Have YOU Heard? Little League Baseball Changing Bat Standards
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Do you have a Little League Baseball player?
If so, you may need to buy a new bat! 😬 As of January 1st, Little League Baseball is now following the new USABat standard, which means that ALL non-wood and laminated bats used in the Little League (Majors) and below, Intermediate (50-70), Junior League, and Challenger divisions must bear the USA Baseball logo (pictured above) signifying that the bat meets the USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard. Also, the bat diameter must not exceed 2⅝ inches for these divisions of play.
Note that all new 2018 T-Ball bats will already include the USA Baseball mark and be legal for play. However, if you already bought a T-Ball bat without the USA Baseball mark, you can buy an approved T-Ball sticker online for only $2 each to make your bat legal for 2018 and beyond.
Why the change?
USA Baseball’s member organizations believe that a “wood-like” performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. However, wood is a scarce resource, so the new bats will be designed to perform much like wood.
These new bats can range in price from $30 up to $300 (for premium bats), which is a steep price to pay. However, according to this site that reviewed a few USABats, they don’t recommend going out and buying the most expensive USABat approved bat. They say that ones with large barrels, a two piece design, and an array of swing weight options are their best bet for all types of youth hitters.
Before purchasing a new bat, note that…
- Every approved bat must have the USA Baseball marking (pictured above)
- The maximum barrel size is 2⅝” – however the 2¼” barrel is permitted IF the bat has the USA Baseball marking
- No drop weight limit
- Only multi-piece wooden bats require USA Baseball markings. One-piece wooden bats do not.
Here are a few USABat Approved Bats:
- Easton Beast X Hyperlight T-Ball Bat
- Rawlings 2018 Raptor Alloy T-Ball Bat
- Easton 2018 USA Baseball 2 5/8 Beast X Youth Bat
- Rawlings 2018 Velo Hybrid USA Baseball Bat
- Easton 2018 USA Baseball 2 5/8 S650 Youth Baseball Bat
- 2018 Rawlings 5150 USA Baseball Bat
- + MORE approved bats
Also, be sure to check out your local Dick’s Sporting Goods and/or Academy Sports + Outdoors stores for deals on USABat approved bats as it appears that February is the month when baseball apparel and equipment goes on sale! I also spotted various clearance on baseball merchandise at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods and also on Academy.com, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled while shopping.