What was announced?
USA Baseball announced a new bat standard for all youth baseball (players 14 years old and under) that will take effect January 1, 2018. All youth baseball play governed by USA Baseball (with the exception of USSSA Baseball), must use bats compliant with USA Baseball's USABat standard. Bats compliant with the new youth standard will be clearly marked with a label from USA Baseball and will be available in September 2017.
Are both aluminum and composite bats subject to the new youth standard?
Yes - beginning January 1, 2018, all bats (except for wood) from all manufacturers used for youth baseball play governed by USA Baseball (with the exception of USSSA Baseball), must use bats compliant with the USABat standard (indicated by a label from USA Baseball).
When will this new youth bat standard go into effect?
The new standard will go into effect on January 1, 2018 and retailers will not be allowed to begin selling new youth bats meeting the USABat standard until September 1, 2017. Bats that meet the new standard will not be available prior to that date to eliminate any possible confusion for the 2017 season. Bats compliant with this new standard will be will be clearly marked with a label from USA Baseball.
What levels of play does this new standard impact?
To date, the following organizations are participating in the new standard. American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball. Youth baseball players within USSSA will still be able to use bats that meet the existing 1.15 BPF standard.
Can consumers continue to use their current bats?
Yes. The new youth standard does not take effect until 2018. Consumers playing youth baseball (players 14 years old and younger) sanctioned by USA Baseball will need to continue to use bats that meet the existing 1.15 BPF standard until the new USABat standard goes into effect in January 1, 2018. USSSA play is not impacted by this new standard and will continue to use the existing 1.15 BBF standard.
Should I wait for the new standard to take effect before I purchase a new bat?
No. The new youth standard does not take effect until 2018. Baseball bats compliant with the new youth standard will not be available until September 1, 2017. EASTON will continue to introduce new and innovative bats under the current 1.15 BPF standard during 2016 and 2017 season.
Did EASTON have a role in this new USA Baseball standard?
No. While EASTON is an active partner of USA Baseball, ultimately USA Baseball independently determines bat standards.
Did USA Baseball create this standard?
USA Baseball is adopting this standard after enlisting a panel of key experts in the physics of baseball to review all scientific data in the field. Based on this information, USA Baseball developed a testing protocol for youth bats, which resulted in the new youth standard that aligns closely with the NCAA BBCOR performance standard.
Does this new standard make all bats the same?
No, the standard does not make all bats the same. While each bat must meet the youth USABat standard beginning in 2018, the standard is only one aspect of a bat's performance. There are many elements that contribute to the performance of a baseball bat including bat length and weight, balance, barrel length and diameter, as well as the overall construction, which determines sound and feel.
If all bats have to meet the new youth standard why should I buy a premium EASTON bat?
The USABat standard is one aspect of a bat's performance. There are many elements that contribute to the performance of a baseball bat including bat length and weight, balance, barrel size and diameter, as well as the overall construction, which determines sound and feel. EASTON's industry-leading research and development investment yields several proprietary performance enhancing technologies, so you can count on Easton to continue to provide the best bats in the game.
Will USSSA adopt the USABat standard in the future?
At this time, USSSA has clearly stated it does NOT have any plans to adopt the USABat standard.
For additional information, please visit: USA Baseball Website
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