The game of baseball has evolved over the years with technology creating new standards to be used across the sport. For several years, the most popular type of bat used in high school and college has been a BBCOR certified bat. While there has been a lot of hype that has surrounded the BBCOR bats, there are still many questions surrounding them. Players and spectators seem to recognize the name and know that it is a popular certification to have on a bat but what exactly does BBCOR entail?
While many players want to have a BBCOR bat in their equipment rack, most do not know what the acronym even stands for. BBCOR is shorthand for Batted Ball Coefficient Resolution. This standard regulates how much energy is lost when the bat comes into contact with a ball.
The higher the number a bat scores in a BBCOR test, the more it jumps off the bat, creating a trampoline effect. The highest score that a BBCOR bat can receive is 0.50, which is similar to that of a wooden bat, just a little bit higher.
BBCOR bats also have certain specifications that they must meet in order to be certified. First, the bat must be an aluminum bat because wooden bats cannot be certified as BBCOR. Also, the bat itself has to meet certain measurement specifications. All BBCOR bats are required to have no greater diameter of 2 5/8 inches. The length to barrel ratio has to be no greater than -3. And finally, the length of the bat cannot be longer than 36 inches.
The main motivation behind creating the BBCOR standard was because of the flaws that were found in the previous standard. The previous standard that organizations used was the BESR standard, which compared pitch velocity and the velocity of the ball after coming in contact with the bat. While this standard was used for years on aluminum bats, it also resulted in many flaws.
One of the biggest flaws that were found by using this standard was increased offensive production. After analyzing Division I college baseball statistics when the BESR standard was used, there were obvious increases found in offensive statistics, most notably home runs and runs batted in. The ball was also found to be leaving the BESR bats at such a high rate that the safety of pitchers and other fielders were brought into question.
The BBCOR standard was found to be a much better alternative. After moving from the BESR standard to BBCOR, batted ball speeds have been reduced up to 5%. BBCOR also makes sure that bats with composite barrels have to undergo an accelerated break-in test in order to be BBCOR certified.
Since its inception years ago, BBCOR bats have become necessary for almost all advanced baseball organizations. For example, the only bats you can use in order to play in college and high school are required to be BBCOR certified. So, if you are a player entering high school and you are looking to continue your playing career, you will need to use a bat that is BBCOR certified.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. If you prefer to use a wood bat in the future, you can use it in college and high school without a BBCOR certification only if it is made of one piece of solid wood, unless the wood is bamboo. Any other wooden bat must have the BBCOR certification to be used.
There could be other reasons to use a BBCOR bat other than just entering the high school or college ranks. There are also some younger leagues and divisions that require a BBCOR bat be used. These leagues can have players in the age range of 11-14. To check and see if your league requires the use of a BBCOR certified bat, the answer should be found on the organization’s website or through a league representative.
There are many ways to ensure that a bat you own is BBCOR certified. The first thing you should look for on the bat is the official BBCOR mark. This mark will read “BBCOR Certified” with the number it received on its test right next to it. For example, a non-wood BBCOR certified bat will have a marking that says “BBCOR Certified .50.”
One thing you want to look out for to make sure your bat is BBCOR certified is that it does not have the USSSA BPF 1.15 mark on it. Some senior league and youth big barrel bats will have this marking on it. This marking simply reads USSSA on the top followed by 1.15 BPF at the bottom. If your bat carries this mark, it is not BBCOR certified and will not be allowed to be used.
If you follow these steps and still don’t know if your bat is BBCOR certified, there is one more step you can take. Washington State University has compiled a list on their website that lists every bat that is approved for use in the NCAA.
While BBCOR seems like a complicated concept to grasp at times, it is something that looks like it will be good for the game of baseball. BBCOR does well to maximize the performance of bats while also guaranteeing to make the game safer. BBCOR is the best tool now to use when certifying baseball bats but it has only been around for a short period of time. And just like how BESR was pushed aside in favor of the BBCOR, there could be a more advanced certification that will be used in years to come.
If you are still a little confused about how BBCOR works and what it means, check out this video that explains everything BBCOR. If you have any questions about BBCOR or any other information about BBCOR that you feel should have been included in this article, please feel free to comment below.