Little league baseball players adjusting to new bats - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Little league baseball players adjusting to new bats

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

Baseball season is well under way, but for little league players, this season may feel a bit different. 

That's because USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball since 1988, now requires that all players ages 14 and under use a different type of baseball bat. 

"In past years, they've been able to use 2 1/4 inch barrel. This year, they're able to use a 2 5/8 inch barrel, which makes the diameter of the bat bigger. I guess they wanted to do this to give the kids a better chance. With a bigger barrel, they can cover more of the baseball," said Brandon Clemmins, the president of Bluefield Little League. 

Thankfully, USA Baseball made it simple to figure out which bats are allowed and which ones aren't. 

"This year, this new USA stamp, that's what's required," said Mike Lively, the CEO of Direct Sports. 

The decision to switch the bats was made with the goal of improving the integrity of the game.

"Well it helps because it helps the game rely less on home runs and hot bats and more on pitching and defense and strategy, more like a baseball purist would want to see. It makes the bats more wood-like, according to USA Baseball," Lively said. 

But as far as the kids are concerned, they're just excited to play ball like the older athletes that they look up to. 

"From what I can gather, the kids are really excited. You know, they look up to the kids at the high school level and they see them using a bigger bat, and now they get to use a bigger bat, so they're up to the challenge and they're excited about it," Clemmins said. 

For any further information on the change, you can contact a local coach or league. 

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