Millions of kids throughout the United States will participate in youth baseball programs this summer. For decades, the use of aluminum bats has been commonplace. However, there has been recent debate in a number of states to prohibit the use of Aluminum bats by children.
Last year, the Illinois Legislature debated over a bill that would make it illegal for parents, teachers or coaches to allow a child under the age of 13 years old to use aluminum bats. Proponents of this legislation, which has already been passed in New York City and North Dakota, argue that balls batted from aluminum bats travel faster than those from wooden ones and, that the sweet spot in an aluminum bat is bigger than a wooden one. A 2002 study showed that balls from aluminum bats traveled on average nearly 8 mph faster than those from wood bats. Little League pitchers, who stand only 42-46 feet away from home plate, are the most vulnerable.
There have been a number of personal injury lawsuits filed against manufacturers on behalf of those that have been injured by aluminum bats. The most notable of these cases involves Brandon Patch, who was an 18-year-old pitcher who was killed by a line drive hit from an aluminum bat in 2003. In 2009, a Montana court found that the manufacturer failed to warn of the danger that its bat posed and awarded his family $850,000.00 in damages.