New rules for the 2012 season will require high school baseball players to use BBCOR-certified equipment when they step up to the plate. As usual, STACK has you covered on how the changes affect you. Below you'll find an explanation of the new rules along with profiles of bats from Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, Rawlings and Mizuno that meet the 2012 guidelines.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has updated its standards to match the NCAA's bat rules. All non-wood bats must be certified by the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR). Basically, BBCOR reduces the "trampoline effect"—the "bounciness" of the ball off the bat—thus slowing the speed of line drives, forcing hitters to be more accurate and swing harder and protecting pitchers. (Learn why BBCOR bats underscore the value of defense.)
According to the NFHS, "The new standard ensures that performances by non-wood bats are more comparable to those of wood bats. It's also expected to minimize risk, improve play and increase teaching opportunities." Research shared by the NCAA provoked the decision from NFHS officials, who believed it was in the best interest of players to make the change for the 2012 season.
Below are BBCOR-certified bats from some of the top manufacturers in the world. If you purchase one, you won't get called out in the batter's box without even taking a swing.
Louisville Slugger TPX Exogrid 2
The Exogrid 2 in Louisville Slugger's TPX line uses a scandium alloy, which the company says is one of the most durable and responsive on the market. New for the BBCOR model is Power Disc Technology, two independent discs inside the barrel that promote peak performance around the sweet spot and balanced swing weight.
Louisville Slugger TPX Omaha
This bat is appropriately named after the site of the College World Series, a reminder that high school rules have changed to conform to the NCAA standard. TPX Omaha features a one-piece construction with a stiff handle, allowing for more barrel flex and giving players more trampoline effect and higher performance on every swing.
Mizuno MZC62 Wood Composite
Mizuno's advanced engineered wood composite bat uses multiple pieces of maple to facilitate maximum performance and enhance durability. The sanded handle makes for a better grip.
Mizuno Classic Bamboo
Mizuno's Classic Bamboo bat also has a sanded handle for better grip. Its exceptional durability will appeal to hitters looking for a product with an extended lifespan.
Rawlings 2012 Machine
Rawlings' 2012 Machine BBCOR bat has an approved alloy barrel design and technology for maximum trampoline and barrel flex, helping you raise your game to a new level.
Rawlings 5150 Alloy
Rawlings' 5150 BBCOR-approved baseball bat is made using metal-forming techniques that optimize balance and power, resulting in a durable bat for hundreds of swings throughout the season.
Built to reflect the principle of geometric perfection, the CF5 is made of a new composite that imitates the structure of crystals—one of the strongest and most stable compounds on earth. Find consistency in every swing with a handle designed to efficiently transition power from the hands to the barrel.
Need an intimidating bat? DeMarini's Voodoo could send opposing pitchers into a trance as you step up to the plate. The Voodoo features patent-pending Taper Ring technology, which adds weight closer to the taper of the bat, giving hitters a gargantuan sweet spot to hammer the ball over the fence.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock