Stuck with finding the right bat that meets all the professional standards? No worries. We’re here to help. As an aspiring player searching for the best USA bats, the decision to choose the final one can get overwhelming. How are you supposed to know which bats are USABat approved and which ones are not? The absolute last thing you want to do is buy a baseball bat only to be told you can’t use it in an official game.
In order to qualify as a standardized bat, the company has to create equipment considering these parameters in mind. The bat has to pass certain tests and quality checks to get the standardized approval and the permission to use the USABat logo on the bat.
The answer to this question is based on the type of tournament that you are looking forward to participating in. USA bats do not have the -3 drop weight restrictions. This makes the USA Bats lighter and gives a better swing generally leading to a higher batting average.
However, the exit velocity for most balls hit using an USA Bat approved baseball bat tend to be lower than BBCOR bats.
BBCOR certification focuses more on the performance of the bats and primarily measures the trampoline effect of the bats. It is made only in a drop 3 (-3) or minus and has a 25/8inch barrel.
In comparison, USA bats are designed to perform similar to BBCOR bats but don’t have drop weight restrictions. It also has a 25/8inch or smaller barrel.
USABat and BBCOR are two of the most popular bat standards and the bats that comply with these standards are used in the majority of the leagues.
TheUSABat standards are adopted by Little League Baseball®, American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, and PONY Baseball.
BBCOR certified bats can be used in the USABat leagues too and particularly in the leagues that followNFHS and NCAA rules such as most high schools and colleges nationwide.
The USABat Standard is only applicable for kids 14 years old or younger who participate in the little league.
Tee Ball, Minor Division & Major Division players have to buy bats that are approved by the USA bat standard.
However, in the Intermediate Baseball Divisions and Junior League Baseball Division, players have an option to use either USABat approved baseball bats or BBCOR approved baseball bats.
The USABat Standard:
The USABat Standard was introduced in the year 2018 and it replaced the old 1.15 BF standard. According to this new standard, the bat must be a smooth round stick and can be made from wood or metal. The color used to paint the bat must be approved by the USA Baseball Bat Standard.
In the first season of 2018, it was mandatory for non-wood and laminated bats used in the Little League (Majors) and below, Intermediate (50-70) Division, Junior League Division, and Challenger division to bear the USA Baseball logo.
The logo on the bat signified that it was constructed using the new USABat – USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard. This new season marked the discontinuation of BPF – 1.15 bats. Bat diameter requirement was changed to 2⅝ inches for these divisions of play.
USABat Rules and requirements:
With the new regulation implemented and adopted by the different leagues, there are specific measurements that a bat should match. Here is a breakdown according to the different league groups and the bats that can be used for them.
The new standards specify that a T-ball bat must have a USA Baseball marking and should be no longer than 26 inches. It can have a diameter of 2 5/8 inches. The bat should have the sticker “ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS”.
Coach Pitch bats can have similar specifications of Tee Ball bats. However, the Tee Ball bats should have the USA Baseball Bat approval.
Minors and Majors:
Minor and Major Baseball leagues are among the important leagues of the game and therefore have a detailed description for the permissible bats that can be used by the players. The bat should not weigh more than 33 inches in length and 2 5/8 inches in diameter.
Apart from the basic measurements, there are certain bat rules that players are expected to keep in mind before choosing the bat.Wooden bats must not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter and 7/8 inch for bats that are less than 30 inches at their smallest part.
Wood bats that have tape or are fitted with a sleeve must not exceed 16 inches from the small end. Solid one-piece bats don’t need the USA Baseball logo.
Intermediate Division and Junior League:
Intermediate Division and Junior League players have varied options for bats that can be used in the league matches. To make sure that players don’t use bats that tampered or additionally modified for more advantage, the USABat standard has specific rules for bats that can be used in the tournament.
The bat must not be more than 34 inches in length and 2 5/8 inches in diameter. If the bat is made of wood, it should not be more than 15/16 inches in diameter. The smallest part of the bat should not be less than 30 inches.
Wooden bats taped or fitted with a sleeve must not exceed 18 inches from the small end. If the bat is constructed using a single piece of wood the USA Baseball logo is not necessary. BBCOR certified bats can be used for the Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League Division.
