Shaved and Rolled Bats

My son plays for a 14U Majors team in north Texas.  He has related to me that many kids on his team, and opposing teams, are now using shaved bats to gain a competitive advantage.   I'm unsure how prevalent this situation is, but, I've personally noticed several upper-level teams having their players all use the same one or two bats, which I had not previously seen.  I also saw a 14 year old hit a ball about 420 feet this weekend, with a sound, body and swing that did not even remotely match the distance that the ball traveled.   The ball also seems to make a different sound coming off certain bats.

 My son is not interested in using a shaved bat, and I would not permit it anyway.  I mostly think that it hurts the game, and does a disservice to the user down the road, who may never get a feel for barreling the ball up with an unnatural bat.  

A quick google search revealed names like Dr. Bat and others, who sell shaved and rolled bats for home run competitions; so, this situation does not appear to be imaginary at all.   And, knowing human nature, it's quite reasonable to assume that some might use shaved bats outside of home run competitions.   I know that cheating in baseball is as old as the game itself, but, this seems to be a new one in the youth ranks. 

As a result, I'm very curious how prevalent this is in the minds of other folks on this forum.   I also wonder how scouting services like Perfect game, or scouts in general, deal with this new challenge. I also wonder whether there is discussion about how this problem might be corrected down the road, i.e. wood bats only, weighing bats, having tourneys supply bats, etc.

Thanks.          

Original Post

I wonder about:

14U kids using Drop 5's when they should be swinging BBCOR

Which Academy programs have kids use Shaved Bats for PBR exit velo testing

What happens when a kid gets seriously injured by a blast from a shaved bat, especially since most have already waived liability.  The waiver of liability applies to the fields & programs, but what about the kid using an illegal bat?

Where were in a tournament this weekend that during the 14/u tournament the 13 year olds could use -5.  But there was NO ONE checking ages.    Its travel ball.  Hopefully the tournaments start making rules and checks to thwart this practice.

I actually think that there should be regulated minus 5 bats (like BBCOR for minus 5). many 13 and 14 year old kids are not really ready for using a BBCOR but using a super hot minus 5 makes no sense either if you switch to BBCOR next season.

I think giving them regulated minus 5 bats for a transition year would help many kids in their development.

By the time you hit 7th grade I do believe you should be hitting -3.  It is not like a kid is being judged by his power numbers in MS.  by 14 many kids have already kicked in their growth spurts and handle -3 just fine.  I have a small 14 year old who just one hopped a HS field with a shot to left with a -3.   In competitive travel ball most 13/u teams can still use some sort of bat lighter than -3. Most travel teams have decently skilled players.  Using a drop -8 in middle school teams where they still have players who are approaching the end of their baseball careers and not really moving beyond 7th or 8th grades is a bad idea.  Imagine a big bodied skilled 13 year old using a drop 5 against a 7th grader who really is playing his last year of competitive baseball....Not good.

With out discussing wood, I personally believe the bat rules are fine where they at.  Again, this is coming from father whose child has always been one of the smaller kids on any team hes played for.

Altered bats happen, however, the way you handle it says a lot about you as a player and a team.

My 14u played a USSSA tourney last year where drop 10 was allowed, the coach told the players you will use BBCOR or you will use wood, no one will be using anything else.  Yes, there were some home runs that seemed odd, however, his team still won the tourney using the heavier bats.

A quick google search revealed names like Dr. Bat and others, who sell shaved and rolled bats for home run competitions; so, this situation does not appear to be imaginary at all.

I think the term "home run competition" really needs to be put in quotes and maybe a winking emoji at the end.  I looked at some of these sites awhile back (after I was told of their existence by this board) and I never read where the "company" made any alterations to the exterior  of the bat(like a disclaimer label to the other certifications).  In fact one touted the fact that a visual inspection would not reveal any alteration and the end cap was guaranteed not to pop off.  All I can think of is that they put the "home run" disclaimer on the site at their lawyer's recommendation so that if some kid gets hurt in game play, they can point to the disclaimer.  I can't really blame these companies for trying to make a buck and put the blame squarely on parents (I doubt many 12-14 year olds are ordering $300 shaved bats off the internet) and maybe coaches from the comments above.  

Good news is that my younger kid now realizes that his hitting slump was not the bat's fault.  Now all I have to do is convince him that the new grip wasn't the reason he started making better contact.  If I recall correctly, the ZEPP measurements are all done using a "ZEPP" bat.  I feel sorry for some kid who has been hitting it out with his shaved bat only to find himself in the bottom quartile for bat speed when he heads off to PG.  I guess he can always blame his Dad for sabotaging his baseball career.

