As of January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will be implementing a new rule change to all bats in the upcoming season. This means that Little League-approved baseball bats that were approved for use for the 2017 season will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity. The new USA Baseball Bat Standard requires all bats be MARKED with the USA Bat label in order to be used in Little League Baseball®. These labels will come in three color-ways (see image above).
Frequently asked questions about the USA bat Standard:
Does this change effect all divisions of Little League Baseball®?-
A: No. Tee Ball, Minor Division, Major Division, Intermediate (50/70) Baseball, and the Junior Baseball divisions in all regions and countries will use the USABat Standard. The Senior League Baseball Division in all regions and countries will continue to be governed by the BBCOR bat standard.
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.
Will 2017 models, and older baseball bats still be allowed to be used in the younger Little League® baseball divisions, or during any other Little League activities, including practice or games?-
A: No. Starting on January 1, 2018, all bats must be marked with the USABat label in order to be used in Little League Baseball®. All bats marked with the BFP 1.15 will not be permitted to be used in any Little League activities, including practices or games.
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.
What will be the barrel size of the new bats?-
A: The bats approved using the USABat Standard will be made in 2 1/4-, 2 1/2-, and 2 5/8- inch dimensions.
Can I use a Tee Ball bat that does not feature the USA Baseball mark?-
A: All Tee Ball bats used in the Little League Baseball® Tee Ball Program must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text and only used with approved Tee Ball baseballs for Little League play. 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.
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 USABaseballShop.com beginning September 1, 2017.
How will a consumer know that a bat is approved for Little League play? -
A: All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations. In Little League, the new bats will be used in the Tee Ball, Minor, Major, Intermediate (50/70), and Junior League Baseball Divisions. For more information on the USABat standard and a complete list of bats approved through the USABat Standard, visit usabat.com.
In 2018, will an umpire be required to inspect a bat before it is used in a game?-
A: Yes. Regulation 1.10 states that the bat must be a baseball bat which meets Little League® specifications and standards as noted in this rule. (See complete explanation in the current year’s Little League Baseball® Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies). It shall be a smooth, round stick, and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.