The rules for bats will change for the 2018 season.Updated Wednesday September 27, 2017 by Philip Marcoux.
USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations (NMOs) announced the decision to adopt a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats. Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its NMOs, -- including the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball -- USA Baseball has concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.
The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.
The Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. have approved the use of the 2 5/8 inch barrel bats for local league play and tournament play beginning in January 2018 and coinciding with the new USA Bat standard.
To be clear the only change to 13-15 Babe Ruth Baseball is that a bat must meet BBCOR-.50 or have the USA Baseball stamp and have a diameter of 2 5/8". There is no change to 16-18 Babe Ruth Baseball.
Bats used in Cal Ripken Baseball must have the USA Baseball stamp and have a diameter of 2 5/8" or less.
For the current list of approved bats, use this link USA Baseball list of approved bats