Baseball leagues around the country have seen plenty of changes over the past few years.
Citing safety concerns caused by the exit speeds of some composite bats, some leagues have banned composite-barreled baseball bats. Others have not. Add in the new BBCOR performance standard, and things can get confusing.
This post is a guide for parents, guardians and players looking for new bats or making sure their current bats will be legal. If you have a question about a specific bat, post it below, and we’ll provide an answer.
Choose your league
Heading into the 2012 baseball season, Little League’s bat rules look like this:
- Minor League Baseball — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
- 9-10 Year Old Baseball Division — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
- Little League Baseball (Majors) — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
- Junior League Baseball — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed; and all BBCOR certified bats will be allowed
- Senior League Baseball — All bats must be BBCOR certified
- Big League Baseball — All bats must be BBCOR certified
For the Minors, 9-10s and Majors, nothing has changed since last season. Some composite-barreled baseball bats will be prohibited in sanctioned competitions. Wood bats, metal bats and metal bats with composite handles — known as hybrid bats — will not be affected.
Little League has granted waivers for specific composite-barreled baseball bats that have been proven to stay within Little League’s bat performance specs.
You can view the list of legal, re-approved 2 1/4″ composite bats here.
In response to Little League Baseball’s decision, we would like to list the 2 1/4″ inch barrel youth bats we carry that will be affected. These bats will not be allowed in Little League competition.
- Combat 2011 B3 Youth -10 Baseball Bat
- Combat 2011 B3 Youth -12 Baseball Bat
- Combat 2011 B3 Gear -10 Youth Baseball Bat
- ComBat 2011 B3 Gear -12 Youth Baseball Bat
- Easton 2010 Stealth Speed XL -10 Youth Baseball Bat
- DeMarini 2011 Vendetta C6 -13 Youth Baseball Bat
- DeMarini 2010 Vendetta C6 -13 Youth Baseball Bat
- Louisville 2011 Dynasty -12 Youth Baseball Bat
- Louisville 2011 Z1000 Comp. -12 Youth Baseball Bat
- Miken 2011 MV3 Composite -10 Youth Baseball Bat
- Miken 2011 MV3 Composite -12 Youth Baseball Bat
- Rawlings 2010 5150 Composite -12 Youth Baseball Bat
- Rawlings 2011 5150 Composite -11 Youth Baseball Bat
- Worth 2010 Toxic Composite -11 Youth Baseball Bat
- Mattingly 2009 Beast Youth -12 Baseball Bat
- Mattingly Beast Unleashed -10 Youth Baseball Bat
It’s a similar set-up in Juniors baseball. Many composite-barreled bats are banned, but certain bats will be allowed if they made Little League’s list of re-approved 2 5/8″ composite bats (view it here) or if they are BBCOR certified.
For more info on the ins and outs of the BBCOR certification, you can view our FAQ here.
The Seniors and Big League classifications follow NFHS rules, so only bats with the BBCOR stamp will be legal in those leagues this season.
For more help: View Little League's “Is my bat OK?” guide.
Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken
This is where Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken stand, going into the 2012 season:
- Cal Ripken: All 2 1/4″ bats with BPF 1.15 stamps will be allowed in the Cal Ripken Major, Minor, Rookie and T-Ball Divisions
- Babe Ruth 13-15: All aluminum-barreled baseball bats will be allowed; all composite-barreled bats must be BBCOR certified
- Babe Ruth 16-18: Only BBCOR certified baseball bats will be allowed
- Youth: All 2 1/4″ inch aluminum-barreled bats will be allowed; All 2 1/4″ composite-barreled that are marked “Approved for Play in Dixie Youth Baseball” and stamped “BPF 1.15” will be legal for league and tournament play if it has a manufacture date stamp of 2011 or later. Older aluminum/metal alloy 2 ¼” bats which do not have the BPF 1.15 stamp on the bat are allowed if stamped approved for play in Dixie Youth Baseball.
- Boys: The division did not restrict the use of composite-barreled bats in 2011. The league has not released a decision on 2012.
- Majors and Pre-Majors: Both leagues follow the NFHS rulebook, so only BBCOR certified baseball bats will be allowed.
- Small barrel bat leagues (2 1/4″): Bats with the USSSA mark, new or old, will be allowed in 2012 and 2013. Starting in 2014, bats must have the new USSSA mark.
- 14U Big barrel (2 5/8″ or 2 3/4″): Bats must have the new USSSA mark or they must be BBCOR certified
- 15U Big barrel (2 5/8″ or 2 3/4″): All bats must be BBCOR certified
- 9-14U: There will be no restrictions (no change from 2011)
- 15U and up: All bats must be BBCOR certified
PONY has not restricted the use of composite-barreled bats in any of its divisions.
Dixie has not released a decision on what to do with its Boys league in 2012, but this is how things stand as of now:
Here is a cheat sheet of Dixie Youth’s bat regulations.
In 2012, USSSA will begin phasing in a new bat certification mark. Here’s how things look:
You can view the USSSA bat cheat sheet here.
Starting in 2012, American Legion will require all bats to be BBCOR certified.
As we understand it, here’s how AAU’s bat rules will look in 2012: