FAQ

About USA Baseball

Team USA

BECOME INVOLVED WITH TEAM USA:

NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION:

NATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM:

AGE DETERMINATION:

MISCELLANEOUS:

USA Baseball Athlete Safety

USA Baseball National Training Complex

USA Baseball Bat Standard

USA Baseball Shop

USA Baseball Develops

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award


About USA Baseball

GENERAL:

Q: What is USA Baseball?

Since 1978, USA Baseball has been the national governing body for the sport of baseball. It represents the sport in the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and internationally as a member federation of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

Nearly every major national amateur baseball organization in America is united as a USA Baseball National Member Organization. As a result, USA Baseball governs more than 15.6 million amateur players in ballparks and playgrounds across the country.

As the commissioner's office for amateur baseball, USA Baseball is a resource center for its various membership group, fans, and players. USA Baseball is also responsible for promoting and developing the game of baseball on the grassroots level, both nationally and internationally.

Q: Why do USA Baseball jerseys have the American flag sewn on backward on the right sleeve?

Although the flag can be worn on either sleeve, USA Baseball traditionally wears the flag on the right sleeve, and, per military uniform regulation, the star field always faces forward. This gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the athlete moves forward.

For more information, please click here.

Q: What is an international sanction and who must have one?

A sanction from USA Baseball is required whenever an amateur athlete or team chooses to play baseball outside the country or when an international team is being hosted in the United States. This sanction -- or permission -- is required as stated in the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 and is designed for the protection of the rights and status of amateur athletes who seek international experience.

USA Baseball sanctions only amateur players and teams. To protect the amateur eligibility of a team, school or player, check with USA Baseball prior to taking a group to another country, hosting an international team or allowing an amateur player to participate with or against players from other nations.

For information on obtaining a sanction (including instructions and prices), please visit USA Baseball's Sanction Application page.

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EMPLOYMENT:

Q: How can I apply for a job or an internship?

All employment opportunities, including internships, will be posted on the USA Baseball Employment page. You can apply to all USA Baseball employment opportunities via Teamwork Online. Please visit this page to receive more information on the latest openings at USA Baseball.

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FINANCIAL:

Q: How can I make a donation to USA Baseball?

Fans and supporters can donate to USA Baseball, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, by contacting the organization, or by clicking here. Thank you for your support of USA Baseball.


Team USA

BECOME INVOLVED WITH TEAM USA:

Q: How can I become a coach with USA Baseball?

USA Baseball is always looking for qualified coaches and educators to incorporate into its programming. The first assignment for many aspiring national team coaches lies within the amateur events that are used to either develop athletes, such as USA Baseball Camps, or to identify players for our national teams, such as the USA Baseball National Team Championships. Whether you are serving as a scout/scorekeeper at the National Team Championships, a coach in the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) or a Task Force member at the Athlete Development Program, most National Team staff members get their first taste of international competition after several assignments in the aforementioned player developmental or identification events.

National Team coaching candidates should have an extensive baseball background that includes valuable playing and coaching experience. Coaching candidates for Team USA must represent the very best in the United States both on and off the baseball field. As a staff member with USA Baseball, you will be working with elite-level athletes, the development of which is paramount to our mission in the game.

If you are interested in becoming a coach with USA Baseball, please email Play@usabaseball.com.

Q: How do I recommend a player or coach for one of USA Baseball's National Team programs?

Please send all recommendations to Play@USABaseball.com.

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NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION:

Q: How are players selected for one of USA Baseball's Professional Teams (World Baseball Classic Team, etc.)?

  • Professional Team (World Baseball Classic, Pan American Games, etc.) Identification: MLB 25-, non-25- or non-40-man roster players, depending on international rules and regulations for the specific event
  • Primary Identification Events: Evaluation of current and past performances at the Minor League and Major League levels
  • Schedule: Professional Team
  • Contact E-mail: Eric Campbell

To find out more about the selection process for USA Baseball's Professional Teams, please click here.

