USSSA BASEBALL BATS -- THE NEW USSSA MARK AND GRANDFATHERING RULES
I. BIG BARREL BATS
A. Beginning January 1, 2012, Big Barrel baseball bats (2 5/8" or 2 3/4") will be allowed in USSSA sanctioned play for 14U and below if, and only if, (1) they have the New USSSA Mark (see below) prominently and permanently displayed on their taper and are manufactured by an approved USSSA bat licensee (a list of these USSSA approved bat licensees is found on the USSSA/Baseball website), (2) is a "Qualified BBCOR Bat" (a Big Barrel bat that is made by a USSSA approved bat licensee, has a BBCOR mark permanently attached to the bat that is recognized by NFHS as a legal bat for NFHS sanctioned play and has no more than a minus 3 ounces difference from the length of the bat which bat must be at least 29 inches long) or (3) is a Wood Bat manufactured by an approved USSSA bat licensee. The new USSSA mark will be large and easy to spot making umpiring decisions on legal Big Barrel bats easy to make without disruption to the game that lists of legal and illegal bats or the close inspection of each bat would generate. The New USSSA Mark reflects that the manufacturer of the bat has committed to you the customer and to USSSA that the bat meets not just the USSSA 1.15 PBF test, but also the USSSA rule book, the USSSA anti-altering requirements and all other requirements as set forth in the licensing agreement between the bat manufacturer and USSSA. Other marks including those of other sanctioning bodies and "1.15 BPF" (without reference to USSSA) found on some bats, however, have no meaning for USSSA purposes.
B. ALL MEANS ALL. This rule includes ALL Big Barrel Bats. Thus, if you have Big Barrel coach pitch bat with the old USSSA mark of "1.15 BPF USSSA" or "1.15 BPF USSSA" on the barrel, that bat (while legal because of that mark in 2011) cannot be used in 2012. And, if you have a Big Barrel bat that is allowed in 15U and above in 2012 based on the NFHS rules which USSSA follows for 15U and above, that bat will NOT be allowed in 14U and below, unless it is Qualified BBCOR Bat. If a Big Barrel bat is marked with "1.15 BPF" or any other way indicates it might be (or has in the past been) approved for some kind of sanctioned play, without the entire the New USSSA Mark being prominently placed on the taper of the bat or without being a Qualified BBCOR Bat, it is meaningless for purposes of determining whether it will be legal in 2012 USSSA play. AGAIN TO BE LEGAL IN 2012 FOR USSSA 14U AND BELOW, A BIG BARREL BAT MUST BE MANUFACTURERED BY AN APPROVED USSSA BAT LICENSEE AND (1) HAVE THE NEW USSSA MARK ON ITS TAPER, (2) BE A QUALIFIED BBCOR BAT OR (3) BE A WOOD BAT. There are no exceptions to this rule!
C. ENFORCEMENT OF THE BAT STANDARDS AND RULES. USSSA does understand that the rules are more complex that anyone would like for 2011, but believes that the complexity will be greatly reduced in 2012 and that the grandfathering that created that complexity in 2011 was necessary to allow the use of bats already purchased prior to the new rules being announced. USSSA has gone to considerable effort and expense to put in the new and tighter bat performance rules that will be relatively easy to administer on the field beginning in 2012. If, however, a particular, New USSSA Marked bat model or a Qualified BBCOR Bat from one of our licensed bat manufacturers proves to violate the USSSA 1.15 BPF standard, or proves to be easy to alter and improve performance or otherwise proves to not be legal under USSSA rules or the USSSA bat license agreement entered into with approved bat licensees, USSSA and its approved manufacturers have agreed that the particular model will be declared illegal and no longer allowed in USSSA play. A list of such bats, if any, will be published by USSSA. Currently, there are no such bats. In addition, the penalties for those owning, or using an altering a bat, which are quite severe today, will become even more so in 2012. The competitive balance of the game requires these results.
D. AVAILABILITY. Currently, there are some single wall aluminum alloy bats available from approved manufacturers with the new USSSA mark. Beginning July 1, 2011, it is expected that additional (other material and multiple wall formant bats) New USSSA Mark bats from approved USSSA licensed bat manufacturers will be available for purchase by the public.
II. SMALL BARREL BATS
A. 2011. For 2011, all Small Barrel baseball bats (2 1/4" and less) made by approved USSSA licensed manufacturers (a list of these approved manufacturers is found on USSSA/Baseball website) are allowed in USSSA play.
B. 2012 and 2013. For 2012 and 2013, only those Small Barrel bats made by approved USSSA licensed manufacturers that are either (1) Wood or (2) made with the old USSSA mark or the New USSSA Mark will be allowed in USSSA play. This includes Tee Ball bats that are longer than 23 inches. 23 inch and shorter Small Barrel Tee Ball bats from approved USSSA licensed manufacturers will continue to be allowed in 2012 and 2013 without the old or New USSSA Mark.
C. 2014. For 2014, only those Small Barrel bats made by approved USSSA licensed manufacturers that are either (1) Wood or (2) made with the New USSSA Mark will be allowed in USSSA play. This includes all Tee Ball bats that are longer than 23 inches. 23 inch and shorter Small Barrel Tee Ball bats from approved USSSA licensed manufacturers will continue to be allowed in 2014 without the New USSSA Mark.
D. AVAILABILITY. Currently, no Small Barrel baseball bats made by approved USSSA licensed manufacturers with the New USSSA Mark are available for purchase by the public. Beginning July 1, 2011, it is expected that New USSSA Mark Small Barrel bats from approved USSSA licensed bat manufacturers will be available for purchase by the public. Please note, that this announcement supplements and must be read in conjunction with the USSSA Baseball Bat Performance Standards Announcement for 2011 & 2012 published on the USSSA website in September of 2010.
Abstract: This bat has the new USSSA 1.15 BPF Mark and meets the requirements for use in USSSA sanctioned play.
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