NEW BAT RULE // Effective January 01, 2018
USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials. As opposed to wood, the new bats are more evenly distributed and not as top heavy as a wood bat. The new bats will be lighter than wood and are still made from composite and aluminum intended to optimize balance and performance in the sweet spot., thus easier to get through the strike zone.
Why not just use wood bats?
Wood is a scarce resource, especially when competing for the quality of the wood used in MLB. The new bats will be designed to perform like wood, where its performance will be limited to the highest performing wood. In addition:
- It is believed that using wood bats would cause participation to drop.
- Wood is heavier than non-wood materials.
- Wood is not available in 2 5/8.
- Wood bats break.
Why is USA Baseball involved?
The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard. Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports.
Will I be able to use my old bat anyway?
No. PONY is adamant about all the leagues enforcing the new bat standard.
Seal Beach PONY will enforce the new bat rule and the penalty for a player using the incorrect bat will be enforced during a game according to our local rules.
Will the new bat perform like the old bat?
No, at least not in theory. It is supposed to perform like a wood bat, and wood bats do not hit a ball as far nor long as the old bats.
Does the standard impact Tee Ball?
Yes. Under the USA Bat standard, certified tee ball bats will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS.
However, Tee Ball bats that were produced and/or purchased prior to the implementation of the new standard can be certified using an Approved TEE Ball Sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program which can be purchased online via USABaseballShop.com beginning September 01, 2017.
How do I know if a bat meets the USABat Standard?
It will have the USABat sticker/stamp on it.
You can also go to USABat.com and click on the Approved Bat List.
If you purchase a bat online, make sure it clearly displays USABaseball.
In Product Information, look at Certification and make sure it says USA.
DO NOT be fooled by USSSA (that’s three s’s.) Not a typo. It is a different certification.
How much do these new bats cost?
$50.00 to $350.00 depending on size and quality.