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Baseball bats come with different certification and standards for different leagues and classes of basketball games and players. They are not necessarily baseball bats types but just certification standards for the baseball bats. Let’s learn about ‘BBCOR Vs USA Bats’.
BBCOR Vs USA Bats
BBCOR means Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution and is the “seal of approval” for metal and composite bats that can be used in High School and College leagues. Also, some middle-school and amateur/travel leagues for teenagers have adopted the BBCOR standard. USA Bats are standards for little leagues
Basis of BBCOR and USA Bats
BBCOR and USA is a rating system for bats, not a type of bat per se. The rating system attempts to quantify the difference in “pop” between different bats by comparing the bat speed and pitch speed to the resultant speed of the ball coming off the bat.
The BBCOR and USA standards are based on two things, mainly:
- That a ball will bounce off a non-wood bat at the same speed as it would off of a wood bat.
- Uniform size and weight distribution: -3 length-to-weight ratio and 2 5/8″ barrel.
- There isn’t a “BBCOR or a USA bat”. All kinds of bats can be BBCOR or USA rated, including aluminium, composites and hybrids. Even USA Bats bats can conceivably be BBCOR rated.
Notable Differences between the USA and BBCOR Bats
- BBCOR bats are made of metals like aluminium while USA Bats bats are made of ash, maple, bamboo, and a variety of different types of strong USA Bats.
- BBCOR bats are designed to be a bat that can both limit exit velocity while still providing high schools and colleges with a bat that can be useful for their specifications. In pro ball, USA Bats bats are the only bats that are allowed to be used.
How Different Bats Compare in Terms of Hitting Performance?
There are several differences in the properties of the kinds of Bats. I can discuss how these properties translate to hitting performance. For the sake of simplicity, I am just going to compare maple and ash. The properties of birch are somewhere in between maple and ash, but it is closer to maple. You can think of birch as a maple bat that has some of the benefits of ash.
- Density: Maple is the heaviest of the three and ash is the lightest. This means that maple provides the highest rebound velocity. So if you hit it on the sweet spot, you should be able to hit the ball further. However, higher density means that maple bats are heavier compared to ash, so you can create a higher swing speed with ash. To compensate for the weight, all maple bats have cupped ends to remove some weight. While most are OK with it, some hitters who are used to uncupped bats will feel that maples are not balanced. Also, even with a cupped end, maple will feel heavier. You can also cup ash to make it even lighter.
- Sound: High density means the bat will sound different upon contact. Maple bats produce a higher pitch “pop” that a lot of hitters like instead of the “crack” that ash produces. I know that sound should not be a performance factor, but humans are sensory creatures, and we will subconsciously equate a pleasant sound with performance.
- Sweet Spot: Ash has the largest sweet spot However, since maple bats don’t flex as much, the manufacturer can put on harder lacquer on the surface to give them even more pop.
- Graininess. Ash bats are very grainy. Highly skilled players are very particular about how densely the grains are aligned and shaped. A company like Hillerich and Bradsby sends its major league clients a dozen or more bats at a time, and only a few get used in games. Also, as taught in little league, you have to swing ash bats with the logo up or logo down to reduce the chance of breaking. With maple bats, grains are small and not even visible. While major leaguers are still picky about their maple bats, more of them get to be game bats. There has been a critical shortage of ash woods that are baseball bat quality. Therefore, if you are buying an ash bat off of a shelf at a good sporting store, you may end up with low-quality USA Bats. You have to know what to look for and inspect carefully before buying. With maple, there is a better consistency even with amateur-level bats.
- Durability: Maples are maligned by baseball fans because when it breaks, it shatters, creating sharp chunks of wood and shrapnel flying everywhere. Ash bats break along the grain, and they are more likely to splint, rather than break off. Overall, both bats break at around the same frequency. Ash bats tend to break on inside pitches (jammed) while maples tend to break on outside pitches (cued). So depending on your hitting tendencies, you can reduce the number of bats used in a season merely by selecting the right type of bats.
- Cost: Maples are about twice as expensive. a composite bat lasts longer and is approved for most amateur leagues.
Now We’ve learnt about ‘BBCOR Vs USA Bats’, In Conclusion, the BBCOR or USA rating of a typical baseball bat refers to how its performance compare to appropriately BBCOR or USA-rated bats used in a particular league (because different leagues at different levels of play can require bats with different BBCOR and USA ratings).
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question 1: When Did They Stop Using Ash Wood For Baseball Bats?
They haven’t stopped using ashwood for baseball bats. Ash was the most popular choice for major league baseball players for a very long time. When Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs using maple began the transition from ash to maple being the most popular wood type used by major league baseball players. There are only 4 wood types that are approved for use in major league baseball and they are maple, ash, birch and beech wood.
- Question 2: Whats the Notable difference bewen BBCOR and USA Bats?
BBCOR bats are not identical to USA Bats. They have a bigger, more uniform sweetspot and are used in high school and college leagues, while USA Bats have less uniform sweet spots and are used in the little league.