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BBCOR is currently the standard that governs adult baseball bats that are used in High School and Collegiate play. The acronym BBCOR stands for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. Simply put, BBCOR will measure the “trampoline effect” of the barrel and how it plays into the exit speed of the ball. The “bouncier” the trampoline effect, the faster the ball will come off the bat.
The thought behind the BBCOR standard is the desire to make non-wood bats perform closer to the wood material – which will require better skill from the players, reduce the exponentially increasing offensive (particularly home runs) statistics and keep the fielders safer, as the ball will come off the bat with less speed than the BESR days – about a 5% decrease in performance for those looking to put a number on it. Additionally, all BBCOR baseball bats must not exceed a length to weight ratio of drop three (-3), cannot have a barrel diameter that exceeds 2 5/8-inches, and the length of the bat cannot exceed 36 inches.
When searching for the right BBCOR bat for you, you will want to make sure the bat you are looking at is in fact a BBCOR bat. All non-wood BBCOR baseball bats will have the “BBCOR Certified .50” stamp (pictured above) on it, typically, just above the handle or on the taper of the bat. The .50 figure stands for the “trampoline effect” a baseball bat has. A BBCOR bat cannot exceed .50, but most pass the test at around .48 or .49. By implementing the BBCOR of .50 or less standard, non-wood bats are now required to perform more like wood bats. The trampoline effect is reduced, and the bat is doing less work for the hitter, which means the batter must now provide most of the power against the ball.
You are required to use BBCOR baseball bats in High School and Collegiate play. Younger players not in High School are not required to use BBCOR baseball bats as they will use either USA or USSSA bats depending on the league they play in.
USA bats and BBCOR bats are actually very similar when it comes to performance. They are designed to have very similar hit speeds to BBCOR baseball bats, thus making them a favorite for younger players getting ready to move up to High School where BBCOR bats are a requirement. The barrel size between the two bats are also the same – they must both be 2 5/8-inches. However, USA bats do not have drop 3 weight to length ratio restrictions like BBCOR bats do. USA bats can be much lighter than BBCOR bats making it much easier to swing them due to them being used by younger players.
As of January 1, 2018, USABat passed a new standard that basically made all USA bats made prior to 2018 illegal. You now must use USABat Standard bats in the Little League Major Baseball Division and below. However, you may use either USABat Standard bats or BBCOR bats at the Intermediate (50/70) Baseball and Junior League Baseball Divisions.
Ball Exit Speed Ratio or BESR was the standard that used to govern High School and Collegiate play. Unlike BBCOR that measures the trampoline effect of bats, BESR measured the speed that the ball left the bat on contact. Under the BESR standard it was required that all non-wood bats have a maximum exit speed of 97 mph. Like BBCOR bats, BESR bats too had to have no more than a drop 3 (-3) length to weight ratio, had to have a 2 5/8-inch barrel and could not be longer than 36 inches. As of January 1, 2012, all BESR bats were banned from use in high school and collegiate level baseball, and can no longer be used anywhere, unless you want to go to your local field and see how far you can hit baseballs with one.
Wooden bats are automatically BBCOR certified as long as they are a solid, one-piece bat. Multi-piece wood bats must be examined to verify they are constructed with a solid barrel, so we recommend sticking to a one-piece just to be safe. Also, be aware, wood bats are not required to have the BBCOR certified stamp on the bat itself.
BBCOR bats can either be constructed with aluminum alloy or composite metals. Alloy bats are mixed with other metals to create a stronger product, aluminum alloy. Composite bats are typically made from a mixture of carbon fiber, fiberglass, graphite, and can sometimes include Kevlar. Some BBCOR bats are even made with an alloy barrel and composite handle.
Alloy or aluminum alloy BBCOR baseball bats feature a 1-piece design and the barrel is constructed to have thinner, more responsive walls for increased pop. Composite BBCOR bats feature a 2-piece construction, making them very light and much more flexible than a 1-piece alloy bat that will be quite stiff. This is great for players looking to increase their bat speed. Hybrid BBCOR baseball bats are becoming more and more popular. They feature a 2-piece design and are constructed with an alloy barrel and composite handle, which allows for a lighter handle and a longer, more responsive barrel.
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