BPF 1.15

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  • What does BAT PERFORMANCE FACTOR mean,meaning 1.15--on all youth bats.

    Please explain this jargon,phenoma?

    I know it is something about ball coming off bat too quickly,but i can not find out what the 1.15 means?

    Please explain,and have you repealed Jan 14th moratorium that 2010 composite bats ok for 2011?



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  • @ Chuck - The BPF is a measure, in a scientific laboratory setting, of the performance of a bat.

    Until the early 1990s, there were no standards for non-wood bats. In an effort to keep the game within a certain standard, bat manufacturers agreed to only produce bats (2 1/4 inch barrels) that would have a BPF of 1.15, in order to have the "Little League" name on them. That applied even before the bats had the BPF printed on them.

    Before the BPF limit was enacted, injuries to Little League pitchers were at their highest level in Little League's known history. At the same time, home runs at the Little League Baseball World Series hit their peak.

    Little League also instituted standards on the hardness of licensed baseballs at that time. We had found that baseballs made for youth play often would be harder than the balls used in Major League Baseball.

    Injuries fell back to "normal" levels where they remain today. Home runs also fell back to normal levels, where they remain today.

    The BPF of 1.15 itself is the BPF of a very good wood bat. When the manufacturer places the "1.15" on the bat, it is the manufacturer's promise that the bat will not exceed that level as tested in a laboratory. Since there is no known BPF of an "average" wooden bat, the number itself is relatively meaningless.

    The thing to remember is, no bat is permitted to perform above the level of a very good wood bat, as measured in a laboratory using the BPF test.

    The moratorium that Little League enacted on September 1, 2010, on 2 5/8 inch bats, remains in place.

    The moratorium Little League enacted on December 30, 2010, on 2 1/4 inch bats, also remains in place.

    Extensive information on this subject can be found at www.LittleLeague.org.

  • I see guys but in laymans terms is not 1.15 outdated?

    I mean why not change verbage or pur a label on the bat that parents,not layers can understand.

    I understand the jargon/MOi.

    Why not say-"Little League Approved'

    That in my opinion would settle any questions as you all about safety,quality,why not say this way?

  • @ Chuck - For a bat to say "Little League approved" means that it is licensed. The BPF rating applies to all bats.

    We cannot demand that bats used in Little League carry the Little League name. To do so would be restraint of trade and would be illegal.

    BPF is not outdated because it remains the performance factor of a very good wood bat.

  • Ok-i see and that explains,so why do we just not go back to wood and give our USA companies some business.

    I am 53 never used metal for baseball,never will,and our kids have it way toooooooo easy?

    Just call me old school..........

  • Dixie-Youth

    Ripken

    Have lifted 2011 moratorium,allowing 2010 bats for 12under with 2 1/4 barrels,will Little League apply same rules,or like you say 2011 remains in effect

  • LL has indicated in several threads that they have no intention of lifting the moratorium. They are granting waivers for bats that are passing the test, but an overall lifting of the moratorium - I wouldn't count on that happening.

  • I know and my boy aged out and feel sorry for parents that bought bats for their kids 12u for Christmas that are not LL approved.

    I am for safety...but parents and all should have be given the chance to prepare..

  • I don't know. When the moratorium was put in place for Jr/Sr/Bigs we spread the word to hold off on composite bats for everyone in the league. It seemed apparent to our BoD that the moratorium would be extended to the rest of the league.

  • For 12 u moratorium was Dec 31 2010,after CHRISTMAS,so see why parents upset?

  • These questions have all been answered hundreds of times here. It's time to move on.

  • I'm new to the forum, has the question of just going back to wood been answered? I've always wondered why we haven't? Is it about the money?

  • @Michael, no, LL does not intend to go back to wood. Imagine how many parents will pull their kids out of LL Baseball if they no longer could see them hit the ball twice as far with non-wood bats than their skill level with wood bats would allow.

  • I agree Manny, I could see this happening. In my opinion its comparible to parents who want to take the competitiveness out of youth sports and give kids trophies just for participating. It gives the kids a false sense of accomplishment and builds no character.

  • @Michael/Manny: I disagree with respect to wood bats. I think that most young kids do not have true enough swings - and the ability to repeat their swing each and every time - to benefit from wood. And most kids in LL won't play beyond LL. For the elite older player - and perhaps not even elite but certainly upper tier - wood can be a big help and I think that HS should go to wood. I think Juniors is close but, to me, the changeover point is about age 15 - for safety, for performance and for developing the true swing that a HS+ player should have.

