USSSA-Approved Bats for Youth Baseball Players
According to the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), baseball bats must meet established USSSA bat rules and standards to be approved for league play. It’s important for baseball players to understand and adhere to the requirements for USSSA-approved bats, as those found to be using noncompliant or altered bats are subject to suspension from USSSA play. So, how can you make certain you’re using a USSSA-approved bat?
First, be sure to review the current USSSA bat rules, which went into effect on January 1, 2012. According to the guidelines, all USSSA baseball bats must be manufactured by an approved bat licensee and meet the following requirements:
- For big-barrel USSSA baseball bats used in 14U & Below play, the bat must either have the new permanent USSSA mark on its taper, or be a wood bat or qualified BBCOR bat. Those used in 15U & Above play must either be a wood bat or an NHSF-approved bat with the appropriate BBCOR certification.
- Small-barrel USSSA baseball bats must either have a permanent USSSA mark on the taper or be a wood bat. While small-barrel bats with the old USSSA 1.15 BPF mark will be permitted through 2013, all metal bats longer than 23” must have the new permanent USSSA mark as of 2014.
When purchasing a new bat, refer to the published list of 2013 licensed baseball bat manufacturers and ensure that your bat of choice adheres to the USSSA rules.
If you are using an older bat that pre-dates the new USSSA bat rules or one that may have been altered by a previous owner or user, you should be aware that offending players face suspension — regardless of whether or not the user is aware the bat has been altered. According to the USSSA Altered Bats Procedures, altered bats include any of the following:
- Bats in which the barrel or taper has been changed in any way, including sandpapering or the application of a solvent
- Bats that have had the plug removed or changed in any way
- Bats that have had the knob removed, replaced or changed in any way
- Bats that have had anything removed or added to the inside or outside of the bat, other than tape at the knob or handle
First-time offenders found to be in violation of the USSSA rules against altered bats will face a suspension of one to two years. A second offense will result in lifetime suspension.
Choosing a USSSA-Approved Bat
Searching for USSSA baseball bats for yourself or your team? You can purchase a Carolina Clubs bat with confidence, as USSSA has approved the brand among its 2013 USSSA licensed baseball bat manufacturers. Carolina Clubs' MyWay youth aluminum bat is popular among 8- to 13-year-old youth baseball players. MyWay aluminum bats have a 2-3/4” barrel, are available in 28” to 31” lengths and are USSSA-approved.
Carolina Clubs also offers a full line of professional wood bats, as well as wood youth bats. All Carolina Clubs wood bats are American-made and produced in upstate New York.