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    News & Information — Bat Certification

    USSSA 2020 Bat Standard & Rule Changes

    USSSA has begun making bat stamp and standard changes that affect both Baseball and Slowpitch Softball. Please read carefully as they may affect you!

    USSSA Has changed this 3 or 4 times now. Here is the Latest (10/9/20):

    USSSA SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL

    Old USSSA Stamp: Now Legal Indefinitely! 

    These were made from 2012 to 2020 and meet the 220 lb compression testing. Manufacturers can make bats to meet the 220 lb compression standard but they can no longer have the USSSA Stamp.

     

    Beginning with 2021 models USSSA is using the new 240 lb compression standard with the NTS stamp (Left). Moving forward 240 lb Bats are all that can be approved to have a USSSA Stamp on them.

    Note: In USSSA Conference play only bats with the 240 lb NTS stamp are Legal.

     

    What does this mean? Basically they are deadening their bats, but you can continue to swing your current bat! The new bats will have less pop than the old models with the 2012 stamp on them. The 2012 Thumbprint models allow a lower compression of 220 lbs as opposed to the new standard of 240 lbs or higher. Also 220 lb compression bats will still have to meet that standard to be legal for play and 240 lb compression bats will meet their standard to be legal for play. You have an advantage by swinging the older model bats.

    What about NSA? Seeing as the NSA Standard is also the 1.20 BPF or 220 lb compression, will they be changing as well? No, NSA currently does not plan to adopt the 240 lb compression. They will continue to allow all 2012 stamped bats for the foreseeable future.

    What about Other Associations? Currently One Nation, WSL & ISA also all plan to stick with the Current 1.20 BPF or 220 lb Compression Bats.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Ultimately it will come down to what the manufacturers decide to make. As 240 lb bats still meet the standards for other associations stamps (NSA, ISA) the manufacturers may decide to only move forward making 240 lb bats. Only time will tell at this point as to what they deem viable to make. 

     

    New USSSA Bat Stamp 2020/2021 - UPDATED 11/25/19

    VIERA, FL (October 30, 2019) — The current approved 1.20 “Thumbprint” stamp for USSSA Slowpitch Softball bats will NOW be LEGAL for USSSA play Indefinitely (Previously until January 1, 2023). USSSA has decided to move back the legal use to give players a longer usable period for currently owned and manufactured bats.

    Current stamp USSSA Bats will stop being produced by manufacturers no later than January 1, 2021. The New Stamp bats will have a higher starting compression and a higher passing compression of 240. This means you can use the current USSSA stamped bats with a lower failing compression of 220 for USSSA Indefinitely.

     

    Original Statement

    "After Much collaboration with our manufacturing partners, USSSA will be transitioning to a new bat testing lab. USSSA has formed a strategic partnership with NTS Chesapeake to validate bats for USSSA Slow Pitch and Baseball Programs. This partnership will provide our participation and manufacturing partners assurance that USSSA is dedicated to growth through game integrity.

    In correlation with the new lab we will be rolling out new bat stamps to signify testing under the new Standards and Protocols developed by the USSSA Bat Committee. This process involved months of testing with current USSSA certified bats. Slow Pitch bats certified under the new standards will have an initial retail launch on June 1, 2020. Bats with the 2012 USSSA stamp will be grandfathered Indefinitely (Previously until July, 1 2021). On July 1, 2021, bats with a compression of 240 lbs or greater will be eligible for use on the field of play.

    USSSA Baseball bat certification will also transition to NTS. There are no foreseeable changes to Standards in Baseball; however, there will be a new USSSA baseball stamp. There will be no grandfathering stop date on old stamp bats, as the new stamp will only denote the bat has been certified by NTS." - Brian Wegman

     

    DATE USSSA TIMELINE
    Sep 1, 2019 New USSSA Bat Stamp: USSSA is transitioning their bat testing to a new facility, NTS Chesapeake.
     
    June 1, 2020 New USSSA Bats Launch: USSSA Bats that meet the New Standard will begin their initial retail Launch
    JAN 1, 2021 Stopping Use of Current USSSA Stamp: No Bats can have the current 2012 USSSA Thumbprint put on them after this date.
     
