I have one son who has played in casual, easy-going leagues but will be switching to Little League this summer.
It has definitely brought the game back to earth. College Baseball, HS Baseball, and any Youth Level Baseball that uses BBCOR is consistent with MLB and the baseball that most of us played when we were kids.
We kicked a teams ass on Saturday 6-1. It felt like an ass kicking. If we had played that same team with the bats we used in 2010, we would have won 12-2.
But 6-1 felt like an ass kicking.
Pitchers are rewarded for throwing good pitches now, and that's the biggest benefit. My son never wanted to pitch (he's a freshman now in HS) but even if he had wanted to pitch, I would have tried my best to persuade him not to...unless he was really really really good at it. Before BBCOR, the average, crafty pitcher would get lit up...almost by chance. That doesn't happen anymore.
I personally think that any level below HS should be using the BESR bats from 2011.
It has to do with the "bounce" the bat gives the ball - they're trying to make aluminum/composite bats play more like wood bats for safety.
I knew about the changes at the college and high school level (partially thanks to this board - KLav18 and others) but didn't realize it was being pushed down to middle school kids.
Overall I don't think it's a big deal or bad thing, except that it forces parents/teams to buy new (and fairly expensive) bats, and of course I happen to be at the point when the boys are just getting to the big fields so it's a double-whammy.
They are using junior rules for 50/70 LL except for the size of the field. This includes allowing metal spikes. They are SUPPOSED to use BBCOR bats but all the local leagues agreed to allow any LL approved bat.
Most 7th graders are 12-13 and most 8th graders are 13-14 and owuld be playing juniors in LL. Therefore BBCOR would be required there as well.
Although most of my coaching and my son's playing has not been in an offical little league (he plays for his Catholic school, and several local Catholic leagues). I was actually trying to get the 12U summer league he has been playing in to change to 50/70.
Also very interesting about metal spikes, and as I said, the BBCOR was news to me. Thanks.
Any kid that has an ounce of skill should be playing 50/70 by 11 years old and maybe by 10. The rules are much closer to "real baseball". It is more fun and challenging. It is a logical stepping stone to a full field.
The 46-60 now looks like slow mo. BTW our 9U team will be in Port Char in two weeks.
Would not have done it without the switch to 50/70. We finally had enough of his travel ball coach and left the team. We will be looking for a new team after all stars.
He may fill on for other teams if they need a player.
that was still 46/60. It was run at your own risk and even though we had some decent catchers (including my son) it was nearly impossible to pick off a competent runner, even with a quick stretch by the pitcher, just because the distance was too short.
Actually our local Catholic schools league is disappointing not only in that the 5th and 6th graders still play 46/60, but that the 7th and 8th graders don't even play on the full size field - they're 80 foot base paths!