Thread: NSA Ruling?
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Old Sat Jan 05, 2008, 11:21am
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Originally Posted by BlitzkriegBob
I don't do NSA, but I know they have their rule book online. The preamble to Rule 3 states:

"An altered bat is considered altered when the physical structure of the legal bat has been changed in any way, or when an illegal or non approved bat has been made up in such a way as to appear to be a legal bat. Examples of altering a bat are, but not limited to the following: Painting a bat, replacing the handle, or shaving the handle or barrel or the taper changed in any way. Such as by sandpapering or applying a solvent to the surface such as fingernail polish remover or by any other means. Removing or replacing the plug or changed in any way other than factory repairs. Had the knob removed/ replaced or changed in any way or had anything removed or added to the inside or outside of the bat other than the legal way to tape the bat the specified and appropriate place as described in the NSA Rule Book."

I would consider a heated bat to be altered IMO.
Why I agree that a heated bat should be considered altered, I don't know if NSA's wording goes far enough. The note above specifically states the "physical" structure being changed.

Obviously, everyone knows I'm ASA and they mention the characteristics of the bat changing. What I'm saying here is that the physical structure doesn't actually change by heating the bat, but reacts in a different manner when contacting the ball WHILE heated.

Last year I had a conversation with Dr. Lloyd Smith in Colorado Springs about "heating" the bat. If you don't know, he is the man who is charged with ASA's tests and standards out of Washington State Univ.

He told me that a heated bat would react differently (more flex) when hitting the ball. However, he also noted that presently, bats cannot sustain any additional applied heat once exposed to the air. IOW, unless the batter swings at a pitch immediately upon removal from the heated bat wrap, there is no affect on the effect of the collision between bat and ball.

However, don't look for anyone to change their rule anytime soon. Technology rarely stands still or moves in reverse and you just never know when someone will figure out a way to make heating a bat actually help their hitting.
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