Understanding the difference between a USA or USAAA bat may seem confusing or overwhelming, but it is not all the complicated.
The first thing to know is that USA Baseball and USAAA are both sport governing organizations – USA Baseball is specific to baseball as the name implies while USSSA, or the United States Specialty Sports Association, governs several sports one of which is baseball.
Both organizations primarily exist to ensure that high quality and fair competition exists across sport. Pretty great, right?
What is difference between USA and USSSA bats?
So what is the difference between a USA bat and a USSSA bat? Let’s start with USA Baseball, or more specifically, the USABat standard.
USA Baseball’s bat standard was developed in conjunction with its participating member national member organizations (Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, PONY Baseball, Little League Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Dixie Boys Baseball, etc.) and it has required bats to undergo lab testing to ensure they perform at a wood-like level since its implementation in 2018. These bats have a USA Baseball logo stamp on them and are geared toward players aged 8-14 that are still developing their batting skills due to their lighter weight.
USA bats do tend to lack the pop or ping of a USSSA bat because of that lower weight, but they are required for play in leagues that created the USABat standard itself (again, Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, PONY Baseball, etc.). TLDR of USABat is they are lighter weight and used for league play.
Check out our guide to the best USA bats.
Got it? Now how about USSSA bats?
First, nothing has changed with USSSA bat standards since 2005 even despite the implementation of USA Baseball’s standards in 2018. Unlike USA Bats, USSSA Bats tend to be heavier and therefore target players of all ages who seek the highest level of performance out of their lumber. A USSSA bat bat’s barrel must not exceed a diameter of 2.75 inches to be a certified USSSA and has the 1.15 BPF USSSA or Certified .50 BBCOR stamp on the barrel of the bat. The USSSA stamped bats are required for tournament play as evidenced by the requirements of the Elite World Series, USSSA World Series, the All American Games and more.
Check out our guide to the best USSSA bats.
You might be saying to yourself, “I get the difference, but what the heck is 1.15 BPF or .50 BBCOR?” Don’t worry we’ve got you there too!
BPF stands for Bat Performance Factor and is a measure of the spring-like, or trampoline, effect of a bat. The ceiling for BPF is set at 1.15 because that is the number that is roughly equivalent to a solid wood bat.
BBCOR is similar in concept and stands for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. .50 BBCOR means that if a pitch is thrown at 100 mph at a stationary bat, the ball would rebound at 50 MPH or .50 of the thrown ball’s velocity. Both BPF and BBCOR standards attached to USSSA Bats are meant to ensure that non-wood bats perform as similar as possible to their wooden counterparts.
Check out our guide to the best BBCOR bats.
One last thing to know about these bats is that USSSA Bats are absolutely NOT permitted for use in any USA Baseball league game play. Conversely, USA Bats can be used in USSSA tournament play, but players using USA Bats in USSSA tournaments would be sacrificing quite a bit of performance for no real benefit.
Hopefully all of this has helped you understand the difference between USA and USSSA Bats!