2019-2020 NCAA Rules Changes
2017-2018 NCAA Rules Changes
2015-2016 NCAA Rules Changes
NCAA Baseball Expansion of Video Replay Among Rule Changes
Aug 27, 2014
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rules change in baseball that allows umpires to conference in order to confirm or overturn an original call on whether a fielder caught a ball hit to the outfield.
Current NCAA baseball rules allow umpires to conference on certain close plays in order to get calls right. Catches in the outfield now have been added to that list of plays.
Panel members, who met via conference call Tuesday, also approved expanding the experimental video replay rule to include “catch” and “no catch” plays. Starting in 2015, conferences will also be able to request through the rules committee to use the experimental video replay rule in regular season games in addition to conference tournament games.
The video replay rule has been in effect at the Men’s College World Series since 2012 and is expected to last another two seasons. The “catch” or “no catch” scenarios will join the following plays that can be reviewed:
deciding if an apparent home run is fair or foul;
deciding whether a batted ball left the playing field for a home run or a ground-rule double;
spectator-interference plays (only on plays involving home run balls); and
deciding if a batted ball is fair or foul.
So far the replay rule has not been used at the MCWS.
Under the “catch” or “no catch” rule, if a play to the outfield originally is called a catch but is overturned by umpire conference or through video evidence, the play will be declared dead and the batter will be placed at first base. Each base runner will be advanced one base from the position occupied at the time of the pitch.
If the play is overturned in foul territory, it will be ruled a foul ball and all runners will return to the base they occupied at the time of the pitch.
On plays to the outfield that are overturned from “no catch” to “catch,” all action prior to the ball being declared dead will be disallowed. The batter will be declared out and all runners returned to the base they occupied at the time of the pitch.
The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee also wants conferences to apply to use the experimental video replay rule next spring. In 2014, the committee granted permission for the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the West Coast Conference to use the instant replay rule in conference tournament games.
The West Coast Conference had two video reviews in its 2014 conference tournament. One review confirmed the call of a foul ball hit down the left field line, and the other review didn’t have a conclusive angle on a ball hit down the right field line that was ruled fair, allowing the original fair-ball call to remain.
The panel approved a new rule change regarding batters hit by pitches.
Starting in 2015, a batter must make an attempt to avoid being hit by the ball. If the umpire rules the batter did not make an attempt to get out of the way, or that he leaned into the path of the ball of the ball or intentionally tried to be hit by the ball, a pitch inside the strike zone that touches the batter will be called a strike. If the pitch is outside the strike zone, it will be called a ball. In either case, the batter will not be awarded first base.
The panel approved a proposal that requires all foul poles on fields operated by NCAA schools to be painted fluorescent yellow by the 2016 season.
The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee received feedback that some facilities have white, red or blue foul poles, but fluorescent yellow is the best color to help umpires determine whether a potential home run is foul or fair.
Panel members approved allowing a seven-inning game that was originally scheduled as part of a doubleheader but cannot be started – or had been halted or suspended – to be played as a seven-inning contest the following day or at a future time.
However, stand-alone seven-inning baseball games are prohibited in NCAA play, so the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee wanted to provide specific guidance to ensure the double-header rules are applied consistently around the country.
2013-2014 Rules Changes
1-9d: Portable pitcher’s mounds are legal. Both teams must agree on their use before the visitors arrive at the game site.
Rationale: Legalizes the use of portable mounds in multi-use facilities where construction and reconstruction of a dirt mound is not feasible between baseball and other events that a dirt mound might impact. Also allows for portable mounds to be used where weather becomes a factor in preparing a dirt mound for competition. Particularly on fields that are all synthetic turf except for the pitcher’s mound.
Definition of a Substitute
2-73 (New): Substitute: A substitute is an eligible roster player who is not one of the nine or ten eligible players in the game and has not been withdrawn or disqualified.
Rationale: Clarifies a substitute as it applies to other rules in the present rules book.
Strengthening of Penalties after an Ejection
3-6d Penalty (A.R. 2 andA.R. 3): Revise to read: “A three-game suspension, in addition to the ejection or post-game ejection will apply to any individual in violation of this rule.
Rationale: Strengthens the penalty for any individual who fails to adhere to the “sight and sound” provision in the current rule. Will diminish the number of ejected individuals who delay a contest by refusing to leave the field or who chose to come back to the playing venue after an ejection.
Defines Who is Responsible for Reporting Substitutions
5-5g: After having been notified by the Head Coach or another coach in uniform of the team making the substitution, the umpire shall record any substitutions on the lineup card and then announce immediately or cause to be announced, any substitutions on the lineup card and then announce immediately or cause to be announced, any substitutions.
Rationale: Better defines who is responsible for insuring that substitutions properly given to the plate umpire and the process he is to follow.
Travel Policy on “Get-Away Day”
Delete the present rule 5-8g and replace with the following:
“Conferences are allowed to establish their owntravel guidelines/restrictions for the get-away ortravel day of a series regardless of the mode of transportation. In the case of nonconferencegames, institutions must agree before the game and preferably in the game contract to avoid confusion.”
Rationale: Allows conferences, whose teams are not traveling by commercial air travel, to establish their own policy for ending a game on the last day of a series.
Strengthening of the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Rule
5-15 Add (4) and revise the PENALTY: No member of a team’s personnel may argue or continue to excessively express themselves with prolonged actions or offensive language after an ejection.
PENALTY: An additional two-game suspension (See 2-25, A.R. 7)
Rationale: Strengthens the Unsportsmanlike- Conduct Rule. Establishes a penalty for participants who continue to argue and/or use gestures or language that further discredits the game of baseball or intercollegiate athletics.
Increasing Penalty for Abusing Game Officials or for Fighting
5-16 PENALTY for a. and b. and PENALTY (1); (2); (3); (4): (1) The first offense by an individual, ejection plus suspension from the team’s next four contests.
Rationale: Makes this penalty consistent for any team member with that of a pitcher who is ejected from a contest or receives a postparticipation ejection. Change penalties to four games on page 69, under c. PENALTY (1); (2); (3); (4)
Argument After A Warning
9-2g: (4): Team personnel may not come onto the playing field to argue or dispute a warning of their pitcher intentionally throwing at a hitter. After a warning, they are subject to an immediate ejection.
Rationale: Umpires are directed to act without hesitation in the enforcement of this rule. To throw at a batter’s head is unsafe, highly dangerous and is unsportsmanlike. It is condemned at all levels of baseball.
Replacing the Game Pitcher
9-4f (New Rule)When the game pitcher crosses the foul line onthe way to the mound to start an inning, he shall pitch to the first batter until such batter is put out or reaches base, unless a pinch hitter is substituted or the batter or the pitcher sustains an injury or illness, which incapacitates him from continuing.
Rationale: Prevents manipulation of the present rule. Equalizes the competition between the offense and the defense. The offense is put at a disadvantage with our present rule when a team is allowed to substitute after the present game pitcher has completed his warm up throws and then is substituted for. A pace-of-play issue aswell.
Changing Foul Call to Fair
Appendix E Section C: Changing a call of “foul” to “fair.” Add to Section C:8): A.R. Umpires may conference, after a batted ball that has passed the first or third baseman on the fly, first touches the ground behind a base and has been ruled foul. After consultation with the entire umpire crew, the Crew Chief will place the base runners where the crew believes they would have advanced had the ball been first ruled fair. The Crew Chief and crew should be conservative on their placement of base runners.
Section E, A.R. 2: Once umpires have determined a need to conference to review a play, they shall direct the head coach to return to the dugout or coaching box before the crew will begin their discussion.
DELETE FROM Section F) “or a ball that is ruled foul.” (part of last sentence in F—Editorial)
In the past, if a right handed batter tried to check his swing, the HP umpire would go for help to the first base umpire in a 3-man system and would always go for help to the third base umpire for a left handed batter. Effective with the 2012 season, if the HP umpire goes for help on a half-swing with runners on base, he will always appeal to the base umpire that is standing on the foul line and will not seek help from a base umpire who is positioned within the middle of the infield. There will be no change with no runners on base.
2011 NCAA Post-Season Game Times
The advent of the new NCAA timing and BBCOR bat rules resulted in a significant reduction in post-season game times in 2011:
2010 / Level / 2011
3:03 / Regionals / 2:44
3:16 / Super Regionals / 2:55
3:24 / World Series / 3:10
3:07 / Average / 2:48
2011-2012 Rules Changes
Rules to be implemented that address the pace of play and proposed an alteration to the rules governing obstruction by fielders
July 23, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has voted to implement rules that address the pace of play and proposed an alteration to the rules governing obstruction by fielders.
After allowing the use of a pitch and between innings clock experimentally last year, the committee voted to mandate the use of a timing device and implemented penalties for non-compliance. Current rules require pitchers to start their delivery in no more than 20 seconds without runners on base. This rule remains and an umpire will be required to monitor and enforce this time limit. Additionally, in non-televised games, umpires will enforce a 90 second limit between innings. The committee recommended a time limit for televised games of 108 seconds, which the Southeastern Conference used experimentally during the 2010 season. However, the committee acknowledged that the time between innings will continue to be a negotiable point in television agreements.