Haven't had a ton of experience witnessing shaved bats, but when son was a little younger (maybe 11u), I overheard a conversation between two dads whose kids were on my son's team talking about doing it. It seems to stem from getting any little advantage possible, especially since neither of these kids were power hitters at all.

2017LHPscrewball posted:

A quick google search revealed names like Dr. Bat and others, who sell shaved and rolled bats for home run competitions; so, this situation does not appear to be imaginary at all.

I think the term "home run competition" really needs to be put in quotes and maybe a winking emoji at the end.  I looked at some of these sites awhile back (after I was told of their existence by this board) and I never read where the "company" made any alterations to the exterior  of the bat(like a disclaimer label to the other certifications).  In fact one touted the fact that a visual inspection would not reveal any alteration and the end cap was guaranteed not to pop off.  All I can think of is that they put the "home run" disclaimer on the site at their lawyer's recommendation so that if some kid gets hurt in game play, they can point to the disclaimer.  I can't really blame these companies for trying to make a buck and put the blame squarely on parents (I doubt many 12-14 year olds are ordering $300 shaved bats off the internet) and maybe coaches from the comments above.  

Good news is that my younger kid now realizes that his hitting slump was not the bat's fault.  Now all I have to do is convince him that the new grip wasn't the reason he started making better contact.  If I recall correctly, the ZEPP measurements are all done using a "ZEPP" bat.  I feel sorry for some kid who has been hitting it out with his shaved bat only to find himself in the bottom quartile for bat speed when he heads off to PG.  I guess he can always blame his Dad for sabotaging his baseball career.

Congrats on getting him to relax and make better contact with a $12 Lizard Skin and not $100 per hour lessons. Big win for your wallet.

I have seen shaved and rolled bats and to the naked eye they do not seem to show any outward appearance of being altered. I would not have known they were altered except for the fact that I was told beforehand.  

I have been fortunate enough to work the PONY World Series where the tourney staff requires each team to present each bat to be used in the WS to be weighed. Each bat is weighed and compared against a chart of verified weights by model and manufacturer. 

If it is found to be underweight it is banned from the field. If it passes weight requirements, a small sticker is affixed to the bat just above the handle. Any player that uses a bat without the sticker is out and ejected.  

what about liability issues?  If one of these bats is used and God forbid injures or kills a player...could get really ugly legally and I wouldnt want that on my conscience the rest of my life because I wanted my kid to hit a few more home runs per season.

longsufferingmetsfan posted:

My son plays for a 14U Majors team in north Texas.  He has related to me that many kids on his team, and opposing teams, are now using shaved bats to gain a competitive advantage.   I'm unsure how prevalent this situation is, but, I've personally noticed several upper-level teams having their players all use the same one or two bats, which I had not previously seen.  I also saw a 14 year old hit a ball about 420 feet this weekend, with a sound, body and swing that did not even remotely match the distance that the ball traveled.   The ball also seems to make a different sound coming off certain bats.

 My son is not interested in using a shaved bat, and I would not permit it anyway.  I mostly think that it hurts the game, and does a disservice to the user down the road, who may never get a feel for barreling the ball up with an unnatural bat.  

A quick google search revealed names like Dr. Bat and others, who sell shaved and rolled bats for home run competitions; so, this situation does not appear to be imaginary at all.   And, knowing human nature, it's quite reasonable to assume that some might use shaved bats outside of home run competitions.   I know that cheating in baseball is as old as the game itself, but, this seems to be a new one in the youth ranks. 

As a result, I'm very curious how prevalent this is in the minds of other folks on this forum.   I also wonder how scouting services like Perfect game, or scouts in general, deal with this new challenge. I also wonder whether there is discussion about how this problem might be corrected down the road, i.e. wood bats only, weighing bats, having tourneys supply bats, etc.

Thanks.          

Hurts the game? The hell with that. It's freak'n illegal. If your son injured my son with a shot using a rolled bat I would have the bat confiscated and sue your ass off for allowing him to use it. 

3and2Fastball posted:

I wonder about:

14U kids using Drop 5's when they should be swinging BBCOR

Which Academy programs have kids use Shaved Bats for PBR exit velo testing

What happens when a kid gets seriously injured by a blast from a shaved bat, especially since most have already waived liability.  The waiver of liability applies to the fields & programs, but what about the kid using an illegal bat?

