Any bat used in either a practice or a game in Babe Ruth must have either a USA Baseball marking or BBCOR .50 sticker, as well as having a 2 5/8” barrel. Any bat that does not have one of these two labels clearly visible cannot be used in either practices or games and is considered an illegal bat. Above are examples of the two labels that indicate a bat legal for Babe Ruth Baseball.
This rule change is meant to increase safety in games and practices and to make it easier for parents, players, coaches, and umpires to identify legal vs illegal bats.
Players stepping into the batter's box with an illegal bat, whether or not a pitch is even thrown, are subject to the penalties listed below.
Babe Ruth Baseball’s national organization has clear penalties regarding the use of an illegal bat, they are as follows:
Penalty for using illegal bats
- Any bat discovered prior to the game that does not conform to the above rule shall be directed to be removed immediately and not be allowed for use during the game.
- If the illegal bat is discovered prior to a batter completing his “at bat” the bat is simply removed from play and the “at bat” continues.
- A player who uses an illegal bat or non-conforming barrel dimension and hits a fair ball will be ruled out. No advancement on the bases will be allowed, and any outs during the play shall stand. This is an appeal play. The “at bat” will be considered legal once a pitch is thrown to the next batter.
New Local League Rule
In addition to these rules, Palo Alto Babe Ruth is instituting a new local league rule starting this year to penalize those who either knowingly, or unknowingly, use an illegal bat. Players who use an illegal bat will be suspended from playing in at least one game immediately following the game when the bat was found to be illegal. The player must attend the game(s) for which he/she is serving the suspension, and be in uniform and in the team’s dugout. If a suspended player does not attend the next game for his/her team, the suspension will not begin until the first game attended after the suspension. Also, any use of an illegal bat will be reported by managers to the league’s President who, along with the Board of Directors Executive Committee, will determine the length of a player’s suspension.
Managers and coaches of all Palo Alto Babe Ruth teams will be instructed to check their team’s bats prior to all games and practices to make sure that only approved bats are used.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the bat rules is to make the game as safe as possible for all participants and this is taken very seriously by both the national and local Babe Ruth organizations.