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Two CPBL adjusted rules take effect from May 28

05/21/2024 06:45 PM
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The Rakuten Taoyuan Baseball Stadium. CNA file photo
The Rakuten Taoyuan Baseball Stadium. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) announced Monday that it has made changes to two rules, which will take effect starting May 28.

One of the two changes would no longer allow a defender to block home plate without having the ball, similar to the rule in Major League Baseball, while the other would allow teams to retain challenges if successful, the league said in a statement.

The changes came after a meeting of the league's managers. Only the managers of the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, Rakuten Monkeys, and CTBC Brothers attended the meeting in person, while the other three teams had their coaches participate.

On the rule on blocking the plate, the previous version allowed a defender to stand between the baserunner and the plate when it was considered necessary by the umpire for that player to catch the ball.

The issue was highlighted following a collision between TSG Hawks' catcher Jhang Jhao-yuan (張肇元) and Rakuten Monkeys' Ma Chieh-sen (馬傑森) in the bottom of the sixth inning of a game on May 14 in which Jhang tagged Ma out.

Monkeys manager Yoshinori Kawada challenged the call, arguing that Jhang blocked Ma's path to home plate well before he caught the ball, but the umpire upheld the ruling with the help of the instant replay system.

On the other rule, the CPBL decided to follow Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Japan's pro baseball league, in allowing each team to challenge two calls during the first nine innings and to make additional challenges if an original challenge was successful.

Audience members watch a Rakuten Monkeys game in this CNA file photo
Audience members watch a Rakuten Monkeys game in this CNA file photo

In the eighth and ninth innings, umpires can also proactively resort to the instant replay system if necessary, according to the new rules.

In extra innings, each team can challenge a call only once but can keep their challenge if successful, Yang Ching-lung (楊清瓏), CPBL secretary-general, was quoted as saying in the statement.

At present, a team can only challenge twice at most during the first nine innings, regardless of whether they succeed or not, and once in the extra innings, no matter how many challenges they leave in the first nine innings.

The last time the CPBL adjusted its rules during a season was in 2023, when the league updated the situations in which a team can challenge calls and in which umpires can actively use the instant replay system.

(By Hsieh Ching-wen and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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