Little League Bat Rules and Standards: 2023 Update
As the governing body for baseball rules in the United States, US Baseball sets the standards for this classic sport at the heart of American athletics.
At the beginning of 2018, a new USA Baseball Bat Standard (also known as USABat) was implemented, changing the specifications of baseball bats permissible for each baseball division.
The USA Bat models have been performance-tested and certified with the highly accredited USA Baseball Performance Test Protocol.
We hope this resource can be your one-stop shop for answering any questions that you may have regarding Little League Baseball bat rules for 2023.
Note that no changes have been made to the 1.20 Bat Performance Factor bat standard or any related standards for Little League Softball.
Little League has specific divisions separated by age groups for children ages 4-16. Each of these divisions has a size category bat approved for use.
Let’s get into it, starting with the rules and specifications for Tee Ball bats.
What are the approved Tee Ball bats?
The Tee Ball Division is designated for children ages 4-7 and is specially regulated for the youngest baseball prodigies.
All Tee Ball bats must be decorated with the USA Baseball stamp and text “ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS.”
These bats must measure 26 inches in length or shorter.
What are the approved Minor League bats?
Designated for children between the Little League age range of 5-11, the Minor League division has a few more considerations when choosing baseball equipment.
The bats used in Minor League Baseball must be less than 33 inches long and cannot have a barrel diameter exceeding 2 5/8 inches.
The bat must also feature a USA-certified stamp unless it is a solid one-piece wood-barrel bat.
Approved Tee Ball bats can also be used in the cases of coach-pitch or machine-pitch minor division games but only if accompanied by approved tee balls.
Read More:Little League World Series Winners. If you're a fan of the LLWS, we list the winners throughout the years and discuss when the 2023 Little League World Series will take place!
What are the approved Major Division bats?
Major Division Baseball follows the same bat regulations as Minor League, but the age range permitted to play in Major Division Little League sits between 9 to 12-year-old athletes.
To recap, this means that bats less than 33 inches in length and 2 5/8 inches in barrel diameter are approved if they also feature the USA Baseball logo.
The logo is not necessary for solid one-piece wood-barrel bats.
Approved tee balls and Tee Ball bats can also be used for coach-pitch or machine-pitch minor division games.
Read More: Little League World Series Age Limit. Learn all you need to know about the LLWS age limit and restrictions!
What are the approved Intermediate (50-70) Division bats?
The Intermediate Division of Little League is designated for baseball players between 12-13 years old.
The youth big barrel bats in this division cannot exceed 34 inches in length nor 2 5/8 inches in barrel diameter.
These bats, like the others, also must feature the USA Baseball-certified logo unless they are solid one-piece wood-barrel bats.
If the bat is a wood-barrel bat, it cannot be less than 15/16 of an inch in diameter at the skinniest section of the neck.
If a wood bat is taped or has a sleeve on it, the covering may not exceed 18 inches from the small end of the bat.
These bats also must meet the BBCOR (bat-ball coefficient of restitution) bat standard and be marked with the certification stamp.
What are the approved Junior League Division bats?
Similar to the Intermediate Division, Junior League Division bats follow the same specifications, but players range between 12-14 years of age.
Bats cannot exceed 34 inches in length and are to be less than 2 5/8 inches in diameter, but not thinner than 15/16 of an inch at their smallest point (for wood bats, specifically).
The bat must also have the USA-certified mark unless the bat is a solid one-piece wood-barrel bat.
The bat must also meet BBCOR standards and have a logo on the bat body that denotes that.
If the bat is taped or has a sleeve, it must not exceed 18 inches from the small end of the bat.
What are the approved Senior League Division bats?
Athletes age 13-16 fit into the Senior League category of Little League Baseball.
Bats approved for use in Senior League must not exceed 36 inches nor have a barrel diameter larger than 2 5/8 inches.
If the bat isn’t a solid one-piece wood-barrel bat, it must be BBCOR-certified and have the stamp of approval located somewhere along the bat body.
Wood bats cannot be thinner than 15/16 of an inch in diameter at the smallest point.
If taped or outfitted with a sleeve, the covering cannot exceed 18 inches, measured from the small end of the bat.
Senior League bats must also have a length-to-weight ratio of drop 3 (-3).
This regulation means, for example, that a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces in weight.
Frequently asked questions
What kind of bats are allowed in Little League?
The Little League requires all bats to have a USA certification to be used in a game.
Some bats for higher divisions of Little League must also be BBCOR-approved.
Each division has its own rules and regulations regarding the bat standards.
You can look at the designations above for the in-depth information you may need when buying a bat for your young athlete.
Check the officially-published USABat Standard for a clear and comprehensive list of the organization’s rules regarding bat regulations and standards.
If you have any specific questions, you can always contact your local Little League administrator to help you navigate any nuances that may arise when buying your child’s baseball bat.
What makes a bat illegal in the Little League?
Any bats that do not fit the regulation requirement for the Little League Division your young baseball player is active in are considered illegal.
If a bat is too long, too wide in diameter, too skinny at its narrowest point, or is taped too high, it cannot be used for play.
Most importantly, bats not marked with the USA Baseball seal of approval (apart from solid one-piece wood-barrel bats) are absolutely out of the question.
Junior and Senior-level divisions must also be BBCOR-approved and meet the accompanying performance standard.
Can you use a USSSA bat in Little League?
There is a clear distinction between USA and USSSA bats.
USSSA bats are illegal in the Little League organization because they have “too much pop.”
Removing these bats from the available list was primarily implemented as a safety issue.
The goal of this newer rule was to set a USA bat standard that strives to make all bats hit like wood bats while maintaining the durability of metal bats.
Watch this video on USA vs USSSA baseball bats:
Are big barrel bats allowed in Little League?
Youth big barrel bats are considered any bats with a barrel that is either 2 3/4 inches or 2 5/8 inches in diameter.
The most popular length for a big barrel bat is 30 inches long.
As long as the bat meets all of the USABat standards listed above, the bat can be used in an official Little League game.
What are the little League bat drop rules?
The only division of the Little League with a bat-drop rule in place is the Senior League.
Senior League regulations say the bat must have a drop 3 (-3) length-to-weight ratio.
This regulation means that a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces.
We hope this list clarifies any gray areas and helps bring you up to speed on the most up-to-date USABat regulations for Little League baseball players.
Thalia Oosthuizen has been writing in a professional capacity for over a decade. Her love for sports has led her down the path of sports writing, where her passion and skills combine. Thalia is a runner, cyclist, and swimmer, and enjoys playing tennis and hockey. Her favorite sports teams include Chelsea F.C. and the Georgian Lions Rugby Club.