BAT BAN 2018: The Latest on Ghost X USA, Demarini CBZ and Dirty South Kamo

By Ty Webb, baseball dad, conspiracy theorist and heir to Bushwood Country Club
Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na – BAT BAN! 
What a busy couple of weeks it’s been in the world of youth baseball bats. I’m sure some of your kids need new bats now.
And you may have a kid that plays in a USA only league. And you may have a kid that plays in a USA league and an occasional USSSA tourney. And you may have a kid that plays in a program that is not the governed by USA or USSSA. And you may find yourself in another part of the country, or another part of the state, where there are no uniform bat rules.
“And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” 
As there have been so many press releases lately, I thought I would provide a cheat sheet of these recent developments.
2018 Easton Ghost X USA 30/20 (Decertified by USA Bat Standards & Disallowed by USSSA)
This one came as a surprise, as the reviews on this bat were not “this is the hottest bat in the world.” In fact, the folks Ispoke to felt it was the exact opposite, but every kid is different. Someone online hinted that the decertification had nothing to do with the BPF factor, but with the bat’s length. At least one online seller indicated that the bat may have failed the more recent compression tests that doomed some other bats. All I know is that Easton got dinged on what was probably the best selling size and weight in their high end USA space, causing parents, kids, coaches and leagues to scurry last weekend. Easton is a major Little League partner.
That said, kudos to Easton for offering $500 vouchers, well above the cost of the bat. Smart move. If you search the internet hard enough, you might find an old lawsuit or two against a bat company using same value vouchers. Now you have something to search at work instead of working.
This part was a bit odd. The Ghost X USA was also disallowed for USSSA play. There’s no way that bat was as hot as other 1.15 BPF bats, so there has to be a reason for that specific decision. Frankly, how many kids are showing up with a USA bat to a U-Trip tourney if they own a 1.15 bat? Not many.
I have a theory, but then again, I believe there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll.
2018 Demarini 2 3/4 -10 CBZ (All lengths)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are aware that there was an April 2017 USSSA “recall” of the 2017 DeMarini CF Zen in the 2 3/4” -10 and the 2 5/8” -8 size. That was the first bat recall in youth baseball in some years and caused mayhem across the land.
Recently, a new issue arose. Stick with me, because it gets a little sideways. The 2018 31” and 32” 2 3/4 -10 Demarini CBZ passed all necessary tests when they went to market last year. Apparently, the testing standard then changed “significantly,” resulting in a provisional suspension of these models in 2018.
On May 4, all lengths were subject to this provisional suspension and now show up on the disallowed list.
For the record, the terms provisional suspension, decertified and disallowed aren’t defined anywhere, so I will use my own simpleton definition of “banned until further notice.”
Dirty South Kamo -8s and certain -10s
While this US bat company from Georgia is not as mainstream as some others, they are in special company to be disallowed for USSSA. Their 30-32” -8 and their 31 and 32” -10 were withdrawn from USSSA play.
Are you keeping track? Provisional suspension, decertified, disallowed and now, withdrawn.
Bonus points if you scrambled the word Kamo to spell Mako.
What to Do Next
Ghost X USA 

As for the Ghost X, it is easier for a USA only kid. You have no choice but to pick up another model, borrow a teammate’s or perhaps take the plunge and use wood. Wood is very unlikely to be unallowed (my new term). Weigh how many more games you have this year and perhaps you can get by without using your voucher just yet, or getting a much less expensive bat to hold you over.

You have the option of covering the USA sticker on the Ghost X, but once the bat was disallowed for USSSA, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it now. USSSA closed the door on Easton with that decision, but that is your call, of course.
2018 Demarinis
Demarini once again opted to offer a voucher like they did in 2017. Their 2019s just happened to drop now as well, so you can trade in for one.
Now it gets interesting. You can keep the bat, as it appears certain venues will still honor the bat to be used. You read that right. While USSSA has provisionally suspended the bats because they didn’t pass new testing protocols, venues are still going to allow this bat to be used in non USSSA tournaments. If you keep it, they will throw you a $100 voucher and ask you to put a sticker over the 1.15 stamp. This option wasn’t around last year.
I’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to how that might appear to parents of players facing teams using those those bats, how opposing coaches will react to those bats being used, and for those kids who are near them in the field of play.
You are probably going to see private venues banning them, so do your homework up front at places like Ripken, Perfect Game, etc.
Here’s a new twist. Demarini agreed to indemnify (financially compensate) non USSSA facilities who allow those bats.
Here is the policy
Well played. Very creative and VERY interesting.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run. There’s a dark van outside my house with two men in trenchcoats holding bats.
But I can’t tell if they are banned or not…


Angela Weight

Founder and publisher of Travel Ball, Angela Weight is still a little shocked to be running one of the most popular youth sports parenting sites on the web. Click the ABOUT US tab to read her story.

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