Q: How are players selected for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team?

  • Collegiate National Team Identification: Non Draft-Eligible Collegiate Baseball Players (under very certain and limited circumstances, collegiate players eligible for the MLB First-Year Player Draft may also be eligible for selection)
  • Primary Identification Events: Committee
  • Schedule: Collegiate National Team web page
  • Contact E-Mail (to nominate a player): Eric Campbell

To find out more about the selection process for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, please click here.

Q: How are players selected for the USA Baseball 18U National Team?

  • 2024 18U National Team Age Determination: 2006 Birthdates
  • Primary Identification Events (location): TBD
  • Schedule: 18U National Team
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Brett Curll

To find out more about the selection process for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, please click here.

Q: How are players selected to play for the USA Baseball 15U National Team?

  • 2024 15U National Team Age Determination: 2009 & 2010 Birthdates
  • Primary Identification Events (location): USA Baseball NTIS Champions Cup (Cary, N.C.), 14U/15U National Team Championships North Carolina & 14U/15U National Team Championships Arizona
  • Schedule: 15U National Team
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Ben Kelley

To find out more about the selection process for the USA Baseball 15U National Team, please click here.

Q: How are players selected to play for the USA Baseball 12U National Team?

  • 2024 12U National Team Age Determination: Athletes born on January 1, 2012, or later are eligible for the 12U National Team.
  • Primary Identification Events: USA Baseball uses two different identification events to select the athletes for the 12U National Team: USA Baseball’s 11U Futures Invitational (Cary, NC) and USA Baseball’s 11U NTIS Champions Cup (Cary, NC), as well as recommendations from scouts and coaches from the amateur baseball community.
  • Schedule: 12U National Team
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Cole Beeker

To find out more about the selection process for the USA Baseball 12U National Team, please click here.

Q: How are players selected for the USA Baseball Women's National Team?

  • Women's National Team Age Determination: Women (16 and older)
  • Primary Identification Events: USA Baseball Women's National Team Training Camp (invite only)
  • Schedule: Women's National Team
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Ann Claire Roberson

To find out more about the selection process for the USA Baseball Women's National Team, please click here.

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NATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM:

Q: What is a National Team Development Program?

In early 2012, USA Baseball introduced the 14U and 17U National Team Development Programs (NTDP). The organization then announced the addition of a 16U NTDP in 2017. These programs have now transformed into the 13/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) and the 16/17U National Team Development Program. The ADP will select up to 50 players, while the NTDP will select up to 72. Both groups will have approximately a week-long development opportunity, wherein they will receive instruction from USA Baseball alumni and other sanctioned coaches and instructors. The group of players will participate in competitive, intrasquad games and will compete against USA Baseball National Teams, schedule permitting.

In addition to the instructional opportunity, players will showcase their skills in front of USA Baseball National Team staffs as well as the amateur and professional scouting communities. The program will also cover educational components to provide the athletes with tools that will be helpful for long term development.

Q: How are players selected for the USA Baseball 13U and 14U Athlete Development Program, and the 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs?

  • 2024 13U & 14U Athlete Development Program Age Determination: 2010 & 2011 Birthdates
  • Primary Identification Events (location):USA Baseball NTIS Champions Cup (Cary, N.C.) & 13 & 14U National Team Championships (North Carolina or Arizona)
  • Schedule: 14U National Team Development Program
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Jim Koerner
  • 2024 16U & 17U National Team Development Program Age Determination: 2007 & 2008 Birthdates
  • Primary Identification Events (location): USA Baseball NTIS Champions Cup (Cary, N.C.) & 16 & 17U National Team Championships (North Carolina or Arizona)
  • Schedule: National Team Development Program
  • Contact E-mail (to nominate a player): Jim Koerner

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AGE DETERMINATION:

Q: What exactly does "age determination date" mean?

