FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elliot Hopkins
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 16, 2010) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), in a ruling by its Board of Directors, announced today that waivers or modifications of the recent ban on composite bats in high school baseball may be considered in certain circumstances.
Earlier this month, the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee approved a new rule that bans composite bats, effective with the 2010-11 school year, until they can meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard.
The NFHS enacted the ban on composite bats because of a concern about the increased performance of the bats after the initial “break-in” that would lead the bats to exceed the current Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) standard or the BBCOR standard take takes effect in the 2011-12 school year.
After reviewing information from Dr. James Sherwood, director of the Baseball Research Center at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell; Dr. Alan Nathan, University of Illinois; and the NCAA, as well as consulting with manufacturers, the NFHS Board of Directors has agreed that if certain types or models of composite bats can produce consistent results through the life of the bat and remain within the applicable test standard, a waiver or modification of the rule may be considered.
The NFHS is the recognized national playing-rules maker for high school sports and publishes playing rules in 17 sports for the more than 7.5 million young people involved in interscholastic athletic programs.
“The NFHS is concerned about minimizing the inherent participation risks faced by student-athletes in high school sports, which is why standards have been placed on baseball bats,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “At the same time, our Board is open to discussion with bat manufacturers regarding a waiver for composite bats that can meet the current BESR standard or the new BBCOR standard. We have advised the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association in this regard.”
In addition to manufacturers, the NFHS welcomes input from other interested parties.