Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Youth Baseball: Read This Before You Buy a Composite Bat

Babe Ruth Baseball ages 13-15 and 16-18 and Cal Ripken Division ball ages 4-12 have approved a moratorium on the use of composite bats effective immediately for the 2011 season. The decision is based on a study conducted by UMass-Lowell that determined some composite bats, after a break-in process, can exceed an acceptable bat performance factor (BPF) after a break-in process. What does this mean? It means that some bats test within the acceptable limits when new, but over time the bat exceeds the BPF. This of course translates to harder hit balls and a reduction in reaction time for defensive players. 

Some composite bats do qualify so you need to know which ones to buy. I would recommend that you talk to your coach before you make the investment in a new bat.

Read about the Babe Ruth rule changes here

Here is a list of approved bats for ages 13-18. 

Here is a list of approved bats for ages 4-12

NOTE: The moratorium on composite bats only applies to composite barreled bats. Bats with a composite handle and metal/alloy barrels only are not subject to the moratorium. 

The Main Point

I have seen, first hand, the devastation that a batted ball can do to a pitcher. I fully endorse restrictions on bats and a mandate for all pitchers to wear protective helmets.

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