The age determination date is a league or federation specified date that players must be of a certain age in order to be eligible to participate in a particular age group. There is a domestic age determination date and an international age determination date.

Q: What is the difference between the domestic age determination date and the international age determination date?

The domestic age determination date is a fixed date that regulates the eligibility of players in most organized leagues in the United States.

The international age determination date is a fixed date that regulates the eligibility of players in WBSC or WBSC Americas sanctioned tournaments.

The domestic age determination date and the international determination date are not the same.

Q: What is the current international age determination date?

The current international age determination date states your birthday must fall on January 1 or later of a specified year to be eligible for particular age groups. The age a player reaches during the calendar year of the international competition will serve as his competition age.

(For example, if your son/daughter wants to play on the 18U National team in 2024, he/she must be 18 years old or younger during the entire calendar year. If your son/daughter would turn 19 on or before December 31 of 2024, he/she would not be eligible to participate with the 18U National Team because his/her competition age would be 19, regardless of his/her age during the time of the tournament.)

Q: What is the current domestic age determination date?

The current domestic age determination date is April 30 of the current year. The age of a baseball player as of April 30 is that player's "league age" for the season.

(For example, if your son/daughter would like to play in the 12U division of one of our USA Baseball National Member Organizations, he/she must be 12 or younger before April 30 of the current year. If your son/daughter would turn 13 on April 29, he/she would not be eligible to participate with the 12-year-old group.)

Q: Which age determination date does USA Baseball adhere to?

The USA Baseball National Teams must adhere to the rules of international governance as it pertains to age restrictions in international competition. These rules are different than the domestic age determination date for USA Baseball. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and WBSC Americas use the calendar year - January 1 - to differentiate the various age groups for international play.

Q: What are the international age determination dates for each USA Baseball program?

For 2024, the international age determination date dictates:

2024 18U National Team - to be eligible, your birthday is Jan. 1, 2006, or later
2024 15U National Team - to be eligible, your birthday is Jan. 1, 2009, or later
2024 12U National Team - to be eligible, your birthday is Jan. 1, 2012 or later
2024 Women’s National Team – to be eligible, your birthday is before Dec. 31, 2008

Q: What was the reason for the change of the domestic determination age in baseball?

The primary reason to change the domestic determination age is so most players on a team will spend the majority of the regular season at the same chronological age as their league age. Currently, more than 95 percent of all local Little League programs start their seasons before May 1.

Under the old regulation, a baseball player who turned 13 in May, June or July of the current year would have been considered league-age 13 for that entire season. That would be the case, despite the fact that such a player likely would have played most or all of the regular season (which generally ends in June) without having actually reached his or her 13th birthday. Under the current regulation, such a player will have a league age of 12 throughout the regular season.

Q: How much research and thought went into changing the domestic age determination date?

More than four years of study went into the decision to change the domestic determination age, along with years of discussions with volunteers at the local level. Input from individuals after the initial announcement of the change also was taken into consideration.

Q: Does this change in domestic age determination mean that one age group will have to "skip" a year and move up sooner?

No, the change in domestic determination age does not mean one age group will have to skip a year. Every player in all divisions will still have the opportunity to have one full season each year at each age group. No player will be forced to "move up" any sooner than he/she would have under the old league age determination date.

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MISCELLANEOUS:

Q: Does USA Baseball provide written evaluations of players who participate in National Team Identification events?

No, per USA Baseball policy all scouting information for purposes of identifying and selecting the national teams is kept private and confidential.


USA Baseball Athlete Safety

Compliance

Q: Why should all youth sports organizations implement athlete safety?

Over the course of the last few years, we have seen abuse of minor athletes within the U.S. Olympic family come to the forefront. Too many athletes went unprotected from predators within their sport, which led to the creation of Senate Bill 534.
b. Through SB534 and the governance of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, there are many policies now in place to ensure minor athlete well-being is at the forefront of every sport.