The bat shaving companies typically cover their tails. They state bat shaving is for hitting exhibitions only. But if my kid got injured by a shaved bat I would sue everyone connected with the swing of the bat (bat shaving company - they know why they're shaving bats, the family that purchased the bat for their kid for providing an illegal weapon on the field of play, the team he plays for for allowing the bat to be used and the tournament for allowing the bat to be used. It is illegal to use a shaved bat in a game. 

Rolled bats have become a problem in Southern Section of California for HS baseball and they are trying to figure out what to do.  I think the only way to change this is to go to a lower seam baseball, but it is extremely expensive.  These kids grow up swing missiles for bats and then one day someone throws this log at them and tells them good luck.  There needs to be a happy medium for your Joe Average HS baseball player.

 

FYI......If someone is hurt by a rolled or shaved bat the family of the kid who hit the ball can be sued.

I was watching the link to a softball site that showed how they "shaved an aluminum bat".

The guys on the video mentioned that if someone got hurt the owner of the bat would be arrested.  Not sure if its an actual law but he mentioned arrest a few times.  And if a father purchased one for his kid and an injury resulted.  Id imagine that the father would be arrested.   If thats even true.

Can someone explain the exact process of "rolling" and what it does to the structure of the metal?  My understanding was that "rolling" was sort of a break-in process and a similar effect would eventually be had after enough hits.  Does "rolling" impair the metal structure such that it is more apt to break apart?

As for shaving, once the problem is big enough I suspect someone will figure out how to make the cap tamper proof as part of the certification (of course someone will come along and figure out how to tamper without getting caught).

It's only an advantage for an already good/strong hitter and significantly weak (frail) hitters imo.  The difference between a shaved bat is similar to going from end loaded to balanced.  I have a composite bbcor that swings like a -5.  It has as much pop as my end loaded -3.  Any kid 12 and up can swing a bbcor.  You just have to find the right length.  14 year olds 5'6 kids trying to swing 33" bbcors are idiots

3and2Fastball posted:

How would you know though?  Kid gets hit by a comebacker.  While everyone is waiting for an ambulance people are checking the bat?  Potentially volatile situation

I know of a instance where a parent told the umpire and the Tournament director that if they did not confiscate the bat that they would be liable as well and they did.

2017LHPscrewball posted:

Can someone explain the exact process of "rolling" and what it does to the structure of the metal?  My understanding was that "rolling" was sort of a break-in process and a similar effect would eventually be had after enough hits.  Does "rolling" impair the metal structure such that it is more apt to break apart?

As for shaving, once the problem is big enough I suspect someone will figure out how to make the cap tamper proof as part of the certification (of course someone will come along and figure out how to tamper without getting caught).

You are correct in what you are saying in regards to the rolling process BUT, it stretches the molecules that the bat is made up of.  So even though it is 'breaking in" the bat, because it stretches the molecules it causes the exit velocity to jump.  No matter what you did naturally you could not get a bat to behave as a rolled bat if broke in naturally.

piaa_ump posted:

I have seen shaved and rolled bats and to the naked eye they do not seem to show any outward appearance of being altered. I would not have known they were altered except for the fact that I was told beforehand.  

I have been fortunate enough to work the PONY World Series where the tourney staff requires each team to present each bat to be used in the WS to be weighed. Each bat is weighed and compared against a chart of verified weights by model and manufacturer. 

If it is found to be underweight it is banned from the field. If it passes weight requirements, a small sticker is affixed to the bat just above the handle. Any player that uses a bat without the sticker is out and ejected.  

Problem with your solution here is that some of these "companies" are machining out the ring within the bat that reduces the coefficient of restitution, then adding weight to the bat in a different area- so the end result is that the bat weighs the same.  So your process probably wouldn't pick it up.    Essentially they are turning a bbcor bat into one of the pre bbcor standard bats.   

 

All this talk of suing and arresting parents is junk.   legislators have never passed a law against tampering with a baseball bat.  It's never occurred to them.  And would die in committee. Think about it.

You might have luck in a civil case.  Not a criminal one.

bandera posted:

All this talk of suing and arresting parents is junk.   legislators have never passed a law against tampering with a baseball bat.  It's never occurred to them.  And would die in committee. Think about it.

You might have luck in a civil case.  Not a criminal one.

A kid gets maimed. You lose all your assets in a civil suit. How does it feel? Does it feel good to not be in jail but have nothing? You and your kid get to live with you maimed another kid for life. 

Bandera-  Wasn't sure.  Just said I heard them mention it a few times and it caught me by surprise.

