Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Before you go out and buy a new bat for this season, you may need an advanced degree in physics, kinesiology, and engineering, and a post-doctorate in bureaucratese.

The National Federation of High Schools has teamed with the Lowell Baseball Research Center at the University of Massachusetts to set new specs for bats in an effort to curb the rising number of injuries. [Click here for list.]

All manufacturers were required to submit their bats for testing on Ball-Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) and Batted-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR). Only bats certified as safe will be allowed for use in both NCAA and NFHS sanctioned baseball games. [Click here for explanation and lists at Washington State University Sport Science Laboratory website. Click here for more information at NCAA Baseball Bats Standards site.]

The rules are intended to limit bat performance at or near the maximum performance limits of a wood bat, thereby minimizing risks and ”promoting the sound traditions of the sport.”

Two of the dozens of approved bats

The NFHS has banned hollow composite bats unless they remain BESR-compliant after undergoing  a test called the  Accelerated Break-In (ABI) protocol. The test  is intended to confirm that as the bats break in, their performance does not improve beyond the BESR ball exit speed limit.

For the 2010-2011 academic school year, and through December 31, 2011, the following types of bats are legal:

1. Any aluminum BESR bat (listed as category A on the SSL website),

2. Any aluminum barrel BESR bat (listed as category A on the SSL site),

3. Any non-hollow (filled core) composite BESR bat (listed as category D on the SSL site),

4. Certain approved hollow composite BESR baseball bats (found on the NFHS website ,

5. Any solid (one piece) wood or wood laminate bat (listed as category B on the SSL site),

6. Any aluminum or composite BBCOR bat

The UMLBRC list is located here .  For bats that meet NFHS high school playing rules until December 31, 2011, go to the “League Approval” drop-down list (located at the bottom of the page) and select “NCAA 2010 Season”. For bats that meet NFHS high school playing rules on and after January 1, 2012, go to the “League Approval” drop-down list and select “NCAA 2011+ Seasons”.

The UMLBRC is responsible for updating and maintaining the list. If you have any questions, please contact the NFHS at baseballbatlist@nfhs.org

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