    Current USSSA Bats Allowed Indefinitely: The current 2012 Stamp bats will continue to be accepted on the Slowpitch field of play! But no new 220 models can be approved for USSSA. USSSA Bats that meet the New Standard of 240 lbs and tested by NTS will be all that are approved moving forward.

     

     

    USSSA BASEBALL RULES

    Sep 1, 2019

    New USSSA Bat Stamp: USSSA is transitioning their bat testing to a new facility, NTS Chesapeake. There will be a New USSSA Baseball Bat Stamp in 2020 to denote which bats are tested by NTS. The bat standard is NOT changing, only the stamp and ALL Current Bats will be grandfathered in with no stop date.

    What does this mean? You'll see a new stamp coming out on USSSA Baseball bats. Both the new and current stamp will be allowed in play for the foreseeable future. Ultimately there is nothing to worry about.

     

    Jan 1, 2020

    13u Division Receives a New Bat Limit: Beginning January 1, 2020 all 13u events and all Teams in 13u events must use a maximum of drop 8 (-8) bat with the official USSSA 1.15 BPF mark permanently stamped. All 14u events and all Teams in 14u events must use a maximum of drop 5 (-5) bat with the official USSSA 1.15 BPF mark permanently stamped.

    What does this mean? 13u must now use a Drop 8 (-8), Drop 5 (-5) or BBCOR (-3) Bat. You CANNOT use a Drop 9 (-9) or lighter bat!

    Penalty: (First Offense) If the Umpire discovers that a bat does not conform to USSSA Rule 7.01.C until a time during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out and/or ejection from the game. If the Umpire discovers that a bat has been used to put a ball in play and before the next legal pitch, the defensive team shall have the choice of the result of the play or the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. (Second Offense) If a team is found in violation of this rule a second time, then the manager shall be ejected in addition to the First Offense penalty.

    2019 Michigan Middle School Baseball Bat Changes

    Changes are coming for all of you playing Middle School Baseball in 2019. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has made a ruling regarding the bats allowed in Junior High/Middle School play. They must either meet the BBCOR standard or have the USA Baseball stamp. Bats with the USSSA 1.15 BPF standard will not be allowed in Junior High/Middle School play. The changes were intended to begin in 2018 but they were postponed until 2019.

    This information can be found on the MHSAA website about halfway down the page.

    What do we recommend? If you can swing a BBCOR it is your best bet to get one as you will be able to use it for multiple years. In the past when 1.15 BPF bats were allowed it was beneficial to swing those as they have more pop. The difference between the BBCOR and USA Baseball bats is much smaller. If you cannot swing a Drop 3 (-3) we recommend a Drop 5 (-5) USA Bat as you will have to swing BBCOR (Drop 3) in 14 & Under travel play and in High School.

     

    What are the Different Bat Certifications?

    SHOP BBCOR Bats

    SHOP USA Baseball Bats

    USA Bat Standard (Little League)

    Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will adhere to the new USABat standard. NO bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity. The new bat standard effects Little League Baseball only. There are NO changes to the bat standard or regulations for Little League Softball.

    One of the stamps below must be on the bat in order for it to be legal in 2018.

    Travel Organizations are NOT adopting the USA Bat Standard. They will continue to use the 1.15 BPF Bat Standard.

     

    USA Baseball believes that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood and BBCOR bats.

    What this means for local Little Leagues, and Little League baseball players in the Tee Ball through Junior League Divisions, as well as Little League Challenger Division®, is that all current Little League-approved bats can be used during the 2017 Little League regular season and throughout tournament play, but can no longer be used starting in 2018. All of Little League’s current bat regulations will remain in effect until December 31, 2017.

    Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?

    Along with Little League Baseball®, the following organizations are participating (in alphabetical order): American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, and PONY Baseball.

    Search available USA Baseball Certified Bats.

    What is the MLB Ink Dot test for wood bats?

    The Ink Dot is the stamp of the highest quality wood bat. Bats that feature the Ink Dot signify that they are in the top 3 percent of wood from the harvest and they satisfy the strict slope of grain requirements by Major League Baseball. Indicating that your bat is big league quality and approved. All Louisville Slugger Prime Maple and Birch bats carry this seal of approval. Due to its clearly defined grain structure, Ash bats are not subject to the Ink Dot test to be eligible for use by MLB.

    Search available MLB Ink Dot Approved Bats.