If you’re about to purchase a new bat for your ball player, STOP! (collaborate and listen…Or just stop.) Before you head to the checkout, shiny new bat in hand, or hit the “place order” button, ask yourself this question.
“Do I know how long my kid will be able to use this new bat?”
Well, do you?
If your kid plays Little League, Dixie Youth, PONY, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth, NAFB, Dizzy Dean, American Amateur Baseball Congress or Perfect Game 12u and under, the answer is “until the ball drops at midnight, January 1, 2018.” And if you happen to be ringing in the new year at the ball field, don’t forget the champagne.
Yep, it doesn’t matter how much mojo your kid’s current bat has, or how many homers he’s launched with it. Thanks to USA Baseball, it’ll have to retire after the 2017 season no matter how much pop is left in its barrel.
What’s wrong with the bats we’re using now?
According to USABaseball.com the rationale for the new regulations is that “a wood-like performance standard will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.”
In other words, they’re trying to level the playing field for batters and pitchers because some composite bats have gotten too “hot,” (powerful) creating an unfair advantage for batters using them. (Sort of the same standard that has MLB hitters swinging wood instead of composite bats.)
Since wood is considered a “scarce resource,” the new bats will be made from composite or alloy to “seem like wood.” USA Baseball assures that they’ll be designed to mimic the highest performing wood.
- USA Baseball approved bats will be made in 2 1/4- and 2 5/8- inch dimensions.
- They’ll have no drop weight limits.
- New approved bat models will be available to the public in September.
- And they’ll be sporting a USA Baseball logo like the one below.
- Current one-piece, solid wood bats are also approved, whether they have the USA Baseball logo or not.
***USSSA will not be adopting the new 2018 regulations. So if your kid plays only travel ball, he won’t be affected. But he’ll still need a new bat sooner or later.