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    News & Information — NOCSAE

    Important 2020 Baseball Rule Updates

    NOCSAE Chest Protectors

    As of Jan 1st, 2020 New Chest Protectors are Required for High School (NFHS)  Baseball and as of Jan 1st, 2021 required for NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Baseball.

    No Changes are being made for Fastpitch Softball or Youth Baseball (Little League, Travel, USSSA, etc.)

    NOCSAE Approved Chest Protectors will have the following logo on them.

     

    Why is this change happening? Commotio Cordis.

    Commotio Cordis is a syndrome that results from a blunt impact to the chest that leads to cardiac arrest.  It is a poorly recognized and under reported event that happens to healthy young athletes as a result of a low-energy (roughly a 40mph baseball), non-penetrating blow to the chest.

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    NOCSAE Approved Baseballs

    As of Jan 1st, 2020 New Baseballs are Required for High School (NFHS) Baseball Official Play. There are no changes to the Ball itself but it must have the NOCSAE Stamp as well as the NFHS stamp to be legal for play.

     

    NCAA White BBCOR Bat Ban

    As of Jan 1st, 2020 the NCAA is no longer allowing white bats in College Baseball. This is a safety concern that will allow pitchers to pick up the ball earlier off the bat—assuming its coming right back at him.

    This white bat ban is NOT FOR HIGH SCHOOL (NFHS) or any other Sanctions, ONLY NCAA.

    The rule applies to every bat. So, even older models will be retroactively made illegal.

    Rule 1.12.b.7: Requires that the baseball bat barrel color between the 18-inch mark and the end cap (the hitting area) must be a color(s) that is predominantly contrasting to the color of the baseball.

    Prohibited BBCOR Bat List Updated as of Feb 4, 2020. Check Here for More updates: NCAA Rules

    Prohibited NCAA BBCOR Baseball Bats

     

    USSSA 13u Bat Requirements

    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.

    NOCSAE Catcher's Chest Protector Requirements for 2020

    As of January 1st, 2020 New Chest Protectors are Required for High School (NFHS) Baseball and beginning January 1st, 2021 Required for NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Baseball.

    No Changes are being made for Fastpitch Softball or Youth Baseball (Little League, USSSA, etc.)

     

    NOCSAE Approved Chest Protectors will have the following logo on them.

     

    Why is this change happening? Commotio Cordis.

    Commotio Cordis is a syndrome that results from a blunt impact to the chest that leads to cardiac arrest.  It is a poorly recognized and under reported event that happens to healthy young athletes as a result of a low-energy (roughly a 40mph baseball), non-penetrating blow to the chest.

    Commotio cordis does not result solely from the force of a blow.  The impact must also occur in a very narrow and specific window of time in the heart’s cycle.  In other words, this is a very rare, but very serious occurrence.

    NOCSAE has developed a new standard for baseball chest protectors based on research which shows that reducing the force of an impact below defined thresholds can significantly reduce the risk of commotio cordis. More information about the testing can be found on the NOCSAE Website.

    The first organization to adopt the standards was the NFHS followed by the NCAA. Both will require that all new catcher’s chest protectors used after January 1, 2020 must meet the NOCSAE standard.

     

    Many manufacturers have already had their new NOCSAE Chest Protectors on the market for some time and more are coming! There are other options as well if you do not want to buy a new chest protector. Rawlings has a piece that straps around an existing Protector and EvoShield has a new NOCSAE approved undershirt.

    Chest Protectors are now joining Catcher's and Batting Helmets that all have to meet NOCSAE approval to be used.

    If you are looking to purchase new catcher’s gear for the new season, look for either of the above NOCSAE-certified logo or filter for the NOCSAE Certification on our catcher’s gear page.

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