    I can't stand participation trophies but I think that using a tool that broadens "success" in all comers LL is very different - especially if we want as many kids to play and love baseball.

  • I see your point Dale, just not sure we need composite bats though.

  • Separate discussion in my view. My son swings a composite bat but he'd be fine w/non-composite as well. And I think that it would be fine for most (in our league, it tends to be the better players that swing composites - the composites don't make those players but those are the ones who are exposed to the better equipment and will try to get the "best").

  • If you look back in history, as I understand it, the aluminum bat was created to replace the wood bat because of the inherent problems with wood. A wood bat that a tiny kid can swing is also itself tiny. It puts the weaker kids at a pretty big disadvantage and in some cases would make it difficult for them to even play. Aluminum bats were a huge cost saving over wood because they lasted forever. The problem all started when manufacturers developed the technology. Balls start coming off bats faster and traveling farther. I'd like to hear from LL on HR numbers in the LLWS pre-aluminum and post aluminum and moving forward to today. That data may be available somewhere, but I'm too lazy right now.

    Now, non-wood and bats that far out-perform wood are the norm and not the exception. It's far too gone to return to wood now. Although, there really is no reason not to other than .... providing a stick a little kid can swing that is big enough for them to make contact.

    You're right in that a wood bat swing is far different than the stuff our kids get away with now. It's the great equalizer. Much like switching from the little diamond to the big diamond. I've seen kids tear through a Major Division like they're a man playing with children only to move on to the big field and become 2-1 kids. I watched the leading home run hitter in our Major Division 2 years ago get thrown out at 1st by the center fielder twice last year in Juniors. Some kids will be good LL players and never make the adjustment beyond that. Just like some kids will never swing a wood bat with success

    You can make a non-wood bat that performs like wood, but with more durability. They have "composite" wood bats now. There's really no reason for all of this hysterical discussion. We now have the technology to offset the reason aluminum was ever introduced. Can you imagine the reaction Big Johnny's mom would have to his HR count being cut in half though (or more)?

    My son is good for a jack maaaaaybe two swinging his woody during BP. Kid grabs a CF4 and that 1 jack can turn into 4 or 5. Come on!!!! That's pretty funny ... unless you are standing 46' away. Why was it allowed to get this far?

  • I know that when we were kids, the aluminum bats were so much heavier (I can remember as a 12 in Bronco swinging a 28" bat in all stars against some flame throwers because the 30" or 31" was just too damn heavy to get around). I agree with you that the wood bat is the equalizer (heavier, smaller sweet spot) but I don't think that is such a good thing in all-comers LL where most kids will end their hardball playing days. It is not as much about how many jacks that kid hits but more about how many hits my 10th, 11th or 12th player gets and swinging a wood bat means the low number goes even lower since the swing is not as pure to correct for the smaller sweet spot. I think there is an appropriate time for wood - and I am all for performance more like wood - but I do like the more forgiving non-wood bats for the LL age (even up to Juniors). I think it keeps more kids in baseball for a longer period of time. And for a recreation program like LL, which shoud cater equally to the masses (maybe more so, in fact) than to the high end player (who has all stars, travel ball, etc.), keeping those kids invovled and having fun is more important than the theory of LL having as one of its goals turning an 11- or 12-year-old into a pro b/c he started using wood sooner.

  • 1.15 means nothing,play with wood and do not mis-lead our youth.

    Why we as parents try to make baseball and make it perfect,when the game is not perfect?

    Serious...kids who play just because of metal dings,will not play long..

    Goal is to develop skills and this means understanding the imperfections wood brings..

    Again the 1.15 means nothing as bats as we know them today versus 1990 are not even close..

  • There's no guarantee that LL won't come up with something new and ban the next bat you purchase. More likely than that will be something like the BPF 1.15 imprinting on the bat. The bat you own will be perfectly legal OTHER THAN the fact that something else someone has cooked up isn't imprinted on the barrel.

    Your safest bet is to go with a 1 piece all aluminum bat. No guarantees though.

  • what does 1.15 mean

    bat performance factor 1.15...

    what exactly scientifically does this mean?

  • Agree with you to the extent that bats from even 10 years ago don't compare with those our kids swing today. However, I disagree that "misleading" kids is a bad thing. I'd like to see every kid have an opportunity to play as much as they want and as long as they can.