Q: What is BASE?

a. In late 2018, USA Baseball launched BASE (Baseball Athlete Safety Education) as its zero-tolerance campaign for any type of abuse within the sport of baseball.

b. There are four components of BASE: reporting, background checks, education and training, and minor athlete safety policies.

Q: What is SafeSport Compliance?

As a national governing body, USA Baseball requires that all staff, coaches, umpires, athletic trainers and adult participants are compliant per the standards set forth by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the US Center for SafeSport. The compliance designation consists of a comprehensive background check, annual SafeSport training, and signing off on the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPPs). These items must be renewed annually.

Q: Which events require SafeSport Compliance?

USA Baseball sanctioned events required the full SafeSport compliance including the comprehensive background check, completion of the SafeSport Trained or next Refresher course, and reading through and signing the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPPs). Events include:

  1. NHSI
  2. West Championships (Arizona)
  3. East Championships (North Carolina)
  4. National Team Identification Series (NTIS)
  5. National Team Programs (12U National Team, 13U/14U Athlete Development Program, 15U National Team, 16U/17U National Team Development Program, 18U National Team, Women’s National Team, Collegiate National Team, Professional National Team)
  6. Futures Invitational
  7. Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP)
  8. Homegrown Events
  9. Play Ball Events
  10. Coaches Clinics (Community and Regional)

Q: How is SafeSport Compliance enforced and tracked?

a. All coaches, umpires, athletic trainers, and adult participants registered for any USA Baseball sanctioned event will receive specific communication from USA Baseball’s Athlete Safety staff about completing SafeSport prior to every event.

b. All constituents listed MUST check-in with USA Baseball’s Athlete Safety staff at the start of every event to receive a wristband indicating their compliance.

Q: What do neon wristbands at events mean?

Coaches, umpires and athletic trainers are ONLY permitted to interact with minor athletes if they have completed or renewed all the necessary components of SafeSport Compliance. When done so, they receive a wristband that permits access to athlete-designated spaces including but not limited to, dugouts, batting cages, athletic training areas, and weight rooms.

Q: What is BASE Organizational Compliance?

BASE Organizational Compliance satisfies the requirements for Senate Bill 534 for participating youth sport organizations by offering a standard background check and abuse prevention training services. Please note that BASE Compliance is different from SafeSport Compliance. If your organization is interested in utilizing USA Baseball’s BASE Organizational Compliance program, please contact Develops@USABDevelops.com.

Background Checks

Q: What do USA Baseball’s BASE background checks check?

a. USA Baseball - Standard Package ($10): JDP National Criminal Database, JDP National Sex Offender Registry, State and Federal Sanctions Lists, Fugitive Watch Lists, FBI Most Wanted, and Terrorist Watch Lists.

b. USA Baseball - Comprehensive Package ($30): Social Security ID search, 7 Year Residence History County Criminal Felony and Misdemeanor Search, JDP and alternate National Criminal Databases, JDP National Sex Offender Registry, Federal Criminal Records, State and Federal Sanctions Lists, Fugitive Watch Lists, FBI Most Wanted, and Terrorist Watch Lists.

c. USA Baseball - Medical Professional: Social Security ID search, 7 Year Residence History County Criminal Felony and Misdemeanor Search, JDP and alternate National Criminal Databases, JDP National Sex Offender Registry, Federal Criminal Records, State and Federal Sanctions Lists, Fugitive Watch Lists, FBI Most Wanted, and Terrorist Watch Lists. Additionally, this check will provide professional license verification and the JDP Healthcare Sanctions PLUS Search.

Q: How do I know if I passed my background check?

To check the status of your background check please sign into your USAB Develops account on USABDevelops.com or on the USA Baseball app. Click “MY ACCOUNT” →“CERTIFICATIONS” → “MY CERTIFICATIONS.”

