Starting in 2018, to be legal for play in Little League, Pony Baseball, Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth Baseball, AABC, AAU and Dixie Youth Baseball, your bat will need the USABat stamp on it.
USABatStandard 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 apply:
Cal Ripken Division (Tee Ball League) of Babe Ruth League, Inc. - Tee Ball Bats (lengths 26' and shorter) must feature the USABat mark and accompanying permanent text which reads " ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS"
Cal Ripken Division (Cal Ripken Leagues and Tournaments) of Babe Ruth League, Inc. - have approved the use of youth baseball bats 2 5/8” barrels, with USABat mark and NO BBCOR Bats are allowed
Babe Ruth Division 13-15 (Leagues and Tournaments) of Babe Ruth League, Inc. - have approved the use of youth baseball bats 2 5/8" barrels, with USABat mark or BBCOR.50
Babe Ruth Division 16-18 (Leagues and Tournaments) of Babe Ruth League, Inc. - have approved all baseball bats must be BBCOR.50 and NO Greater Than Drop -3
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 31, 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 (except the Babe Ruth 16-18 Division) 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
Long story short, everyone who plays with the Hillsborough Baseball League (league and tournament play) under the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball chartered organization 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. See the chart below and please feel free to visit http://www.baberuthleague.org/ for more information.