BBCOR bats should have a mark with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The mark must be rectangular and should be half-inch on each side. It should be placed on the barrel of the bat.
Only introduced in 2018, the USA Bat standard is pretty new and a number of players and coaches still don’t fully understand it. To learn more about the rule change, the previous standard, and the standards going forward, watch the video below.
Senior Leagues are played by people who are above 35 years of age. Usually, players participating in these leagues are quite seasoned and they are familiar with the senior league bat rules that are to be followed. However, with the new standards implemented there have been some changes in bat’s specification for this league too.
The bat should not be more than 36 inches in length and should have a diameter of 2 5/8 inches. If the bat is made of wood then it should not be less than fifteen-sixteen (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30″) at its smallest part.
Taped wooden bats or the one with fitted sleeve must not extend beyond 18 inches from the small end. The weigh of the bat must not exceed more than three ounces less than the length of the bat. For instance, a 33-inch long bat cannot weigh below 30 ounces.
Bats that are not made from a single piece of wood must comply with the BBCOR standards and should be marked on the barrel.
These are the rules that have been revised according to new USABat standards.
Finding a USABat compliant bat that offers great performance and is suitable for all the leagues can be a different challenge altogether. To help you out avoid spending on the wrong product, we have compiled a list of top 10 USABats that you can choose from.
Top 10 USA Baseball Bats:
USA Bats don’t have the drop rate rule which can be a great advantage over BBCOR bats. However, you need to take into account the baseball bat as a whole to decide if it’s the best baseball bat for you.
Easton Adv 360 features a two-piece all-composite design just like its predecessor the Project 3 ADV. The name of the bat is derived from its advanced properties and the fact that the bat is tuned in 360 degrees.
The bat is designed to offer balanced weight and it comes with a composite barrel which makes it the only USA bat with the most pop. After taking care of the impact, the company has also made sure that the players don’t have to compromise on comfort when batting.
Therefore, Easton ADV 360 comes gives the handle flex with its interlocking connection piece (iSoConneXion). To reduce the vibration sting, the handle and barrel are separated by a Nitrocell foam insert. It further reduces the feedback with the Power Boost Soft Knob.
The most remarkable thing about the Power Boost Soft Knob is the single flare at the bottom of the handle that helps the player to gain leverage. Easton ADV 360’s handle is made from 90 percent carbon fiber that adds to the strength and feel of the bat.
To top it all off, the handle of the bat has been wrapped with the Lizard Skins grip which is widely popular for offering incredible tack and cushioning. The bat has been given a 2 5/8 inch, Ultra-Lite Launch Comp barrel that is tuned all around for maximum performance.
The only Easton bat with a new Ultra-Lite Launch Composite barrel.
For those who like to go all out and give a star-like performance, you need to consider buying the Louisville Slugger Select. The toughness and durability of the bat will enable you to hit incredible shots without worrying about getting any damage done to it.
Louisville Slugger Select is a three-piece hybrid bat that has a construction of a league workhorse that entirely complies with the USA Bats regulations. The bat has a composite handle just like the top bats in the league.
Its aluminum barrel is a noteworthy addition to the bat and is known for being much more durable than the carbon ones. The handle and the barrel are fused with the company’s Vibration Control Connection System (VCX).
This unique technology allows the handle to flex and absorb vibrations like an all-composite bat. The bat has been given the ST 7U1+ aluminum alloy which was incorporated in the older versions of the bat and earned quite a reputation.
For balanced swing weight, the company has added the Speed Ballistic Composite endcap that makes the bat lighter at the end.
Louisville Slugger has managed to reduce the vibration from the bat that can be a major point of discomfort during the matches with its signature LS Pro Comfort grip. It is tacky and cushioned, which enables it to minimize vibrations even from the mishits and works well to keep the player’s hand connected to the bat.
The bat’s VCX joint’s flex generates an exceptional whip-crack lag, and the signature alloy provides superior pop equivalent to that of a top-quality composite bat. Players who are trained and proficient in hitting the ballcan make the most out of this bat.
Comes hot out of the wrapper
Design provides flex for extra pop.
Great trampoline effect
Reduces stinging vibrations
Smaller sweet spot than other USA approved baseball bats
There are very few USA-approved composite bats that can offer benefits like the Rawlings Quatro Pro (-12). It is undoubtedly the most power-packed bat in the domain with a light swing weight.
