Beginning in January, high school baseball teams in California will berequired to use new safety-tested metal bats.
The new requirements were prompted by a 16 year old California pitcher whosuffered a major head injury in the spring when he was hit by a line drive froma metal bat. He was in a coma for several weeks following the accident, andplans to return to baseball this spring. After the accident, Jared Huffman, amember of the California Assembly, proposed a two year moratorium on allnon-wooden bats for high school baseball teams. Huffman postponed the billwhile he worked on safety changes with the California InterscholasticFederation.
This week, the CIF, which sets rules in California for high school sports, announcednew rules governing bats. New safety standards will be required for all metalbats. The bats will be tested to limit the speed of balls they hit. The batsmay include a decal that will change color if the bat is tampered with,although the technology is not yet available to make the decals. Nationalstandards for metal bats will take effect in 2012.
The CIF will also encourage high schools to require headgearfor its athletes.