By Marty Maciaszek
NSGA Director Team Dealer Division
Updated as of January 23, 2024
DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (December 14, 2023) – The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) conducted its annual check of rule changes for 2024 with sports organizations throughout the country. Here are some of the important rule changes reported to NSGA as of December 14, 2023:
National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF)
The NABF will allow the use of metal bats at the 16U, 17U and 18U levels and the bats must be minus-3 BBCOR. Only wood bats were previously allowed at these age levels. The NABF hosts more than 50 regional tournaments and eight national championship tournaments throughout the year.
Diamond Youth Baseball and Softball
Diamond Youth Baseball (DYB) and Diamond Youth Softball (DYS) is the re-brand of Dixie Youth Baseball, which was established in 1955. DYB is 12U and DYS, which was created as a result of requests for a companion softball organization, is 18U. DYB and DYS have teams in 11 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Floriday, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
DYB has a working relationship with Dixie Boys/Majors Baseball but Dixie Softball is a separate entity from DYB/DYS.
Approved 2024 11-inch and 12-inch softball manufacturers are Diamond Sports as of November 30, 2023. Diamond Sports will also be the official softball for all Dixie Softball Tournaments. Approved 2024 bat manufacturers are DeMarini, Louisville Slugger and Mizuno. As other softball and bat manufacturers are approved they will be posted on the official Dixie Softball website at www.dixiegirlsoftball.org and the Dixie Softball, Inc., Facebook page.
The eligibility age cutoff date for each season has been changed to January 1 from May 1. Dixie Softball is played in 10 states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia).
Babe Ruth Baseball
For the 2024 season, Babe Ruth Baseball will start the transition from the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 Division to the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-16 Division. This adjustment will offer players new challenges and opportunities for growth, according to Steven Tellefsen, Babe Ruth League President & CEO. The official tournament trail for the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-16 and 16-18 divisions looks promising and will ensure that our players have a wide range of competitive experiences, Tellefsen said.
The official tournament trail for the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-16 Division and the Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division will be as follows:
- 13-Year-Old tournaments (District, State, Regional and World Series)
- 14-Year-Old tournaments (District, State, Regional and World Series)
- 13–16-Year-Old tournaments (District, State, Regional and World Series)
- 16–18-Year-Old tournaments (District, State, Regional and World Series)
These changes are effective January 1, 2024:
Rule 3, Section 6 Exception: Uniforms are required to be similar in color with a number for Men’s D and E/Rec Slow Pitch, Women’s Open, C, D and E/Rec Slow Pitch and Coed C, D and E/Rec Slow Pitch. The previous requirement was matching shirts and Women’s and Coed E/Rec were added.
Rule 3, Section 6A (2): Ball caps, visors and head/sweat bands, both pullover and tied, are optional for players. If worn, they may be mixed and must be worn properly. Colors to include black, white, gray, beige, pink or team colors. The colors may be mixed and are not required to be the same for all team members. Handkerchiefs do not qualify as headwear and cannot be worn around the head or neck. Plastic visors are not allowed. This clarifies head/sweat band, pullover or tied, are an option and it also adds pink as an approved color.
Little League Baseball & Softball
Little League is launching its “Girls With Game 50” campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of girls involvement in Little League Baseball and Softball. There will be a year-long celebration that will include the 50th anniversary of the Little League Softball World Series on Aug. 4-11 in Greenville, North Carolina.
Open water wetsuit rules were amended and only swimsuits complying with World Aquatics Open Water swimsuit specifications may be worn in any USA Swimming sanctioned or approved open-water competition. World Aquatics is the organization formerly known as FINA.
Any coach who is coaching a base must be 18 years of age or wear a protective helmet.
NOTE: This story will be updated as more information is provided to NSGA.
TopicsNABF National Amateur Baseball Foundation Dixie Girls Softball Babe Ruth Baseball Softball Baseball NSGA