“The committee was pleased with the results of the clock experimentation last year,” said Gary Overton, chair of the committee and associate athletics director at East Carolina University. “We believe that enforcing these time limits will keep the pace of the game moving without artificially altering the game.”
In this proposal, conferences may choose to use a visible clock and assign a qualified operator (e.g., back-up umpire) to administer these rules.
The committee also proposed a slight change to the obstruction rules, in an effort to provide fielders the ability to make a play on a thrown ball during a play at a base. Previously, any contact made between a fielder and runner could be called obstruction unless the fielder had possession of the ball. In the new proposal, a fielder that has established himself will be provided the opportunity to field the throw without penalty.
“This change is being made after careful consideration of our current rule and how this play was adjudicated previously,” said Overton. “The rules governing collisions and dangerous plays have not changed, but the committee believes the fielder must be allowed some room to make a play on a thrown ball.”
The committee plans to collect and distribute numerous video examples to assist umpires, coaches and student-athletes with the understanding of this rules change. During pickoff plays, an exception was approved that requires the fielder to have possession of the ball before any contact with the runner occurs.
The committee’s proposals will be sent to the membership for comment and be reviewed by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel at their August meeting.
The committee approved two points of emphasis for this rules cycle as well, which covers the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The relationship between coaches and umpire is an area of continued concern and the management of the pace of play/batter’s box rules are the points the committee believes require additional attention.
“The committee recognizes the need for coaches and umpires to continue to engage in healthy discussion and explanation of the rules without creating unneeded delays in the game and unsporting conduct,” Overton said. “This is the balance we’re trying to achieve.”
In other actions, the committee:
– Limited offensive team personnel to the warning track area (recommended to be 15 feet) outside the dugout during home run celebrations.
-Will allow the experimental use of re-entry rules for Division III institutions in response to requests for additional participation opportunities. In this experimental phase, mutual consent of both coaches must be in place (or conference policy), similar to the use of the 10-run rule. The re-entry rule allows a starter to return to the game after being substituted for, but he must return to the same position in the lineup. The pitcher and designated hitter may not re-enter the game once removed.
2011 NCAA BBCOR Bat Standard – This will result in bats that will have less pop and trampoline effect with the performance level being less than 2010 bats. Moment of Inertia Tests will prevent the bulk of the weight being near the handle which makes the bat swing faster than barrel weighted bats.(See detail article in COLLEGIATE BASEBALL: Sept. 3, 2010 issue for full details)
Major Rules Changes for 2011-2012
1-13-c Pitcher’s glove must be black or brown in color
1-14-d Neoprene sleeves worn by a pitcher must be covered
2-38 Check swing changed to “Half Swing” and wording
adjusted to clarify rule
2-54 Obstruction rule altered to allow fielder some relief
when in the act of fielding a throw
2-74 Tag definition adjusted to clarify requirements
3-6-k Umpire jurisdiction specified
5-2-d Team members restricted to the dugout area after a
5-4-c Clarification of appeal procedures
5-17 Orchestrated dugout activities to distract, intimidate
or disconcert the opponent are prohibited
6-3-b-(3) Offensive interference situations clarified when catcher
stops an attempted throw
7-2-c-(5) Coach must indicate playing status of removed pitcher
at the time of the pitching change
8-3-e Obstruction rules adjusted
8-7 Collision rule clarified to identify the responsibilities
of the runner and fielder
9-1-a Approved rulings added for windup position
9-2-c, 9-2-i Pitch and between innings clock added to address
pace of play concerns
NCAA BASEBALL RULES COMMITTEE
FINAL RULES CHANGES – EFFECTIVE FOR 2011 AND 2012 SEASONS
September 22, 2010
On September 20, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the following changes that were proposed by the Baseball Rules Committee after its July meeting.
One rules proposal was denied: The Division III experimental rule to allow reentry rules to be used when both teams agree. The Panel does not believe allowing divisional differences would be appropriate at this time.
1. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES.
Rule 1-13c, A.R. 2: Revise to read: The pitcher’s glove must be black or brown. and may not contain white or gray lettering. “
Rationale: This clarifies that the overall color of the glove is the important piece. If the umpire believes that the logo or lettering is distracting, the glove shall be removed.
Rule 1-14d (Uniforms): A.R. – Neoprene Sleeves, if worn by a pitcher, must be covered by an undershirt.
Rationale: Several questions were presented to the rules committee in this area. The spirit and intent of this rule is to have the pitcher be dressed uniformly and not in such a way that might distract the batter.
Rule 2-18, Check Swing (Change to Half Swing): At the beginning of the definition, add: An attempt by the batter to stop his forward motion of the bat on the swing and putting himself in jeopardy The ‘half swing’ might put the batter in jeopardy of a strike being called. The half swing shall be called a strike if the barrel head of the bat passes [delete–the front edge of home plate or] the batter’s front hip.
Rationale: This is more in line with other rules codes and is a more accurate depiction of what umpires use to determine this call.
Rule 2-50: Add to (3) on 6-3b (3): If the catcher’s initial throw retires the runner and the batter does not strike out, the batter is not out and the interference is disregarded. The ball remains live and other runners may advance. [add—If there is an attempt by the catcher to throw and the attempt is aborted due to an action by the offense, the ball becomes dead immediately, the batter is out and all runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch (TOP).
Rationale: This change makes consistent the wording for 6-3b and 7-11f with 2-50.
Rule 2-54, Obstruction: The act of a fielder who, while not in the possession of the ball ‘or not in the act of fielding the ball,’ impedes the progress of any runner.
Remove the 3rd paragraph in 2-54 in its entirety. Replace with the following:
Type 1, Obstruction: When obstruction by a fielder is committed against a runner on which a play is being made, the umpire shall call “That’s obstruction” while pointing at the obstruction and then signal and call “Time.” The ball is dead immediately. All runners shall be awarded bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond his last legally touched base prior to the obstruction.
Type 2 Obstruction: The second type of obstruction deals with cases when a runner is obstructed while no play is being made on him. This obstruction is to be signaled by the umpire by pointing at the obstruction and calling, “That’s obstruction.” The ball is NOT dead. The umpire shall allow play to continue until all action has ceased and then call “Time” and impose such penalties that will nullify the act of obstruction.
Delete A.R. under obstruction. Replace with A.R.’s 1-2-3-4 below.
A.R. 1: If the fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the throw, he may be considered “in the act of fielding the ball.”
A.R. 2: When a fielder has made an attempt to field a batted or thrown ball and has missed, he may no longer be considered “in the act” of fielding the ball.
A.R. 3: After a fielder has misplayed a batted ball and the ball is “within a step and a reach” the fielder is still considered “in the act.”
A.R. 4: On a pickoff play at any base, the defensive player must clearly have possession of the ball before blocking the base with any part of the defensive players’ body. The umpire will call “That’s obstruction” and then signal and call “Time.” The ball is dead immediately and the runner being played on is awarded one base beyond the last base he had attained prior to the obstruction.
Rationale: This makes the NCAA obstruction rule the same as Major League Baseball’s. The committee believes this rule and application achieves the intent of the rule and is second nature to most in baseball.
Rule 2-74, Tag: The action of a fielder in touching a base with any part of the body while holding the ball securely and firmly in the hand or glove or touching a runner with the ball or with the glove while holding the ball securely and firmly in that hand or glove. The fielder shall
maintain or regain control of his body and if he drops the ball due to his lack of body control or control of the ball, it is not a tag. A voluntary release is substantive proof of complete control.
Rationale: Adds language to assist with the understanding of the tag play and what constitutes control of the ball when a fielder is making a tag.
Rule 3-6k: Umpire jurisdiction in regard to personal confrontations and unsportsmanlike conduct directed toward them begins when the umpires enter the game site and ends when the umpires have left the game site.
Rationale: Fully clarifies umpire jurisdiction.
Rule 5-2d: Revise to read: “After a home run . . . home plate has been touched. Team personnel, except for preceding base runners, shall not leave the warning track area in front of the dugout (a recommended minimum area of 15-feet) to congratulate the batter-runner and other base runners.
Rationale: Deleting shall not enter the dirt area at home plate to congratulate the batter-runner, reduces the amount of jockeying between offensive players and a catcher and/or the pitcher. It also reduces the possibilities for tensions to escalate between the competing teams.
Rule 5-4c, Penalty: Eliminate the wording that the appeal is lost. Revise to read: If it is an appeal, all fielders, other than the catcher, must be in fair territory to start an appeal play after “Time” has been called. If a fielder (other than the catcher) is in foul territory, the umpire should not put the ball in play. If the umpire inadvertently does so, there is no penalty (this is not a balk), nor does the defense lose its chance to appeal on the same runner once the ball is properly put back into play. A fielder may go into foul territory to back up an appeal play after the ball has been put into play.
Rationale: This clarifies the process to use during appeal plays.
