Bats Not Allowed in Little League

I have just received a new email from Little League International addressing the question of non-wood bats which are available on the market and are stamped as “Little League Approved” but do not carry a corresponding Bat Performance Factor (BPF) which assures the ball leaves the non-wood bat at a comparable speed to a wood bat. (For more information on this subject see my previous article From the Clubhouse titled “The Great Baseball Bat Debate”) As this email is authorized by Little League International for redistribution, I have reproduced it here in its entirety (with emphases added) for interested readers. The bottom line is this: check your bat bag and look before you pay out big money for a new pre-season bat purchase. There is nothing more frustrating than paying more than $100 for a new bat and then being told you can’t use it after only 1 season!

March 18, 2009

It has been brought to the attention of Little League officials that there are a few bats for sale in stores or that may have already been purchased that carry the Little League approval, but do not have the required bat performance standard markings. The Little League Rulebook states that beginning January 1, 2009, all non-wood bats used for play in Little League Baseball (majors and below) shall be printed with a bat performance factor (BPF) of 1.15 or less. While the bats we have identified pass the BPF standard and other standards of proportion and measurement, they do not have the proper label. These bats are in the marketplace for a variety of circumstances. After review by Little League officials, it has been determined that these bats may remain in the marketplace and shall be allowed for play during the 2009 season only, with the understanding that these bats shall not be allowed for play after December 21, 2009, even though some improperly labeled bats may still remain in the marketplace, or retained by leagues and players after the 2010 deadline. Also check the model you are purchasing. If these bats, like the Vanquish, are replaced with correct labeling, and have the BPF 1.15 label, they will be allowed after 2009.

Specifically, the bats in question are as follows:

  • Adidas Vanquish Blue design: (There is a newer model of this bat, also named the Vanquish and it has copper and black markings. It contains the proper labeling and therefore is not subject to the one-year rule).
  • DeMarini: Black Coyote, Rogue, Distance, Rumble, Tengu
  • Easton: LZ-810
  • Louisville Slugger: YB31

Sincerely,

Little League International

P.O. Box 3485

539 US Route 15 Hwy

Williamsport, PA 17701-0485

Phone: 570-326-1921

Fax: 570-326-1074

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14 thoughts on “Bats Not Allowed in Little League

  1. I purchased the DeMarini Tengu just about 3 weeks ago. His first week of using it, 1 practice game and a league game, so 5 at bats with it. He crushed it, the dent was about a quarter of the way in. When I sent it in DeMarini sent a new bat back, but it was the Diablo model. I called and they said that they had upgraded it. I told them that I had already purchased another Tengu bat for him because it like the feel of the bat. I wished that they had mentioned that the bat would not be able to be used after this year. I guess customer service will be getting a call Monday morning. I’ll post what they say

    • Gargoyle:
      It would be nice if DeMarini was planning on printing the BPF number on that model bat & will forward you one when available. Otherwise I would take another “compliant” model as a replacement so you get your money’s worth. Good Luck & keep us posted on how you make out.

  2. Talked with DeMarini Rep. Monday morning, was told that the Little League ruling was so new that they, DeMarini, were not sure how they would handle it. Asked if they would post it on their website, they weren’t sure how they were going to proceed with it. I hope that this gets out to all parents and they will make sure that the bats that they are purchasing will be allowed to be used more then one year. I also hope that all leagues let parents know of this before their kids bats are ruled illegal to use. My son Jake also informed me that a bat I just bought a couple of months earlier was not labeled as well. Getting that on back this weekend to see what can be done with that one. Will also be talking with the league to see if they will put out a notice to parents. Hope everyone will do they same.

  3. Gargoyle:
    Thanks for the update. I agree that this type of legalism is not helpful, especially when bats can cost what they do. It would be nice if Little League would grant a waiver for bats manufactured before this ruling to be allowed with a decal that the manufacturers could provide. I would suggest to all readers to have officials from their local leagues pursue this if possible.
    Please keep us updated.

    Regards,
    Rich

  4. Bought a kid a 31 inch tengu with new bpf 1.15 markings for Christmas. It’s 3 weeks into the season and it dented in two places already (a smallish ten year old at that!). DeMarini wont warranty it because I don’t have my receipt. Bought it at Target. It had BPF 1.15 on it so it has to be less than a year old in their records…but they refuse to warranty it. All of them seem to be defective and dent easily, so what’s the point of getting a replacement… I will never buy another Demarini (made by Wilson BTW) or recommend a DeMarini again! Beware of Wilson and Demarini Bats!

