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-Level Programs (Super Series & Senior Circuit)
In these Programs, we follow the USSSA Licensed/Approved Bat Policy. A bat must bear the "USSSA BPF 1.20" mark on its taper to be legal. This mark is known as the "Thumbprint", and is shown below.
This bat standard was introduced for bats made from 2012 to 2020 that met the 220lb compression testing, in order to address the problem of composite bats "breaking in" (either naturally, or by mechanical means) to a level beyond the legal limit. Manufacturers can make still bats to meet the 220lb compression standard, but they can no longer have the USSSA Stamp on them.
Old USSSA Stamp ("Thumbprint"): Not permitted in the 'A' Divisions starting in the 2023 season.
New NTS Stamp: For 'A' Divisions starting in 2023.
(Beginning with 2021 Models, USSSA began using the new 240lb compression standard with the NTS Stamp, shown below. Moving forward, 240lb compression standard bats are all that can be approved to have the USSSA Stamp on them.)
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 League 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-Level 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 League 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 or "new to them" bat should make sure it has the "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 then 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 is 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.