Rule 7-2c (4): At the time the coach makes the pitching change, he shall indicate to the plate umpire the playing status of the removed pitcher.
PENALTY FOR 7-2C (4): Once the coach has reached the dugout, it is too late for the umpire to accept the coach’s change of moving the pitcher to a defensive position or allowing the pitcher to remain as the DH.
Rationale: To keep the pace of play moving, this change is being made to establish a pitching change decision by the coach and to eliminate unneeded delays.
Rule 8-3e, Keep rule as it is written but switch (1) and (2).
Make (1)—against a runner on which a play is being made. Make (2)—Against a runner on which a play is not being made.
(1) Against a runner on which a play is being made;
PENALTY—the umpire shall point at and call “That’s obstruction” and call “Time.” The ball is dead immediately. All runners shall be awarded the bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction.
(2) Against a runner on which a play is NOT being made;
Replace the present PENALTY WITH THE FOLLOWING:
PENALTY—the umpire will signal by pointing at the obstruction while calling loudly, “That’s obstruction!” The ball is NOT dead. The umpire shall allow the play to continue until all play has ceased, then call “time” and impose any penalties that will nullify the act of obstruction. Time shall not be called until all action has stopped and no further play is possible.
This second type of obstruction deals with the runner who is obstructed while no play is being made on him. Here are examples of this type of obstruction but are not all inclusive:
a. B/R is obstructed when he is rounding first base while the ball is in the outfield.
b. B/R is obstructed before reaching first on a ball hit to the outfield.
c. Runner steals and the catcher’s throw is wild and goes into the outfield and the base runner is obstructed while the ball is loose in the outfield.
d. Runner is obstructed while rounding third base on a hit to the outfield.
e. Any other example where no play is being made directly on the runner at the moment he is obstructed.
Rule 8-3e, A.R. 1—On a pickoff play at any base, the defensive player must clearly have possession of the pickoff throw before blocking the base with any part of the defensive players’ body. The umpire will call, “time, that’s obstruction.” The ball is dead immediately and the runner being played on is awarded one base beyond the last base he had attained prior to the obstruction.
Remove the “NOTE” and replace with this note:
NOTE: If a runner is obstructed under this second section of the obstruction rule, play shall continue until its completion, even if it results in a play being made on the previously obstructed runner. If the play results in that runner being tagged out before he reaches the base he would have been awarded, the umpire shall call “Time” at the moment the runner is tagged out. The umpire shall then impose such penalties that would nullify the obstruction.
The crew may confer in order to determine what a reasonable award should be had obstruction no occurred.
Rationale: This makes the NCAA obstruction rule the same as Major League Baseball’s. The committee believes this rule and application achieves the intent of the rule and is second nature to most in baseball.
Rule 8-5k Revised to read: The runner, including a runner in contact with a base, is hit while in fair territory by a batted ball before it has touched a fielder or has passed all infielders who have a chance to make a play on the ball, other than the pitcher.
Rationale: This will make this rule consistent with other areas of the rules book.
Rule 8-7, Collision Rule. SECTION 7. The rules committee is concerned about unnecessary and violent collisions with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.
When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
a. If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line with clear possession of the ball, the runner may make contact, slide into or make contact with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base (plate). Contact above the waist that was initiated by the base runner shall not be judged as an attempt to reach the base or plate.
(1) The runner must make an actual attempt to reach the base (plate).
(2) The runner may not attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder. Contact above the waist shall be judged by the umpire as an attempt by the runner to dislodge the ball.
(3) The runner must attempt to avoid a collision if he can reach the base without colliding.
(4) If the runner’s path to the base is blocked and (1), (2), and (3) are fulfilled, it is considered unavoidable contact.
(1) The runner must make an actual attempt to reach the base (plate).
If the runner attempted to dislodge the ball or initiated an avoidable collision, the runner shall be declared out, even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
(2) The runner may not attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder.
If the contact was flagrant or malicious before the runner’s touching the plate, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
(3) The runner must attempt to avoid a collision if he can reach the base without colliding.
If the contact was flagrant or malicious after the runner had touched the base (plate), the runner will be ruled safe and ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference. If this occurs at any base other than home, the offending team may replace the runner.
If the contact was after a preceding runner had touched home plate, the preceding runner will be ruled safe. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the contact.
(4) If the runner’s path to the base is blocked and (1), (2), and (3) are fulfilled, it is considered unavoidable contact.
Rationale: This additional wording assists umpires and teams to better understand the responsibilities of the runner and fielder in situations when a collision occurs.
Rule 9-1a, A.R. 1—When a pitcher is on the rubber with his hands together, prior to any natural movement that commits the pitcher to pitch, he may move his hand within his glove to adjust the ball. Should the pitcher separate his hands while in contact with the rubber, a balk shall be called.
Rule 9-1a, A.R. 2—A pitcher may pause during his delivery from the windup position without penalty.
Rationale (previous two rules): This change is being made to address some areas of the country where a balk has been called when a pitcher was not making a motion to start the windup or natural delivery. These approved rulings clear up any confusion.
Rule 9-2c: Pace of Play. With the bases unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball within 20 seconds after receiving the ball. Add penalty to 9-2c: PENALTY: After a team warning, a ball will be called each time the rule is violated. A.R.—Coaches are prohibited from arguing a 20-second rule violation. A warning is given and an ejection of the head coach on subsequent violations.
Rationale: To address pace of play concerns.
Rule 9-2i: Procedure between innings. For non-televised games, teams will be allowed a maximum of 90 seconds between half-innings. For televised games, it is recommended that the time between each half-inning will be 108-seconds between each half inning. For games being played under a television agreement, the time between innings may be extended by contract. The clock starts with the last out of an inning and stops when the pitcher engages the rubber. In the case of an injury or an ejection of the pitcher, the umpire-in-chief shall allow the relief pitcher an adequate time to warm-up.
PENALTY for i: A ball will be called when the defense violates and a strike will be called when the offense violates.
Rationale: The time between innings, in some cases, is a cause of longer game times. Timing and making this sequence consistent will assist in the overall administration of the game.
2. EDITORIAL CHANGES.
Rule 1-2b: Revise, recommending the color of foul poles as florescent yellow for new construction or for the repainting of existing foul poles.
Rule 2-26: Add—Post-Participation to the title to read: 2-26: Ejection and Post Participation Ejection.
Add at the beginning of the definition: The immediate removal (or disqualification) of a player or coach from any further participation from the on-going or current game. [Add to Appendix D]
A Post Participation Ejection is applicable to the next scheduled contest(s).
Rationale: This clarifies that the ejection rule is only applicable to the current game and not any future contest and a Post Participation ejection is for the next scheduled game. This clarification also makes a definite distinction between an ejection and a suspension.
Rule 2-39: Delete the word called so that it reads: Halted Game; Section 39. A game that is stopped at any time after its start and is to be completed at a later date.
Add: A.R.—as it applies to a halted game, the game starts when the UIC calls “play” [Rule 5-1]; Call or indicates “Play” to start the game. [Rule 3-7a]
Rationale: To clarify when a game starts as it applies to the “Halted Game” rule [5-9a].
Rule 2-73, Suspension: Add definition: The prohibition of a player or coach from participating in a future contest(s). If the penalty is not satisfied during the current season, it shall be assessed at the beginning of the next official NCAA spring season.
Rule 3-8d: Revise to read: (Delete the word Base)—Umpires shall require coaches and all personnel to remain in the dugout or dead-ball territory while the ball is in play. No coach or team personnel shall leave the dugout until the ball is dead.
Rule 5-2f: Non-uniformed team personnel may sit in the stands for the purpose of charting pitches, using radar guns, or videotaping a contest.
A.R. 2—in-stadium pitch-speed monitors may be used in all games.
Rationale: Adding the A.R.’s clarifies when and by whom that radar guns and/or pitch speed monitors may be used.
Rule 5-5c: Delete the last two sentences to make this rule consistent with 7-2c. [Delete: However, offensive changes can be made only when a team is on offense and can take place only during that half inning. Likewise, defensive changes can be made only when the team is in the field.]
Rule 5-16, 2nd paragraph—When applying this rule, penalties shall carry over from fall to spring, from the regular season to the post season, and from past season to the upcoming season.
Rule 5-16, 3rd Paragraph, Discussion: Further, suspended player(s) shall be (delete—restricted to the designated spectator areas and) prohibited from any communication with the team…
Rule 5-16d (1): Add: A.R., A game must be played to its completion before it counts toward a suspension. A game that is scheduled, but not played due to weather, power failure, etc. shall not be used to satisfy a suspension(s).
“Any orchestrated activities that dugout personnel may do during a game that are designed to distract, intimidate, or disconcert the opposing team or reflect upon poor sportsmanship or is abusive shall not be allowed.”
Rule 6-1 (1): Revise “live ball” to live-ball.
Rule 6-3b Penalties: Add after: See 7-11f, [with exceptions, (1) – (4)]
Rule 6-4d: (delete so as to delay play.) Any ball that sticks in a fence or padding is immediately dead.
