New bat standards will be adopted in state high schools

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
A bill that proposed a one-year moratorium on metal bats in California high schools has been withdrawn after the CIF, the state’s governing body for high school sports, has agreed to adopt new standards for metal bats for the 2011 season.
Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D — San Rafael) and Marie Ishida, Executive Director of the CIF, are holding a press conference this morning at the State Capitol in Sacramento to announce the latest chapter in the controversy that began when Marin Catholic’s Gunnar Sandberg was seriously injured in March after being hit in the head by a line drive off a metal bat. Sandberg is attending this morning’s press conference.
California was scheduled to adopt the new bat standards, recognized by the NCAA, in 2012. The new bat standards will be adopted by the NCAA in 2011.
The new BBCOR (ball-bat coefficient of restitution) bat standards have been designed to produce wood-like performance as closely as possible. University of Illinois physics professor Alan Nathan, who has done extensive research on the physics of the bat-ball collision and bat performance, has said that metal bats outperform wood bats by about five percent. Nathan, who serves on the NCAA Baseball Research Panel, has said that five-percent gap “will essentially become zero” with BBCOR bats.
On Aug. 6, the CIF executive committee, agreed to adopt the BBCOR standards one year ahead of schedule. The committee also agreed to begin developing standards for protective headgear.
I’ll have a complete story for Thursday’s paper.