The confusion between USA and USSSA baseball bats is widespread.
As a result, many people fail to understand the main difference between USA baseball bats and USSSA baseball bats.
Playing baseball with a bat that is not approved by the appropriate organization for which the game is to be played can result in a competitive disadvantage or ejection from the game. This is why it is crucial than ever to understand their differences.
This article describes both of these types of baseball bats in detail.
So, let’s get started.
A Simple Comparison Between USA and USSSA Bats
Younger players use USA bats because it is lighter and easier to swing. On the other hand, USSSA bats are heavier and usually used by players eligible to participate in USSSA Baseball Tournaments.
Simply put, the main difference between these two is the bat performance. USSSA bats are stronger and can hit the ball further than the USA bats.
What are USA Bats?
All baseball bats approved by the USABat standards can be evidently considered as USA Bats. According to officials, this new bat standard will help maintain the integrity of youth baseball games and will also make the game uniform at the youth level and all over the world.
USA Baseball, the official governing body for Baseball in the US, along with the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee has likewise concluded that the advancements in science, technology, and the materials available to manufacture non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to create youth baseball bats that have properties similar to that of wooden bats.
The newly engineered bats also do not feature a drop-weight limit, allowing youth baseball players to use lighter-weight bats in games as well as ultimately improve their hitting abilities. Convinced with the new USABat Standards, organizations adopting it will also allow its youth players to use bats with 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter.
Even so, all non-wood bats and multi-piece wood bats are required to have a USABat certification mark on the barrel of the bat to signify that it has undergone lab testing and meets the USABat Standards. However, bats made of solid one-piece wood do not require any certification marks.
The list of leagues and divisions which have adopted the new USABat standard are mentioned below:
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Nolan Ryan Division
- Pee Wee Reese Division
- Gil Hodges Division
- Willie Mays Division
- Jackie Robinson Division
- Roberto Clemente Division
- Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken
- Tee Ball
- Cal Ripken Baseball
- Babe Ruth Baseball (13-15)
- Dixie Youth and Dixie Boys
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- Dixie Boys Baseball
- Little League Baseball
- Tee Ball Division
- Minor League Baseball Division
- Little League Baseball
- Intermediate (50/70) Division
- Junior League Baseball Division
- PONY Baseball
- Shetland 6U
- Pinto 8U
- Mustang 10U
- Bronco 12U
- Pony 14U
- National Amateur Baseball Federation
- Rookie Division 10U
- Freshman Division 12U
- Sophomore Division 14U
- Dizzy Dean Baseball
- 6-year old division
- 7-year old division
- 8-year old division
- 9-year old division
- 10-year old division
- 11-year old division
- 12-year old division
What are USSSA Bats?
Baseball bats that are approved by the USSSA Standards and manufactured by an approved USSSA bat manufacturer can be evidently considered as USSSA Bats. The new USA Bat rules have not affected the regulations provided by the USSSA, and hence all players willing to participate in USSSA baseball tournaments must use bats that are approved by USSSA Bat Standards.
Furthermore, according to the USSSA Bat standards, the bats must have the 1.15 BPF USSSA stamp on the taper, or have the certified .50 BBCOR stamp (-3), or should be a wooden bat. In any case, the barrel diameter of the bat cannot exceed 2 ¾ inches and all bats must be manufactured by an approved USSSA bat manufacturer.
In addition, all players participating in the USSSA baseball tournaments are required to follow the given USSSA bat standards according to their age. The USSSA mainly has 7 age divisions starting from 8 years to 14 years. A list of baseball tournaments organized by USSSA Baseball is given below.
- Elite World Series
- Elite World Series Qualifiers
- Elite World Series 8U
- Elite World Series 9U-12U
- Elite World Series 13U-14U
- USSSA World Series
- A World Series
- AA World Series
- AAA World Series
- Global Sports World Series
- All American Games
Difference between USA and USSSA Bats
Indeed, the biggest difference between USA Bats and USSSA Bats is the performance attribute, which is quite sizable. USSSA Bats are designed to provide the players with a performance advantage as well as prove to be more effective in the game when compared to USA Bats and wooden bats.
Moreover, USA Bats are designed to be lighter in weight and to allow youth players an easy swing and hitting experience so that they can understand the foundation of the game, which in turn reduces the hitting strength. Whereas the USSSA Bats are conversely designed to have optimized performance and increased hitting strength.
Approval of Bat Standards
The new USABat Standards have been in effect since 1st January 2018 and 7 Nation Member Organizations, as well as its divisions that are mentioned above, have adopted these new bat standards.
However, USSSA remains unaffected by the introduction of USABat Standards and continues to follow the bat regulations that are being followed since 2005.
USA Baseball Stamp vs. USSSA Stamp
If you want to find whether a bat is USA Baseball Approved or USSSA Approved, you need to find the stamp somewhere on the barrel.
Evidently, the USABat standards mainly aim to involve the youth baseball players with the game fundamentals by allowing them to use lighter-weight bats and develop more of their hitting abilities. Hence, the target players for the new USABat standards are players falling under the age criteria of 8 to 14 years.
On the other hand, in the case of USSSA, all players participating in the USSSA Baseball tournaments irrespective of age must follow the given USSSA bat standards according to their age division.
In summary, the introduction of the USABat standard was an elaborated effort made by USA Baseball and other Nation Member Organizations in accordance with the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee. Clearly, the research conducted behind it was extensive. There was enough data collected and standards were improved before finally bringing it into the picture.
Moreover, many Nation Member Organizations are very much convinced with the new USABat standards and have readily adopted them, while others are still giving it a thought and may adopt it in the near future.
Nevertheless, USSSA strongly believes that its bat standards have worked fairly well in its last 12 years of organization and suddenly adopting a bat standard with less performance attribute will only decline the overall competitive and dramatic nature of the game. Hence, USSSA continues to follow its previous bat standards and remains unaffected.