The official word is this:
The 2 5/8 Drop 8 2017 Zen is no longer USSSA Certified. As well, the 2 3/4 Drop 10 2017 CF Zen has been removed from the USSSA certification. In response, DeMarini released retooled versions of the CF Zen in both a drop 8, 2 5/8 and drop 10, 2 3/4. Each has an orange end cap to identify it is a legal bat for play. There are other return options from DeMarini you can see below.
2017 Retooled CF Zen Review
We have hit with this bat in the cage and at a few different games among different players. It is definitely not the bat of old. That thing made tiny little kids look like rock stars. The retooled one is nice and performs like other bats in this age category should, but the fact it is dialed down from the old (illegal) one makes us a tiny bit disappointed. That is not to say the Retooled Zen is a bad bat. Indeed, we like it. Just note you won't be seeing the bombs that made this bat illegal. And, to boot, the bat weighs about an ounce more than it used to.
2017 CF ZEN Review Video
Options for 2 5/8 drop 8 or 2 3/4 drop 10 CF Zen Replacements
Send it back and get a full price voucher for the Wilson site. You can initiate this on DeMarini's site.
Use the bats for play in leagues in which it is still legal. Although the USSSA stamp is invalid, there are still a lot of leagues that do not require or enforce the stamp. If that is you, no harm no foul, carry on.
You can retool the Bat. Wilson/DeMarini is offering the process of retooling the bat. This option will work much like a warranty, and after you send the bat in, they will retool the exact bat, give it a new serial number and new stamp and ship it back to you. They will make it more like the drop 5 and drop 10 2 5/8's that are still legal.
This seems like the most obvious option. Simply buy a new bat and then send in the old one for a Wilson credit. Then, use the Wilson Credit for your 2018 bat or A2000, etc. It might be a little bit irritating to spend 2018 money sooner than anticipated, but it is likely the easiest way to get a bat soon.
The Drop 5 and Drop 10 2 5/8 Zen are Still USSSA legal.
Word spreads fast on the internet. So when DeMarini's 2 3/4 drop 10 CF Zen for 2017 was deemed illegal by USSSA on a Thursday night while we were enjoying some Spring Training games, our social media and email blew up with requests for information on what exactly that meant. Since we have now had time to get back in the saddle, much of the initial panic in the market has worn off. Still, we detail the information we have gathered about the CF Legal Drop 10 2 3/4 bat for the sake of interest and for the sake of those who bought this bat. Now what?
CF Zen Illegal Article Contents
CF Zen Illegal Sources
The initial source for all the hullabaloo http://www.demarini.com/en-us/cbz17-update">wasMarini's website. There, they claimed that the 2 3/4 CF Zen did not meet a preliminary audit requirement. As such, the bat was deemed illegal for use by USSSA. Since then, a few other publications have mentioned it, including major vendor websites. Additionally, major vendors have taken down the CF Zen 2 3/4 drop 10 as an option.
You may also find our http://www.justbatreviews.com/2017-demarini-cf-zen-review/">2017i CF Zen Review worth your time.
What CF Zen is Illegal?
The CF Zen line for 2017, as we mention in our http://www.justbatreviews.com/2017-demarini-cf-zen-review/">2017i CF Zen Review, is the 2nd largest line of bats in the world. It comes in a number of iterations including a BBCOR, 2 5/8 and 2 1/4 in addition to the 2 3/4. Within the 2 3/4 "big barrel" section, the bat comes in a drop 10 and drop 11. Do note, the drop 11 is considered a Junior Big Barrel and only comes in short sizes.
The 2 3/4 drop 10 Big Barrel version and the 2 5/8 Drop 8 of the CF Zen have been removed from the USSSA certification list. There are several sizes in each of these---including a CF Zero Dark Thirty that is included.