Rule 7-1b: [Add] A.R. 2, coaches shall not be allowed to argue when an umpire refuses to grant time to a batter per Rule 7-1b.
Penalty: Warning, to be followed by an ejection.
Rule 7-4e: Revise to read: “A legal pitch that is in the strike zone and that touches the batter, regardless of whether he swings or not, the ball is immediately dead, the pitch is a strike, no runners may advance, and the batter is not awarded first base.”
Rule 7-11j: An infield fly is declared (delete—or undeclared.) (See Rule 2—Infield Fly, DELETE “undeclared”);
Rule 7-11s: [Revise to read, 2nd paragraph] with fewer than two outs, the umpire shall call “strike three,” the ball is dead and the run counts; all other runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
Rule 8-2d: Revise to read: d. When hit by a pitched ball at which the individual is not attempting to strike, the ball is immediately dead.
(1) If the batter is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, regardless of whether he swings at it or not, the ball is immediately dead, the pitch is a strike, no runners may advance and the batter is not awarded first base.
(2) If the batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the pitch and the pitch is out of the strike zone, the pitch shall be called a ball, the ball is immediately dead, no runners
may advance and the batter is not awarded first base. If the batter intentionally gets touched by moving or rolling any part of his body into the pitch and the batter does not swing, the ball is immediately dead; the umpire shall call a strike or ball in accordance with 7-4b and 7-5a.
(3) If the batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the pitch and the pitch is out of the strike zone, the pitch shall be called a ball. The ball is immediately dead, the batter is not awarded first base and no runners may advance unless the pitch is ball four.
Rule 8-1a, A.R. Add to this rule: All base runners must touch their advance base.
Rule 9-2c, Insert a new penalty: After a warning a ball will be called each time a pitcher violates this rule. Eliminating “team” from this warning and penalty.
Rule 9-2d, delete: “for c.,” so the penalty is only applicable to letter d.
Rule 9-2e: Rosin Bag. Add the following approved rulings:
A.R. 3—the home team shall supply a rosin bag prior to the start of each game.
A.R. 4—a batted or thrown ball is in play after it hits the rosin bag. In the case of wet weather, the umpire may request the pitcher put the rosin bag in his pocket. The pitcher may apply rosin to his bare hand/hands. The ball may not be dusted with rosin from the bag or with the rosin bag. Rosin from the bag may not be applied to the glove or to any part of the pitcher’s uniform.
PENALTY for A.R. 4: Warning on the first offense; ejection from the game on the second offense.
Rule 9-2i: Edit wording for Pitch Clock: At the beginning of an inning, throw more than five pitches to the catcher. A relief pitcher is allowed eight pitches, but these pitches shall not consume more than 90 (non-televised) or 108-seconds (televised game). Should the clock expire, the relief pitcher will be allowed to complete their eight warm-up pitches. In case of an injury or an ejection of the pitcher, the umpire-in-chief shall allow the relief pitcher an adequate time to warm-up.
9-2i: Procedure between innings: Fourth line: The clock starts with the last out of the inning and stops when the pitcher begins his pitching motion.
PENALTY for i.–After a warning, a ball shall be called for each violation of this rule.
Rule 9-3m (1): New A.R.—After a balk that is followed by a base hit, a runner who misses the first base to which the runner is advancing and who, prior to the next pitch, is called out on appeal, shall be considered as having advanced one base for the purpose of this rule.
2011 Points of Emphasis
Generally, the committee believes the rules as written are sound and directs coaches and umpires to adhere to these rules without exception. The entire baseball community (student-athletes, coaches, administrators, game managers) has a responsibility to participate in the game in a respectful manner. The following two points are items the committee believes require additional attention and consideration:
The committee reviewed several proposals that dealt with communication between coaches and umpires. While this relationship has generally improved in recent seasons, the committee continues to be concerned with some negative incidents that could hurt the image of the game. The committee believes responsibility for improving this relationship lies with coaches, umpires and administrators equally.
For the sport to continue to thrive as it has, coaches and umpires need to continue to engage in healthy discussion and explanation of the rules without creating unneeded delays in the game and unsporting conduct. Extended arguments, vulgar language and disrespectful conduct by coaches or umpires must not be tolerated. Coaches are particularly reminded that the Code of Ethics includes a statement that forbids arguing judgment calls by the umpire.
The committee will continue to monitor these situations closely and will consider rules changes in the future if warranted.
The committee believes improvement is needed with the pace of the game, particularly the batter stepping out of the box in conflict with current rules. Umpires in some cases are diligent in adhering to these rules, which are intended to maintain a consistent pace of play and eliminate unneeded delays. Consistency in this area is needed, however, and the committee instructs umpires to strictly enforce these rules and asks coaches and student-athletes to adhere without exception.
PITCH/BETWEEN INNINGS CLOCK PROTOCOL
Final Version – September 20, 2010
To be in compliance with this rule and to implement this protocol, conferences may choose to instruct on-field umpires to use a timing device (e.g., stopwatch). To be clear, the intent of the rules committee is not to mandate a visible clock.
20-SECOND PITCH CLOCK LIMIT
1. The 20-second time limit (or clock) starts when the pitcher receives the ball on the mound and stops when the pitcher begins his pitching motion. The time limit (or clock) is used only when the bases are unoccupied. If a pitcher violates the 20-second rule he shall be warned by the umpire. After a pitcher is warned, if he continues to violate the rule a ball will be awarded for each violation. There is one warning per pitcher.
2. A pitcher stepping off the rubber does not stop the time limit (or clock) unless the umpire grants the pitcher time.
3. The time (or clock) is paused for the pitcher to reach the mound area if the pitcher is out of the 18-foot circle for the purpose of making or backing up a play. The time (or clock) is paused if a player is returning to his position (a runner returning to a base after a foul ball or a fielder returning after attempting to field a foul ball). If the catcher holds the ball and does not throw it back IMMEDIATELY to the pitcher, the time (or clock) will start. If a batter runs on a foul ball, the time (or clock) will not start until he returns to the dirt area of the plate, unless he delays his return. Common sense delays, such as but not limited to, when a player asks for time to tie his shoes, clean his glasses, etc., the time (or clock) should restart as soon as the player finishes, not when the umpire signals “play.” The player in question does not get a reset of the full 20-seconds.
4. A strike results if the batter is not in the box ready to take the pitch with five seconds or less showing on the clock and time expires. When there is a timing or clock violation, no pitch will result and either a ball or strike is called depending on the violation and any ensuing play is nullified. If a coach, student-Athlete, Manager or any other non playing personnel argues any penalty or timing procedure they are subject to an immediate ejection without warning. The head coach is allowed to bring a clock malfunction or misapplication of protocol to the umpire’s attention.
Coaches, student-athletes and umpires are to adhere to Rule 7-1c as written related to the Batter’s Box Rule.
• A.R.—Umpires are to enforce this rule as written. If the line(s) of the batter’s box (have) been erased, the umpire shall require that upon the batter’s initial stance, both feet are to be no closer than six (6) inches from the inside edge of home plate.
A penalty is not automatic when the batter is not in the batter’s box with five seconds or less showing, as long as play continues without a visible signal or there is no violation.
5. The time (or clock) is reset if the batter is granted time by the umpire with five or more seconds showing on the clock. The request for time by the batter must be for legitimate reasons and is not to be granted if the request, in the opinion of the umpire, is to delay the game. Time will not be granted to the batter with less than five seconds remaining (unless unusual circumstances warrant it in the mind of the umpire).
If the pitcher and batter are in position when the time (or clock) reaches zero, the umpire will call “TIME” before awarding the ball or strike.
In judging guilt, if neither the pitcher nor batter is ready, the pitcher is responsible. A batter does not have to be ready to hit when the pitcher is off the rubber. A batter must not be allowed to get ready to hit just before the five-second limit, and then request time. He may be granted time if the pitcher holds him too long in his batting position.
6. If the time limit expires at the same time the pitcher begins his windup, there is no penalty and any signal is ignored
7. The 20-second time limit is in effect for the entire game (extra innings included).
It is the plate umpires’ job to administer the clock and any penalties when there is a visible clock in the outfield. If there is no visible clock in the outfield the clock is kept by the base umpire.
8. When restarting the time or clock is necessary, the plate umpire will signal with a hand held high above the head and rotated in a horizontal arc.
BETWEEN INNINGS FOR THE 90-108-SECOND TIME LIMIT (OR CLOCK)
1. The time (clock) starts with the last out in the inning and stops when the pitcher begins his windup for the first pitch to the first batter of the inning. If the offensive team is not ready within the 90-second or 108-second time limit, the umpire shall call a strike. If the defense is not ready, a ball shall be awarded to the batter.
2. For non-televised games (Internet streaming does not qualify), teams have 90-seconds to be ready to pitch and to have a batter ready to step into the batter’s box after the end of each half-inning. The clock will start when the starting pitcher and any subsequent relief pitcher begin their first pitch; however, by rule they are entitled to eight pitches without penalty. Should the clock expire, they will be allowed to complete their eight warm up pitches.
