Last month USA Baseball put their new bat regulations into effect, and this has made a number of bats illegal for competition. Basically, if you bought a non-wood bat prior September 1, 2017, or you bought one after that date without the USA Baseball sticker, you won't be able to use in youth organizations governed by USA Baseball.
In a recent panel discussion, USABat Program Director, Russell Hartford stated, "USA Baseball and our participating national member organizations feel that this [new bat standard] is what's best for the long-term integrity for youth baseball, and we also feel that it'll make the game more uniform at the youth level and across the board."
"The USABat performs right in line with wood. We have a lot of data and extensive laboratory research backing this up, and have performed field tests at the USA Baseball National Training Complex with over 100 youth participants and a Trackman radar system to collect information."
With prices of the new USA Baseball-approved bats ranging from well under $50 to nearly $400, one has to question whether this is truly what is best. If the technology can be achieved at under $50, why would you go out and spend almost $400? Or, is it that the inexpensive bat simply performs below the prescribed USA Baseball standard, so it is acceptable... and creating a performance disadvantage?
Whether it is youth baseball families overpaying for comparable performance, or significant performance differences between the two price points, the disparity is concerning.
Since the inherent goal is to suppress the performance to that of wood bats, we are still strong advocates of making the switch to quality wood bats sooner rather than later.
If you have questions regarding how to make this switch, simply reach out to us, and we'll get you on the right track.