All eligible bats in 2018 league play will have to be stamped with the USA Baseball logo. All currently eligible bats with the BPF 1.15 stamp will no longer be eligible for use in Cal Ripken Baseball beginning January 1, 2018 (tee ball is the only exception). USA Baseball will institute the new standard across the following member organizations: Cal Ripken Baseball (PIYB & Supper Optimist), Dixie Youth Baseball (Brunswick County leagues), Little League Baseball (WLL) and PONY Baseball (Winter Park Optimist).
Locally, Play It Again Sports has a good inventory of new USA Youth Bats (DeMarini, Easton, Louisville Slugger). Dick’s Sporting Goods will be another option if you don’t find what you’re looking for at Play It Again Sports. PIYB will continue to supply league owned bats for player use to those of you who do not wish to make a new bat purchase.
The source of the information below is from Dick's Sporting Goods:
Link to ProTips: How to Buy a Youth Baseball Bat (this may be helpful too)
Link to Source with Video
Pro Tips Guide to the 2018 USA Baseball Youth Bat Standard Change
Learn more about the new regulations taking effect in 2018 that could impact your youth bat buying experience.
Youth baseball bats will be undergoing some changes for the 2018 seasons. Effective January 1, 2018, USA Baseball will implement their new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats. The new USA Baseball bat standard, or USABat, will allow youth baseball organizations to reach their goal of wood-like bat performance in order to preserve the long-term integrity of the game, as well as instill a sense of uniformity among leagues. As the governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States, USA Baseball will institute this standard in the following national member organizations:
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball]
- Dixie Boys Baseball
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- Little League Baseball
- PONY Baseball
If your youth league is governed by any of the organizations listed above, then you will have to purchase a new bat for legal play in 2018.
In addition to the new bat standard, the above leagues will also now allow 2 5/8″ barrel bats to be used in competitive play, provided they meet USABat regulations.
Bats following the USABat standard will be available for purchase after September 1, 2017. To identify officially-sanctioned youth bats, look for the “USA Baseball” licensing mark, located on the taper.
T-ball regulations will not be changing, but these bats will now require the USA Baseball T-ball mark. All new 2018 T-ball bats will include this mark and be legal for play. If you already bought a T-ball bat without the USA Baseball mark, you can buy a sticker at www.usabaseballshop.com to make your bat legal for 2018 and beyond.
This new standard change can be confusing at times, but the best way to help ensure a successful and enjoyable season is to stay informed. If you have any further questions on the change, be sure to ask your coach or a league official, and be on the lookout for the new USA Baseball-approved youth bats available September 1 at DICK’S Sporting Goods.