    • Hi Allen:

      Very sorry to hear about your experience which sounds exactly the same as my own. As you know from the article posted here, I had purchased the DeMarini Black Coyote and saw it dent immediately after a 11U player simply tossed a ball into the air and hit it to some friends playing in the field. Like you, I had purchased it at a mass-market chain store (KMart) and didn’t happen to save the reciept since my son has played with numerous other DeMarini bats with no problem at all. In my situation, I was very familiar with other more expensive DeMarini products & couldn’t resist the great “deal” that I thought I was getting in this case. I strongly suspect this is a problem with certain DeMarini bat models being single-walled and therefore “cheaper,” which clearly explains why Target or KMart may carry them. Hard to resist the high-end brand name when you see it for a song.

      In my continuing experience, DeMarini does indeed make a great product, but you have to pay serious bucks for that quality. Any buyer should be VERY careful about what they are purchasing in terms of bat construction, etc. and ALWAYS save both the receipt and the warranty information that comes with the bat until the warranty period expires. Bottom Line: Consumer Beware of purchasing baseball bats in mass-market chain stores which are known for deals but not necessarily quality. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.

      Best of Luck this Season,
      Rich

  5. Hi Rich,

    I have bought tons of bats from chain stores made by easton, worth and even louisville slugger…..this Demarini is the only one I ever had a problem with from a mass marketer like walmart, kmart, target. Now, I have seen at least 3 high price/high performace bats crack or dent. So I dont necessarily agree that you get what you pay for. I feel that Demarini/Wilson has just cheaped out on quality and BTW…the TENGU sold for $50. If $50 is cheap to you, then you are way too rich. We should have expectations from a producer that the product last longer than 3 weeks.

    If I had saved the receipt, then Demarini would have just sent me back the same manufacturing defected bat. So what would that get me, a bat to put on the wall as a decoration? …… As I see it, they are just unwilling to stand behind their name.

    I have over 30 years experience….we need to return to wood. Yes, they break, but they dont cost $300-$400 each!
    We use a lot of Bamboo in the adult semi-pro independent league I am affiliated with, we only broke 5 bats during the entire season and that included practice. (they cost us about $30 each)

  6. Bought Demarini Black Coyote at Walmart for a 10 year old. A “bargain” at $29.99 so I was tempted to buy a second for the league – glad I didn’t, it dented on the first pitch to my son. Didn’t bother keeping the receipt due to DeMarini brand quality (I thought). Will *never* buy another, and strongly discourage others from considering it. Just the few posts on this site make it clear DeMarini has a serious quality issue to address.

    • Hi Brian:
      Sorry for your experience which sounds exactly like my own. Good thing you didn’t spend more. I have to say that while my own son still gets good performance from other more expensive DeMarini bats, for future purchases I will not consider them and instead will go with Easton or Louisville Slugger TPX.

  7. Hi , I am curious about the adidas vanquish ( blue ) as my son owns one. The bat has great trampoline effect , really great trampoline effect , perhaps as good or better bounce than his high dollar bats ! So I am curious as to why the bat is not legal ? Is it only because it was not manufactured with the specific writing or stamp on it , or is it illegal due to a performance factor ? Could it be illegal due to not passing the Bpf testing ? Could it be because it has too much trampoline effect ?

    Thank you so much !
    Philip

    • Hi Philip,
      Not sure under which regulations the bat you speak of may not be permitted. Could be that the bat is not stamped BPF 1.15, in which case it cannot be certified for that safety factor. This would be the case in Little League and other organizations. Even if stamped BPF 1.15, if it is also made of composite construction, it could still be prohibited because the material actually increases the trampoline effect over time when it is “broken in.” Hence the practice of “rolling” bats. If your son is older and at the scholastic level, NFHS/NCAA standards will apply which require BBCOR stamps that certify a different performance standard close to the performance of wood even if constructed of other materials. Let me know which organization you are referring to and I’ll see if I can help you further.

      Best Regards,
      Rich

      • Hi Rich ,
        And thanks.
        My son is 8 years old and playing in Dixie Youth Little League.
        What I am really getting at is this – many times we hear of a bat being illegal for little league ( example : Combats B2 ) but we the majority of the bat purchasing public do not hear the reason why. I realize that many bats are manufactured for backyard play and not for Little League use , therefore of coarse they don’t have the thumbprint. I am just curious if sometimes a bat exceeds the Bpf testing , or is deemed too powerfull ? That was my thought when I noticed the big trampoline effect of the Adidas Vanquish , just wondering if it could have exceeded the 1.15 Bpf or if it simply wasn’t manufactured for Little League use ? The Adidas brand name ( in BATS only , not gloves or attire ) has never really appeared to be going after the money in Little League bat sales where we live , I had never seen an Adidas bat until our third season .Or perhaps the Adidas Vanquish was manufactured before the year 2011 and did not require the thumbprint or any Bpf type ?
        Many thanks again Rich
        Philip.

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