It is SPO’s intention with any bat policy to protect all of our Members, and to maintain the integrity of the game.
Essentially, SPO supports two policies for bats.
1) Elite Programs (Super Series)
In these Programs, we follow the USSSA Bat Certification Program which states that only bats bearing the “new” USSSA logo located on the taper of the bat are allowed. This logo is known as the “Thumbprint” and is shown below.
This new bat standard was introduced to address the problem of the previous composite bats “breaking in” (either naturally, or by mechanical means) to a level beyond the legal limit.
2) League Programs
We realize that not all players and teams, especially at the lower levels, will have, or even want, these “new” bats and we are cognizant that some Leagues have their own views of what rules they want to use.
SPO has always, and will continue, to allow individual Leagues to modify their rules to best suit their membership. This is especially true when it comes to which bats they will allow for play. Each League may determine what bats will be allowed in their own League.
For example, Leagues may wish to continue using our previous policy which allows any bat that has the new USSSA logo, or the older “USSSA BPF 1.20” wording stamped on the bat. Some Leagues may wish to allow only the “old” aluminum bats. Still others may wish to adopt the policy followed in our Elite Programs (as set out above). The choice belongs to the individual League! SPO is here to provide services and benefits to our Members and to assist Leagues with their programs, not control them. (Please also be aware that no matter what policy you decide on, wooden softball bats are always legal.)
One of the concerns Leagues may have is to know that the bats used in their League are, in fact, legal and do not exceed the legal limit. SPO has purchased several Bat Compression Testers. These are available on a rental basis to allow a League to test the bats used in their League. Any interested Leagues should contact the SPO office for further details.
WARNING: Anyone purchasing a new model bat should make sure it has the new “USSSA BPF 1.20” (Thumbprint) logo on it. Be sure you know where your new “legal looking” bat has come from. Some illegal bats are being repainted or ‘doctored’ and sold as “legal” bats. These bats can be dangerous and if someone was injured by one of these altered bats, the batter, and the person repainting/selling it, may be liable and any liability insurance they have could be null and void. Ignorance of where a bat came from or that it has been altered is not an excuse. This also means one should be careful when borrowing a teammate’s bat unless you know for sure it is a legal bat. Please note that bats with multiple standards listed must meet all the requirements of each of these standards.