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New BBCOR Bats and 1.15 BPF Criteria

by Coach Mike
(Lincolnshire, IL)

Batting in the wood bat era hitting for Power

Batting in the wood bat era hitting for Power

Question

1. What are the drop weight limitations on BBCOR compliant bats for the various age groups?



2. What are the drop weight limitations on 1.15 BPF stamped bats at the various age groups?

Mike,

I will begin with my admittance to honestly not knowing the various drop weight limitations for the new BBCOR 2012 bats. I have recommended checking with the organization in which you participate with to make sure you purchase the new baseball bats that are acceptable for use.

If it is Little League, Pony Baseball, Ripken, local recreation league or travel tournaments make sure you check with them before choosing a baseball bats.

Now, the NFHS which is the high school baseball organization for public schools in our country is going to the same BBCOR bat regulations for 2012 as the NCAA college baseball teams adopted last season.

The college baseball teams and high school baseball teams will be using the -3 drop weight limitations.

Now previously the youth leagues have stayed with a larger drop rate differential in the past years. It is likely they will follow similar drop weights as the past but to be sure do your homework with your particular organization.

One thing is for sure—nothing is for sure. The whole aluminum bat industry had totally shaken upside down beginning in 2011 with the change over to BBCOR approved bats in the college baseball game.

The BBCOR approved bats have been developed for basically two reasons.

1. Decrease the exit speed and use of technology to manufacture metal bats that lessen the exit speed and the carry distance off the bats.

This method lessens the opportunity for rolling and pressing the bats, which increases the trampoline effect. The previous generation of BSER bats found that the more fatigued the bat the better the bat performed. So folks started rolling the barrels of the bats to speed up the fatigue and increasing the trampoline effect.

The BBCOR approved bats are supposed to eliminate this form of cheating. The BBCOR bats do not increase the trampoline when fatigued.

2. To make the bats react more like wood bats. The new baseball bats have a much smaller ‘sweet spot’ than the old baseball bats. A hitter could hit the ball off the end of the bat or the label and still give the ball a pretty good ride.

Now, if you hit the ball other than the ‘sweet spot’ on the bat barrel the ball is going to react very similar as to a wooden bat. The ball will still carry if you hit the ball ‘on the screws’. The good hitters will still be good hitters. The mediocre hitters will be exposed.

Nonetheless, the game of baseball will go back in time very close to the 1974 days of pre aluminum bat era. Prior to the mid 1970’s all baseball ever used were wood bats. For over 100 years the game of baseball was a wooden bat game.

The colleges and the high schools are using a metal bat that mimics wood bats. Soon I would predict that the youth league baseball bats would follow suit. It may take a few years but the bat manufacturers will be ramped up and ready to sell them.



What will the game of baseball look like with the new bat regulations? A little bit like the National League plays. More teams will try to play for one run in certain parts of the batting order. And they will play for one run earlier in the game.

Instead of waiting to the last inning or two in a close game to bunt over a runner you will see teams bunting in the middle innings.

The game of baseball will call for a much higher degree of fundamentals both offensively and defensively. A team will have a difficult time coming back from a big three or four run inning so mistakes will be costly. Walks will be costly, even more so than the past. But executing the offense will be crucial.

The stolen base, hit-and-run play and the bunting game will be more common weapons. Hitting the ball over the fence and getting three runs on one hit will be a little more rarer. You will see many more closer games and low scoring ballgames. We will play lots of 3-2 and 5-3 games.

Everything will be meaningful. Every base will be sacred and valuable. Moving runners up and over will be a needed skill set. The bunters will bunt –and the hitters will hit. Running speed may become more of a beneficial factor.

In the end everyone is going to want to know what happened to the lost generations of the aluminum metal bat era.

Why did baseball drift off into metal bat hysteria for over 35 years? Well, the game of baseball is coming to its senses and return closer to the awesome era of wood bats again!

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