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BASEBALL/Taiwan's pro baseball league tweaks rules to speed up games

01/10/2024 07:15 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) on Wednesday said it had tentatively approved an expanded pitch clock and other measures to speed up the pace of play and shorten games in its 2024 season.

The rule changes, agreed on during a meeting of CPBL officials and the general managers of the league's six teams, were announced later that day by CPBL Secretary-General Yang Ching-lung (楊清瓏).

They still must be put to a final vote before the league's managers (head coaches) in order to become official, Yang said.

In addition to the 20-second pitch timer with the bases empty the league instituted last year, Yang said, from 2024, there will also be a 25-second timer between pitches when there is a runner on base.

The updated rules will also limit the number of pickoff attempts or steps off the rubber a pitcher can make to three for each plate appearance by a batter, according to Yang.

In terms of penalties, when the pitcher does not begin to deliver the pitch before the pitch timer expires, they will be charged with an automatic ball.

Likewise, if the batter fails to step into the box before the pitch timer reaches the 8-second mark, or if the catcher fails to crouch in place by the 9-second mark, an automatic strike or ball, respectively, will be assessed.

Yang said the league GMs have decided to maintain the existing 12-inning limit for games that go into extra innings, at which point a tie is declared.

From next season, however, a runner will also be placed on second base to begin the 10th inning, and in every subsequent inning after that, to increase teams' chances of scoring, he said.

The CPBL's 2024 regular season will kick off on March 30 and run through the end of September. The postseason is scheduled to begin on Oct. 12.

(By Yang Chi-fang and Matthew Mazzetta)

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