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Panel approves regular-season baseball bat testing

Rule goes into effect in 2020 for Division I, 2021 for Divisions II, III

Baseball bat testing in the regular season will soon begin.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved making bat testing a regular-season rule starting with the 2020 season in Division I and the 2021 season in Divisions II and III.

The delay is intended to give schools time to purchase the equipment to conduct the test, which currently costs around $1,500.

Under the new rule, bats will be tested before the first game of a series or before each midweek game to ensure they are compliant.

Over the last two years, NCAA members have shared with the Baseball Rules Committee a rising concern about tampering, which was initially addressed with rules changes in 2016.

Feedback provided in the comment period following the Baseball Rules Committee’s annual meeting in July 2016 intimated that the changes did not do enough to address the tampering concerns.

The committee has been motivated by those concerns and the increased number of bats removed from play for failing to comply with the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution standard, which can include dents and barrel compression, at all three divisional championships in 2017.

Requiring bat testing before play in the regular season is expected to help ensure the integrity of competition and ensure that bats being used remain compliant with established NCAA BBCOR performance standards.