BBCOR and USA bats may be very similar in performance but they are still quite different from each other.
If you are not very much familiar with the baseball bats, then you may be feeling confused and thinking to yourself, “What is the difference between BBCOR bats and USA bats?”.
In this article, I’ve tried to explain the distinctions between these two bats in a very simple way.
So let’s get started and find out the real difference between BBCOR and USA bats and see what actually sets them apart.
What are BBCOR Bats?
Batted Ball of Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) is the standard that currently regulates adults baseball bats used in High School and Collegiate plays.
This standard measures the coefficient of restitution, which determines the trampoline effect of a baseball. It is meant to limit the bouncing effect on hit balls for more consistent and safer gameplay. The higher the number, the more trampoline effect the bat has. It also ensures that non-wooden bats perform comparably to wooden bats.
BBCOR bats are composite bats typically made of metal and follow specific performance regulations standards. Certified BBCOR bats are deemed to be safe by the NCAA and NFHS for college and high school-level baseball players.
What are USA Bats?
USA Baseball bats standard applies to those bats that are under NCAA and NFHS level of play. This standard was implemented on January 1, 2018. The USA Baseball bats standard establishes a standard for the performance of youth baseball bats.
After the implementation of the new standard, the metal and composite bats have to feature the USA Bat certification mark. This is required to allow these bats to play in youth leagues.
Retailers and licensed manufacturers of bats began to see the certified baseball bats with the USA baseball mark from 1st September 2017. Some of the Organizations that have implemented the USA bats standard are American Amateur Baseball Congress and Dixie Youth Baseball.
What is the Difference Between BBCOR and USA Bats?
In a nutshell, both the bats are almost alike; however, there is one significant difference between them.
Both USA and BBCOR certification testing attempt to imitate the flex of a wooden bat. They are also designed to make the game safer for players, reducing the risk of injury from faster-moving balls.
The difference is in their drop weight restriction. BBCOR bats can’t have a drop-weight higher than -3; the same rule is not applicable for USA bats.
Because of this difference, BBCOR bats are well-suited for high-school and Senior League players; whereas USA bats are more appropriate for Little League Players.
Another is that BBCOR measures bat flexibility whereas USA measures exit speeds. BBCOR is a measurement of how flexible the barrel of a bat is in relation to the ball at impact. It is intended to approximate “the trampoline effect of the ball” to help replicate the wood-bat performance. On the other hand, the USA measures the speed of the ball at impact.
Comparing Performance of BBCOR and USA Baseball Bats
The performance of BBCOR and USA baseball bats are almost identical. Both of them are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. However, based on the same principle, the scale of results is different due to the use of various test balls and test speeds.
The primary difference between BBCOR bats and USA bats is that USA bats don’t have the -3 drop weight restrictions. Thus lighter in weight USA balls are more comfortable to swing which results in a higher batting average. Conversely, the hit ball speed is not high as compared to the BBCOR bats.
BBCOR certification regulates the performance of adult bats, and BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bats. These bats are made only in a drop 3 (-3) or minus 3 and have a 25/8’’ Barrel.
On the other hand, USA baseball bats are designed to perform like BBCOR bats without drop weights restrictions as in BBCOR balls. Although it also has a 25/8’’ Barrel or small.
Testing the difference between the performances of both bats is important to address since they both are created for play in different age groups.
Who Should Buy BBCOR Bats?
BBCOR bats are built with a – 3-ounce length-to-weight ratio. These bats are mainly required for use in High school baseball play and college baseball play. For players in the junior league between the ages of 12-14 years, BBCOR is compulsory if a composite model is being used.
For the senior league in the ages of 13-16 years, only BBCOR bats are used. Also, in Big leagues, BBCOR certified baseball bats are used in the age groups of 15-18 years with a maximum permitted length of 36 inches. Hitting with a BBCOR bat is much more comfortable, and thus junior level players and players of high school and college should buy BBCOR bats.
You can find here the list of the top BBCOR baseball bats that are adequately tried and tested for your benefit.
Who Should Buy USA Bat?
A little league player in the age group of 14 or under must have a USA bat. Players participating in little league Baseball are only affected by the USA bat standard. Players in Tee-Ball, Minor Division & Major Division, have to use bat approved through the USA bat standard.
But at the Intermediate Baseball Divisions & Junior League Baseball Division, players have an option to use either USA bat or BBCOR bats. Thus players intending to play in the little league Tee Ball, Minor Division & Major Division should use USA baseball bats.
I have also written an article that talks about the hottest USA bats of 2022. So, you can also check that if you want to know more about the latest USA bats.
A change from wooden to a wood-like standard has been done in BBCOR baseball bats and USA baseball bats because it is found that metal and composite bats are more durable and lightweight than wooden bats.
On the other hand, composite BBCOR bats are lighter than aluminum or alloy BBCOR bat. The BBCOR regulates the amount of energy lost during the contact between the bat and the baseball.
The new USA baseball bat standard was developed by USA Baseball Committee effective from 1st January 2018. Little league Baseball compiled with the new standard.