2018 Southwest Ohio League Bat Rules
One year ago, while at the Youth Baseball Network Championship board meeting I was led to believe that the new USA Baseball bat guideline was going to become standard throughout amateur baseball, with USSSA being the lone exception. I was thrown an unhittable hard slider at the meeting this year. NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THE NEW USA BASEBALL POLICY. Especially when USA Baseball in its latest version of the policy, wording clearly stated that their move was not safety related, since baseball is still the safest sport and by extension, the variance in the existing bats was not to indicate the BPF 1.15 bats were unsafe for use.
AABC is, for now (maybe until their annual meeting in November) adopting the USA Baseball standard. NABF has not made a decisive decision since their events are mostly wood anyway. AAU, and a couple of others involved in the YBN alliance are not changing, as well as the aforementioned USSSA. As a result of the indecisive approach of the others, CABA decided to allow both the bats (as has Nations Baseball) with the USA Baseball and USSSA BPF 1.15 label to be used in all their events. This of course does not apply to age levels or even individuals using the BBCOR 0.50 -3 drop bats.
Because we are sanctioned by various of these organizations, our Southwest Ohio League board has voted overwhelmingly to allow either bat for league play. This policy does not preclude the banning of some of the DeMarini bats not approved for youth use. Bat drop will be determined by each age level of the pre BBCOR age levels since we recommend decreasing the allowable bat drop in ages 13 and again at 14 to allow players an easier transition to the -3 drop BBCOR bats.
This seems to create one problem each of our teams must face, if you move on to national play, what bat rule will apply? It then makes it necessary for each coaching staff to learn what bat rules will apply to participation in affiliated tournament play. This responsibility is on the coaching staff.
Where the league has a sanctioned tournament with our teams, both will be allowed, but when advancing, something else may apply.
Founder & President Southwest Ohio League