3. For televised games the time shall be 108 seconds between each half-inning unless specified by NCAA or Conference contract provisions. The home institution will notify the visiting team and umpires if there will be an extension to the 108-second provision.
4. With 30-seconds left, the base umpire will visually cue the plate umpire who will then signal to the pitcher, “Two more pitches” and summon the lead-off batter to the plate.
5. Continuing pitchers shall have the 90- to 108-second time limit to complete their five warm-up pitches. Should the defensive team not be ready in the allotted time, a ball will be granted to the next batter.
6. The plate umpire will notify the catcher with 30-seconds remaining, “two more pitches” and then notify the leadoff hitter. If the field umpire is responsible for the time limit he should alert the plate umpire at 30-seconds.
7. If the catcher is the 3rd out or on base when the 3rd out is made, the offensive team should have someone ready to warm-up the pitcher. Umpires will not grant additional warm-ups if the 90- or 108-second time limit expires. In the event that the catcher was on base or the last to bat: if the catcher is not out at the two-pitch reminder, (another player is warming up the catcher) then you are to hold the pitcher up with one pitch left and wait on the game catcher to arrive. This will allow the game catcher to throw the ball down.
8. On television games approved by the NCAA or Conference offices, the 90-second rule will be extended to 108-seconds. Play will resume at the expiration of the time between innings.
9. If a Coach, Student-Athlete, Manager or any non-playing personnel argues any penalty or timing procedure, they are subject to immediate ejection without warning. The head coach is allowed to bring a clock malfunction or misapplication of the protocol to the umpire’s attention.
LOCATION OF THE CLOCK
Each Conference will determine if a visible clock will be used for all games or conference games only and if the time clock will be kept by the umpire crew on the field. If a conference determines to use a visible clock, the clock shall be positioned on the outfield scoreboard or atop the outfield fence either in left or right centerfield. The clock should be readily visible to the batter, catcher and home plate umpire.
Individual schools within a conference are not to determine if they will install a visible clock. If a conference does not approve that a visible clock will be used for all games or conference games only, the time limits are to be kept by the umpires on the field.
PERSONNEL TO OPERATE THE CLOCK
Each Conference is responsible for developing guidelines for training qualified individuals to operate the clock during games.
NO VISIBLE CLOCK AVAILABLE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE CLOCK
If the time clock malfunctions, time will be kept on the field by the 2nd base umpire in a four-man or six-man crew; 3rd base umpire in a three-man crew; and the base umpire in a two-man crew.
Major Rules Changes
Rule 1-3-c- Add: “At the time of the pitch, the base coach must remain within the confines of the coaches’ box with both feet. It is legal for the base coach to be positioned farther away from home plate than the boundaries of the coaches’ box.”
PENALTY: Warning on the first offense; a further violation shall result in the coach being ejected.
Rule 1-12-b-PENALTY for a. and b: “…cause an unusual reaction on the baseball shall be removed from the game. If detected after the first pitch the batter shall be declared…”
**Rationale: Clarifies when a batter should be called out for using an illegal bat.
Rule 1-14-g. It is required that base coaches wear a helmet. Play will not continue until compliance with this rule is met. It is recommended that the helmet meet NOCSAE standards.
**Rationale: To enhance the safety of base coaches, who often are assisting runners and may not be directing their attention to the batter at the time of the pitch. Additionally, base coaches that are outside of the coaching area are in jeopardy of interfering with a live play.
Rule 3-6-d, A.R.1: “An umpire first may warn any violator or team before ejecting the individual(s) from the game.
**Rationale: Clarification that a warning can be issued individually or for the entire team.
Rule 3-6-d; and Appendix D:
A.R. 1, Sight and sound shall mean that the ejected person(s) cannot view the contest, cannot communicate with their team nor be where the umpires may hear them. It may still be possible for the ejected person(s) to be able to hear the sounds of the game; however, they must have left the confines of the playing field and the grandstands.
A.R. 3, The ejected individual is not allowed to return to the dugout, field or grandstands until the umpiring crew has been escorted to their dressing area by security or game management.
PENALTY: A minimum of a one game suspension, in addition to the post-game or post-participation ejection, will apply to any individual in violation of this rule.
**Rationale: Assists game management and the umpires in identifying what the Committee defines as “sound” as well as defines where an ejected individual must go and sets penalties for violations of 3-6-d
Rule 3-6-e: “… decision and seek its reversal.” Coaches are not entitled to a second opinion simply because they dispute a call. [See Appendix E, (c) 1-7]
A.R.: After a request for an umpire conference has been granted, coaches are not allowed to continue to argue a call once the final decision has been made. If a call is reversed, coaches are entitled to an explanation.
**Rationale: Clarification for Appendix E.
Rule 3-6-f, A.R. 2: “If a coach leaves the dugout or their position to argue a ball or strike call (including a checked swing), the coach may be ejected without warning.”
**Rationale: Clarifies that no one should be allowed to argue a ball or strike call which includes a check swing.
Rule 3-6-k: “Jurisdiction on personal confrontations and conduct towards the officiating staff does not end until the umpires have left the parking lot.”
**Rationale: Clarifies when an official’s jurisdiction ends with regard to the officiating crew.
Rule 5-2-f, A.R. 3: Televisions and any live broadcast (e.g., Internet streaming) shall be turned off in the dugout and clubhouse during a game.
Revise the penalty for “f” to read: …shall be removed from the stands or shall receive a post participation ejection.
**Rationale: Brings the regular-season code in line with all post-season play regulations.
Rule 5-16-b. Any threat of physical intimidation or harm to include pushing, shoving, bumping, kicking, spewing, spitting….
**Rationale: that any type of spitting or spewing that is directed at an official will be cause for an additional suspension.
Rule 6-5-f: Each team shall be allowed three (3) offensive and (3) defensive conferences per game. If the game goes into extra innings, the team will receive one (1) extra offensive and one (1) extra defensive conference plus any unused conferences from the first nine innings.
**Rationale: An attempt to improve pace of play.
Rule 7-7-e, p. 81: “Hits the batter in the batter’s box or hits the dirt or home plate and then hits the batter or the bat, which is in the hand or hands of the batter, while the batter is still in the batter’s box; or . . .”
**Rationale: Clarifies that when the batter is still holding the bat, a ball should be ruled foul that rebounds from the ground and hits the batter while the batter is still in the batter’s box.
Rule 8-6-b (1) (b): “… return the ball to the base and the fielder may tag the runner or the base.”
**Rationale: Eliminates the ambiguity between 8-6-a and 8-6-b, both rule sections now allow the defensive player the same type of defensive response when playing on a runner.
Rule 9-4-b, A.R. 1: “If after ….the coach goes to the plate umpire to announce a pitching change, the second trip is charged (when the change is recorded on the official line-up card). If moved to a defensive position, the removed pitcher shall not return to pitch.”
**Rationale: Clarifies when the second trip is officially charged.
Rule 9-4-d: A trip to the mound, that may include a conference with the infielders … begins when the coach crosses the foul line and shall be concluded when the … ”
**Rationale: Clarifies when a defensive conference begins.
Section A-1-a: Add: Exception: In-stadium replays of swinging third strikes are allowed, if shown immediately and before the next batter of either team enters the batter’s box.
**Rationale: Clarifies the time frame that swinging third strikes may be shown on the video board.
Section A-3: Add to the existing sentence, “Any instance in which an umpire has made a judgment call may be replayed only one time at regular speed and must be replayed prior to the next batter (for either team) .
**Rationale: Defines when a judgment call may be replayed and sets a definite time frame for the replay.
Appendix E: Add to F, Line 5: Add: “Also some calls cannot be reversed without creating larger problems. Examples include a “catch/no catch” with multiple runners or a ball that is ruled foul.”
**Rationale: The addition defines that a ball that is ruled foul cannot be changed.
Number the sections in Rule 2-Definitions as all other rules are numbered.
**Rationale: Provides for consistency throughout entire rulebook, makes it easier to reference back to Rule 2 by number.
Rule 2—Ejection, A.R. 2: If a situation occurs after the last out of a contest or after a player is no longer eligible to participate and such conduct would result in an ejection during the normal course of play, the umpire(s) shall issue a post-participation ejection. This ejection shall be served in the team’s next regularly scheduled contest …”
Rule 5-2-c, PENALTY: Add to read, PENALTY for “c” and d.—
Rule 5-2-d—Last sentence of that paragraph, “Team personnel ….shall not enter the dirt “area” [delete “circle” and replace with “area” since on some fields the area around the plate is not in the shape of a circle].
Rule 5-16 a & b, PENALTY: “If a player, coach or team representative is ejected from a contest because of physically abusing an “umpire” [delete, “official” in the old wording].
This correspondence is intended to assist the baseball community with the understanding and implementation of the major rules changes for the 2008 season.
