ITBL Players, Parents, and Guardians:
ITBL recently voted to adopt the new USA bat regulations along with the other major, national youth baseball leagues (Little League, Cal Ripken, etc.). Beginning in January, 2018, all ITBL players must use a bat with the new "USA Baseball" stamp (Not USSSA) and bats without this stamp will not be legal. Bats with the 1.15 Bat Performance Factor (BPF) stamp will not be legal after January 2018.
Essentially, the new bat standard ensures that the exit velocity and performance of the bats closely mimics that of wooden bats. This is done to preserve the long-term integrity of the game along with increasing safety for pitchers and infielders. As this standard is relatively new, bat companies are in the process of releasing 2018 USA Baseball stamped bats. Some companies released their first line of bats in September and others are slated to release the new bats in November. Below is FAQs for your information:From www.axebat.com:
Below, we’ve compiled answers to some of your most common questions, so that you can successfully navigate the transition and identify the right bat for your child and when to buy it.
Q: What is changing? A: USA Baseball, the sport’s national governing body, is adopting a new performance standard for youth baseball bats. You’ll hear this referred to as the USABat standard, or simply, USABat.
Q: What does this mean? A: The USABat standard replaces the existing 1.15 Bat Performance Factor (BPF) standard. Both establish limits on barrel performance, but the USABat standard mandates a more wood-like performance than 1.15 BPF.
Q: Which organizations are adopting the USABat standard? A: If your child is 14 or under next season and playing recreational baseball in one of the large, national member organizations of USA Baseball, he or she likely will be affected by the change. To date, the following organizations have said they will implement the USABat standard for next season. Ultimately, however, you should confirm this by contacting the local league in which your child will be playing.
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
- Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- Little League Baseball
- PONY Baseball
- ITBL, Massachusetts*
Q: Why is the standard changing? A: USA Baseball said when announcing the standard that its national member organizations “believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game.”
Q: Can I use my 2017 youth baseball bat next season? A: No, not if your organization is among those adopting the USABat standard. All bats used in those organizations as of Jan. 1, 2018, will be required to perform to the new standard and be stamped with the USABat mark, shown below.
Q: Are there any other changes besides barrel performance? A: Yes, players in organizations adopting the new USABat standard will be allowed to swing certified bats with barrel diameters up to 2-5/8″ (from 2-1/4″).
Q: Is Youth BBCOR, or YBBCOR, the same as the USABat standard? A: The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. BBCOR refers to the performance standard governing baseball bats used in high school and college play, while USABat is the name of the standard governing bats used only in youth baseball. Both standards are tested the same way and have the same goal of creating a more wood-like performance. But if you’re buying a youth bat for use in a league adopting the USABat standard, you should look for one with the USABat mark shown above.
Q: Which drops will be offered on bats certified to the new standard? A: Generally, we anticipate there being fewer high-drop models available industry wide, simply because it is very difficult to manufacture lightweight bats with 2-5/8″ barrels that perform like wood.
Q: Will all youth baseball bats now perform the same?
A: Barrel performance already is regulated under the 1.15 BPF standard. So the new USABat standard simply recalibrates that limit.
ITBL Board of Directors