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2018 USA Bats - New Regulations

Important Update! - New Bat Requirements for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, The BETHEL CHURCH LEAGUE (BCL) will adopt the new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat). ONLY bats that bear the new USABat licensing mark (pictured below) will be permissible for practice and game play as of the effective date. The new bat standard is required for the ALL BCL T-Ball, Shetland, Pinto, Mustang and Bronco participants.BCL Pony League teams will also adhere to the new USABat standard. However, an exception exists that allows players to continue to use BBCOR certified bats.

USA Baseball and its national member organizations have developed and adopted a new standard method for testing the performance of youth bats. Certified USABats comply with this new performance standard. The recent change to the bat standard provides for a uniform performance equal to that of a wooden bat. Additionally, while the standard 2 1/4 barrel will still be permitted, participants will also have the flexibility to utilize a maximum barrel size of 2 5/8 (big barrel).

Why make a change?
According to USA Baseball, the new rule is “…another step forward in making the game more uniform at the youth level, ensuring the long-term integrity of the game.” With ever-increasing technology, metal and composite bat performance has continually improved throughout the years. In recent years, performance levels of youth bats could vary widely. This rule is to ensure a level playing field in bat performance among youth players in the leagues who adopt the rule.USA Baseball has stated that the change was not driven by an increase in safety. “Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.” However, since the standard ensures that USABats perform like wood bats, batted balls will not achieve the same top exit velocity as they previously could. The BCL views player safety as a top priority and therefore views this result from the change positively.  

How do I know if a bat complies with the new USABat standard?
New bats will have the USA Baseball “stamp” on the bat. IF THIS LOGO IS NOT VISIBLE, THE BAT IS NOT LEGAL! The BCL will allow the use of 2 1/4 barrel AND 2 5/8 (big barrel) bats, as long as they are USA Baseball stamped and certified.

The picture below shows you what to look for on legal bats:
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