MLB to test new rules designed to shorten game times

Tick tick tick
The clock is ticking on the length of Major League Baseball games.

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday six new rules they will use during the Arizona Fall League, all designed to speed up the pace of play and shorten games. The average game time this season was 3 hours, 2 minutes. In 1981, it was 2 hours, 33 minutes.

The six rules:

Batter’s box rule: Hitter required to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout at-bat unless there is foul ball, wild pitch or passed ball -- or if a pitch forces him out or the umpire grants “time.”

No-pitch intentional walks: If a team decides to intentionally walk a batter, no pitches will be thrown. Instead, the manager will signal to the home plate umpire and the batter will take first base.


20-second rule: 20-second clock will be posted in each dugout, behind home plate and in outfield to prevent pitchers from taking too much time in games at Salt River Fields only.

2:05 inning-break clock: Maximum time allowed between innings, and batters must be in box at 1:45 mark or umpire can call automatic strike. If pitcher throws pitch after 2:05, umpire may call ball.

2:30 pitching-change-break clock: Maximum amount of time allowed for pitching change.

Three “timeout” limit: Teams limited to three trips to the mound by managers, coaches and catchers during game, except pitching changes.


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