The Can-Am League has led the charge in baseball rule changes recently, initiating the international tiebreaker rule in 2016. Now, the league has made more changes to playing rules in an effort to speed up the game.
“We think these will significantly help in the pace of the game and we look forward to seeing them in action,” Miles Wolff, commissioner of the Can-Am League, said after announcing the new rules.
The speed up rules will include timers, and a fourth umpire located in the press box of all Can-Am League stadiums.
Here is a snapshot of the new rules, with the most important portions of the rules highlighted.
CAN-AM LEAGUE SPEED UP RULES
- An umpire shall be positioned in the press box or another appropriate space near the ball/strike indicator. He will be equipped with a buzzer, an air horn, or an alternative signaling device.
- A visit to the mound will be limited to 30 seconds.
- A pitcher must deliver a pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. Failure to comply will result in an automatic ball.
- Between innings, time will start once the last fielder crosses the foul line closest to their team’s dugout. From that point, the team taking the field will have 90 seconds to warm up.
- A new pitcher will be allowed two minutes to warm up.
- One catcher’s visit to the mound per inning per pitcher.
- A batter must enter the batter’s box within 15 seconds of the prior batter’s completed at bat. If he does not, a buzzer will sound and a strike will be added to the count.
- A batter may not step out of the batter’s box once the at-bat has begun (Official Baseball Rule 5.04 (4)(A)). The batter must keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times. Failure to comply will result in an automatic strike.
- If a manager wants to intentionally walk a batter, he will signal such a call to the plate umpire.