And it seems like the ball coming back faster than it should is one issue.  But the people discussing it made it seem that the bat can come apart (Guess you can shave wooden bats down a tad as well for bat speed???).  They seemed to indicate that the injuries from when the bat(s) fly apart are a major concern.  Again, I have never dealt with a dirty bat incident.  Would I be surprised if I had learned that somewhere along the way we crossed paths with one?  Probably not.  Just disappointed.     My son wanted to mess with one of his old bats to make a HR bat.  I refused.  Safety reason and the temptation to somehow "oops" it got into the bag would be there for him.  Not happening.

2017LHPscrewball posted:

Can someone explain the exact process of "rolling" and what it does to the structure of the metal?  My understanding was that "rolling" was sort of a break-in process and a similar effect would eventually be had after enough hits.  Does "rolling" impair the metal structure such that it is more apt to break apart?

As for shaving, once the problem is big enough I suspect someone will figure out how to make the cap tamper proof as part of the certification (of course someone will come along and figure out how to tamper without getting caught).

Rolling does nothing for a metal bat.  Rolling is used on composite bats and provides a quicker and more even break in than natural hitting does.  There is a break in period for composite barrel bats where the bat gains more of its trampoline effect as the fibers relax.  The same identical effect occurs as you hit balls with a composite bat, however it won't necessarily be even, and can take several hundred hits to hit a bats max output.  Studies show that after about 500 hit, the bat actually begins to diminish in performance.  Rolling will allow bat to reach peak performance immediately, but will also shorten the life of the bats performance overall, however the time at peak performance would be the same as a bat "naturally" broken in.

One of the BBCOR measurements required that companies meet the criteria with the bat broken in, so that the bat cannot exceed the standard as its performance peaks.

Shaving does affect metal bats as it simply allows the bat to have a greater trampoline effect (thinner walls, more flex).  It also makes the bats more prone to premature failure.

Here's some rather dated info from a Penn State study.

http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/abi.html

bandera posted:

I'm not pro-altering equipment.   I'm just saying it's not illegal.  No LAW broken.  All the I'll sue and cops will arrest you bunk is incorrect.

In what baseball organization is it legal to use a shaved bat? Rules about bats are designed mostly for safety reasons.

RJM posted:
bandera posted:

I'm not pro-altering equipment.   I'm just saying it's not illegal.  No LAW broken.  All the I'll sue and cops will arrest you bunk is incorrect.

In what baseball organization is it legal to use a shaved bat? 

California Penal League.

( Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn - Alumni)

 

piaa_ump posted:
RJM posted:
bandera posted:

I'm not pro-altering equipment.   I'm just saying it's not illegal.  No LAW broken.  All the I'll sue and cops will arrest you bunk is incorrect.

In what baseball organization is it legal to use a shaved bat? 

California Penal League.

( Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn - Alumni)

 

It's not illegal to beat another inmate with a shaved bat. 

pabaseballdad posted:
piaa_ump posted:

I have seen shaved and rolled bats and to the naked eye they do not seem to show any outward appearance of being altered. I would not have known they were altered except for the fact that I was told beforehand.  

I have been fortunate enough to work the PONY World Series where the tourney staff requires each team to present each bat to be used in the WS to be weighed. Each bat is weighed and compared against a chart of verified weights by model and manufacturer. 

If it is found to be underweight it is banned from the field. If it passes weight requirements, a small sticker is affixed to the bat just above the handle. Any player that uses a bat without the sticker is out and ejected.  

Problem with your solution here is that some of these "companies" are machining out the ring within the bat that reduces the coefficient of restitution, then adding weight to the bat in a different area- so the end result is that the bat weighs the same.  So your process probably wouldn't pick it up.    Essentially they are turning a bbcor bat into one of the pre bbcor standard bats.   

 

I know the weights approved are down to the critical fractions, so they would have to be highly precise in matching the weight.  Also I believe the examination includes weighing on a common balance point. 

edcoach posted:

My son's 2017 Rawlings Quatro is a 33-30.  We weighed it the other day and its actually 31.5 oz.  We called the company and they said that is within specs....sound right to anyone?

The bats are originally weighed without the gripping.

RJM posted:
edcoach posted:

My son's 2017 Rawlings Quatro is a 33-30.  We weighed it the other day and its actually 31.5 oz.  We called the company and they said that is within specs....sound right to anyone?

The bats are originally weighed without the gripping.

Next thing you know the big tournaments will be sort of like a boxing match.  Teams will have to submit grip-free bats for weigh-in and then regrip and have the umpire initial.  Maybe they could charge a bat certification fee of $10 (sort of like parking at Lakepoint  .

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