New Little League Bat Rules now in effect

Wed 24 Jan 2018

New rules governing bats that can be used in Little League baseball and softball play were announced last year and came into effect on 1 January 2018 with the implementation of the new USA Baseball Bat Standard.  

The result is that many Little League-approved baseball and softball bats that were approved for use for the 2017 season will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity in 2018.

For more information on the USABat standard and a complete list of bats approved through the USABat Standard, visit usabat.com.

Because this change was announced some time ago, manufacturers have had time to produce bats that will be acceptable under the new rules and to circulate them to suppliers – so it should be possible to purchase bats that will be legal in 2018 and beyond before the start of the new season.

Below are the new Little League rules for each sport.


Baseball

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 colour-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, Junior League divisions, and Challenger division shall bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat/USA Baseball’s 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


Teeball:

Under the USABat standard, certified Teeball bats (26" and shorter) will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEEBALLS.  All Teeball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text.  Teeball bats that were produced and/or purchased prior to the implementation of the new standard can be certified using an Approved Teeball Sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program (USABaseballShop.com).


Minor/Major Divisions:

The bat 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:

The bat 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.


Senior League:

The bat shall not be more than 36 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.

The bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces).

All bats not made of a single piece of wood shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark.  The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour.

Aluminum/alloy and composite bats shall be marked as to their material makeup being aluminum/alloy or composite.  This marking shall be silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, a minimum of one-half-inch on each side, and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour.


Little League Challenger Division:

The bat 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.


Senior League Challenger Division:

The bat shall not be more than 36 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.

The bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces).

All bats not made of a single piece of wood shall meet either 1) the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark which shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side, and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour; or 2) the USA Bat standard and shall bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat/USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard.

Aluminum/alloy and composite bats shall be marked as to their material makeup being aluminum/alloy or composite.  This marking shall be silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, a minimum of one-half-inch on each side, and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour.

In all divisions, a non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape, or composition material, and must extend a minimum of 10 inches from the small end.  Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.


NOTE 1: Wiffle ball-type bats are permissible in all Challenger Divisions.

NOTE 2: The traditional batting donut is not permissible.

NOTE 3: Teeball bats maybe used in the Challenger Divisions. Under the USABat standard, certified Teeball bats (26” and shorter) will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEEBALLS.  All Teeball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text.  Teeball bats that were produced and/or purchased prior to the implementation of the new standard can be certified using an Approved Teeball Sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program (USABaseballShop.com).

NOTE 4: Non-wood bats may develop dents from time to time.  Bats that have cracks or sharp edges, or that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring for the appropriate division must be removed from play.  The 2¼-inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled 2¼.  The 2?-inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled for 2?.

NOTE 5: An illegal bat must be removed from play.  Any bat that has been altered shall be removed from play.

 

Softball

The bat must be a softball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule.  It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or a material tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.

The bat shall be no more than 33 inches (34 inches for Junior/Senior League) in length, not more than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30 inches) at its smallest part.

Non-wood bats shall be printed with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.20.  Bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding 16 inches from the small end. Colored bats are acceptable.

A non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape or composition material, and must extend a minimum of 10 inches from the small end.  Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.

An illegal or altered bat must be removed from play.

In all divisions, a non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape, or composition material, which must extend a minimum of 10 inches from the small end.  Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.


NOTE 1: The traditional batting donut is not permissible.

NOTE 2: The use of pine tar or any other similar adhesive substance is prohibited at all levels of Little League Baseball and Softball.  Use of these substances will result in the bat being declared illegal and removed from play.

NOTE 3: Non-wood bats may develop dents from time to time.  Bats that have cracks or sharp edges, or that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring for the appropriate division must be removed from play.  The 2¼-inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled 2¼.  The 2-5/8-inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled for 2-5/8.

NOTE 4: An illegal bat must be removed from play.  Any bat that has been altered shall be removed from play.  For penalties, see Rule – 6.06(d).

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