Official Rules for Baseball Bats
All players/parents/coaches should be aware of the current 2014 PONY and 2013 Babe Ruth national policies related to bat rules. With the exception of the Shetland division (as noted below), all other divisions should ensure they are fully aligned with the respective national policies.
SHETLAND BAT RULES
For LCBSA Shetland division play, bats labeled with “tee ball” may be used.
PONY BAT RULES – NATIONAL POLICY FOR 2014 SEASON
The Pony Bat Rules apply to the Pinto, Mustang and Bronco baseball divisions.
Wooden, metal, graphite or ceramic bats manufactured for baseball play, which are round and not more than two and five eighths inches in diameter at the thickest part, not more than 42 inches in length, are acceptable. No bat shall be used if dented, cracked, modified or misshapen.
(1) Bats manufactured specifically for use in tee ball play, shall not be used when the ball is pitched by a player, coach or pitching machine. Coach-pitch bats will only be used in coach-pitch using a safety ball.
(2) 2 1/4″ BARREL bats are legal in all divisions of PONY Baseball. They must have a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.15 stamped on the bat. In addition the bat must be stamped “Approved for play in PONY Baseball”.
(3) 2 5/8″ BARREL bats are legal in all divisions of PONY Baseball. IF a 2 5/8″ barrel bat is -3, it must be BBCOR certified (stamped on the bat). Currently, all 2 5/8″ bats -5, -7, -9, etc. are legal.
(4) 2 3/4” barrel bats are prohibited in all divisions of PONY Baseball.
* For Pinto 7 and all higher divisions, bats labeled with “tee ball” are prohibited.
Penalty for use of an illegal bat:
(a) If detected before the first pitch of an at-bat, the bat shall be removed from the game. The batter is not out and is required to use a bat that conforms to bat regulations. The manager and player of the team shall be removed from the game as well as the next scheduled game.
(b) If detected after the first pitch (whether the pitch is swung at or not) the batter is declared out and base runners shall not advance. The manager and player of the team shall be removed from the game as well as the next scheduled game.
(c) If detected after a ball is hit, the batter is out and base runners shall return to their original base prior to the hit. The manager and player of the team shall be removed from the game as well as the next scheduled game.
BABE RUTH BAT RULES
Please go to the following BabeRuthLeague.org site for the latest bat rules for Babe Ruth:
SIZING GUIDELINES - CHOOSING THE CORRECT BAT
Few decisions impact your game as much as choosing the perfect bat. You want a bat that’s the right size, right weight and right length for you–and within your budget. Improvements in technology have given today’s ball players more options than ever, so you’re sure to find a bat that feels like it was custom made for you. You just have to do your homework to find it.
In most cases, bats are measured in inches and weighed in ounces.
Length: Length and weight combine for peak performance. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to hit balls on the other side of the plate. But remember that a longer bat may be heavier, and the extra weight could slow you down. Like checking the weight, you need to swing bats of different lengths to decide what length best suits you.
Weight: As a general rule, bigger, stronger players usually prefer a heavier bat for maximum power. Smaller players usually benefit from a lighter bat that allows greater bat speed. To determine the weight that’s right for you, swing a variety of bats and see how much weight you’re comfortable with.
Since a player's power is generated through bat speed, it is important that you can swing your bat through the strike zone at maximum speed. Keep in mind that the right bat for you is based on personal preference. Make sure the bat you pick feels good when you swing it. The negative number found on all aluminum and composite bat represents the length to weight ratio of the bat or swing weight. An example would be on a 30" bat that has a "-9" would have a swing weight of 21 oz.
Your height and weight are good way to determine what bat length may work best for you. Use this guideline as a starting point.
This chart is nothing more than an approximation of what size bat a player may need. When selecting a bat, you should take in to consideration your comfort level with the size you are currently swinging. As mentioned above, the process of picking the perfect bat is personal preference. If you have absolutely no idea what size to select, try some of your teammates' bats. Experimenting with swinging different sizes allows players to compare and contrast what they like and what sizes they can properly handle.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES:
All bats used in LCBSA must be compliant with the 2014 PONY national bat rule policy. Please read the rules carefully when purchasing a new bat (and/or using an existing bat during game play).
UPCOMING 2018 RULE CHANGES
PONY baseball (and virtually all youth baseball organizations) will be adopting a new bat rule effective with the 2018 season (the current 2017 is NOT affected).
In short, all bats in 2018 must have a new "YBBCOR" stamp on them (the "BPF 1.15" stamp will no longer be valid as an approved bat for 2018.) All major bat manufacturers are researching it and will most likely be selling such bats later in 2017.
More information can be found in these articles:
I realize that, for many of us, acquiring a new baseball bat can take a lot of time and resources. Therefore, I hope that you found this email helpful and informative.