High School Baseball Bat Rules

By Pat Pickens

Playing high school baseball is a dream of all youth baseball players. The combination of talent, luck and fire often makes the quality of baseball in high school second to none. However, as high school baseball players get better and stronger, restrictions must be made to the equipment that is used.

Aluminum bats

Long gone are the days where wooden bats rule the high school bat scene. Aluminum is the most commonly used bat in high school baseball. However, these bats can only be used under certain restrictions. As of 2001, high school baseball bats must have a barrel of no larger than 2 5/8 inches and a length/weight ration of no more than -3. That means that if a player has a 34 inch bat, the minimum weight the bat can be is 31 ounces. This keeps bat speed down and is to eliminate injuries to pitchers.

Composite bats

Composite bats are not made of alloy metals, they are made of resin. They began to burst onto the scene as a "safer alternative" to aluminum. However, as of Aug. 1, 2010, composite bats will be banned by the National Federation of State High School Athletics (NFHS) because they can too easily be tampered with, becoming too powerful and too much of a performance enhancer. Two-piece bats, which are aluminum handles with composite barrels, are also illegal as of the 2011 baseball season. Composite handles with aluminum barrels, however, are still allowed.

Back to Wood

All of the talk of aluminum or composite bats will become moot on Jan. 1, 2012, because the NFHS has banned the use of all non-wood bats at the high school level. The NFHS said “the new standard ensures that performances by non-wood bats are more comparable to those of wood bats. It’s also expected to minimize risk, improve play and increase teaching opportunities." Two-piece bats will also be outlawed for the 2012 season by the definition that "a bat is a smooth cylinder implement from the top of the cap to the top of the knob."

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