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BBCOR Practice Bats After
January 1, 2012

by Jeff
(Freeland, Washington)

Dave Holt Response to New BBCOR Bat Rules for 2012

Dave Holt Response to New BBCOR Bat Rules for 2012

Jeff asked:

Your baseball article on BBCOR bats states "...So many high school players will have some very expensive batting practice bats this coming season..."

I was under the assumption that the new BBCOR bat standards were to be applied to both PRACTICE and GAMES.

For high school baseball practice, can teams use the old non-BBCOR certified bats?

Even if only for soft-toss, tees, and cages?

This will have a huge impact as to how many BBCOR team bats we purchase.

Response from Dave

Very Expensive Batting Practice Bats
Jeff, In my research I have not been able to find any stipulations or rulings that bans non-BBCOR approved bats during baseball practice hitting drills. But you very well could be right. I’ve been wrong before.

All non-BBCOR approved bats may be banned from baseball practices and games in some areas. I would first check with your state high school baseball association or local jurisdiction for the official ruling.

I really don’t see how anyone can keep someone from using any bat they want to during practice. That is why I made the comment, “So many high school players will have some very expensive BP bats this season.”

My thoughts were that all the previous BESR bats that were very expensive at new purchase prices. Now, virtually overnight these BESR approved bats were deemed worthless when the new 2012 BBCOR approved bat rules were adopted.

So if you bought a $250 bat last year that was not a BBCOR stamped bat then you can’t use it in a NFHS high school or NCAA college baseball game this year—hence, very expensive batting practice bats.

In other words, I would use my expensive non-BBCOR bats for practice swings and save the BBCOR bats for games and a few BP swings.

Batting Practice Bats
They would have to have batting practice police to go around and check every batting cage to see if you are using a BBCOR approved bat or not at every high school baseball field in America. Not going to happen.

Everyone should use the bats they have for practice. That way you can get by with buying a few ‘game bats’ for your baseball team and stretch your dollar a little further this year.

Plus, the bat manufacturers are going to be tinkering to improve the products and performance of metal bats from year to year. So, you can bet that after this season a new wave of bats will be on the market for the 2013 season.

High school baseball bat regulations may also change so you want to buy just enough baseball bats to get through the season. Then look to add a few more bats the next season if everything stays the same as far as high school baseball bats.

Swing Wood Bats
It may not hurt at all to try to have your baseball players swing some wood bats during batting practice drills. Or try some BAUM bats. (They feel like wood but do not break easily).

The whole reason in a nutshell for making the BBCOR bat regulations is to simulate wood bats. From all accounts from the college baseball coaches the new BBCOR baseball bat review is exactly that—the bat has a sweet spot similar to wood.

The ball does not carry like the old metal bats (pre BBCOR era). The ball carries like a wood bat. If you hit it square it is still going to jump and carry. If you don’t hit the ball square then there is little forgiveness—just like a wood bat.

The Wood Bat Era is Coming Full Swing
Prior to the mid 1970’s everyone in baseball swung wood bats. It has only been the last 35 years that the amateur baseball world has been in the metal bat era.

Now the pendulum is swinging back closer to wood bats. We saw offensive hitting numbers escalate higher through this aluminum bat era to record breaking offensive levels.

We also saw the dangers of how fast the exit speeds were becoming for the defensive players. Now, common sense is finally emerging in the new high school baseball bat rules as we travel back towards the natural wooden bat tools of the game.

The pure game of baseball will be a result. I say the youth baseball and amateur baseball will play more like the National League plays baseball. In certain parts of the batting order teams will play for one run more often.

Big hits over the fence and off the walls will be less likely. Moving runners over and getting the runner in from scoring position will be a premium skill set. In a few years this will become the norm.

Baseball games will be close, grinding battles. Every 90 feet will be a hard fought treasure. We will soon get to enjoy the challenge of playing close, gut wrenching, hard-fought baseball games all season long. What a battle the games will be!

Jeff, let me know if you find out about the ruling on practice rules for non-BBCOR bats. Thanks for your submission, too!

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