Our team of bat experts has received a ton of questions about the changes to slow pitch softball bats for USSSA. Questions like:
- Why is the USSSA stamp changing?
- What does the new USSSA stamp look like?
- Is my USSSA slowpitch bat still legal?
- Do I need to buy a new USSSA slowpitch bat?
- Can I still swing my old USSSA softball bat?
To help, we’ve compiled all of the answers and information that we have thus far. And we will continue to make updates as needed. However, if you have a question that you don’t see answered below, please contact one of our bat experts today and they will be able to assist you further. Now, let’s dive in.
First things first, an overview
There’s a more detailed explanation further down on the technical change regarding the new USSSA stamp, but we wanted to start with a few important dates to mark some high-level information:
- As of September 1st, 2020, manufacturers can no longer make any old stamp USSSA Slow Pitch bats. All USSSA Slow Pitch Bats being built as of this date must have the new USSSA stamp.
- After January 31, 2021, warranty replacement bats from manufacturers must all bear the new USSSA stamp. In other words, if customers get a slow pitch bat with an old USSSA stamp and it breaks, the warranty replacement from the manufacturer will feature the new USSSA stamp.
- After March 31, 2021, every USSSA slowpitch bat that JustBats receives from manufacturers will have to bear the new USSSA stamp on it.
- After January 1, 2023, any bat with the 2012 USSSA stamp WILL NOT be legal for use in any USSSA tournament. The bat standard will be the 240 Stamp only for all GSL/USSSA. Bat testing will pass at 240 for tournament play. This includes the USSSA Challenge Cup. This does not include USSSA league play or Seniors.
The original statement from USSSA
“After much collaboration with our manufacturing partners, USSSA will be transitioning to a new bat testing lab. USSSA has formed a strategic partnership with NTS Chesapeake to validate bats for USSSA Slow Pitch and Baseball Programs. This partnership will provide our participation and manufacturing partners assurance that USSSA is dedicated to growth through game integrity.
In correlation with the new lab, we will be rolling out new bat stamps to signify testing under the new Standards and Protocols developed by the USSSA Bat Committee. This process involved months of testing with current USSSA certified bats. Slow Pitch bats certified under the new standards will have an initial retail launch on June 1, 2020."
In January of 2020, USSSA made another official statement about the rule change and its effect on USSSA Slow Pitch bats. They announced that bats with the older (2012) USSSA Slow Pitch stamp will be grandfathered into USSSA Slow Pitch play indefinitely. As mentioned previously, there will not be a “stop usage date” for the older stamped bats.
What does the new USSSA stamp look like?
Now, before we get into the detailed explanation, we want to show the look of the new stamp. Here it is in all its glory:
During the first part of 2021, nearly all USSSA slowpitch bats will start bearing the new stamp above. And for your reference, here is the “old stamp” below:
There will be a technical difference between slowpitch bats with this new USSSA certification stamp and the bats with the older USSSA Slow Pitch stamp. The difference between the bats will be the lowest allowed threshold for passing a bat compression test.
ALERT! POSSIBLE CONFUSING NUMBERS AHEAD.
With the old USSSA stamp bats, the lowest allowed compression threshold is 220 lbs (and those bats have been made to meet and not go below that threshold). With the new USSSA stamp bats, the bats will be made to meet a compression threshold of 240 lbs. Basically, for the old USSSA stamp bats, if the bat is compression tested and is below 220 lbs, it cannot be used. For the new USSSA stamp bats, if it compression tests below 240 lbs, it cannot be used. The way to think about compression on bats is that "the lower the compression, the more trampoline effect you will get". In just about every situation; the more trampoline effect on the bat, the better the performance. Compression testing does not happen that often (usually only at competitive slow pitch tournaments). However, as mentioned earlier, the manufacturers will have to make the new USSSA bats so that the compression won't go below that 240-pound threshold.
General things to know before you go
It seems like performance will decrease on the bats with this new USSSA stamp when compared to bats that have the old USSSA stamp. As 2021 progresses and players see the difference in performance between the different stamped bats, we believe that the demand for the older stamp USSSA bats will increase. For those of you who currently own old stamp USSSA bats, the good news is that all the old USSSA stamp bats will be grandfathered into USSSA slowpitch play indefinitely. No one should ever take one of the old USSSA stamp bats up to the plate at a USSSA sanctioned game and get told they cannot use it.
To interpret things another way, one could say that if you have an old USSSA stamp bat and it is not broken, you do not need to buy another bat with the new USSSA stamp. Your old stamped bat will be approved for use as long as it has not been broken.
With all of that said, we realize this can be confusing. That’s why we have bat experts available 24/7. You can contact them by giving them a call at 866-321-2287, shoot them an email at email@example.com, or live chat. Don't forget, we'll be here for you from Click to Hit!