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2018 Bat Rules

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USA Baseball

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 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.


Playing Rule 1.10 The Bat [Baseball, Challenger]

Divisions: All divisions of Baseball and Challenger

Updated the bat rule for all baseball and challenger divisions to comply with the USABat standard. (Pages 66-67 in Baseball, 49-50 in Challenger).

Summary:

For Junior League Baseball divisions and below, as well as all Challenger divisions, the bat must be a baseball bat which meets the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat) as adopted by Little League. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick, and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat).

Beginning with the 2018 season, non-wood and laminated bats used in the Little League (Majors) and below, Intermediate (50-70) Division, and Junior League divisions, as well as the Little League Challenger Division, shall bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat - USA Baseball Youth Bat Performance Standard. All BPF 1.15 bats will be prohibited beginning with the 2018 season. Additionally, starting in 2018, the bat diameter shall not exceed 2-5/8 inches for these divisions of play. Additional information is available at LittleLeague.org/batinfo.

Tee Ball [Baseball]: Under the USABat standard, certified Tee Ball bats (26" and shorter) will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS. All Tee Ball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text. 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 (USABaseballShop.com) beginning September 1, 2017.

Minor/Major Divisions: It shall not be more than 33 inches in length; nor more than 2-5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30") at its smallest part. Wood bats taped or fitted with a sleeve may not exceed sixteen (16) inches from the small end. NOTE: Solid one-piece wood barrel bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.

Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League: It shall not be more than 34" inches in length; nor more than 2-5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30) at its smallest part. Wood bats taped or fitted with a sleeve may not exceed eighteen (18) inches from the small end. NOTE: Solid one-piece wood barrel bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.




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