Anyways, starting next season all bats have to fall within certain regulations that pretty much make them the equivalent of wooden bats. Should be interesting.
"It's going to change college baseball," Bianco (Ole Miss' head coach) said. "No doubt about it. I haven't spoken to anybody that says they like them. I don't mean just players, I mean other coaches. But that is the bat that will go into effect this spring? It is what it is."
The Rebels have a lucrative bat contract with Easton, and the prominent baseball supplier sent Ole Miss several bats certified by the new standard prior to the start of fall practice.
According to Bianco, the new bats produce noticeably less punch. And he has evidence.
"We've got some days of batting practice that no home runs are hit," Bianco said.
Attempting to understand the new testing system can quickly become a convoluted mess of acronyms and equations.
After the 1998 College World Series, when 35 runs were scored in the title game and 62 home runs were hit in 14 tournament games, NCAA baseball began steps to adopt a testing standard called BESR (ball exit speed ratio). BESR testing introduced bats that were heavier than previous standards and had smaller barrels. Also, BESR measured the exit speed of baseballs after bat contact using a controlled scenario.
The test was supposed to make bats extremely similar to wood bats in "liveliness," but many critics of the testing see the format as flawed. BESR certification requires a maximum baseball exit speed of 97 miles per hour (the same as top-of-the-line wood bats), but that measurement is determined using a 70 mph pitch, a 34-inch, 31-ounce bat and a 66 mph swing speed - much slower than any live scenario at the collegiate level.
Also, aluminum bats are hollow, meaning properties other than weight and length contribute to the power produced. Aluminum bats compress upon impact, resulting in a "trampoline effect" that adds distance and speed to the baseballs when hit.
Thus, a new testing system will begin Jan. 1, 2011, -- BBCOR (ball-bat coefficient of restitution).
This method doesn't measure exit speeds, but rather what the bat and the ball do upon impact. The "trampoline effect is minimized, and BBCOR- certified aluminum bats and wood bats of the same size should act in extremely similar manners - even over time.