Christmas gift! A new bat: take note before buying. | Baseball Concepts

Christmas gift! A new bat: take note before buying.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, many kids have a new bat on the list for this Christmas. Parents, before purchasing a new bat please take note of the new bat specifications that will impact players in little league baseball all the way up to the NCAA level.  Before spending hundreds of dollars on a bat, please use this information to aid in your purchase.

Start by noting that most bats currently in sporting goods stores (as of October/November 2010)  will be illegal in the 2012 season, meaning if you buy a bat now with the BESR label, it will only be useful for one season — not a very good investment.  The key is the labeling: BESR is the current standard of bat safety and was enacted in 1998, but will be expiring after this season.  So bats meeting this safety standard will be allowed for this season only.  In the 2012 season, the new safety standard for aluminum and composite bats will be those meeting the BBCOR requirements.

The BBCOR specifications are mainly pertaining to the way bats are manufactured in an effort to get them to perform as close to a wood bat as possible with out actually being made of wood.  BBCOR specifications will aid in reducing the number of home runs, gap shots, and most importantly cut down on the speed at which a batted ball back to the pitcher will travel.  This effort is to make the success of each player dependent on his natural skills rather than from the high tech performance that a bat would give to the player.

  • When buying a bat for high school players: -3 is still the ratio (Example: 34”long, 30”oz) for legal bats.  Please note that if you by a bat now it MUST have the BBCOR label on the bat to be legal after this season (in 2011 the BESR standard is still legal).  You will see this label on the barrel of the bat.


  • When buying a bat for little league major’s division and below: bats shall not be more than 33” in length, or have a barrel diameter more then 2 ¼”. 


  • When buying a bat for little leagues junior division: bats shall not be more than 34” in length, or have a barrel diameter more then 2 5/8”. 


In short, if you purchase a bat with the BBCOR label on the bat, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that this bat will be legal and can see game action in 2011 and beyond.  Please note that there are also new specifications on the composite bats as well.  If you have other questions, please contact me via email or phone, and I can help you sort through this information.

Source: Baseball America, “Bat Guide”, November 2010

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