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USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations announced August 7, 2015, the decision to adopt a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats.

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. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard. 

Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its NMOs, -- including the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball, PONY Baseball and Dizzy Dean.  USA Baseball has concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.

The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.

The stamp on the bats will look like the USA baseball logo's to the left.


Q:  What is the definition of "bat standard".

A:  A “bat standard” is a measuring tool used within the bat manufacturing industry to ensure that all commercially available bats perform at an acceptable level.

The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat) administers rules for youth baseball bat performance based on precise, scientific measurement. Similar to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Federation of State High School Sports Associations (NFHS) BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats, and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USABat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.

Q: What are the National Organizations that will be affected? 

A: American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball, PONY Baseball and Dizzy Dean and Perfect Game (12U and Under).

Q: Can I use a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) bat if I am involved in one of the National Organizations listed above?

No. The Bat Performance Factor (BPF) will no longer be in effect. Starting in 2018, all National Member Organizations will operate using the USABat standard.  Check your local organization for confirmation and further details.

Q: What is the maximum barrel diameter for the USA Bat?

A: The maximum barrel diameter for a USA Bat is 2 5/8''.

Q: Why the change to a wood-like standard?

A: 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.

Q: I see that the USABat performance limit is set at .530, while HS/College BBCOR is .500, does that mean USABat bats perform .30 better?

A: No, the difference in .30 has everything to do with the differing ball test speeds. As you can imagine, NCAA/NFHS will test at higher pitch speeds compared to USA due to player age/skill level. Both are intended to be wood-like standards.

Q: How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?

Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups.

Q: How do USA bats that utilize a BBCOR test compare to current HS/Collegiate BBCOR bats?

A: The USA and HS/College BBCOR bats test identical in performance. 

Q: I have heard the USA Standard referenced as Youth BBCOR, why?

A: The new USA bat standard utilizes the same BBCOR test formula that is currently being used by NCAA/NFHS.  

Q: How will I know which bat to buy?

All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the National Organizations listed above.**

Q: Will USA Bats have a weight drop limit?

A: No, there will be no drop weight limit.  Young players will still be able to use light weight bats made from highly engineered material.

** Please check with your local league and or organization for further details and confirmation on the bat standard that will be in effect for your player before making any purchase.

Q: Will USSSA, Triple Crown, or Grand Slam be affected by USA Bat standards?  

A:  No, BPF 1.15 bats will continue to be  permissible with the USSSA 1.15 BPF stamp.

Q: Does this change mean that Little League® will no longer be using BBCOR bats in the Little League® Junior League and Senior League Baseball Divisions?

A: Yes and no. The Senior League baseball division will be the only division of Little League Baseball to continue to use the BBCOR bat standard. The Junior League Baseball Division will use the new USABat standard. 

Q: Will the Little League® Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division and the Junior League Baseball Division be using the BBCOR standard or the USABat standard?

A: Even though considered teenage divisions, the Intermediate (50/70) baseball and Junior League baseball divisions will use USABat Standard. 

Q: What is the difference between the USABat and the Bat Performance Factor (BPF)?

A: Although this is difficult to quantify based on player ability, we have seen a 3mph difference in max exit speeds within our internal testing. This 3mph difference roughly equates to 18 feet in distance.

Q: I’ve noticed that there is no BPF 1.15 thumbprint on any of the USA bats, are USA bats allowed in USSSA play?

A: Yes. USSSA will accept USA stamped bats, even without the BPF 1.15 thumbprint. 

Q: I’ve noticed that there is no USA stamp on any of the BPF 1.15 bats, are BPF 1.15 stamped bats allowed in USA play?

A: No. the BPF standard which allows for higher bat performance.  USA play will NOT allow BPF 1.15 bats.

Q: What can I do with my current bat that does not have a USA stamp?

A: Unfortunately, the bat is no longer useable for any of the National Member Organizations as listed above.  That said, your current BPF 1.15 bat can still be used for all organizations that do not follow the USABat Standard.  Examples are USSSA, Triple Crown, & Grand Slam.

Q: Will it matter if the new bats are composite or alloy barrel? 

A: The USABat Standard will apply to both composite and alloy barrel bats. 

Q: Can I use a Tee Ball bat that does not feature the USA Baseball mark?

A: All Tee Ball bats used in of the National Member Organizations Tee Ball Program must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text and only used with approved Tee Ball baseballs.  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.

Q: What is the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program?A: The USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program is an initiative designed to allow for the continued use of tee ball bats that were manufactured prior to the implementation of the new USABat standard. This program will allow individuals and families to purchase approved stickers marked with the USA Baseball logo and language which reads: ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS. Stickers will be available for purchase online via beginning September 1, 2017. 

* This site is not associated with USA Baseball and is intended for informational and commercial purposes.

** Please check with your local league and or organization for further details and confirmation on the bat standard that will be in effect for your player before making any purchase.