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2018 Baseball Bat Standard: What You Need to Know

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Starting on January 1, 2018, the new USA Baseball Standard will be implemented across all Little League baseball divisions and Little League‐approved bats will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity. More details, as they become available, will be provided below.

Testing and evaluating of youth baseball bats has evolved into a science. So much so that the standard has also evolved to where USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States, is adopting a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats that will go into effect on January 1, 2018. The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), was developed by a USA Baseball committee of scientific experts. 

Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball® will adhere to the new USABat standard. No bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity. 

What this means for local Little Leagues, and Little League baseball players in the Tee Ball through Junior League Divisions, as well as Little League Challenger Division®, is that all current Little League-approved bats can be used during the 2017 Little League regular season and throughout tournament play, but can no longer be used starting in 2018. All of Little League’s current bat regulations will remain in effect until December 31, 2017. Be aware that this new bat standard effects Little League Baseball only. There are no changes to the bat standard or regulations for Little League Softball®. 

2017-2018 Bat Comparison Chart 

Minors & Majors

2017

BPF 1.15 marking/ 2 ¼” barrel maximum

2018

USA Baseball marking

2 5/8” barrel maximum

 

Intermediate (50/70) & Junior

2017

  1. 2 ¼" alloy/metal barrel with BPF stamp of 1.15
  2. 2 5/8" alloy/metal barrel (no marking required)
  3. 2 5/8" composite barrel with BBCOR stamp

2018

USA Baseball marking

2 5/8” barrel maximum

NO BBCOR ALLOWED

 

Senior

2017

ALL bats must be BBCOR

2018

ALL bats must be BBCOR

 

Note: Softball Bats

 

The composite moratorium only applies to baseball bats with 2 1/4 inch barrels. It DOES NOT apply to any divisions of Little League Softball. Also, there is no list of approved softball bats. In softball, the bat only needs to meet the specifications of Rule 1.10 for a softball bat. 

 

Click here for the 2018 Baseball and Softball Bat Standards PDF