- Bat and Helmet Checks. Umpires will no longer conduct bat and helmet checks prior to each game. At the plate conference, the head coach will be asked to certify that bats and helmets meet NCAA specifications. Umpires are encouraged to check bats during the course of the game and to follow NCAA rules if illegal equipment is found.
- Bullpen Personnel. The rule dealing with personnel in the dugout was expanded to include a team’s bullpen. This change was made to bring the rule book in concert with the NCAA Championship Manual. Umpires should report violations of this rule to their conference administrator. As a reminder, ejected persons are never allowed to remain in a team’s dugout or bullpen. Only eligible players, in uniform, coaches, managers, athletic trainers, physicians, scorekeepers and bat persons shall occupy a team’s dugout.
- Post-game Ejections. A post-game or post-participation ejection of a pitcher carries a stiffer penalty than in 2007. When a player has been removed as a pitcher and does not remain in the game in any other capacity and this player verbally confronts and umpire, this player is suspended for the next four regularly scheduled games. Games added to a team’s schedule after the player has been ejected as a pitcher do not count in the four game suspensions.
- Plate Conference – Head Coach Requirement. The head coach must attend the pregame plate conference for any non-conference single game, the first game of a doubleheader or the first game of any series. This is to ensure that both teams and the umpires are fully aware of any ground rule and allows the umpires to meet both head coaches
- Hit by Pitch Rule. This rule has been clarified by the committee for this season. The batter must make an attempt to avoid the pitch. If a pitch freezes a batter and he is not able to avoid a pitch and the pitch is clearly in his batter’s box, first base is awarded. If a pitch hits the batter outside the vertical lines of the batter’s box and the hitter makes no attempt to avoid the pitch, the batter remains at the plate and the pitch is called a ball or strike.
Another way to look at this rule change, if a batter hits the ball with any part of his body by moving his body part towards the pitch, the batter will be kept at the plate and the pitch called a ball or strike, depending upon the pitch’s location. If the ball hits the batter as the batter is attempting to avoid the pitch, the batter is awarded first base. This guidance should assist umpires and coaches with the adjudication of this rule.
- Uniform Jackets. Base coaches may elect to wear a jacket outside their uniform top if it includes the team’s logo and is consistent with a team’s uniform color and apparel.
Pitching Conferences. The committee changed the rule to define the end of a pitching conference at the mound. A defensive conference ends when the new pitcher begins the first of his eight warm up pitches or when the coach leaves the dirt circle of the mound.
Situation 1: May the coach visit briefly with his infielders, on the dirt part of the mound, before the new pitcher begins the first of his eight warm up pitches? Ruling: Yes.
Situation 2: Once a mound conference has been concluded, may the coach return to visit with his new pitcher or stop to talk to his infielders? Ruling: Under the following circumstances, this may be allowed. If the coach has unused free conferences remaining, he may do one of the above and be charged an additional conference. If the coach does not have any free conferences left, he may have a visit with one of the two entities above (return to his pitcher; stop and talk to the infielders on the grass) but the coach will be required to remove the new pitcher he has just brought in after that pitcher has completed pitching to the obligatory one batter or a runner is retired while he is pitching to the first hitter he has to face.
The visit that results in the pitching change is not a charged conference. Simply, a visit with the new pitcher and the infielders (if the coach wishes) before the warm ups begin is a conference. When this has concluded, coaches should leave the dirt circle and go to the dugout. This rule change is intended to speed up the pace of play and eliminate unneeded delays.
- Interference-Obstruction. If a fielder misplays a batted ball and the ball is in the immediate vicinity and the fielder is in the act of picking up (fielding) the ball, when contact is made by the runner, interference on the runner is the correct call. If the fielder is chasing after a ball that he or a teammate has misplayed and contact with a runner occurs, the fielder is guilty of obstruction. A fielder is entitled to attempt to field a batted or deflected ball that is in his immediate vicinity. The fielder is not entitled to chase after it without being call for obstruction if there is contact with a base runner.
The ball remains alive on an obstruction call until the play concludes. The umpire will place the runner or runners on the base they would have attained had there been no obstruction. If a play is being made on a runner and that runner is obstructed, that runner is awarded at least one base beyond the last base attained before the obstruction.
- Set Position. The rule requiring the pitcher to have his pitching hand either by his side or on his hip when taking the sign from the catcher was also clarified this season. This rule has not changed at all. The committee simply asked that the rule be uniformly enforced throughout NCAA baseball in 2008.
The committee members felt that when base runners were not able to see the pitching hand, they were unable to determine when the pitcher had come or had started to come set. The penalty for a first offense is a warning and then a balk is to be called for the remainder of the game. The warning is for a team and not for an individual.
<p> An approved ruling from 2007 allows the pitcher to bend deeply at the waist with the pitching arm hanging loosely, straight down. This is sometimes referred to as the gorilla position. Bending at the waist is a part of this approved set position. Standing straight up is not considered a part of the gorilla position. </p> <h2><a href="http://www.stevetheump.com//"></a> 2004 NCAA Rules Changes</h2> Rule 1-13 Uniforms - Add "f". When coaching the bases, the uniform game jersey must be worn. If a team jacket or windshirt is worn, it must be worn under the official uniform. At all other times, coaches are allowed to wear a team-issued jacket or windshirt (in the dugout, during dead ball situations, etc." <p>Rule 2 & 7-4-b, Strike zone - Continue to have this be a point of emphasis.</p> <p>Rule 2, Ejections - Add: "Umpires must file an ejection report with the offending team's athletic director and a conference administrator, if applicable."</p> <p>Rule 2, Ejection - A.R. - If a game is protested (before or after an ejection), regardless of the outcome of the protest, the ejection(s) shall be counted and suspensions serves, if applicable.</p> <p>Rule 2, Interference - A.R. 3 - If a fielder has a chance to field a batted ball, but misplays it and while attempting to recover it, the ball is in the fielder's immediate reach and the fielder is contacted by the base runner attempting to reach a base, interference shall be called.<br /> A.R. 4 - If a fielder has a chance to field a batted ball, but misplays it and must chase after the ball, the fielder must avoid the runner. If contact occurs, obstruction shall be called.</p> <p>Rule 2, Obstruction - When a runner is obstructed, the umpire shall point and call "That's obstruction." The umpire shall let the play continue until all play has ceased, call time and award any bases the are justified. If a runner(s) advances beyond what the umpire would have granted and is put out, the runner(s) is out.</p> <p>Rule 3-9, Medical Personnel - Added approved ruling: "A.R.: "In a situation where a player is bleeding, a decision to substitute for the player must be made within 10 minutes from the time the play is stopped. A substitute player must begin warming up immediately when the blood rule is in effect."</p> <p>Rule 3-10, Tobacco - Continue to have this be a point of emphasis. Emphasize the umpires should be reported and punished by the proper authority if they are guilty of tobacco use.</p> <p>Rule 5-13-a & b, Protested Game - Change wording to read: "For regular season contests, each conference should adopt a procedure for protesting a game..." Also witched last two sentences for clarity.</p> <p>Rule 6-1-c, Live Ball - Delete "and no other infielder has a reasonable chance to make a play."</p> <p>Rule 6-2-e, Immediate Dead Ball-Runners Return - Delete "who have a reasonable chance to field the ball."</p> <p>Rule 6-3-d, Delayed Dead Ball-Runners Return or Advance - Change penalty to read: "PENALTY - The umpire shall point and call "That's obstruction." The umpire shall let the play continue until all play has ceased, call time and award any bases that are justified. If a runner(s) advances beyond what the umpire would have granted and is put out, the runner(s) is out."</p> <p>Rule 7-1-b (2), A Batter - Change to read: "If the batter refuses to take the position in the batter's box during the time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike. The batter is declared out after the third strike. </p> <p>Rule 7-11-h-A.R. 1 - If, while attempting to advance to first base, the batter-runner intentionally deflects the ball, the batter-runner is declared out, the ball is dead and all runners return.</p> <p>Rule 7-11-h-A.R. 2 - If, while attempting to advance to first base, the batter-runner unintentionally deflects the ball, the ball is live and in play. Exception - If there are less than two outs and first base is occupied, the ball is dead and all runners return, unless the runner(s) are stealing on the pitch.</p> <p>Rule 8-2-d-A.R., Batter Becomes Base runner - Altered to read: "A.R. - If the batter intentionally gets touched by moving or rolling any part of the body into the pitch, the umpire shall call a strike or ball in accordance with Rules 7-4 and 7-5."</p> <p>Rule 8-2-d-A.R. (2), Batter Becomes Base runner - Added to A.R. to read: " If the batter freezes (makes no attempt to avoid the pitch) and is hit by a pitch that is clearly inside the vertical lines of the batter's box, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base."</p> <p>Rule 8-3-e, Entitlement to Bases - Altered to read: "e. If obstruction by a fielder is committed against a runner, a delayed dead ball situation exists. PENALTY - The umpire shall point and call "That's obstruction." The obstructed runner is awarded at least one base beyond the base last touched legally before the obstruction."</p> <p>Rule 8-3-f, Entitlement to Bases - Change penalty to read: "PENALTY - The umpire shall point and call "That's obstruction." The umpire shall let the play continue until all play has ceased, call time and award any bases that are justified. If a runner(s) advances beyond what the umpire would have granted and is put out, the runner(s) is out."</p> <p>Rule 8-5-k, When Runners Are Out - Delete "who have a reasonable chance to field the ball."</p> <p>Rule 8-6-b (9), When Runners Are Out on Appeals - Add additional rule reference directing readers to Rule 2 - Force Play.</p> <p>Rule 9-1-a & 9-1-b, Pitching Positions - Add, immediately after section regarding pitcher's pivot foot on the rubber: "PENALTY - Warning on first offense. Illegal pitch shall be called on subsequent offenses."</p> <p>Rule 9-1-a, Wind-Up - Point of emphasis for determining the start of the pitching motion.</p> <p>Rule 9-2-e, A.R.2 - A.R. 2 - A substance may be used by the athletic trainer for the purpose of stopping bleeding, provided the substance dried sufficiently before resuming play.</p> <p>Rule 9-3-m (2), Balk - Add wording to read: "If a balk is immediately followed by a wild throw by the pitcher to a base that permits..."</p> <p>Rule 9-4-a, A.R.5, Removing Pitcher - "In a situation where a player is bleeding, a decision to substitute for the player must be made within 10 minutes from the time play is stopped, A substitute player must begin warming up immediately when the blood rule is in effect."</p> <p>Rule 9-4-a, A.R.6, Removing Pitcher - "During a free trip, a defensive player may warm-up with another defensive player, provided it does not delay the game. The players warming up must be in the current lineup and remain in fair territory during the charged conference. For example, a bullpen catcher is not allowed to participate in the type of warm-up."</p> <p><b>Points of Emphasis</b></p> <p>Tobacco<br />Strike Zone<br /> Pitching Positions<br /> Obstruction<br /> Batter's Box Rule</p><h2> <a href="http://www.stevetheump.com//"></a>2003 NCAA Rules Changes</h2> <p>Coaching/Player's Code of Ethics (pg. 10) - Add "Player's" to heading and change "should" to "must."