  1. “Completed” indicates a passed background check
  2. “In Progress” indicates the check is processing
  3. “Enrolled” indicates that the user has NOT yet completed the necessary questionnaire or purchase for the background check to run

Q: What happens in the case of a failed background check?

If a background check is entered into pre-adverse action, the individual has 5 business days to appeal the findings. USA Baseball’s Senior Director of Athlete Safety and Education, Lauren Rhyne (laurenrhyne@usabaseball.com), will be in direct communication with the individual regarding their background check. If the individual does not appeal, or the appeal is not accepted, then the background check will fail and the individual will be placed on USA Baseball’s Ineligible List.

Response, Resolution, and Resources

Q: What should I do if I experience or witness abuse?

If you know of or have experienced abuse within sport, please report it to any USA Baseball staff member or using the online reporting form on USABDevelops.com and the USA Baseball app, here, OR by scanning the QR code displayed at all USA Baseball events. Reports can be made anonymously.

b. All incidents should first be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Q: What is the ineligible list?

The ineligible list is a public-facing list of names for organizations to cross reference with when hiring new coaches. The list is regularly updated and is recommended to be checked when hiring new coaches and volunteers. View ineligible list.

Q: Are there athlete safety resources for players?

Sport participants can utilize USA Baseball’s athlete safety resources to protect themselves and improve the atmosphere for their peers by completing the free Abuse Awareness for Minors course. Additionally, USA Baseball provides an anonymous abuse reporting pathway to allow all participants the opportunity to say something, if they see or experience something.


USA Baseball National Training Complex

Q: Is there a fee to attend USA Baseball events at the National Training Complex?

Yes, for most USA Baseball events there is a $10 per day fee to attend an event at the National Training Complex. Tournament passes are also available for certain events; however, pricing may vary depending on the length of the event.

Q: Are dogs allowed inside the National Training Complex?

No, dogs are not allowed inside the complex with the exception of service dogs.

Q: Are concession stands open during USA Baseball events?

Concession stands or vending options are open for all USA Baseball events and outside food and drinks are prohibited at the National Training Complex.

Q: Am I allowed to bring my camera inside the National Training Complex?

Cameras with telephoto and zoom lenses are not allowed inside the complex. Cameras may be brought into the facility so long as they are not accompanied by these types of lenses.

Q: Does USA Baseball provide transportation at the NTC for people in need of assistance?

USA Baseball does not provide transportation into the complex.

Q: Is there an athletic trainer available during events at the National Training Complex?

Yes, a certified athletic trainer is onsite for all USA Baseball events.


USA Baseball Bat Standard

For more information and frequently asked questions about the USA Baseball Bat Standard, please visit the FAQ page at www.USABat.com

Q: Which NMOs and other organizations are implementing this new standard?

To date, the following organizations are participating:

Q: What specific leagues and divisions will adopt USABat?

  • AABC

    • Nolan Ryan, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, and Roberto Clemente division tournaments
  • Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken

    • Tee Ball
    • Cal Ripken Baseball
    • Babe Ruth Baseball (13-15)
  • Diamond Youth & Diamond Boys

    • DYB
    • DBB
  • Little League Baseball

    • Tee-Ball Division
    • Minor League Baseball Division
    • Little League Baseball (or the Major Division)
    • Intermediate (50/70) Division
    • Junior League Baseball Division
  • PONY Baseball

    • Shetland 6u
    • Pinto 8u
    • Mustang 10u
    • Bronco 12u
    • Pony 14u
  • NABF

    • Rookie Division 10u
    • Freshman Division 12u
    • Sophomore Division 14u
  • Dizzy Dean Baseball

    • 6-year-old division
    • 7-year-old division
    • 8-year-old division
    • 9-year-old division
    • 10-year-old division
    • 11-year-old division
    • 12-year-old division

    Q: Why the change to a wood-like standard?

    USA Baseball's national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard best provides for the long-term integrity of the game. The USABat standard does not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.

