National Federation of State High School Associations

Wood bat or metal? New youth baseball rule tries to settle the debate. But it's expensive.

Wood bat or metal? New youth baseball rule tries to settle the debate. But it's expensive.

For Cal Ripken Jr., the resounding crack of a wooden bat striking a baseball in the sweet spot was the sound of spring — much more satisfying than the “ping” or “bink” heard when a youth player with an aluminum bat makes contact.

“I was from a baseball family, and I thought wood was what you were supposed to use,” the Hall of Famer says. But Ripken concedes that more powerful aluminum bats have a lighter feel and can be easier for young players to swing.

Like coaches and parents around the country, the Orioles icon is “a little torn” over which is better for kids.

It’s a baseball debate as old as the designated hitter: wood or metal? Now the amateur game’s governing body...

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