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KAU Little League - Home of the 2013 Senior League and 2017 Junior League US Champions

KAU Little League Baseball & Softball

News Detail


Jan, 2020

USA Baseball Bat Rules (in effect 2018)

USA Baseball Bat Standard

Little League baseball along with all other youth baseball organizations (American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball & Dixie Boys Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball) will be implementing a uniformed standard for baseball bats beginning January 1, 2018.  Please Note this does NOT apply to Softball bats, only baseball bats.  There are a number of questions surrounding this change so we will provide a Q&A below that will walk you through everything you need to know. 

Why are the bat rules changing? Over the past 5 years USA baseball has been testing, developing, & studying the safety and performance standards of youth baseball bats.  Currently different types of youth baseball have different rules on what type of bats a youth player can use.  So this rule will now apply across all types of youth baseball not just Little League brand leagues like KAU.  This rule change creates a uniformed standard for all youth baseball.

What are the dates of the change? This rule goes into effect and has to be followed by all leagues starting January 1, 2018.

What is changing about the Bat? USA baseball along with Little League and other youth baseball organizations came to the conclusion that for the safety and long term growth of the game, the bats while still made of a composite material or aluminum like they are now, should perform like the highest quality wood like the major league player use.  They wanted wood like performance but the lightness and larger barrel of a youth bat.  Most levels of little league use a 2 ¼ inch barrel bat today, the new bats will be lighter and also have a larger barrel with a bigger sweet spot at 2 5/8 but the performance off of the bat will react like the highest quality wood bats.  Studies show that the current bats exit velocity of the ball is slightly better than the new bat standard but found that in testing the youth players actually liked hitting with the new youth bats better because they were lighter, had a larger barrel, and larger sweet spot.  The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.

When do these new bats get released by the bat manufactures? September 1st

How will I know which bat to buy? All new legal bats in stores after September 1, 2017 that have the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations.

What age groups does the rule apply to? This is a comparison chart that will show the difference between 2017 and 2018 for different age groups. 

What can I read or learn more about this rule?

The video on the middle of the page above is very helpful and explains a lot of the reason why the rule is happening.  

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