Parents, in case you haven’t heard: Little League baseball has finally banned composite bats. Those are aluminum bats with a core made of titanium or carbon fiber. They’re much lighter than standard metal or wooden bats, which makes them easier for kids to swing. Since the bats are springy, like a trampoline, they’ve made many Little Leaguers feel like home run kings. That’s the problem, according to Little League spokesman Steve Barr. He says there had been several recent studies linking composite bats to a higher risk of injuries – because they enable kids to hit hard line drives at other players. The final straw was a new study which found that composite bats actually become more springy – and therefore more dangerous - after repeated use. In other words: Unlike wooden bats that break – or aluminum bats that become dented - the more often a child uses a composite bat, the better they’ll be at hitting balls hard.
That’s a big reason why the bats have already been banned in other, smaller youth baseball leagues. Little League now becomes the largest organization to ban them, with nearly 3 million players across North America. The good news is that baseball tends to have fewer injuries compared to football, hockey, or basketball. Experts say kids can reduce their risk of injuries from line drives by wearing protective chest pads, known as “heart guards.” Some leagues also recommend that pitchers wear a hard helmet, instead of the usual baseball cap. Unfortunately, many parents didn’t find out about the new Little League bat ban until their kids stepped on the baseball field in April! Barr says there’s still some confusion among coaches, because there are some brands of composite bats that are still allowed. So, before you register your kids for Little League this spring, check the list of approved bats at this Website: LittleLeague.org.