When you read a retail baseball website or an online equipment guide, you will come across the BBCOR qualification standard. What is it? The BBCOR standard was put in place in 2010 to make sure that all alloy and composite bats used in collegiate and high school play met a certain standard. The standard was set by the governing bodies of high school and college baseball, and now all composite and alloy bats must meet that standard.
The Definition of BBCOR
The Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) standard is a measurement of how fast a ball leaves a bat made of alloy or composite materials after contact. When these types of bats were first brought into play in the college and high school ranks, it was immediately discovered that the ball flew off these bats faster and that created problems. Out of concern for the safety of the players, especially pitchers, the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association set what would be called the BBCOR standard.
What is the BBCOR Standard?
The BBCOR measures the bounce effect that a ball has on a composite or alloy bat. The higher that number, the faster the ball leaves the bat on contact. The two governing bodies decided that 0.50 would be the measurement used to certify all BBCOR bats. Then the governing bodies added three other criteria to being BBCOR certified:
- Diameters of bats can be no more than 2 5/8-inches
- Drop weight cannot be any higher than -3
- Bat length cannot be more than 36 inches
Who Uses the BBCOR Standard?
Today, all NCAA and sanctioned high school baseball games require composite and alloy bats to be BBCOR certified. Some youth leagues require BBCOR bats, and these are leagues that normally allow players ages 11 to 14 to play. Other youth leagues allow for big barrel bats and follow those standards. Wooden bats that are one piece and meet the length and weight requirements set up for each league do not need to be BBCOR certified.
BBCOR Vs Big Barrel Baseball Bats
What are Big Barrel Bats?
Youth Big Barrel bats (also known as Senior League bats) follow a different standard than BBCOR bats. Since most youth players would find it difficult to swing a standard BBCOR bat, the big barrel standard says that the drop weight must be somewhere in the range of -5 to -12. This allows younger children to use certified bats that are lighter to lift. Big barrel bats are also allowed to be 2 3/4-inches in diameter, where BBCOR bats cannot exceed 2 5/8-inches in diameter.
If you play collegiate or high school baseball, then the BBCOR standard applies to your alloy or composite bat. It is important to note that wood bats made of a variety of materials are considered to be composite and must comply with the BBCOR standard. It is a standard that was set to help protect players, and it was also designed to keep the playing field level for everyone.