What is the BESR Certification?
According to the National Federation of State High
School Associations (www.nfhs.org)
the BESR Certification can be explained in the
In Rule 1-3-5, the Baseball Rules Committee
addressed the altering of bats and incorporated the
Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) performance standard
language into the body of the rule.
The requirement of the BESR certification mark on
all non-wood bats, which originally was approved by
the committee in 2001, took effect in high school
baseball January 1, 2003. The BESR mark denotes that
non-wood bats have a maximum exit speed of 97 miles
per hour (under a set of laboratory conditions) and
they have met moment-of-inertia requirements, as
well as a maximum diameter of the bat and a minus-3
differential between the length and weight of the
bat. The rule now states that bats may either be
wood or non-wood, rather than listing various
compositions of non-wood bats.
Although the rule requires non-wood bats to be
labeled with a silk screen or other permanent
certification mark, in some cases manufacturers have
used a label, sticker or decal to denote BESR
certification. However, effective January 1, 2006,
no BESR label, sticker or decal will be permitted on
any non-wood bat.
How does a bat become BESR Certified?
Each bat must pass testing in the Baseball Research
Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (http://m-5.uml.edu/umlbrc/).
The Baseball Research Center serves as the official
certification center for all baseball bats used for
NCAA and NHFS.
What are the specific rules for Adult Baseball bats?
According to the 2007 NFHS Baseball Rules Book the
following rules pertain to the use of bats for high
school and college play.
bat which may be wood or non-wood product shall be a
smooth cylinder implement with a knob that is
permanently and securely fastened. All non-wood bat
shall meet the Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR)
performance standard, and such bats be labeled with
a silk screen or other permanent certification
mark. No BESR label, sticker or decal will be
accepted on any non-wood bats. There shall be no
devices, attachments or wrappings that cause the
handle to become flush with the knob. Molded grips
wood bat may be roughened or wound with tape not
more than 18 inches from the handle end of the bat.
No foreign substance may be added to the surface of
the bay beyond 18 inches for the end of the handle.
Each bat shall be:
diameter at thickest part: (wood) 2 3/4 inches or
diameter at thickest part: (non-wood) 2 5/8 inches
length: 36 inches or less
weight: A bat shall not weight, numerically, more
than three ounces less than the weight of the bat
(e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot be less than 30
How does BESR Certification differ from Major League
According to Major League Baseball and the Official
Rules. The following explains the rules required
for a Major League Baseball bat.
Under 1.00 Objectives of the Game, Rule 1.10:
The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not
more than 2 3/4 inches in diameter at the thickest
part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat
shall be one piece of solid wood.
NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be
used in a professional game (either championship
season or exhibition games) until the manufacture
has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his
design and methods of manufacture.
Cupped Bats. An indentation in the end of
the bat up to one inch in depth is permitted and may
be no wider than two inches and no less than one
inch in diameter. The indentation must be curved
with no foreign substances added.
The bat handle, for not more than 18 inches
from its end, may be covered or treated with any
material or substance to improve the grip. Any such
material or substance, which extends past the 18
inch limitation, shall cause the bat to be removed
from the game
NOTE: If the umpire discovers that the bat does not
conform to c) above until a time during or after
which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be
grounds for declaring the batter out, or ejected
from the game.
No colored bat may be used in a professional
game unless approved by the Rules Committee.
How was the University of Massachusetts Lowell
selected for the Baseball Research Center?
program was found in 1998 by MLB and Rawlings. The
purpose was to establish an independent lab for
completing science and engineering research as it
applies to MLB. Then in September 1999 the NCAA
took notice of the work being done and begins to
work with the lab in cooperation. The NCAA was
looking to establish bat performance standards.
Currently the Baseball Research Center does all the
testing for the BESR Certification for all
Read more information regarding the
History of the Baseball Research Center.