The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council voted 12-5 on Thursday to allow the use of aluminum bats in regular-season games next year. The MIAC is the rule making body of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The vote, which struck down the “wood only” rule imposed by the MIAA in October, will not affect the ban on aluminum for the state’s postseason tournament that starts Thursday.
The panel is expected to take up the issue in the fall regarding 2004 post-season restrictions.

At issue was safety, with aluminum bat opponents contending the bats lead to increase risk of injury due to the increase in ball velocity associated with the aluminum product. Opponents to the ban cite increased cost associated with wood bat replacement and lack of clear evidence of increased injuries.

Easton Sports said that the proposed rule change was raised in response to “anecdotal and unfounded claims by a small group of people”.

Ultimately, the player should make the choice about which to use, said Peter Rubens of Worth.

In a separate matter, the MIAC also voted 14 to 3 to reject a proposal that called for a ban on boys participating on any girls teams that involved contact sports. The group has become a bit gun-shy after the state’s high court struck down similar gender rules in the past.