Rule 1-13 (pg. 22) – Delete “except for coaches’ caps.”
Rule 1-13-A.R. – Remove the approved ruling regarding coaches’ uniforms.
Rule 1-13 (pg. 22) – Rulebook error: Remove the word caps at end of paragraph.
Rule 1-13-e (pg. 23) – Revised to read: A player or coach may wear a jacket…” NOTE: Coaches shall wear the standard team jacket.
Rule 1-14-a (pg. 24) – Add new wording at end of third sentence: “Tape of any kind on the helmet is not allowed.”
Rule 1-14-a-A.R. (pg. 24) – Delete the second sentence of the approved ruling.
Rule 1-14-b (pg. 24) – New section b: Recommended that all bat handlers wear helmets.
Rule 1-14-c (pg. 24) – Added approval to read: “All catcher’s helmets must bear the manufacturer’s certification indicating satisfaction of NOCSAE test standards.
Rule 1-14-d (pg. 24) – New section: It is required that all catchers shall wear a protective helmet and face mask when fielding their position, warming up the pitcher (i.e. between innings) or catching in the bullpen.
Rule 1-14-d (pg. 24) – New section for elbow pads: “1. A player is permitted to wear one (1) elbow protection pad that does not exceed 10 inches in length, as measured when the pad is lying flat. 2. A nylon pad shall surround the shell of any elbow protection equipment. 3. No player may wear a non-standard elbow protection pad, or any pad designed to protect the upper or lower arm, unless the player had an existing elbow or other arm injury and the team carries with them the following documentation:
a/ A letter identifying the player and describing the nature of the injury and describing the proposed elbow pad protection pad;
b/ A physician’s report diagnosing the injury; and
c/ A physician’s determination of length of time the protective pad will be necessary.”
NOTE: IF appealed by the opposing team’s head coach the umpire-in -chief shall inspect the batter’s elbow protection and if necessary, request the required documentation from the head coach or trainer.
Rule 2 – Obstruction (pg. 31) – Gave the interpretation that obstruction shall be enforced regardless of the outcome of a play. For example, if a player returns to a base safely, but was obstructed by the fielder, obstruction shall be called and bases awarded, The A.R. will be changed to read: “Obstruction shall be called of a defensive player who blocks off a base, base line or home plate from a base runner while not in possession of the ball regardless of the result of the play.”
NOTE: Since a play is being made on the runner the ball is dead immediately at least one base beyond the last must be awarded.
Rule 2 – Strike Zone (pg. 33) – Change definition: The area over home plate from the bottom of the kneecaps to the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants. The strike zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
NOTE: This in no way should be interpreted as a shrinking of the strike zone. Umpires are instructed to call the strike zone as now written.
Rule 3-2 (pg. 36) – Add to this section: “Assistant coaches may not leave their position, dugout or bullpen area to appeal any play on the field.”
Rule 3-6-a Note (pg. 37) – Change to read: “Umpires should arrive at the game site 60 minutes before game time and notify the home team coaches and/or game management.”
Rule 3-6-c A.R. (pg. 38) – If any person is ejected from the game, the individual shall leave the field immediately. If the person refuses to leave after a reasonable amount of time (not to exceed one minute) or returns to the playing field later in the game, the umpire-in-chief shall contact game management or security personnel for assistance.
PENALTY – The offending person is suspended for one game. If game management or security personnel cannot restore order and the game resumed in a reasonable amount of time the umpire-in-chief shall forfeit the game.
Rule 3-6-d (pg. 38) – Shall now read: “If there is a reasonable doubt about some decision being in conflict with the rules, the head coach has the right to appeal an umpire’s decision and seek its reversal.”
Rule 3-6-e A.R. (pg. 38) – Added “Checked swings” to items that may not be argued.
Rule 3-10 (pg. 40) – Added: “Umpires are instructed to take a zero tolerance policy in this area.”
Rule 5-5-b (pg. 47) – Changed to read: ” Any pitcher may be replaced after the first opposing batter (or the batter’s substitute) has been put out…”
Rule 5-8-b (4) (pg. 50) – Deleted.
Rule 5-8-f (pg. 51) – Added “NCAA Championships.”
Rule 5-16-A.R. (pg. 56) – First sentence to read: ” When applying the suspension rule, penalties shall be served for the team’s next previously scheduled and completed contest(s).” Add new sentence: “Games may not be added after the incident in order to fulfill the requirements of this rule.”
Rule 6-1-e (pg. 60) – New second sentence: “If a fielder, after possessing a thrown or pitched ball, steps into a bench or dugout or steps into dead-ball territory but does not fall (lose body control), the ball is in play.”
Rule 7-4-b (pg. 70) – Strike Zone – Add strike zone diagram.
Rule 8-3-e (pg. 79) – Split section into two parts:
“If obstruction by a fielder is committed:
1/ Against a batter-runner before reaching first base, a delayed dead ball shall be called.
PENALTY – The obstructed runner is awarded the bases he would have obtained had there been no obstruction (See Rule 6-3-d).
2/ Against a runner on whom a play was being made, “Time” shall be called.
PENALTY – The obstructed runner is awarded at least one base beyond the base last legally touched before the obstruction.
Rule 8-3-g (pg. 80) – Included mask and helmet in list of equipment that may not be used intentionally to field a ball.
Rule 8-3-1 (pg. 80) – New rule: “If a fair batted or thrown ball become lodged in a player’s equipment, the ball shall be declared dead and based awarded.”
Rule 8-6-a (3) – A.R. 2 Exception (pg. 85) – Delete rule exception.
Rule 8-7-b (pg. 88) – Change last sentence to read: ” The runner is safe and an immediate dead ball shall be called.”
Rule 9-1-b (2) A.R. (pg. 89) – New Approved Ruling: “With the bases unoccupied, the pitcher does not need to come to a complete and discernable stop.”
Obstruction Definition (rule 2) – A fielder must be in possession of the ball to avoid being guilty of obstruction. Obstruction is “the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. The words “not in the act of fielding” have been removed.
Collision rule (8-7b) – Reflects change in the obstruction rule. The defensive player must be in possession of the ball in order to block a runner’s path.
Interference definition (rule 2) – The word “deliberately” has been removed, giving the umpire more latitude in calling interference. The rule gives the fielder the absolute right to make a play on a batted ball.
Balk (9-1b-2) – The word “discernible” has been added relating to the required stop.
Bases awarded (7-11s) – Clarifies what happens to other runners when a pitch hits a runner attempting to steal home.
Fight rule (5-15, 5-15b) – Addresses players serving a suspension for fighting.
Video cameras (5-2f) – Video cameras are now restricted to “the area behind home plate”.
Regulation game (5-8b-4) – A fifth scoring option not bearing on the outcome of the game has been added for a game stopped after five innings.
Authorized personnel (4-8) – Specifies “athletic trainers” as personnel allowed on the playing field.
Other minor wording changes have taken place which do not affect the rules themselves.
