Has College Baseball Deadened Offense Too Much? And is it Helping Northern Teams?
In 2010 college baseball rules officials reduced barrel size, banned composite bats and adopted a new standard to address concerns about pitcher safety, out-of-control scoring and lengthy game times. The standard is known as B.B.C.O.R, for Batted Ball Coefficient of Resolution, a formula measuring the speed of a ball off the bat.
College teams averaged 6.98 runs and .94 home runs a game in 2010 before the new standard was adopted, according to the N.C.A.A. Figures as of March 31 this season (the most recent available), showed a drop to 5.25 runs and .37 homers. Teams are averaging twice as many sacrifices (.74) as home runs. And team batting fell to .270, which, if it stands, will be the lowest since 1973, the last year collegians swung wooden bats.
Indiana's manager Trey Smith believes that these changes have assisted fundamentally sound northern teams compete against those from the South. The talk, however, is of having college baseball switch to the livlier ball used in the minor leagues.