BBCOR Bats: Rules and Penalties
Young baseball players and their parents are no-doubt familiar with BBCOR bats. Once the NCAA required these bats back in 2011, they became popular in all of the youth and prep programs around the country. It is important that young baseball players use the appropriate bat or they could have problems with umpires and opposing teams.
Regulations at Various Ages
In the world of travel baseball, baseball bats must meet specific regulations. These are set by the groups that manage the tournaments. In many cases, when players are under 14 years of age, or playing for a 14U team or below, the rules are different than when players move into 15U teams. Once players are on 15U teams, they must follow the rules about drop 3 and BBCOR, so the bats must have no less than three numbers difference between the length and weight of the bat they are using. The bat must also have the appropriate BBCOR mark on it in order to be legal during travel ball play.
Players who are on 14U teams or teams with even younger players do not have to follow the BBCOR rules. They only have to be sure that their bats are no more than 2 ¾ inches in barrel diameter. Kids commonly call these “Big Barrel” bats. There is no need to follow the drop 3 rules with younger players.
Official Little League rules about bats vary, too. If you have any questions about Little League bat rules, it is best to consult with the person who is in charge of the district in which you live.
Prep Rules Require BBCOR
Once players move into high school BBCOR is the rule. There are tricky formulas that have established the rules regarding BBCOR and they all involve the bounciness that the ball has when it is hit off of the bat. Some people will call it the trampoline effect of the ball off of the bat. The trampoline effect does not actually refer to the bat, but to the way the ball compresses as it hits the bat and decompresses after it is hit.
The Physics of BBCOR
Even though we often think of baseball as a game of statistics, it is really just a game of physics. Everything about baseball involves energy. From the moment the ball is pitched, it spins as it moves toward the batter. A wooden bat will absorb much of the energy from the ball, so the ball does not have much bounce when it leaves the bat. However, with a composite BBCOR bat, the ball keeps much of its energy, so it can leave the bat in a way that allows it to travel faster. This is why so many prep and collegiate players are hitting balls so far and so hard.
It is easy to relate to the idea of BBCOR. If you bounce on a trampoline, you can just go higher and quicker than if you try to jump up and down on a concrete sidewalk. Think of wooden bat like the sidewalk; it absorbs your energy. The flexible trampoline material does not absorb your energy, so you can fly into the air.
Penalties for Using Illegal Bats
It is vital that players use the appropriate bats in their respective leagues. There are several penalties for batters who try to use an illegal bat when approaching the plate. If the umpire sees the bat prior to the batter entering the box, the umpire can tell the player to get a different bat - this does not result in any penalties. If a batter enters the box with an illegal bat and is playing professional baseball, he will suffer penalties. If an NCAA batter steps into the box and a pitch is thrown, he, too will suffer penalties. The penalties include being thrown out and sending runners back to their original base prior to the at-bat. A first offense can also result in a bench ejection for the coach - so the coach cannot leave the bench. If a second offense occurs, the coach is ejected from the game.
At M^Powered, we can help you take care of your BBCOR bats needs. Contact us at: 1-877-NO-CORKS or 1-877-662-6757.