    Q: Why not just use wood bats?

    Wood is a scarce resource. Metal and composite bats also tend to be more durable and lighter weight than wood bats. USA Baseball Approved Bats (USABats) are designed to perform much like wood, where their performance is limited to the highest performing wood.

    Q: How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?

    Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups. That said, the two standards establish similar performance limits for bats.

    The performance of BBCOR and USA Baseball bats are nearly identical (within about 0.005 BBCOR). The primary difference between the bats is USA Baseball bats do not have the -3 drop weight restriction. The lighter USA Baseball bats are easier to swing (particularly for developing hitters); this can result in higher batting averages, but not higher hit ball speed. The lighter USA Baseball bats will produce slightly lower hit ball speeds than the BBCOR bats. Since USA Baseball bats can be produced in a -3 drop weight, and would be nearly identical to BBCOR bats, we see no reason why BBCOR and USA Baseball’s bats could not be combined in play for leagues choosing this option. However, we note that mixing BBCOR and USA Baseball bats increases the range of player ability using these bats. Rules ensuring players of comparable ability are on the field will lower the likelihood of an advanced hitter putting an inexperienced pitcher at risk. -- Dr. Lloyd Smith and Dr. Alan Nathan

    Q: Why is USA Baseball involved?

    The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard. Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard.

    Q: Who are the scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee?

    • Alan Nathan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois
    • Dan Russell, Ph.D. Professor of Acoustics at Penn State University
    • Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. Research Director of American Sports Medicine Institute

    Q: How will I know which bat to buy?

    All bats that bear the USA Baseball mark are permissible for play in leagues and tournaments that require USABat. A full list of certified bats can be found here. USA Baseball also releases an annual USABat Guide that provides detailed information on the current year's bat offerings that can be viewed here.

    Q: Are wood bats allowed in leagues that require USABat?

    Yes. Solid, one-piece wood bats are approved for use under USABat with or without the USA Baseball Certification Mark. Multi-piece and composite wood bats must feature the USA Baseball Certification Mark to be approved for play.

    Does USABat have a drop-weight limit?

    There is no drop-weight limit under USABat. All certified bats that feature the USA Baseball mark and appear on the approved bat list are approved for play in leagues that require USABat regardless of weight or drop weight. Any bats listed as tee ball bats are only approved use with approved tee balls.

    Does USABat have a barrel diameter limit?

    USA Baseball approved bats (USABats) are certified with barrel diameters of 2-5/8" and less. Approved bats feature a variety of barrel diameters including 2-5/8", 2-1/2", 2-3/8", 2-1/4" and 2". As long as a bat features the USA Baseball mark and appears on the approved bat list, it is approved for play regardless of barrel diameter.

    Q: How are USABats certified?

    Bats must undergo performance testing and receive a final approval from USA Baseball to receive USABat certification. A bat maker’s first step in this process is to produce a bat design sample and submit it to the Washington State University (WSU) Sports Science Lab for performance testing. Submissions that pass USA Baseball’s Performance Test Protocol become eligible for certification. To clarify, this means the bat has been performance tested in a controlled lab setting to confirm that it performs at a wood-like standard. The bat maker must then send a sample of the same design to USA Baseball for final approval of graphics. USA Baseball’s certification gives the bat maker rights to manufacture the same design for retail sale that passed testing at WSU with the graphics that were approved by USA Baseball as well as add the USA Baseball mark on the bat’s handle. All approved bats are added to the USABat Approved List at USABat.com.

    Q: How does a bat decertification happen?

    In order for USA Baseball to ensure the integrity of the USABat standard, USA Baseball reserves the right to compliance test any bat on the USABat approved bat list at any time. Compliance tests are undertaken to ensure that production bats sold at retail meet the USABat standard and are identical to the bats submitted by the manufacturers during the initial certification process. In the event of a compliance test, select bat models are purchased at retail and tested at the Washington State University Sports Science Lab using the original certification test process. If the test reveals the bat model being sold at retail does not comply with USABat performance and design requirements, the bat is deemed noncompliant and the decertification process begins.

