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Jun, 2020

Bat Options 2018

Bat Update for All Divisions 13 and Under

In August 2017, we were notified of impending bat rule changes which would make all current bats illegal for play by most of all national organizations including:

American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)Babe Ruth Baseball / Cal Ripken BaseballDixie Youth BaseballLittle League BaseballPONY Baseball and Dizzy Dean Baseball and most outside tournament organizations where our teams participate.

In an effort to “standardize the performance” of all bats used in age groups 13 and under, USA Bat restrictions were going into effect on January 1st, 2018 that would require any bat used for play to have the USA Bat stamp. The announcements came in 2017, but the implementation of the restrictions were delayed until January 1, 2018 so the bat manufacturers had sufficient time to conduct necessary research, design, testing, and manufacturing of these new bats. We were led to believe that over time, the only bats that would be manufactured by any company, and therefore offered for sale, were the bats compliant with the USA Bat standards. After an exhausting amount of research with representatives from bat companies, coaches, training facilities and many that have been involved with youth baseball for years, it was obvious that (even though we in no way agreed with the mandates),we had no choice but to adopt the changes in M.A.B.A. 

Because the new guidelines had nothing to do with safety concerns, and to ease the transition and not financially strain folks that had recently purchased bats that did not meet the USA Bat standard, we chose to wait until the spring 2019 season to adopt the policy.  That way, everyone had a year and a half to use their current bats before being forced to purchase new bats with the U.S.A. Baseball stamp within the new guidelines.

We have been monitoring the situation closely and it has become obvious that the climate regarding the bats has changed dramatically.  Many of the larger organizations that had previously indicated that they would be adopting the new bat standards, have decided to delay the changes for at least a couple of years.  In addition, most outside tournaments that we were led to believe were adopting the new guidelines, have changed their stance and opted to delay any changes as well.  So, while we did publish that our intention was to put the mandates in place for the spring 2019 season, we are now faced with organizations, coaches and parents begging us to reconsider.  To be clear, we never agreed with the guideline change and in fact completely disagreed with them.  However, with the data that was presented to us in August of 2017, we had no choice but to follow all the others and adopt the policy.

Because so many organizations have now changed their position on the matter, we are now in a very tough position. Our intention moving forward is to state that our preferred bat would come under the USA Bat standard, but we will not require their use. If a USA Bat is used, there are no barrel, length or drop restrictions. If a non USA Bat is used (including USSSA bats), we will continue with the current restrictions as listed in the M.A.B.A. On-Field Rules. 

We apologize for having to change our position on this matter, this was in no way an easy decision, but unfortunately none of this is within our control.  We simply want the best for all M.A.B.A. teams.

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