Little League Bat Rules: Stay Updated with Rule Changes

Baseball is one of the most intelligent and tactically planned games ever invented. The rules and regulations are so properly created that each playing team gets equal opportunity of winning the game. In any case, a good baseball game does not only depend on the playing teams but also on how well it has been organized.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest youth sports organizer and organizes various baseball tournaments all over the world every year.

So what exactly is Little League?

Little League Baseball Inc. is a non-profit youth sports organization that holds baseball matches, leagues, and tournaments for children aged 4 to 16 years. The organization first came to existence in the year 1939 as a three-team league in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The main aim of the organization is to promote the idea of sports among children from an early age. It also encourages local volunteers to organize Little League sports programs that are based on the rules and regulations laid by the Little League International. In any case, each league is organized to best serve the children in the local area.

The headquarters of Little League is based in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the first Little League Baseball World Series was played in the year 1947. To make the game fair for all children, the league has created appropriate age divisions according to which each player is carefully placed.

Apart from this, the league has also devised a specific number of pitch counts and the number of days of rest needed after each game, depending on the age of the player. All the rules are to be strictly followed, and it is the responsibility of the coach to ensure that it is happening. Otherwise, it can lead to disqualification of the player or the entire team.

Little League also provides a wonderful platform for successful junior players. Many popular baseball players today have played in Little League, before finally being able to play for WBSC teams.

New Little League Bat Rules

little league rules for batting

Little League has carefully decided which bats to be used in which division. Following these bat rules is strictly important. If not followed, could lead to the disqualification or penalty for the player. The Little League Bat rules for 2019 are given below.

Baseball

The bat to be used by the player must be a baseball bat and should meet the standards of USA Baseball Bat, as adopted by the Little League. The bat shall be like a smooth round stick, which is made of wood or any other material and color accepted by the USA Baseball Bat standards.

Since the beginning of 2018 season, all non-wood and laminated baseball bats that are used in Little League Majors and below, Intermediate Division (50-70), Junior League divisions, and Challenger divisions should have the USA Baseball logo depicting that the bat being used meets the USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard.

Moreover, all BPF – 1.15 bats will not be allowed from the beginning of the 2018 season. Adding to that, even the diameter of the bat should not be more than 2 5/8 inches for the above-mentioned divisions, from the beginning of 2018 season.

However, the bats which meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) standard can also be used in the Intermediate Division (50-70) and Junior League divisions.

Minor/Major Divisions

The bat to be used shall not be more than 33 inches in length and not more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter. Also, if the bat is made of wood, it should not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter for bats that are 33 inches in length and should not be less than 7/8 inches for bats less than 30 inches in length, at its smallest part.

Any wooden bats that are taped or fitted with a sleeve should not exceed 16 inches from the small end. Also, any solid one-piece wooden barrel bats will not require a USA Baseball logo.

Intermediate Division (50-70) and Junior League

The bat to be used should not be more than 34 inches in length, and should not be more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter. If the bat is wooden, then it should not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter for bats that are 34 inches in length and should not be more than 7/8 inches in diameter for bats that are less than 30 inches in length, at its smallest part.

All wooden bats that are taped or fitted with a sleeve should not be more than 18 inches from the small end. Any solid one-piece wooden barrel bats will not require a USA Baseball logo.

Also, bats meeting the BBCOR performance standard and labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark are permitted for the Intermediate Division (50-70) and Junior League Division. However, the certification mark should be rectangular, and should be a minimum of half-inch on each side and should be located on the barrel of the bat.

Care should be taken while marking bats made of aluminum, alloy, or composite. The marking should be clearly visible and should be in contrasting color to the bat.

Senior League

Any bat to be used in the senior league should not be more than 36 inches in length and not more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter. If the bat is wooden, then it should not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter for bats around 36 inches in length and should not be more than 7/8 inches for bats that are less than 30 inches in length, at its smallest part.

Wooden bats that are taped or fitted with a sleeve should not be more than 18 inches from the small end. Moreover, the bat should not weigh more than three ounces less than the length of the bat. For instance, a bat which is 33 inches long cannot weigh less than 30 ounces.

Any bats which are not made up of a single piece of wood must meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard. Also, such bats should be labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark.

The certification mark should be rectangular in shape, should cover a minimum of half-inch on each side, and should be located on the barrel of the bat. Aluminum, alloy, and composite bats should be marked accordingly. In any case, the certification mark should be clearly visible and should be in contrasting color to the bat.

Little League Challenger Division

The bat to be used should not be more than 33 inches in length and not more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter. If the bat is wooden, then it should not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter for bats around 33 inches in length and should not be less than 7/8 inches in diameter for bats less than 30 inches in length, at its smallest part.

Any wooden bats that are taped or fitted with a sleeve should not be more than 16 inches from the small end. Also, solid one-piece wood barrel bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.

Senior League Challenger Division

The bat to be used should not be more than 36 inches in length and not more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter. If the bat is wooden, then it should not be less than 15/16 inches in diameter for bats around 36 inches in length and should not be less than 7/8 inches in diameter for bats less than 30 inches in length, at its smallest part.

Any wooden bat that is taped or fitted with a sleeve should not be more than 18 inches from the small end. Also, the bat should not weigh more than the three ounces less than the length of the bat. For instance, if the bat is 36 inches long, then it cannot weigh less than 33 ounces.

Additionally, all bats which are not comprised of even a single piece of wood should meet any of the following

  • The bat to be used should meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standards and should also be labeled with either a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. This mark should be in a rectangular shape and should cover a half-inch on each side of the bat and should be located on the barrel
  • The bat must meet the USA Bat standard and should have the USA Baseball logo depicting that it meets the required standards of USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance standard

Any bats made of aluminum, alloy, or composite bats should be marked accordingly. The marking should be permanent and should be clearly visible in contrasting colors.

Apart from the rules mentioned above, the following points are to be considered equally important.

  • Whiffle ball type bats are allowed in all Challenger Divisions
  • The traditional batting donut is not allowed
  • While playing, non-wood bats develop dents from time to time. So, bats that have cracks or sharp edges, or those that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring must be removed from the play
  • The 2 ¼ inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled 2 ¼ and the 2 5/8 inch bat ring must be used for bats labeled for 2 5/8
  • Any illegal bat must be removed from the play. Also, any bat that has been altered should also be removed from the play.

Final Words

All the bat rules listed above should be strictly followed by each player and team. Also, in all divisions, any non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape, or any other composition material, and it must extend to a minimum of 10 inches from the small end. Materials such as slippery tape or similar are strictly prohibited.

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Vijay Singh
I started playing Baseball when I was 13 years old. I never made to MLB or any big league, but played enough to share some knowledge.

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