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Baseball / Softball Bat Regulations

Click logo to view Little League Baseball Bat Standards 


The upcoming 2017 Spring season will be the last season all currently approved composite baseball bats will be eligible to use in Little League Baseball [this includes our Minor A, Minor B and Intermediate (50/70) Divisions]).

StartingJanuary 1, 2018(i.e. the 2018 Spring season), a new bat standard will be instituted.Bats following the new standard are currently NOT available for purchase in stores. New bats following the new 2018 USA Baseball standard will be available for purchase on, or around, September 1, 2017.Please take this information into account when deciding to purchase a new bat for the upcoming 2017 Spring season.

Below are some additional points regarding the 2018 bat change:

  • Effective January 1st, 2018,USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States, will adopt a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth baseball bats.
  • Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard that was implemented in 2011, the newUSABat Standard will create wood-like performance in youth baseball bats.
  • Unlike the -3 length to weight ratio restriction that is required for BBCOR bats,USABat will not have a drop weight limit. Instead of simply requiring the use of wood bats, which are often found with a -8 length to weight ratio at the lightest, younger players will still be able to use bats made from light-weight, highly engineered materials.-With the creation of the new standard, players within the affected organizations will also now be allowed to use bats with either a 2 1/4" or 2 5/8" barrel diameter (as long as they carry the new USABat stamp).
  • Bats that are regulated by the new USABat standard will be available to purchase on, or around, September 1, 2017.
  • Beginning with the 2018 season, non-wood and laminated bats used in the Little League (league age 12 and below), Intermediate (50/70) Division, and Junior League must bear theUSA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets theUSA Baseball Performance Standard.All BPF - 1.15 bats will be prohibited beginning with the 2018 season.


More detailed information regarding these upcoming bat changes can be found by visiting the Little League or USA Baseball websites.


Baseball and softball bats have drastically changed over the last decade with new technology that makes it easier to change the design of the bat. The bats are no longer made of just aluminum, but can also be made with composite. There are also strict regulations on what bats can be used at each age level. With all these changes, the choices of buying a baseball or softball bat can become overwhelming. To help you out, we will break down the differences between some of the different types of bats, how to size yourself for them and how to choose the proper weight.

How to Choose the Correct Size Baseball or Softball Bat

When it comes to choosing the size of your bat, there are different ways to measure for it. The best way is to choose what you feel comfortable swinging. A general rule to follow is to never go up more than an inch at a time. This makes it easier to adjust for the new bat without drastically changing your swing. Don’t worry, if you are new to the game or want to re-size yourself, there is a way to estimate what size you should be using. To measure yourself, you want to measure from the center of your chest to tips of your index finger. To measure properly, make sure you have your arm straight out to your side, like in the picture below.

How to Choose Between Alloy and Composite Bats

When it comes to choosing the material of your bat, it is pretty easy to choose between wood and non-wood bats. Wood is reserved for the professionals, practice bats, and tournaments; with the exception of the states that mandate the use of wood. But once you decide on a non-wood bat, it is hard to decide between the different names each manufacturer uses for the different metals and composites.

Alloy bats, also called metal and aluminum bats, have been around longer than composite. Alloy bats tend to be less expensive than composite bats. Alloy bats do not require a break-in time, which means that the bat is at its prime right out the wrapper. Alloy bats tend to last longer and even when they get damaged, they tend to dent, rather than crack. This means they can still be used once damaged, where as a composite can’t be used once it is cracked. The alloy bats tend to have a smaller sweet spot and less “pop”. A good rule of thumb is the more expensive the alloy is, the longer the sweet spot is and the better balanced the bat will be.

Composite bats are made out of a layered material similar to carbon fiber. This makes it easy to control the weight distribution of the bat. This allows the manufacturer to make it balanced or end-loaded, depending on the style of the bat. This is the reason that composite bats tend to be more expensive than alloy bats. The composite also reduces more vibration to the hands to reduce sting from a miss-hit ball. The composite bats tend to have a larger sweet spot and more “pop”. The pop comes once the bat is broken in. To break in a composite bat, it is recommended that you hit between 150-200 hits with a regular baseball or softball, not a rubber batting cage ball. It is also important to slightly rotate the bat each time you hit the ball, to evenly break in the bat and to make sure it lasts a long time. This is the only recommended way to break-in your composite bat. Methods such as hitting it against a tree or rolling the bat, are not recommended and will damage the bat and void the manufacturer warranty.

If you like both alloy and composite, it is possible to get a hybrid bat. Hybrid bats have a composite handle and an alloy barrel. The benefits of getting a hybrid bat are that you can get the composite handle, which reduces vibration and the alloy barrel for the performance and the cost savings.

One Piece Bats vs. Two Piece Bats

One piece bats are typically stiffer and more balanced. The one piece design does not allow for more vibration control, so they tend to have a lot of vibration on miss-hit balls. Two piece bats tend to have more flex and have less vibration. The down side for a two piece bat is that they tend to be end- loaded, meaning they have a heavier swing weight. Generally, power hitters tend to benefit more from the two piece bats for the added flex and contact hitters tend to benefit from one piece bats for the better balance. The choice between the two is based on your personal preference.

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