Before the 2011 NCAA baseball season, league administrators changed regulations and required players to use only bats that met BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) certification. These bats are designed to make impact with a baseball similar to the way that a wooden bat does. The theory behind the rule change was that it would make the game safer without requiring players to abruptly adjust to using wooden bats and being faced with the costs of frequently replacing broken bats.
This year, the National Federation of State High Schools adapted the same rule. While offensive numbers at the collegiate level were lower than they had been in decades after the rule change, many high school coaches are wondering how it will affect their players.
Sheehan High School baseball coach Matt Altieri told the New Haven Register that he doesn't think decorated hitters will have any trouble adjusting to the new bats, but average batters will record more outs. He also pointed out that defense is a much bigger priority now because with only seven innings and less potent offensive weapons, every run is crucial.
"In my mind set, I'm going to have a tendency to wheel guys around like a wooden bat-type game," Bunnell High School baseball coach Scott Szturma told the source. "That's how I've approached the preseason. Be more aggressive on the bases because you may not get as many opportunities like a wooden bat game, essentially."
High school coaches will likely be more inclined to play small ball, which means that defensive players should be more alert and focus on their fundamentals in practice.