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October 5, 2017

NCAA Rule Change: Regular-Season Bat Testing to Begin 2020

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Just last week, The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the ruling to make bat testing during the regular-season mandatory starting in 2020 for Division I programs and in 2021 for Divisions II and III. Prior to this ruling, bat testing only took place during NCAA post-season games, at all division levels.

Bat testing will be held before game one of every series or a single game with a tamper-proof sticker being placed on the bats until the next round of games. The testing is designed to reduce the number of illegal bats that have been rolled or had the barrels shaved for improved performance. Bat rolling is a process that adds pop and distance to a bat, which helps increase the number of big hits during games.

Programs in the Southeastern Conference and Missouri Valley Conference have had success with this experiment as the testing devices helped remove any possibility of tampering. However, relating to field play, this new ruling will help level out the playing field and keep everyone performing true to their abilities. This now gives recruits an opportunity to earn spots when they arrive over someone who may have been playing with illegal equipment. It will also ensure that the bats meet established NCAA BBCOR performance standards. It looks like some baseball recruits might have to switch up whatever pregame rituals they may have had in the past.