    Nothing we're doing now with our 12yo (or whatever) kid is giving us a glimpse into the future. If you're watching your kid trot around the bases and dreaming of that multi-million dollar contract, you're a fool. My kid is a pretty good player. He's far better than I was at his age. FAR FAR better. I went well beyond high school baseball. It means nothing. He could have a growth spurt, get clumsy and get cut from the high school team 4 years straight. He could discover that he likes football more and just put baseball down. He could discover ....... OH LORD ..... giiiiiiiiiiiirls and it will ruin everything.

    You can't tell who is who right now. Ya just gotta make sure they all have fun and want to come back. That High School stud flame thrower might just be that kid you tried to hide in right field as a 10 and 11yo player. That was the case with me. I showed up my 12yo season with a canon. Why? Don't know .... and that's what I'm saying. Ya just don't know. Let 'em all play and give 'em a chance.

  • GOOD POINTS,I THINK THIS WAY AS WELL.

    But I played with only wood and at 53 love the game like I was 10.

    Point...easier is not better.

    Life is tough..thus bear down,have fun and develop life skills..

    When I was 12 we had kids hit HR'S on 200 foot fences,but no check swing HR'S.

    Wood tougher to hit...but when learned the player is a better player..

    Something we can not solve today as all of the free world I do not control..never will.

  • @Chuck: 1.15 BPF means that, theoretically, the bat performs at 115% of wood . . .

    I was writing the rest when Ray was writing his. I agree with him.

    I don't see it as trying to create perfection for an imperfect game. To me, LL (at least through majors) is like rec soccer in the area where I live. After rec, you have two levels of competitive (we call it class I and class III; I know it varies by region). In LL, you lump rec and competitive together and we have a duty to make it fun for all involved. It is not about teaching them baseball skills that will make them better HS players - few will play HS but most can love baseball for a lifetime. (and, frankly, that 12-year-old stud all star may have his peak years in LL as other kids catch up to him in size, speed, interest in the game; so making it fun for that 12th player may lead to that kid dominating on the varsity when he's 17).

    I do agree with Fred that skill needs to be considered a lot more (especially when local leagues require certain # of innings on the infield) and I am glad that LL is looking at 50/70 as that is, in my opinion, the much better field size for 11s and 12s in majors.

    While leagues take pride in their all star teams - and I see nothing wrong with that - I am glad that the vast majority of the leagues and districts out there aim to make LL fun for all levels. As I said, the top players usually have opportunities for more ball, played at a higher level, but the March to June season (in our league) is what the overwhelming majority is playing and the policies should serve them as much or more than the elite player. LL is not a "select" program - "misleading" (which I don't agree is the right term) players b/c of bats is not a problem; "misleading" them into thinking that what they do at 11- or 12-years-old is, to second Ray, foolish.

  • @DALE,

    Thanks explaining BPF 115!

    1.our league.

    www.winterparkoptimist.org

    Plays RIPKEN and at 11/12 we play live 50/70 baseball.

    This harder skill-wise but what kids want to do,steal bases.

    Also-Ripken does not enforce boundaries.

    Allother ages 10under play 46/60-station to station.

    2.Soccer-please keep ex discussionas soccer/in some cases Lacrosse hurting youth baseball numbers.

    Rationale--baseball has instant accountability.

    3.What I mean by misleading,MLB plays with wood thus is not the only way.

    What sport changes critical equipment more then baseball.

    FOOTBALL-NO

    BASKETBALL-NO

    HOCKEY-NO

    GOLF-NO

    TENNIS--NO

    SOCCER-NO

    Point--metal bats do not make better wood bat players.

    Metal bats are really-MODIFIED BASEBALL.

  • Ripken and Pony have it right, in my view (I am biased in some ways in that I grew up in a Pony league and I coach a travel team) both on distance and with rules. However, I can't run down each of the sports you cite and there is probably a good amount of accuracy in what you are saying with equipment (principally the bat) but many sports change rules/equipment for the younger players:

    - hoops: smaller ball (it revolutionized the women's game in HS and college but also helped developed better skill in ball handling and shooting with the younger players) and lower hoop (when I was 9, we played 10' hoop and regulation sized ball; lots of frustration and poor skills);

    - soccer: fewer players (8v8 in most of CA until U11 or U12), smaller ball, smaller field, smaller goals;

    - hockey: no checks, no icing (I think; I am not a hockey guy)

    - golf/tennis: you seem 100% correct;

    - football: probably not with gear but much more severe restrictions on size (to continue your analogy, small kids should get used to getting crushed by big ones; slow ones need to get used the moves of the fast kids)

    I am not sure we totally disagree - I just think there is a place for all-comers and the rules should be different. I also don't think the wood bat makes much of a difference on the kids' swings until they are older (15 (or, really, post-puberty)). That's my opinion and not based on scientific fact, just observation/anecdote. Plenty of room for difference of opinion on that.

