What is a BBCOR Bat?




Over the past few years, there has been much talking and, well, complaining about the latest NCAA and NFHS bat certification deemed “Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution”, better known simply as “BBCOR”.  Officially since 1/1/11, the BBCOR standard has been a requirement for bats used in NCAA regular season and tournament play; a change from the previous, more responsive Bat Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) standard.  The thought behind the new standard and change is the desire to make non-wood bats perform closer to the wood material – which will require better skill from the players, reduce the exponentially increasing offensive (particularly home runs) statistics and keep the fielders safer, as the ball will come off the bat with less speed than the BESR days – about a 5% decrease in performance for those looking to put a number on it.


The Difference Between BBCOR and BESR

What is the difference between a BBCOR bat and a BESR bat?  Well, it comes down to the funky mathematics behind the testing.  The formula for BESR measures the speed of the ball as it comes off the bat, while the formula for BBCOR measures the loss of energy as the ball comes off the bat.


More simply put, instead of just measuring how fast the ball comes off the bat as BESR does, BBCOR will measure the “trampoline effect” of the barrel and how it plays into the exit speed of the ball.  The “bouncier” the trampoline effect, the faster the ball will come off the bat.


The trampoline effect is the flex and rebound of the walls of the barrel, which tends to be exaggerated with a thinner-barreled wall – which is possible to manufacture with non-wood materials.  Wood bats are solid the whole way through; otherwise they would flake and break.  Bats that are made of alloy or composite allow for a hollow barrel, in turn allowing the walls to flex and give little when the ball makes contact.  This prevents the ball from compressing against the bat and allows the walls to whip back to their original position, essentially flinging the ball off the bat – just as a trampoline does to a person when jumping.  Think of it this way, there is very little resistance from the human body when making contact with a trampoline’s surface.  The trampoline absorbs most of the impact and whips back to its original position.  This action applies to the walls of a non-wood bat in a similar way.


What About Wood Bats?

With wood bats, the ball compresses against the solid barrel of the bat and can only bounce off the bat with so much power.  The solid, less flexible barrel of a wood bat does not allow for the same amount of give as its non-wood opposition.  Instead of jumping off of a trampoline, now imagine jumping on a solid wood floor.  Sure, there is some flex, but now the body is absorbing most of the impact and generating the inertia off the floor.  The knees need to bend deeper and there is more labor into creating the energy to get up off the floor, little help coming from the floor itself.  To be an effective hitter with a wood bat, the batter needs to focus more on the mechanics, power and speed of the swing itself, since the bat will be doing less of the “work” for the batter.


By implementing the BBCOR of .500 or less standard, non-wood bats are now required to perform more like wood bats.  The trampoline effect is reduced and the bat is doing less work for the hitter, which means the batter must now provide most of the power against the ball than during the BESR days.


The standard has been set in motion for the NCAA, has also been adopted by the NFHS and does not seem to be changing in the near future.  When looking for a bat to use for high school or college, it is best to confirm that the bat carries the latest BBCOR .50 stamp.  You can do so on the website by checking the description or images for the term BBCOR or an image of the stamp itself.




BBCOR certification, in description


Curious as to what we have in stock?  Check out our full selection of BBCOR approved bats HERE.

Not sure which bat to purchase?  Try using our Buying Guide.

Need more info?  Contact our customer service department for more information!


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