Contributed by Jeff Wise
Check out his baseball gear review site, The Baseball Diamond
Confused about the new rules regarding USA baseball bats in Little League and other leagues? Here’s a guide that explains it all.
If your kids are going to play Little League in 2018, they’ll need a new bat, one that sports the USA baseball logo, showing it’s approved for use under the new regulations.
A lot of players, parents, and probably coaches are asking about Little League baseball bats these days.
What’s approved for play?
Starting in 2018, many of those allowed for use in Little League Baseball will no longer be permitted.
Understandably, many are now a bit apprehensive regarding bats to use. Now there’s a new standard for allowed USA baseball bats for Little League.
To shed more light on the subject, let’s clarify the issues once and for all:
How do people know which bats are allowed for Little League? To be eligible for Little League, the bat must have the USABat label. If your bat is just marked with the BFP 1.15, it can’t be used for games, or even for practices.
Solid one-piece wood bats can be allowed, as long as the umpire confirms that they adhere to the regulations, even without the USA Baseball logo.
But multi-piece bats, bonded bats, bats made of bamboo and bats with experimental designs must have the USABat mark.
The umpire will be required to check the bat before it’s used in the game.
How is the new standard different from the old one? The short answer is that the new standard forces the Little League bats to perform more like wood.
What kind of materials can be used for these approved bats? These can be made of wood, of course. But the bats can be made of composite or alloys as well. They just have to comply with the new standards.
Which Little League divisions are covered by this new standard? The new rule covers the bats for Tee Ball, Minor, Major, Intermediate (50/70), and Junior League Baseball Divisions. This also applies at an international level. The Little League Challenger Division® and Senior League Challenger programs will also use the new USABat standard.
So what’s unaffected by this rule? The major exception is the Senior League baseball division, which will continue to use the BBCOR bat standard.
Does this affect Little League softball? No, the rules stay the same for Little League softball.
What other leagues are adopting these new standards? The new regulations for allowed bats will also be in effect for American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, DizzyDean, PONY Baseball and Perfect Game.
What are the drop-weight requirements? Actually, there are none. This means that the young players can use bats constructed with lightweight materials, as long as they have the mark of the USABat label.
What barrel sizes are allowed? The bats can have barrels with diameters of 2¼, 2½, and 2⅝ inches.
Is there an online site that lists the allowed bats? You can check the list of approved 2018 USA baseball bats at . Right now there are 322 bats on the list, so it’s not as if there are too few choices for you to pick from.
What’s the point of the change? Using wood and wood-like bats promotes the improvement of skills, which is better for the integrity of the game. It’s not about who has the money to buy the best performing bats; it’s about being great baseball hitters.
Which 2018 USA Baseball Bat Brands Are Available?
As I stated above, there are 322 bats available. Lots to choose from!
The 2018 DeMarini Voodoo -10 is the most popular USA baseball bat so far.
The following 2018 USA approved bats are close runners-up to the Voodoo.
If you are searching for a cheaper option, then you can pick dozens from the remaining 322 bats on the official list.
This includes brands such as Axe, Rawlings, Anderson, Franklin Sports, Easton, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger as well as Mizuno.
Be sure, check usabat.com for the USA baseball bats you can choose from.
Remember to have the USABat label marked on your bat so you’re certain it’s allowed for your league.
Jeff played competitive baseball for 14 years. He has also worked in sport television for 18 years as a technical director, tape operator and now an EVS operator. He has worked for ESPN, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC Sports. He also spends an enormous amount of time on his popular youth baseball equipment blog. You can follow him on and .