameter barrel on the baseball bats can and will make the baseball easier to hit for many players.