The New 2018 Bat Regulations: What You Need to Know NOW


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 the rationale for the new regulations is that “a wood-like performance standard will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.”

Translation, please?

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.
Look for this logo on bats approved by the 2018 USA bat standards.

***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.



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.

9 thoughts on “The New 2018 Bat Regulations: What You Need to Know NOW

  • May 17, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Common sense would dictate that if you already had a well established bat standard such as BPF 1.15, leagues wanting to slowdown the ball should have made changes to the ball they use. This needs to be done annually anyway, would have saved millions of bats from the scrap heap, and eliminated the need for millions of ‘dead’ bats to be purchased over a short timeframe at premium bat prices.

  • April 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Just to be clear, my 13U travel ball son will not really see the affect of this change? We mainly play in Gameday tourney’s. Thanks!

  • March 9, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Who made usa baseball the boss of baseball bats? What are the measured differences between the bats, you know Engineering. From smart people who didnt pay any money to anyone. Please send me the location os said information, i would like to review it, since i am an Engineer and dont believe it is about anything other than money.

  • January 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I bought my son a Easton S750 USA stamp approved. Will he be able to use it in USSSA tournaments? Thanks for you time.

    • February 1, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Hi John,

      I’m sure he will, though, to my knowledge, USSSA hasn’t adopted the new USA bat guidelines. So he could use his new bat or one without the stamp. USSSA is a little more lenient.


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