When it comes to baseball, there are a lot of different ways the game can be played. Everything from shoes to gloves, despite seemingly small distinctions, can make a huge difference in terms of performance and play style.
So, as you can imagine, the kind of bat you use to play with will determine a lot about how you approach baseball, with USA bats and USSSA bats being the two most prolific bat varieties available.
Here’s a breakdown of these types of bats and some advice on which one is right for you.
What Exactly Is A USA Bat?
USA bats are bats certified by USA Baseball, which is an organization that’s responsible for the standardization of baseball equipment and tournaments throughout the United States.
USA Baseball is considered to be an authority on par with the NCAA, which is the largest collegiate-level sports organization in North America. However, unlike the NCAA, USA Baseball is designed to cater to a younger crowd, being responsible for elementary, middle, and high school baseball regulations.
Since USA bats are designed with youth in mind, they tend to be very lightweight, with similar qualities to a wooden bat and are designed in such a way to facilitate ease of use rather than prioritizing performance (hitting power). As such, USA bats are a great choice for anyone just trying to start out.
USA bats are subject to rigorous laboratory testing to ensure that they meet certain quality criteria and are used in a variety of youth baseball competitions, like the Amateur American Baseball Congress, the National Amateur Baseball Federation, and Little League Baseball.
How Is A USSSA Bat Different?
So, what is a USSSA bat?
USSSA bats are bats that are certified to meet standards put in place by the United States Speciality Sports Association. These kinds of bats are markedly different from those certified by USA Baseball, with there being a lot of rules governing situations where one bat has to be used instead of the other.
Unlike USA Baseball, which deals primarily in youth leagues, the USSSA is a much more broad-ranging organization and its standards reflect that. USSSA bats are recommended for pretty much everyone at any age, with there being a greater amount of weight than that found in USA bats to give them better hitting power and there also being a difference in bat width, with the maximum diameter being greater than those found in USA bats.
USSSA bats are used in a variety of mainstream baseball tournaments, such as the Global Sports World Series, the Elite World Series, and the USSSA World Series.
Which One Should You Go With?
Which bat better suits your needs is going to depend quite heavily on a lot of factors.
To begin with, USSSA bats are standardized to be used for pretty much everyone, which is why it’s a pretty good default choice. It’s the designated bat for a large number of mainstream baseball tournaments and is designed to maximize hitting power from the get-go, which can make it an attractive option.
However, USSSA bats aren’t appropriate for everyone. They can be more difficult to use than USA bats for people just starting out in baseball, especially for children. While USA bats are created with youth in mind, the advantages of using them can be applied to anyone. Due to its lighter weight and thinner diameter, it can be a great addition to any amateur game and is appropriate for people who might have mild physical mobility issues.
If you’re on the lookout for one of these types of bats, you can differentiate the two by looking for either a USA or USSSA certification stamp, usually located slightly above the handle.
Getting in The Game
Baseball can be a really fun time, and there’s nothing quite like participating in a memorable game. Whether you’re just starting out, have certain preferences, or are looking to participate in a specific type of tournament, there’s guaranteed to be a bat out there that can suit your needs.
Just remember that USA bats and USSSA bats, while similar, do have some big discrepancies that can dramatically change the outcomes of your play style.