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BBCOR bats have been used in college and high school baseball for quite some time, but there is still quite a bit of buzz about its introduction. “What is BBCOR, and what does it stand for? Why was the BBCOR standard created? Do I (or my player) need a BBCOR bat? Is this a BBCOR-certified bat?” These are all common questions that we answer here.
We also discuss a lot of BBCOR questions here.
What We Cover
First, it’s pronunciation and spelling.
It is pronounced with the first two letters (‘Bee Bee’) and then the word ‘Core.’
So, said, ‘Bee Bee Core.’ This throws many off as they write about it as ‘BBCORE.’ But, it’s an acronym of BBCOR (no ‘E’) that stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution.” (More on that later).
The BBCOR bat standard enforced by The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is referred to as “BBCOR.” This is the standard that bats must meet if they wish to bear the “BBCOR” stamp and be allowed in high school and collegiate games.
To find the BBCOR rating for a bat, baseballs must be fired from a cannon at pre-determined spots on the barrel of a stationary bat. With each test, the tester records the relative speed of the baseball before it hits the bat. They also record the relative rate of the baseball after it hits the bat. With these recordings, they can calculate the ratio of the baseball’s relative speed after impact to the baseball’s close rate before impact. As long as that ratio equals .50-or-below at each pre-determined location on the bat, the bat can be BBCOR certified. If that ratio exceeds .50 at any pre-determined spots on a baseball bat, the bat is not allowed to bear the BBCOR .50 silkscreen stamp.
In addition to passing the test described above, BBCOR-certified bats must have a barrel diameter no greater than 2 ⅝”, a length-to-weight ratio no greater than -3, and a length that does not exceed 36″.
BBCOR bats are baseball bats used in high school and college leagues. They have a reduced “pop” or trampoline effect compared to other bats like USSSA or fastpitch. They have the same pop as wood bats. They can be made of aluminum, composite, or wood materials and have weight distribution regulations. BBCOR bats were introduced for safety and a level playing field. They are not used in professional baseball.
Yes, there are restrictions on the weight and length of BBCOR bats. BBCOR bats have a maximum weight-to-length ratio, commonly called the “drop.” The current BBCOR standard requires a maximum drop of -3. In other words, the importance of the bat cannot be more than three ounces less than its length in inches.
Based on its length, BBCOR also requires your bat to have a certain minimum swing weight. The swing weight is different from the measured weight. More on that here.
In short, the BBCOR standard was created to preserve the integrity of the game at the amateur level while also providing an increase in safety. Due to inflated offensive performance (particularly in Home Runs and Runs Scored) at the NCAA Division 1 level and with the safety of pitchers being brought into question, the NCAA and NFHS re-evaluated the effectiveness of the BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio) standard that was in place before the implementation of the BBCOR standard. They determined that a new standard should be used and then created the parameters for implementing the BBCOR rule. And since its inception, the BBCOR standard has reduced batted ball speeds by 5% compared to the BESR standard.
All bats used in leagues that follow NFHS and NCAA rules must meet this BBCOR certification. The older divisions of major Youth baseball organizations (Little League, USSSA, PONY, Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken, and Dixie) may also say that BBCOR bats are permitted for use. Still, in nearly every case, BBCORs won’t be the only bats allowed for use in these divisions.
For example, the Intermediate (50-70) Division & Junior League Division of Little League Baseball do not require the use of BBCOR bats, but they do mention that “permitted for the Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League Division are bats meeting the BBCOR performance standard”.
You can find each division’s specific bat rules on the organization’s web page, and if you have any questions about the bat requirements for your Youth League.
To choose the right BBCOR bat, research options and read reviews to gather information. Consider your hitting style and preferences, such as whether you’re a power or contact hitter and prefer a balanced or end-loaded bat. Try out bats by visiting a sporting goods store or participating in demo events whenever possible. Seek feedback from hitters like you. Remember, your best bat isn’t one someone else can hit the furthest. Practice with the chosen bat to evaluate its feel, balance, and performance. Stay informed about the latest developments in BBCOR bats through our newsletters. Remember, selecting the right bat is a personal choice, so take the time to find the one that suits you best.