    Q: What does bat decertification mean?

    Bat decertification means that production bats being sold at retail of a previously approved USABat model are not in compliance with the USABat standard. To clarify, the USABat standard requires that bats manufactured for retail sale match the design that was initially certified by USA Baseball in both performance and design. Once a bat model has been decertified, it is no longer approved for play in leagues that have adopted USABat and subject to league rules concerning the use of illegal or unapproved bats.

    Q: When is a bat decertification announced?

    USA Baseball is obligated to announce a bat decertification once compliance testing has been completed and USA Baseball receives conclusive evidence that a bat model is not compliant with the USABat standard.

    Q: Why not wait until the end of the season to announce a bat decertification?

    Both USA Baseball and the bat manufacturer are obligated to announce a bat decertification once compliance testing has been completed and after USA Baseball has conclusive evidence that a bat model is out of compliance with the USABat standard. The use of a noncompliant bat in leagues that have adopted USABat compromises the integrity of the standard and creates an uneven playing field across youth baseball. Therefore, in order to maintain integrity with the performance metrics set by the USABat standard, noncompliant bats must be decertified and removed from play immediately.

    Q: What happens if my bat is decertified?

    If a previously approved USABat is decertified, the bat manufacturer is obligated to provide consumers with relief and to take any other steps necessary to make such parties whole. USA Baseball will post information on how to contact the bat manufacturer at https://usabat.com/decertified-bats/ in the event a USABat is ever decertified.

    Q: Why are certain bat lengths decertified and not others?

    For certified bats, each model length is typically designed and produced slightly differently than the others. Because of this, individual lengths and drops of a USABat are classified as unique designs and subject to bat certification separately. It is possible that certain bat lengths could be found to be out of compliance under the USABat standard while the remaining lengths and drops of the same model family are still design and performance compliant.

    Q: Does the standard impact Tee Ball?

    Yes. Under the USABat standard, certified tee ball bats feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS.

    What bats are recommended for coach pitch and machine pitch leagues?

    Both tee ball bats and standard youth bats featuring the USA Baseball certification mark are recommended for coach pitch and machine pitch leagues. Coach pitch and machine pitch leagues that permit the use of USABat tee ball bats should only use approved low compression baseballs. A full list of approved low compression baseballs can be found here: https://usabat.com/approved-tee-balls/.

    We have compared the performance of tee ball bats using tee balls and youth baseballs. Low compression tee balls reduced bat performance by 0.04 BBCORR (a substantial amount). Further, the dynamic stiffness of tee balls is a factor of 10 lower than youth baseballs. The reduced stiffness will correlate to lower impact force, and the reduced COR correlates to lower hit ball speed. Both factors will significantly reduce the likelihood a player is injured if they are hit by a ball. As hit ball speed depends much more on the bat speed, than the pitch speed, these trends would also hold true for tee balls used in coach pitch games. -- Dr. Lloyd Smith and Dr. Alan Nathan


USA Baseball Shop

Q: What are the USA Baseball Team Store (Cary, N.C.) hours of operation?

The USA Baseball Team Store does not have regularly scheduled hours of operation in the offseason but is open during all major events that take place at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

For more information and a full calendar of USA Baseball Team Store hours, please visit USABaseballShop.com

Q: How may I obtain USA Baseball merchandise?

You can get the latest USA Baseball merchandise by stopping by the USA Baseball Team Store in Cary, North Carolina at the National Training Complex during an event or by visiting USABaseballShop.com.


USA Baseball Develops

Q: What is USA Baseball Develops?

