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ASA Announces Banned Bats

The Amateur Softball Association has announced that bats of the following models are no longer allowed in ASA Championship Play unless they contain the ASA recertification mark:

DeMarini B-52
DeMarini Doublewall Classic
DeMarini Doublewall Distance
DeMarini Fatboy
Easton STS4
Tri-Shell ConneXion
Louisville Slugger SB103 (a.k.a. Genesis)
Miken Velocit-E Ultra (Balanced)
Miken Velocit-E Ultra (Maxload)
Steele's Triple XXX
Worth 3DX**
Worth EST5
Worth EST23
Worth ESTL
Worth PST (a.k.a. PST 137)
Worth SSEST Last updated September 4, 2002. ** indicates those bat models authorized to bear the ASA recertification mark. Please visit the respective manufacturerÃŒs website for details on their ASA-approved retrofit procedure for these bat models.

The above list includes bats that were banned in a July announcement, as well as eight bats recently added to the list.

Click here for the complete ASA release and a copy of the ASA recertification mark. (Adobe Acrobat required.)

For more information, go to the ASA Certified Equipment page.

ASA Bat Certification Program FAQ's

Q: Why did ASA start banning bats in the middle of the season?
A: ASA has the right under its standard contract with participating bat manufacturers to conduct periodic and random audits of certified bats throughout the year for the purpose of verifying compliance with the ASA Bat Performance Standard. Once ASA determines that a particular bat model does not comply with that standard, ASA has the right under that contract with the participating manufacturer to immediately withdraw that bat model from ASA Championship Play until further notice.

Q: The bat I own has the ASA certification mark on it. Why was it banned?
A: When a participating manufacturer designs a new bat model, one or more samples are submitted for testing to determine if the model satisfies the ASA Bat Performance Standard. Periodic random testing is then conducted to verify compliance. These provisions are part of the standard contract with participating bat manufacturers, which also provides that noncomplying bats will be immediately withdrawn from ASA Championship Play until further notice. In mid-2002, ASA learned that one cause for some (but not all) bat models falling out of compliance is that the manufacturer made a design change to the bat after it was initially certified, but failed to verify that the new design complied with the ASA standard.

Q: Who should I contact for a refund or get my questions answered regarding the bat that was recently banned?
A: ASA's standard contract says that a manufacturer of a noncomplying bat has 30 days (or more under certain circumstances) to announce any possible method to cure the problem. At that time, the manufacturer will provide specific instructions (including on their website) for how a noncomplying bat should be turned in for appropriate treatment. If the noncompliance cannot be cured, the manufacturer's only other options are to appeal the finding of noncompliance or to conduct a recall of the product. Regardless of the circumstance, the respective manufacturer is the proper party to be contacted.

Q: Can I use my bat in my local leagues?
A: It depends on whether your local league has adopted the ASA Playing Rules. Technically, ASA Playing Rules and announcements regarding noncomplying bats only apply to ASA Championship Play. But because many local leagues adopt the ASA Playing Rules for their non-championship play, you need to contact your local league directly.

Q: What is ASA Championship Play?
A: Championship Play is a tournament or competition from which the winner or the winner and other selected teams may advance to higher levels of ASA play. For more information, see Article 508, Levels of Championship Play of the ASA Code, which can be found by visiting the "About ASA" section of www.asasoftball.com.

Q: Will more bats be banned by the ASA?
A: ASA has made announcements on July 31, 2002, and August 29, 2002, withdrawing bats from ASA Championship Play until further notice. If manufacturers are found to have made and sold more bat models that do not comply with the ASA Bat Performance Standard, ASA will likely have no other alterative than to issue further announcements.

Q: Where can I find a list of approved bats?
A: The "Certified Equipment" section of the ASA Website, www.asasoftball.com, contains a list of all approved bats as well as a list of all noncomplying bats.

Q: Can you please send me a list of bats that have been retested by ASA so I know what bats to purchase for next season?
A: During ASA's random compliance testing, it is true that some bat models are found in compliance as expected. However, ASA does not keep such a list. In addition, ASA intends to apply the same rules and standards to all manufacturers, and publicizing a list of those bat models could possibly give one manufacturer an unfair competitive advantage over another manufacturer just because certain bat models were randomly selected for testing and others were not. A manufacturer could also read (incorrectly) that list to mean that a model on that list will not be subject to testing again for a time period, redesign the model without verifying compliance, and create a noncompliance situation that ASA would like to avoid.

Q: I've heard the ASA is going to be retesting the banned bats and will be reconsidering their decision. Is this true?
A: Once a bat model is withdrawn from ASA Championship Play, the only testing done is the manufacturer's testing of possible redesigned bats to try to cure the problem. Before ASA makes any announcement on a bat model, precautionary measures are taken to make sure the test results are sound and that no reconsideration is necessary. For example, two separate rounds of testing are done on each bat model before any public announcement is made, and each of those rounds involves different samples of that particular model.

Q: What has the ASA done to protect the players from the manufacturers who were evidently making illegal products?
A: The contracts between ASA and the manufacturers specifically state that ASA can conduct random compliance testing, and ASA has repeatedly exercised that right. Once it is determined that a manufacturer's bat for some reason no longer complies with the ASA Bat Performance Standard, immediate action is taken. Although some disruption in the field may result from such quick action, ASA's intent is to look out for the best interests of the players of our great sport.

Q: I've heard some manufacturers of banned bats talking about fixing the bats so that they comply with the ASA Bat Performance Standard and putting an ASA recertification mark on them. Can you confirm this?
A: When a bat model containing the ASA 2000 certification mark is found out of compliance with the ASA Bat Performance Standard, the manufacturer has the option to cure the problem subject to ASA's approval of the cure method. Once ASA approves the cure method, the manufacturer will cure the problem and cause the noncomplying bat models to come into compliance. Those retrofitted bats will then be authorized to bear the ASA recertification mark, which is shown on the "ASA Banned Bats" link in the "Certified Equipment" section of the ASA Website, www.asasoftball.com.

Q: I have an older version of one of the models the ASA has banned. Does the ASA announcement apply to my bat even though it doesn't bear the ASA 2000 certification mark? 
A: Yes. The ASA announcement applies to all bats of the models that have been withdrawn from ASA Championship play, regardless of when the bat was manufactured (i.e. a 1998 version), and regardless of whether the bat bears the ASA 2000 certification mark. There is no practical way for an umpire or tournament official to tell the difference between bats of the same model based solely on graphic changes. Any bat of a model withdrawn from ASA Championship play must be retrofitted and contain the ASA recertification mark before it will be authorized for use again in ASA Championship play. Please visit the respective manufacturer's website for details on their ASA-approved retrofit procedure for these bats.