USA vs USSSA Bats – What Are The Differences?
If you’re just getting into baseball or taking part in youth leagues, you may easily get confused with all the requirements imposed on these levels of competition.
Baseball in the US is governed by several different bodies. Each of responsible for certain organized leagues.
Their focus is mainly on creating equal opportunities and a level playing field for everyone.
Also, they strive to provide a safe environment for playing the game. This is especially important when it comes to youth baseball.
To achieve this, these governing bodies introduce various standards that apply to all aspects of the game, including those refereeing to which bats are allowed for use.
Bats used at youth levels mainly have to comply with the USA or USSSA standards. When planning a purchase, knowing the USA vs USSSA bats difference is essential.
Below, you’ll find all the information you need on what differentiates these two standards.Table could not be displayed.
Table of Contents
What Does USA Mean on A Bat?
Introduced in 2018, USA Bat is a standard introduced by USA Baseball, the body governing amateur baseball in the country.
Its purpose is to preserve the integrity of the game and its uniformity at the youth level.
As the science advanced, USA Baseball recognized that it’s now possible for non-wood bats to achieve similar properties like wooden bats.
The USA Bat stamp on a bat means the bat was lab tested and approved as able to provide wood-like performance.
This ensures a level playing field for all youth players, while at the same time allowing them to use modern composite and alloy bats that are more durable, lightweight, and easier to handle.
Unlike most of the other standards, USA Bat doesn’t feature drop weight limitations and gets rid of BPF measuring in youth baseball.
In addition, the USA Bat standard also prescribes that 2⅝ inches big barrel bats are allowed.
What Does USSSA Mean on a Bat?
The USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) is a non-profit body governing youth completion across several sports, including baseball.
The rules set by this organization must be followed by the directors of all leagues under its umbrella.
Among other things, USSSA prescribes a standard for baseball bats to be used in youth leagues.
USSSA standards were introduced in 2005 and remained in effect even after the introduction of the USA Bat standard in 2018.
All USSSA-certified bats must have a “1.15 BPF USSSA” stamp Which means that the standard allows a 1.15 Bat Performance Factor value.
The standard further prescribes that a .50 BBCOR certified bat can also be used. Wooden bats are allowed, too.
To comply with the standard, every bat must be manufactured by an approved manufacturer.
The drop weight of USSSA bats must be -10, -8, or -5. Besides, the maximum barrel diameter must not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
USA Bats vs USSA Bats – What are the Differences?
When comparing USA vs USSSA bats, the biggest difference is in the performance. USA Bats are lighter, easier to handle, and are often used by players who are still developing.
They’re built to help young hitters learn the basics of batting. It’s much easier to swing using USA bats than with USSSA bats.
As such, they offer less in terms of the ball’s exit speed and distance.
On the other hand, USSSA bats are designed to provide optimal performance and improve batter’s production and hitting power.
They have thinner barrel walls, but a bigger hitting surface.
With 1.5 BPF and a larger barrel diameter, USSSA bats offer much more pop when hitting the ball, increased springiness, and thus a greater trampoline effect.
According to several research testings, USSSA bats provide a 5 to 10 percent increase when it comes to how fast the ball flies and how far the batters hit it.
Who Should Use a USA Bat?
No products found.
The target group according to the age criteria for the USA Bat standard are the kids from 8 to 14 years of age.
The implementation of the standard in the leagues for this age group should ensure that, at this age, kids use lighter bats, helping them develop their hitting skills.
The USA bats are mandatory in Tee Ball, Minor Division, and Major Division of the Little League.
Intermediate (50/70) Baseball and Junior League Baseball Divisions also fall under the USA Bat standard, but players in these leagues can also use BBCOR-certified bats.
Other organizations that implement the No products found. standard are:
- American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
- Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- PONY Baseball
- Dizzie Dean Baseball
Who Should Use a USSSA Bat?
No products found.
In general, the USSSA standard is mostly used in tournaments or “travel ball”.
So players whose weekly routine involves traveling from tournament to tournament will likely need USSSA bats.
The USSSA standard doesn’t involve age restriction but all batters playing in the USSSA tournaments must use certified bats.
However, they’re geared towards younger players and rigorous performance criteria to ensure that the bats are safe for use.
USSSA bats are generally divided into two groups – for players 14 and under and for players 15 and over.
Also, within the under 14 groups, USSSA differentiates between small and big barrel bats.
The list of major tournaments implementing No products found. standard includes:
- Elite World Series
- USSSA World Series
- Global Sports World Series
- All American Games
Bat certifications continuously change and evolve.
To provide the best possible environment for the game, the governing bodies always have an ear to the recent studies and research.
So, it’s important to stay on top of things and be informed which bat certification is required in the league you or your kid plays in.
While still at the youth level, the bats will likely have to comply with USA Bat or USSSA standards.
The choice between the two mainly depends on the organization, but also on what you want the bat to provide.
USA bats are better for player development and learning the basics, while USSSA bats provide more optimal performance.
As kids move on to high school and college baseball, they make the transition to BBCOR standard and further on.