Quattro Pro’s incredibly long list of quality starts with the most notable feature. The redesigned Focused Flex connection collar, which is stiffer than previous models. The increased stiffness eliminates the bat’s end drag leading to an inside-out contact.
The 2 5/8-inch composite barrel offers a great amount of pop while keeping the bat within the USABat regulations. It also has the longest barrel section and is still the lightest as compared to the other bats.
Quattro Pro’s real magic lies inside the barrel.It has carbon discs placed strategically at the center to provide added strength to the barrel while increasing the pop at the same time. It also creates a distinctive sound on the impact.
Lizard Skins Grip is among the known features that are included for additional comfort and impeccable tack.
The Rawlings Quattro Pro is among the high-end bats that were introduced for Youth Baseball. However, the bat’s light swing and large sweet spot make the bat worth every penny that you pay for it.
The DeMarini CF Zen is one of the very few bats that are able to offer great performance even when most of its competitors have been granted stunning upgrades. The bat comes with the two-piece, all-composite structure which makes it strong among the best youth baseball bats.
The fact that aluminum barrels can perform at a similar level of composite bats, is proven by the CF Zen. There is no alloy bat in the baseball world that can compete with the CF Zen’s extended sweet spot.
It has a Paraflex Plus composite barrel which is designed to provide a large and responsive sweet spot. The bat has a classic carbon design which requires the usual hit-turn-hit break-in period.
The CF Zen is very different in terms of appearance. This is due to the longish handle design which makes the bat appear longer than the normal ones. However, this design is a feature from DeMarini that enables the bat to offer commendable balance.
Its construction has been strategically planned to feature the drop-10 version which fits smartly in the long size of the bat and offers the full plate coverage to the batters. The bat has been given an eye-catching collar which is installed to increase flex in the bat and adding more power to the strike along with vibration absorption.
Even though the company has some amazing bats with larger sweet spots, lighter weight, and firmer grip, finding the one bat that combines all the features and enables you to perform like a pro.
An instant classic.
Tapered design makes hitters better.
Maximum handle flex for superior pop.
Not overly light, so power hitters can use it.
One of the largest sweet spots in a best-selling bat.
The most popular trait of an Easton Bat is that it comes festooned with features that offer commendable performance. It has numerous bats that are constructed with the USABat, but the unique qualities of the Fuze 360 make it a worthy competitor on this list.
The bat gained popularity in the year 2019 World Series games where players preferred using this bat over other aluminum bats. It has an unconventional appearance which is a result of the bat’s drop 10 weight.
Some of the key features of the bat include Easton’s signature aluminum alloy that enables the bat to have the thinnest walls among the different bat options in USA baseball. Just like the ADV 360, the bat is modified to offer great consistency in 360 degrees around its 2 5/8inch barrel.
If looked from a logical point of view the thin wall might not be to survive after facing the powerful pitches. To which the barrel has been reinforced with the Carbon-Core technology that absorbs the power amazingly well.
Fuze 360 features an extra-long composite end cap that is forged into the bat and works as a booster to the bat’s trampoline effect generated from the bat’s thin aluminum skin. Superior comfort level is another incredible quality that you can benefit from.
The bat has a similar power boost soft knob that is incorporated in the ADV 360, which allows you to add leverage to your swings. You don’t have to be afraid of the feedback vibration that you may feel after hitting a mishit, as the bat is designed to reduce them before they reach your hand.
Easton has included customized Lizard Skins Grip for additional comfort and superior grip.
All-aluminum, one-piece design.
Lizard Skins grip and soft knob enhance leverage and absorb shock.
Drop-10 swing weight works best for contact hitters and power strokers.
In the world of baseball, there are very few bats that come with remarkable features and do things that are unimaginable. The Louisville Slugger Solo SPD is one such bat that fits the above description perfectly.
The bat has a 2 ½ inch barrel and a one-piece aluminum body which appeals to the pro players and offers exceptional performance. While most of the league bats come with a 2 5/8 diameter, it can be hard for smaller, younger and undersized players to even lift them.
The SPD solo tends to have a lighter swing weight and falls in the drop -13 range. It has a barrel that is made using SL Hyper alloy which gives the bat the thinnest skin in the company’s product line up. The bat offers a more powerful trampoline effect than any other USABat.
