2019 & 2020 Bat Rules For Southwest Ohio League Play:
Bat Rules for league pay will be similar to 2018 for the 2019 season. There will be a change for the 220 season, so please read through this entire statement.
For 2019: Wood or wood composite bats are approved for all age levels. Any player in any age level is permitted to use the NFHS approved BBCOR 0.50 with the minus 3 drop, it is mandatory (unless wood is elected) for age 15 and above.
For ages 14 and under where wood or the BBCOR bat are not used, The USA Baseball stamped bat included on the list of approved bats https://usabat.com is approved. Also approved for 2019 are the USSSA stamped BPF 1.15 bats not on their list of banned bats https://www.usssa.com/baseball/baseball-withdrawn-andor-non-compliant-baseball-bat-models. In age 14 there will be a drop limit of -5 for the USA Baseball or USSSA stamped bats. In age 13 the maximum drop value shall be -8. This transition is done to facilitate the adjustment players need to make leading up to use of the -3 drop bat at age 15 (Or upon participation in the players HS program).
FOR 2020 SEASON: USA Baseball is the governing body over all of baseball in America. That being the case, for 2020 we will still allow use of wood or wood composite bats for all ages. Use of the BBCOR -3 drop bat is permitted for any player wishing to use that bat. Again, it is mandatory for age 15 and above where wood or wood composite is not used. However, only the USA Baseball stamped bat appearing on the previously referenced web site link will be permitted. Again, in age 14, a maximum drop of -5 shall be permitted and at age 13, a maximum drop of -8 is permitted.
SUMMARY: Please understand that bat rules are essentially out of the control of this league. We are a nationally affiliated league and almost all our teams play in events sanctioned by national organizations under authority of USA Baseball. Whether or not we like it or want it to be is, frankly, irrelevant. Personal and league liability is a huge factor. HINT: IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO PURCHASE A BAT PRIOR TO THE 2019 SEASON AND PLAN IT AS A LONG TERM PURCHASE—BUY THE USA BASEBALL STAMPED BAT.
Also To Be Followed is this statement on altered bats. USSSA has developed the most coherent policy regarding this issue, so we reference that here:
Altered Bat: An “Altered Bat” is a bat that has had its physical structure changed, including, but not limited to:(a) The bat has had the surface of the barrel or the taper changed in any way such as by addition of graphics, painting, repainting, removal of bat material or paint by any means including but not limited to sandpapering or applying a solvent to the surface such as fingernail polish remover or by any other means.
(b) The bat has had the plug or the knob removed / replaced or changed in any way.
(c) The bat has had anything removed or added or inserted to the inside or outside of the bat other than tape at the handle or knob. Other examples of altering a bat would be changing or replacing manufacturers’ markings or replacing the handle of a bat with a new handle. Replacing the grip, adding tape or adding a build up to the handle is not considered altering a bat.(d) The bat has been subjected to pressure in a manner that exceeds that of striking the bat at game speed swing speed against a USSSA approved ball traveling at game speeds. Such pressure would include, but is not limited to, compressing the bat, rolling the bat, vicing the bat or hitting the bat against an object such as a tree or pole. The bat has in any other way had its on-field performance improved by physically changing the bat (other than by hitting the bat at game condition swing speeds against a USSSA approved ball traveling at game condition speeds).