Up until 2017, our baseball players in the Cal Ripken divisions have used bats stamped USSSA 1.15 BPF. A new bat standard with the tag USA Baseball has been introduced for the 2018 season. This new bat should help improve game play for players in upper divisions, but likely won’t have much, if any effect, on players in lower divisions. Because of this, and because there are few low price or used options for our families, we are only requiring the use of bats stamped USA Baseball for players in the upper divisions of Majors 60′ and Majors 70′. If your child is in a lower division (Tee Ball, Rookies, or Minors), you can continue to use the USSSA stamped bats. If your child needs a new bat for 2018, we still encourage you to purchase bats stamped USA Baseball. It is likely by 2019 that we require all players, from Tee Ball to Majors 70′, to follow the USA Baseball once more low price or used options become available.
The new USA Baseball bat is designed to hit more like a wood bat than the old USSSA bat. However, this does not mean that all bats stamped USA bats will perform the same. Just like with the old USSSA standard, all bats have a limit on how much ‘pop’ the ball has off the bat. The limit is now lower, but it is still expected each manufacturer will strive to meet that maximum pop allowed. The main differences will continue to be variables in swing weight, if the weight is balanced or end loaded, length to weight ratio, two piece vs one piece designs, and the length of the barrel (barrel sweet spot). Because of this, you will still find a wide range of pricing for bats.
Not all USA Baseball bats are big barrel. You will still find 2-1/4″ barrel bats that meet the new standard. The only requirement is the USA Baseball stamp.
Summer Baseball Players: Players interested in playing summer all-stars will need to follow the new bat standard regardless of which spring division they played. So if your child plays Minors, but makes the 9U summer team, they will be required to use the new USA Baseball bats during summer play.
Bat Requirements Per Division
Majors 60’/Majors 70′: USA Baseball (any barrel size)
Tee Ball/Rookies/Minors: USA Baseball recommended (any barrel size), the old USSSA also allowed
Review the image below on how to verify the bat you are purchasing follows the new bat standard for youth baseball.