Baseball is over a century old, but it still sees new regulations put into play. Learn what a BBCOR bat is and what makes it different here.
Despite the apparent simplicity of baseball, the equipment that players use — whether they play in MLB or on a high school team — is highly regulated. Bats, gloves, and balls must meet specific criteria to be legal to use; these criteria can differ between major league, minor league, collegiate, and high school levels.
BBCOR bats are specialized tools in players’ arsenals. Many people don’t know what BBCOR bats are and what makes them different, but they’re necessities for many high school and collegiate players.
What Is a BBCOR Bat?
A bat-ball coefficient of restitution (BBCOR) bat is the standard in high school and collegiate baseball play. The design of BBCOR bats decreases the trampoline effect when the bat makes contact with a ball. Put simply, a bat’s barrel has a certain amount of flexibility, and the greater that flexibility is, the more power it generates to hit a ball. The more power you generate from a hit, the faster the ball travels. In short, BBCOR bats have less give than traditional aluminum or composite bats, reducing the trampoline effect.
Why Do Players Use BBCOR Bats?
The purpose of a BBCOR bat is twofold: to mimic the performance of traditional wooden bats and to make the game safer for the players.
Aluminum and composite bats have different characteristics than wood bats. The traits inherent in non-wooden bats mean that balls travel faster and farther, translating to more home runs. BBCOR design still allows for optimal play but reduces the occurrence of home runs.
Some people argue that limiting batters this way defeats the purpose of the game and makes it less competitive. But others say that utilizing bats that decrease the trampoline effect evens the playing field, making the game more competitive without giving one side the advantage.
When balls travel faster, they pose a greater risk of injury to pitchers, catchers, and infielders. Baseballs can travel at high speeds, and if they collide with a player, they have the potential to cause serious injury. Slowing down the ball means protecting players from unnecessary injury that can take them out of the game. BBCOR bats are safety tools just like helmets are for batters — their design allows for a safer experience for the offense.
After learning what a BBCOR bat is and why players use it, ensure that the equipment you have is standard and that it meets regulation requirements. Whether you’re playing for your college team or in an independent tournament, ensure that regulations allow for your bat’s use. Know what bat is right for you and your league, and never use banned equipment.