The last two rule changes were approved on the recommendation of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. First, in an amendment to Rule 1-5-8, all hard and inflexible objects such as pins, plasters, etc. must be padded with slow-recovering closed-cell foam padding at least half an inch thick. Knee and ankle splints that are unchanged from the manufacturer`s original design or production do not require additional padding. A complete list of all rule changes approved by the committee can be found on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. On the home page, click on „Track and Field and Fine Arts Activities“ and select „Baseball“. BBCOR stands for Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution and it`s something you`ve probably heard a lot about lately. In late 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) announced plans to ban compound baseball bats and move from a BESR standard to a BBC standard for baseball bats. Below are the current rules and regulations for the use of adult baseball bats.
For an explanation of what each of these standards means, click here. The BESR marking guarantees a maximum exit speed of 97 miles per hour and that the racquet has met the moment of inertia requirement. In addition, the modified bat rules for the 2001 season, which are also part of the BESR standard, include the following requirements: a maximum of 2 5/8 inches for the diameter of the club`s barrel and a minus-3 difference between the length and weight of the racquet (for example, a 33-inch racquet must not weigh less than 30 ounces). The board praised the work of the NFHS baseball rules committee, but decided to defer the action to two other committee proposals related to racketeering. A delayed proposal would have imposed a more restrictive maximum ball exit speed than the one recently adopted by the NCAA. The other would have imposed a moment of inertia requirement similar to that of wood. Council expressed interest in both proposals, but decided to refer them to the Rules Committee for further evaluation. Hopkins said bats with the BESR sign are still not needed until Jan. 1, 2003. Bats, which are legal under current rules, can still be used for the 2002 season; However, all bats must be marked BESR for the 2003 season. For a while, the future of college-level compound baseball bats was in question.
On July 22, 2009, the NCAA announced that the Rules Committee had requested a ban on the use of composite racquets. The NCAA Rules of Play Oversight Committee found that 20 of the 25 composite bats tested at the 2009 NCAA Division 1 baseball tournament failed the Ball Release Speed Ratio (BESR) test. Tests showed that the balls detached from the racquet much faster than specifications allowed. Since bats must pass the BESR specification at the factory before they reach the market, there are two possible hypotheses. It is proposed that the performance of compound bats increases with repeated use; The others state that the players intentionally change the composite racket.  The most common method of modifying compound bats is bat rolling, in which great pressure is applied in various ways while the bat is rolled back and forth.  The Rules Committee met on August 17, 2009 to discuss its proposal with manufacturers, and on August 24, the NCAA Rules of the Game Oversight Committee approved a temporary ban on compound racquets. During this temporary ban, the Rules Committee will continue to test bats to determine if performance is improved by repeated use or if intentional modification seems more plausible.  Currently, the NCAA requires all composite bats to meet BBC standards.
For more information, see the Design section above. The design of a composite racquet depends on the league it is suitable for. Compound bats are used in a number of different leagues. Most Little League programs have rules for compound bats.  High School (NFHS) and Collegiate Play are subject to BBCOR standards. Metal or composite racquets are not permitted in MLB or its affiliates. MLB or affiliates for the short season and Rookie Ball allows some selected composite wooden bats. An example of an MLB-approved composite wood bat would be the tree bat. INDIANAPOLIS, IN (22. March 2002) – Effective immediately, any bat that meets the Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) performance standard is legal for high school baseball competitions governed by the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The NFHS issues voluntary rules in 17 sports for girls and boys. When considering a rule change, the NFHS considers risk mitigation, the balance between offense and defense, and the strong legacy of the sport in question.
Rolling the racquet is not the only problem. The bearing only accelerates the increase in performance that would occur over time after normal use. Even compound bats that have not been modified will eventually see this performance improvement, and the rules committee sees this as a major problem. Other rule changes this year aim to increase the comfort of coaches and umpires by simplifying the substitution policy and clarifying several rules. Second, there is an updated concussion language that has been added to the rules of all high school sports. The new rule, 3-1-5, imposes strict restrictions on players who may have suffered a concussion. The rule states that any player who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion, including, but not limited to, loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems, must be immediately removed from competition and may not return to play until cleared by an appropriate physician. The NFHS has just completed the following test protocol proposed by Dr. James Sherwood following the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee meeting on December 5, 1999. In the interest of the expedition, the NFHS is publishing the proposed protocol at this time and is asking scientists, manufacturers and others to comment as soon as possible. In terms of implementation, we are guided by the premise that the higher the risk to the safety of a particular product or process, the greater the appropriate economic distortion in the design of a drug. Bats pose some safety risks to student-athletes, coaches, referees and spectators.
The abrupt release of some previously authorized bats would cause difficulties for student-athletes, parents, high schools, dealers and manufacturers. At a meeting in San Francisco, the NFHS board approved a rule calling for narrower, heavier, wood-like bats. The maximum diameter of bats is reduced from 23/4 inches to 2 5/8 inches, and the unit difference, i.e. the difference between bat length in inches and bat weight measured in ounces, is reduced from five units to three units. Outside of California, all BESR-certified baseball bats with alloy cannons remained legal until January 1, 2012. As of January 1, 2012, all non-wooden baseball bats used in high school games must be BBCOR certified. All recent changes in bat requirements have been to minimize the risk of injury for high school athletes and maintain the balance between offense and defense, staying within the strong traditions of the game. An amendment to Rule 1-3-2 regarding bat specifications was made in the hope of clarifying compliance with bat regulations. The rule, which was adopted on 1. January 2012, states that the racquet must be a „smooth cylinder device from the top of the cap to the top of the button“. „The committee found that assistant coaches took a license with their roles and became disruptive,“ Hopkins said. „They are sending the wrong message to their players.
It is one thing to ask the official for clarification, but it is another to challenge and accuse a referee. We cannot and will not allow this to happen. In addition to the new height and weight restrictions, the NFHS board expects clubs used in the game after Jan. 1, 2001, to comply with the NCAA`s new exit ball speed rule. In fact, the presence of a mark indicating compliance with the NCAA bat rule is a guarantee that a bat will meet the size and weight components of the new NFHS rule. While bats that comply with the new NFHS rule are not required for another year, they are immediately legal. Student-athletes, parents and coaches who wish to use such racquets this year can do so. There are many advantages to using compound baseball bats. As has recently been recorded in slow-pitch softball, composite racquets have surpassed standard aluminum racquets. The use of composite mixers has five main advantages: oscillating weight, trampoline effect, flexural stiffness, bending vibration and sound.  The BHM measures the swaying speed of the racquet at the point of contact, and this swinging speed is indicated on the test data sheet. The measured bat entry speed can be adjusted accordingly to reflect the bat entry speed at the 6-inch point using equation (2): Composite bats can also be built to enhance their trampoline effect over time. This benefit, namely the enhancement of the trampoline effect during a break, put the use of composite bats during the 2009 NCAA Division I baseball tournament under closer scrutiny. Composite clubs tested after already breaking through have shown performance standards far beyond the accepted BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio) test.  Table 4. Minimum MOI values based on length and measured 6 inches in front of the button A mandatory screen printing or other durable certification mark must have the addition „NFHS certified“ and must be clearly displayed on the blade of the racquet. The manufacturer may use the certification mark in descriptive documents (e.g. catalogues) to identify bats that comply with this testing standard, but shall not use the mark for any other purpose.
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