Here is DeMarini's Statement on the matter:
For the past two weeks we have worked closely with USSSA to complete its audit of the 2017 CF Zen -10 2 ¾” and the 2017 CF Zen -8 2 5/8”. Based on complete and final audit findings and our unwavering commitment to provide players with the best, compliant bats in the game today. DeMarini has concluded its youth baseball bat BPF audit for USSSA and the following bats have been officially withdrawn from USSSA baseball play as a result of that audit:
|SKU||NAME||Full SKU Name & Impacted Sizes|
|WTDXCBR 2129-17||2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 29"/21 oz||WTDXCBR 2129-17 - 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 29"/21 oz|
|WTDXCBR 2230-17||2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 30"/22 oz||WTDXCBR 2230-17 - 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 30"/22 oz|
|WTDXCBR 2331-17||2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 31"/23 oz||WTDXCBR 2331-17 - 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 31"/23 oz|
|WTDXCBR 2432-17||2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 32"/24 oz||WTDXCBR 2432-17 - 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) - 32"/24 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 1828-17||2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 28" /18 oz||WTDXCBZ 1828-17 - 2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 28" /18 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 1929-17||2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 29" /19 oz||WTDXCBZ 1929-17 - 2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 29" /19 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 2030-17||2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 30" /20 oz||WTDXCBZ 2030-17 - 2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 30" /20 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 2131-17||2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 31" /21 oz||WTDXCBZ 2131-17 - 2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 31" /21 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 2232-17||2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 32" /22 oz||WTDXCBZ 2232-17 - 2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4" (-10) - 32" /22 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 1929-17F1||2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4" (-10) - 29" /19 oz||WTDXCBZ 1929-17F1 - 2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4" (-10) - 29" /19 oz|
|WTDXCBZ 2030-17F1||2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4" (-10) - 30" /20 oz||WTDXCBZ 2030-17F1 - 2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4" (-10) - 30" /20 oz|
|WTDCCBZ17V||Custom 2017 CF Zen 2 3/4" (-10)||WTDCCBZ17V - Custom 2017 CF Zen 2 3/4" (-10)|
|WTDCCBR17V||Custom 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8)||WTDCCBR17V - Custom 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8)|
What To do with My CF ZEN 2 3/4 Drop 10?
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Currently, DeMarini is replacing the 2 3/4 drop 10 Zen with a voucher for $349 on their site. Despite the fact they may be out of a bat for a few days, this voucher is nothing short of a good thing. $349 on Wilson's website is money well spent.
They Don't Make Crappy Bats Illegal
http://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/JBB-Drop-11-CF-Zen-Image-1-300x35.png" alt="CF Zen Illegal?" width="300" height="35" />
Although the inability to produce the quality control on manufacturing to ensure bats maintain a certain degree of integrity is troublesome, the fact DeMarini made an illegal bat proves a couple of our working theories on this site.
- Bats do have different performances. Saying the BPF and BBCOR standard ensures every bat is the same doesn't jive with the fact that even the most notable companies in the space struggle to get it just up against the line. One bat is indeed better than another---some even too much so. They simply don't make crappy bats illegal.
- Aggregated player reviews are generally correct in terms of what bats are the hottest. We couldn't even count the number of times we have been told how hot the 2 3/4 Zen was. People loved that bat despite its durability's, which we covered extensively too.
Is the CF Zen Drop 10 2 3/4 Illegal in my league?
USSSA is the governing board for the 1.15 BPF stamp. As a 2 3/4 bat, this particular version of the Zen was only available for some leagues anyways. The question you need to solve is if the USSSA stamp certification is a requirement for the league you play in. If it is, then you should not be able to use that CF Zen in your league. We would suggest you start the voucher process sooner rather than later.
There are other leagues that simply don't care what kind of bat you use, especially when you get into the leagues where this bat is appropriate, like bats for 8, 9 and 10 year olds. But you will still need to determine if it is appropriate for a kid to be using the bat even if it is not "illegal" in the league you play. Our general advice is that $349 spent on Wilson's website is money well spent.