Hey Blue: What is a legal bat for Little League Baseball?

By Bob Downey, Hanover LL UIC 2014

This article is for Little League Baseball bats.   A separate document is available for Softball bats.

Further down in this article you will find the Little League wording concerning bat dimensions, certification markings, and other requirement.  But before you go there, please see the following warning.

WARNING TO PARENTS:  Be sure the bat you buy is legal.  Just because it states Little League on the bat, does not mean that it is approved for Little League play.  If you have a bat that is a “composite”, be sure you bring the official LL website approved bat list with you to prove that it is legal.   The umpires do not carry a list.

To get the list, go to LittleLeague.org.

1)      Go to the Parents Tab

2)      Navigate down to the Bat Information section and pick the Resource Page to see more about bats and the list of approved bats. 

 Little League Rule 1.10 deals with what is acceptable as a bat.   It states:

The bat must be a baseball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.

Little League (Majors) and below: it shall not be more than thirty-three (33) inches in length nor more than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Non-wood bats shall be labeled with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15 or less.  EXCEPTION: For the 2013-2014 Little League (Majors) and below, for regular season play and Tournament, composite barrel bats are prohibited unless approved by Little League International. A list of approved and licensed composite barrel bats can be found on the Little League website at www.LittleLeague.org.

 Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League: it shall not be more than 34 inches in length; nor more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30”) at its smallest part. All composite barrel bats shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The certification mark shall be

rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color.

Senior/Big League: it shall not be more than 36 inches in length, nor more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30”) at its smallest part. The bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces). All bats not made of a single piece of wood shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR)

performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color. Aluminum/alloy and composite bats shall be marked as to their material makeup being aluminum/alloy or composite. This marking shall be silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, a minimum of one-half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color. In all divisions, wood bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding sixteen (16) inches (18 inches for Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior/Big League Baseball) from the small end. A non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape or composition material, and must extend a minimum of 10

inches from the small end. Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.

NOTE 1: Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior/Big League: The 2¾ inch

in diameter bat is not allowed in any division.

NOTE 2: The traditional batting donut is not permissible.

NOTE 3: The bat may carry the mark “Little League Tee Ball.”

NOTE 4: Non-wood bats may develop dents from time to time. Bats that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring for the appropriate division must be removed from play. The 2¼ inch bat ring must be used for bats in the Tee Ball, Minor League and Little League Baseball divisions. The 2 5/8 inch bat ring must be used for bats in the Intermediate (50-70) Division, Junior, Senior and Big League divisions of baseball.

NOTE 5: An illegal bat must be removed. Any bat that has been altered shall be

removed from play. Penalty – See Rule – 6.06 (d).