I have just received a new email from Little League International which now imposes a moratorium on the use of composite non-wood bats at certain levels of play in Little League Youth Baseball for the upcoming 2011 season.
Once again, this email is authorized by Little League International for redistribution so I have reproduced it here in its entirety (with emphases added) for interested readers. I will continue to post the updates as I receive them as this is clearly still an evolving story for 2011. Again, the bottom line is to be very careful to avoid the purchase of new composite non-wood bats as described in the following letter if your player participates in the Junior, Senior or Big League Divisions:
September 1, 2010
TO: Local Little League Presidents, District Administrators, and Regional Field Staff.
FROM: Patrick W. Wilson, Vice President of Operations, Little League International.
RE: Moratorium on Composite Bats in Junior League, Senior League and Big League Divisions of Baseball.
A moratorium on the use of composite bats in the Junior, Senior, and Big League Baseball Divisions of Little League was enacted on Aug. 27, 2010, by the Little League International Board of Directors, effective immediately. The moratorium shall be in effect until further notice by Little League International.
The moratorium covers all games and practices only in the three divisions referenced above. It closely follows a similar moratorium approved in July 2010 by the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), based on a recommendation from its Baseball Rules Committee. The NFHS Board enacted a rule to prohibit the use of composite bats until they can produce consistent compliance with the standards through the life of the bat.
Waivers of the moratorium may be considered by Little League International in certain circumstances. For 2011, a manufacturer may apply for a waiver of the moratorium for a particular model of composite bat if all of the requirements for a waiver, as established by Little League International, are satisfied. Composite bats that are certified by an approved independent testing laboratory as meeting the current Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR), and the Accelerated Break-In (ABI) procedure, will be eligible for the waiver in 2011. Little League International will provide a list of bat models, if any, that receive waivers of the moratorium.
Not covered under the Little League moratorium are wood bats, metal bats, or bats that have composite materials in the handle only. A composite bat is one that has a metal shell, but a woven composite of fibers on the inside of the barrel portion of the bat.
Currently, the moratorium on composite bats does not apply to the Little League Baseball (Majors) Division and below, nor does it apply to any division of softball. Little League International, in consultation with independent experts, anticipates being able to provide local league constituents clear direction regarding composite bats in the Little League Baseball (Majors) 12-and-under divisions, prior to the start of the 2011 season.
Patrick W. Wilson
Vice President of Operations
Little League International
P.O. Box 3485
539 US Route 15 Hwy
Williamsport, PA 17701-0485