A well-balanced bat can work wonders for a player and reduces the efforts needed by a large margin. Solo SPD gives you the advantage of a balanced swing weight which is made even smoother with the help of a Speed Ballistic end cap.
The bat offers exceptional comfort to players throughout the game with the company’s signature LS Pro Comfort Grip. It offers more traction to the players and makes the bat stick to the hand comfortably.
Lightest youth baseball bats.
Skinnier barrel for easier contact.
Aluminum is stronger and more durable than composite.
Drop-13 swing weight among the lightest USA-approved bats.
Marucci CAT has been a widely preferred bat in the other leagues as it comprised features that enhanced the game of the players to a great extent. With major modifications and enhancements, the bat finally makes a debut in the USA Baseball leagues.
Made with remarkable features one of the key features of the bat’s thickness comes from the eight different walls. The spring of the bat is down to the seven layers in the USA-approved version of the bat.
There is a slight difference in the trampoline effect of the bat which is a result of the changes made according to the USA bat approval. Initially, the CAT8 was disqualified by the USSSA due to excessive-performance but the thing that made it even more popular was the comfort offered by the bat. t
More recent versions of the CAT bats are constructed with the second-generation AV2 anti-vibration knob, which works wonders even on mishits. It dampens the vibrations and eliminates the stinging sensation by using the harmonic tuning technology.
Soft and firm grips can be a rare attribute in baseball bats, Marucci CAT makes it possible with its micro-perforated grip. The combination of the AV2 knob and the micro-perforated grip offer premium level comfort.
In addition, the bat is very precisely balanced which makes swing even more fluid.
Bats made from aluminum are designed to offer speed but what if want more? Rawlings Velo ACP can help. The Rawlings Velo ACP is a performance bat that is specifically designed to offer great speed to the player swinging it.
It was designed to become the best bat of the USA standard and sold in great numbers. The bat was famous for its 2 5/8inch aluminum build. It also included the Accelerated Carbon Composite end cap that extends the size of the bat by two inches.
Apart from these things the bat is an all-aluminum construction with the Ai909 acoustic alloy. The -10 drop Hybrid Velo ACP competes well with the other one-piece aluminum bats. It has a laser-etched pop 2.0 groove that adds extra punch to the bat.
It also has a drop-5 option that slows things down a bit and focuses more on power. The power hitters can choose between drop -5 or -10 to get the amount of power they need from the bat as both come with a vibration-damping handle.
Mizuno equipment are lauded for quality and strength in the baseball world. Similar traits can be seen in the company’s B20 Hot Metal USA Bat. It is a one-piece aluminum alloy bat that specifically designed for the USABat standards.
There are various factors that add to the performance of the bat such as the optimized end cap that gives the bat balance and boosts the sound on batted balls. The bat is designed to produce the loudest sound if the ball is hit perfectly.
You can bet on Mizuno’s longevity as is a middle ground between high technology and affordability. The aluminum walls of the bat are thick, but they are not technologically advanced as the average composite bat.
The bat has a large sweet spot that lets you cover the entire plate with ease, and it lets you hit distant shots with confidence. Mizuno B20 Hot Metal comes ready for the game and you don’t have to spend time adjusting to the bat.
The key factor that contributes to the bat’s performance is the unique axe-handle grip. It’sthe unconventional angle of the grip that enables the player to add more energy into the swing. Axe Avenge One comes in all-composite construction that ensures maximum energy transfer.
Avenge One is a considerably lightweight bat and due to the composite body, the bat has a large sweet spot that is super effective and can handle mishits with ease. The sizeable 2 5/8inch barrel increases the chance of contact.
With the Axe avenge One, the effect of mishits is minimized as the bat is designed to absorb most of the vibration before it reaches your hand.
Your performance in a match depends majorly on the type of bat you use. Moreover, with the change in bat regulations, it can be tough to find a bat that matches your playing style and comfort requirements.
I hope the above information helps you in finding the right USABat for you. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can write them in the comments.
My name is David Farnum and I’ve been a Little League Coach in my community for the past 7 years. With 2 boys playing baseball and 1 girl playing softball, most weekends I can be found near a baseball diamond.