  • Dale-again,I recognize that age dictates balls used for various age groups.

    The point I am making is in baseball why start with metal,when MLB plays with wood?

    Wood bats would reduce youth play,and really safer.

    Basketballs,Footballs,Golf Balls,Tennis balls,Hockey Sticks..all change weight based by age,we also have tee-balls for safety..

    But the actual most critical part of baseball is the bat,so why allow metal,when we all know metal is irrelevant?

    That is my point,I started with wood,and wood did not disuade me from playing..

  • Wood bats would effect kids across the board the same. Just throwing wild guess numbers out that would change from kid to kid ... a kid that hits .350 is going to hit .250 with wood. The kid that hits 10 jacks,, hits 5 with wood. That texas leaguer over the 2nd baseman's head is caught with wood. That ground ball that's a little too hot to handle gets fielded with wood. That ball off the end of the bat or off a player's hands doesn't sneak through the infield. Instead, you get a pile of firewood and dribblers that turn into outs.

    The problem I see is that just like the better kids in the league, it will impact the weaker players. That kid that is only going to get 4 hits this year won't get ANY with wood and maybe decides not to play next year. It would turn the bottom of every lineup into the bunt-o-rama.

    You're right in that there is no other sport that does this. Smaller basketballs and soccer balls were used as an example, but that also coincides with the smaller bats being used. I look at it more like this instead .... this IS what the sport is now. If a kid is succesful, sooner or later someone will put wood in his hands and he'll fail ... or make the adjustment and succeed.

    I don't have my son swinging wood during BP because I'm preparing him for the show. He swings wood because non-wood bats let a player get away with sooooo much garbage. Kids don't have to adjust because the bat makes up for their mistakes and poor habits. A kid can go through LL and NEVER learn to hit the ball the other way and still play with a lot of success.

    I'm fine with all that. It's the price we need to pay so that some of the kids that weren't 6'2 185lb at birth get a shot at the game. I just don't understand how we got THIS FAR into the hi-tech bat era as we did before someone said KNOCK IT OFF!!!!

  • I am a big believer in repeatable swings as the marker for wood - and I don't think that happens until they are older. I think swinging wood is a really good tool for skilled younger players but I just have not that many who can benefit from it as the primary bat. Your kids might be that way but the kids I coach - both the rank and file and the elite level player - and have coached against are just not there. As I said earlier, that is my opinion and I think reasonable minds can differ; mine is based on my observation of regular season LL/Juniors, all star level LL/Juniors, travel ball in Northern California (which includes some dynamite teams with highly skilled players).

    My son has a wood bat, a big barrel for tourneys and a CF4 (for the time being, of course since that's about to get scrapped). He is a line drive hitter (not a big kid at all but with fast hands). His swing is pretty repeatable (though he changes it on the high pitch; goal this year is to lay off) and I think the wood bat serves a purpose for him. However, I don't think swinging it will make him a better hitter any more than good drills, lots of repetition, seeing good pitchers, etc. It is one of many tools that works for him and his peers. I am sure some of your kids are better hitters, more power, etc. and some of them are not. I look at LL as serving my kid - that's why he has not gone to travel ball full time - and all the other kids which include his travel ball teammates or the kid, as Ray alluded, who might get 4 or 5 (or zero) hits this year. I say to all the teams I coach that the overarching goal - before "getting better" or "winning games" or even "having fun" - is loving baseball more in June than they do in February or March. That frames my approach as much as anything else - if I thought wood would help do that AND help develop 11s and 12s into better hitters as a general rule, I'd support moving that way full time.

    And while respectfully disagreeing, I think the wood-bat advocates make strong points. For me, they apply a bit later.

    (and the safety issue is a red herring; while it seems like the stats should support it, there is nothing to prove that injuries are higher with non-wood than with wood)

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