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Rookie Through Midget Bat Standards to Change in 2019

Bat Standards Will Change in 2019

In 2019 the RBBA will follow the lead of Little League Baseball and many other youth organizations across the country and implement the USA Bats standard

RBBA continues to make efforts to keep up with local, national and international standards of youth baseball pertaining to player safety, rules and equipment.  A good example of this is the implementation of pitch counts in spring 2017 using PitchSmart to avoid overuse injuries.  We encourage all parents to visit the PitchSmart site for valuable resources and tools to educate and promote healthy pitching careers.

RBBA is following Little League, Pony Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Amateur Athletic Association (AAU), American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball youth baseball standards in adopting a new bat standard.  USA Baseball has developed a new bat – USABat – which performs more like the BBCOR bats used at older ages.  Starting January 2018 USABat standard will be required for many leagues.

What will the USABat Standard Change?

Similar to the National Federation of High Schools BBCOR standard and the NCAA, implemented in 2011, the USABat Standard will make wood-like performance in youth baseball bats. The standard will make the game more uniform at youth level and ensure the game’s long-term integrity.

Like NCAA bat tests on performance, the USABat standard has its base on coefficient of restitution form bat-ball impact. To address the different stages of play between high school/collegiate and youth players, the USABat test is going to implement the use of test speeds and test balls to scale results.


  • Player safety.
    • Some kids are bigger, stronger and can hit a ball harder than other kids. Such kids hitting a 60mph pitch on a bat speed of 75mph back to a pitcher 50 feet away is dangerous.
    • Current non-USABats vary in performance, but ultimately the goal is for the most “pop” (or exit launch velocity from the bat) which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, model to model.
    • USABats standardizes performance, reduces pop to perform more like BBCOR.For those not familiar with BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) was developed to standardize bats for player safety at the high school and college levels.
  • Increase batted balls
    • Current non-USABats in Instructional, Rookie and Pee Wee are limited to a 2 ¼” barrel, Midgets 2 ¾” barrel, and Junior and Seniors use BBCOR 2 5/8” barrel.
    • USABats in RBBA will standardize the barrel size through all ages to 2 5/8”.
  • In theory the increase in barrel diameter from 2 ¼” to 2 5/8” will increase the chance of hitting the ball. More contact results in more balls in play for baserunning, fielding, throwing, catching, and learning the game. Most important is that increase in contact builds confidence in our players.


RBBA will phase in the USABat standard and make the bats required for Intermediate through Midget divisions starting in the spring of 2019.  USABats will be permitted for use in RBBA starting in the spring of 2018.

The spring 2019 USABat requirement should give parents ample time to plan and purchase new bats. In addition, this will allow time for more USABat to be available for purchase.

If purchasing a new bat now, we strongly encourage parents to purchase one marked with “USABat”.


Current non-USABats typically range from $40 to $400.

USABats are ranging from $40 to $400.

Where to Buy

Dick’s – USABats – 2 5/8

CheapBats – USABats – 2-5/8

JustBats – – USABats – 2-5/8

Additional Information/Resources

New USA Bat Standard

Choosing the Right Bat

How to Buy a Youth Baseball Bat

Questions / Comments

If you have any questions or comments regarding this phase in of USABats please contact Director for Rules and Instruction, Pete Lim at RBBAPete@gmail.com