USA Baseball Develops aims to grow the game of baseball through youth programs, player, coach, and umpire development, safety, and educational initiatives. The USA Baseball Develops website houses all USA Baseball's educational resources and athlete safety information. The website provides online education courses and resources, sample practice plans, a drill library, coach, parent, and umpire certifications, the Develops blog, and more. Please see each program and initiative below for further information:

(Click on each Program's title to be sent to its webpage)

American Development Model
With support from Major League Baseball, USA Baseball has generated an American Development Model (ADM). The ADM is a multi-stage training and recovery pathway that guides an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity through all developmental phases from infancy to adulthood. The ADM provides a framework for systematically developing sporting excellence and increasing active participation in local, regional, and national sport organizations.

Online Educational Resources
Education is one of the fundamental building blocks of the game. As such, USA Baseball's educational resources emphasize a culture of development, safety, and fun within the sport through online training courses and programs for players, parents, coaches, and umpires. Content is available in both English and Spanish.

Coach, Umpire, and Parent Certifications
The USA Baseball Certification Pathways are educational programs for all individuals who are currently in the sport of baseball or aspire to learn more. The program aims to create a higher standard of education and enhance the ability of coaches, umpires, and parents to better serve their athletes, their team, and the communities. The program aspires to create a culture of continuing education, professional development, and active mentorship among the baseball community. We are pleased to offer Coach, Umpire, and Parent Certification pathways to help you on your journey in our national pastime. All certification pathways are offered in English and Spanish.

Coaches Clinics
The Coaches Clinics program provides in-person and online training and educational sessions coupled with networking and professional growth opportunities. USA Baseball offers two types of clinics: community and regional.

Develops Blog
The USA Baseball Develops blog offers a variety of content, including baseball play breakdowns, medical information on elbow and shoulder injuries, nutrition insight, parent advice, umpire material, previously recorded virtual coaches’ clinics, and more. Content is offered in both English and Spanish.

Pitch Smart
Pitch Smart is a joint initiative by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that provides a series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players, and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers.

Baseball Manuals
USA Baseball offers both a Youth Baseball Manual and a High School Baseball manual to help organizations and schools create successful programs through positive, development-based experiences for their athletes.

USA Baseball App
The USA Baseball App, free for all users, includes practice planning tools, a drill library, information on athlete safety, and all education resources.

Fun At Bat
Fun At Bat is an entry-level bat and ball program for kids with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, active play, and fun. The initiative stems from meticulous research on introductory youth sport programs and is supported by Major League Baseball, USA Baseball and industry professionals.

Play Ball
Play Ball is a collaborative initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that highlights the many ways baseball can be played, including ways outside of traditionally organized baseball leagues and tournaments. Events hosted around the country provide an opportunity for youth to experience the game in a variety of different forms in a non-competitive environment.

Prospect Development Pipeline
Prospect Development Pipeline is a collaborative effort between MLB and USA Baseball that establishes an official identification and player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States.

Hit and Run Baseball
Hit and Run Baseball is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that provides guidelines for fun, new ways to engage youth baseball players in formal competitive play. The program serves youth leagues, tournament providers and amateur coaches by providing game modification recommendations focused on pace of play and additional skill building opportunities for athletes that are designed to occur more frequently than traditional gameplay exposure.


USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award

Q: What is the Golden Spikes Award and how can I find out more about it?

Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the nation with the Golden Spikes Award. The award, which has been presented on ESPN each year since 2014, is given each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.

In 2023, Louisiana State University's Dylan Crews won the prestigious award. Past winners also include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006), David Price (2007), Buster Posey (2008), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Bryce Harper (2010), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), A.J. Reed (2014), Andrew Benintendi (2015) Kyle Lewis (2016), Brendan McKay (2017), Andrew Vaughn (2018), Adley Rutschman (2019), Kevin Kopps (2021), and Ivan Melendez (2022).

For more information on the Golden Spikes Award you can visit GoldenSpikesAward.com, or you can email GSA@usabaseball.com. You can also follow @USAGoldenSpikes on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.