http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20070415/hl_hsn/ondeckashowdownovermetalbats SUNDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Many baseball players, coaches and fans are convinced that bats made of aluminum or other metals outperform traditional wooden bats, sending balls screaming out of the park. But do these hi-tech bats work so well that they pose a health hazard, crushing balls with such force that they can become lethal projectiles? New York City believes so. Its City Council last month passed a ban against bats made from metal for use in high school games, with enough votes to defeat a veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Other governments, large and small, across the country are considering similar measures during April, National Youth Sports Safety Month. "The kids don't have a second to react to those balls anymore," said Debbie Patch, of Miles City, Mont., who testified before the New York City Council about the death of her 18-year-old son, Brandon, a pitcher who was struck in the head by a ball hit by a metal bat. "The companies promote it that way. They promote it as, 'Choose your weapon,' and that's what they are." But, the co-author of one of the studies cited to argue the deadly potential of metal bats says New York City may have acted in haste. "To my knowledge, there are no published, peer-reviewed articles that show there is an increased incidence of injury from the use of aluminum bats," said Richard M. Greenwald, executive director of the National Institute for Sports Science and Safety, and an adjunct associate professor of engineering at Dartmouth College. A 2002 study co-written by Greenwald found that some metal bats can significantly outperform wood bats, mainly due to increases in swing speeds and the elasticity of the metal. The hollow metal bats can be swung faster. Also, the bats flex when a ball strikes them, denting inward and creating a "trampoline effect" that bounces the ball off at a greater velocity, the study found. That study was part of the evidence the New York City Council used to make its decision. But Greenwald believes the lawmakers were off-base. Greenwald said the research had been intended to show that lab tests of baseball bats could serve as a good indicator of how bats would perform on the field. Although the study did find that metal bats performed better, nothing in the research indicated they performed so well that they could be lethal. "If they're talking about regulating the game from a safety perspective, then it seems logical that they would identify a safety issue first," Greenwald said. "We just need to see peer-reviewed published data that says there's a problem." Bat manufacturers are resisting efforts to ban aluminum bats, which were introduced more than 30 years ago, largely because they are far more durable than wooden bats, making them a cost-effective alternative. Since then, many players and coaches have come to believe the metal bats are superior to wooden ones. The bat makers say they use research like Greenwald's to make all bats -- whether metal or wood -- perform to a single standard. "All bats must perform at a standard ball-exit speed ratio," said Andrea Cernich, a spokeswoman for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, a trade group. "Basically, it's a standard on how fast a ball can come off a bat, either wood or not wood. The manufacturers develop products based on those standards." "We believe today's products are safe," Cernich added. "That's because leagues have taken a lot of interest in creating safety guidelines." Some states considering or undertaking a ban on metal bats include: New Jersey, where a state Assembly committee voted last October to move forward with a bill banning metal and metal-composite bats from league and school baseball games involving children younger than 17. The bill has not yet been considered by the full state legislature. North Dakota, where the state High School Activities Association has banned any bats not made of wood, starting this spring. Massachusetts, which has considered a ban for several years but never has passed one. In addition, conferences and leagues like the New York Collegiate Baseball League and the Great Lakes Valley Conference have stopped using metal bats. And the Cape Cod League, which attracts some of the top collegiate players each summer, banned metal bats back in 1983. Bans have been sought with the urging of parents like Patch, whose children have been hurt or killed by balls hit off metal bats. Patch's son was pitching in a high school game in July 2003, when a batter using a metal bat hit a line drive straight at him. "Nobody saw it even hit him until he was on the ground, and the ball was in the air, Patch recalled. "You didn't even see the ball until it was caught by the first baseman." Her son was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Great Falls, but he died about five hours later from internal trauma. "It totally crushed him," she said. "There were not a lot of injuries on the outside. It was all internal." Patch noted that Major League Baseball only allows the use of wood bats. "How many major league players have you seen killed on the field? I don't know of one," she said. Now High Schools use of Non Wood bats is covered under the FED rules, and it states that the bat can be a non-wood bat, but it must meet certain standards with the BESR or Bat Exit Speed Ratio, and that it must be no bigger than a -3. The reason Aluminum Bats became so popular was the cost. But now with the cost of these things costing as much as $350.00 a bat, and if you have one dent in that bat, it is now considered to be a non legal bat. The Cost of a Wood bat at $50.00 is now the bargain, but where are you going to come up with that amount of "Good" Wood?