What if there is a bubble in my gauge or dial?
Every gauge has a small air bubble. This is completely normal. It will not affect the performance of the test. The size of the bubble may vary based on environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc). See photo below of a normal/average size air bubble.
How do I distinguish between aluminum and composite barrel bats?
The focus should be the material in the barrel of the bat, not the taper/handle. Note: a metal bat can have a composite taper or handle. This would still be a "metal" bat since you are testing the barrel of the bat. Typically the barrel material is listed on the bat. However, you can also check http://www.mme.wsu-ssl.org/certifiedbaseballbats.aspx. Once on the page, search for your bat model number and then look to the columns on the right to see it's barrel material.
What is the small foam pad (approx. 1 inch thick) for?
This is to help align the bat in the fixture. It can be used to prop the knob of the bat up to make horizontal with the fixture. You can use the foam, a book, a notepad, etc. The goal is keep the bat aligned and approximately level.
What if I get a passing and failing result for my two compression tests on one bat?
You will compress the bat a third time at a different location and if a passing result is achieved, the bat passes. If a failing result is achieved, then the bat fails.
Where should the certified bat sticker be placed?
Place the sticker in the taper of the bat just above the handle or near the BBCOR word mark. The goal is to place it in a location where the umpire can see it.
I can't get a preload because my bat barrel is too small and the silver anvils won’t touch the bat barrel.
Some bats have a long taper that extends into the barrel. In the unlikely case that this happens you should pull the bat out away from the stopper approximately one inch or until you begin to have contact with the silver anvils again. Then follow the compression test as normal.