Q: How do I become a college umpire?
A: The vast majority of today’s college baseball umpires progress up through youth league and high school baseball into junior college and ultimately Division I Conferences. Some umpires have worked in professional baseball (minor leagues) and upon release or retirement move into college baseball. No matter what situation you are in you should find out who does the assigning for your local colleges and contact that person. In most cases this will be a local umpire association’s assignment secretary. This person will be able to tell you what the process is in that area. You should expect to work fall games to be evaluated before being assigned to spring regular season games.
Q: I’ve been working college games locally, how do I get into a Division I Conference?
A: Most major Division I conferences have an individual that is responsible for selection, training and assignment of umpires. Please see the chart below for the appropriate contact information.
|Conference||Advisor||Address||City, State Zip||Work/Phone/Fax|
|America East||Nick Zibelli||17 Wade Street||Carver, MA 02330||508/866-7288 (w)||email@example.com|
|Atlantic 10||SAME AS AMERICA EAST|
|Atlantic Coast||Dee Todd||4512 Weybridge Lane||Greensboro, NC 27407||336/854-8787
|Big 12||Bob Jones||5017 George Road||Kansas City, MO 64133||816/304-6941
|Big East||Tony Gisondi||249 Pelican Road||Middletown, NJ 07768||732/796-1008
|Big South||Hal Stewart||1105 Shadywood Lane||Raleigh, NC 27603||910/897-8121
|Big Ten||Rich Fetcheit||4083 Lake Forest Drive East||Ann Arbor, MI 48108||734/647-4016
|Big West||Dale Williams||39088 Tiffany Circle||Palm Desert, CA 92211||760/772-1769 (h)
|Colonial||Jerry Stone||8625 Patterson Avenue||Richmond, VA 23229||804/754-1616
|Conference USA||SAME AS BIG TEN|
|ECAC||SAME AS AMERICA EAST|
|Ivy Group||SAME AS AMERICA EAST|
|Metro Atlantic||Shawn Brennan||712 Amboy Avenue||Edison, NJ 08837||732/738-5455, ext. 102
|Mid-American||SAME AS BIG TEN|
|Mid-Continent||Eric Harmon||601 N. Earl Avenue||Lafayette, IN 47904||765/448-6294
|Mid-Eastern||Randy Harvey||1308 Persimmon Avenue||Sanford, FL 32771||407/320-3431 (w)
|Midwestern||SAME AS BIG TEN|
|Missouri Valley||SAME AS BIG 12|
|Mountain West||Joe Burleson||6215 W. Viking Road||Las Vegas, NV 89103-2233||702/523-7539
|Northeast||SAME AS AMERICA EAST|
|Ohio Valley||Ron English||278 Franklin Road, #103||Brentwood, TN 37027||615/371-1698, ext. 2
|Pac-10||Doreen Evans||800 S. Broadway, Suite 400||Walnut Creek, CA 94596||925/932-4411
|Patriot||M. Grace Calhoun||3897 Adler Place Building C, Suite 310||Bethlehem, PA 18017||610/691-2414
|Southeastern||Tony Thompson||4425 Stone Mountain Highway||Lilburn, GA 30047||770/972-5515
|Southern||Geoff Cabe||One West Pack Square, Suite 1508||Asheville, NC 28801||828/255-7872
|Southland||David Wiley||Jowers Center
Southwest Texas State
|San Marcos, Texas 78666||512/245-2946
|SWAC||Charles McElroy||145 Blackmon Road||Jackson, MS 39212||601/364-6175
|Sun Belt||Tom Burnett||601 Poydras Street, Suite 2355||New Orleans, LA 70130||504/299-9066, ext. 16
|Trans America||Ted Gumbart||3370 Vineville Avenue, Suite 108-B||Macon, GA 31204||912/474-3394
|West Coast||Don Ott||1200 Bayhill Drive, Suite 302||San Bruno, CA 94066||650/878-8622
|WAC||Dan Pedersen||2731 Caminito Verdugo||Del Mar, CA 92014||619/542-3426
Q: I’m on a Division I Conference umpire staff, how do I get selected for postseason assignments?
A: Near the end of the season each Division I conference submits a list of recommended umpires to the NCAA for consideration of assignment to the Division I championship. These lists are based on the in-season evaluations within that conference. You must be on a recommended list from your conference in order to be assigned to the championship.
Q: Should I attend an umpire camp?
A: Only if you want to improve your umpiring abilities. The NCAA does not certify or accredit any umpire camps and it is not a prerequisite for assignment to any level of the championship. There are numerous camps across the country, most of which are very well worth your time and energy to attend. Be sure to ask what is taught at the camp (e.g. high school rules and mechanics, Major League Baseball rules and mechanics or some other system) so as to ensure your appropriate level of instruction. It should be clear that no matter who the instructors are, your attendance in no way affects your status as a potential candidate for NCAA postseason assignment.
NCAA Baseball Rules Committee Recommends No Immediate Changes In Equipment Rules
INDIANAPOLIS—There will be no immediate changes in the specifications for manufacturing baseball bats and balls based on recommendations approved today by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee.
At its annual meeting in Indianapolis, the committee considered recommendations from the NCAA Baseball Research Panel, reviewed results from laboratory testing and performance during the 2000 season, and put forward a set of recommendations that calls for no changes in specifications for the 2001 season.
“We agree with the research panel that the recommendations they made a year ago restored balance between offense and defense in the college game of baseball and made metal bats perform more like wood bats,” said Don Kessinger, associate athletics director for internal affairs at the University of Mississippi and chair of the rules committee. “The panel was concerned this year that there may be some loopholes in our testing procedures that we need to address to avoid problems in the future, and we have tried to do that.”
Specifically, the committee made the following changes:
A moment-of-inertia (MOI) standard will be set for each bat length and weight based on bats previously certified by the NCAA Bat Certification Program. All currently certified bats will meet the MOI standard. The MOI of future bats may not be less than the lowest MOI for bats of that length and weight recorded during the certification process for the 2000 season. The committee will continue to monitor the effect of MOI on the integrity of the game. Moment-of-inertia affects how weight is distributed along the barrel of the bat during the swing and can affect performance.
During the 2001 season, the NCAA will conduct random testing of baseballs for coefficient-of-restitution (COR) compliance. All baseballs used for regular and postseason play must have a COR value of between .525 and .555 to be eligible for play in the 2002 season. The NCAA will collect data to determine if an additional or substitute standard is necessary.
Effective January 1, 2003, a sliding scale for swing speed based on the bat length will be implemented as part of the NCAA Bat Certification Program. The scale will be based on the original exit speed standard of 97 miles-per-hour for a 34-inch bat.
The committee supported the Baseball Research Panel recommendations that further study be conducted on the possible effects of bat “workhardening” and that the NCAA collect data to determine the accuracy of the NCAA Bat Certification Program testing procedures.
The research panel had recommended a change in the COR for baseballs from .525-.555 to .515-.535. The rules committee voted to certify baseballs for all competition, instead of championship competition only, at the current COR.
“We want to assure that baseballs being used throughout the season are meeting the standard, and we think that is the first important step,” Kessinger said. “We may want to make adjustments in the future, but we want to take this one step at a time.”
Kessinger said the committee had the same concern about making a change to the MOI. The research panel had recommended creation of a minimum MOI standard for the 2002 season.
“Again, we may want to adjust the MOI in the future, but we want to get another season of competition under our belts with the certified bats we are using today before we do that,” Kessinger said. “We agree with the panel regarding a sliding scale for swing speeds during testing, but we want to put that off another two years.
“The bottom line is that two years ago, coaches were calling members of the committee to say that something was wrong and we needed to make some changes in specifications for the bats,” he said. “After this season and the changes we saw in the field as a result of the new specifications, those coaches were calling to say they liked how the game was played this year.”
According to season statistics in college baseball over the last 20 years, batting averages, scoring and home runs had remained steady until the last five years. From 1981 through 1995, batting averages were steady at .296, home runs at .80 per game, and scoring at 6.49 to 6.52 per game.
From 1995 through 1999, batting averages increased to .301, home runs to .91 per game, and scoring to 6.81 per game. In the just completed 2000 season, following changes to bat specifications, batting averages returned to .297, home runs to .80, and scoring to 6.53.
The Championships Committees in Divisions II and III and the Championships/Competition Cabinet in Division I will consider the rules committee’s recommendations when they meet in the fall.
Baseball Research Panel Makes Recommendations
Friday, June 9, 2000
INDIANAPOLIS—After a year of research and data collection related to baseball equipment, the NCAA Baseball Research Panel developed several recommendations during a meeting June 2 in Chicago that will enhance equipment standards already in place to preserve the integrity of the game.
The recommendations will be forwarded to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee this summer and could go into effect January 1, 2002, which will give the baseball community ample time to adjust to the proposed changes.
The panel voted to recommend changes to the ball standard, establishing a “moment-of-inertia (MOI)” requirement, use of a swing-speed sliding scale for non-wood bats in testing, and a uniform ball-exit speed based on a 33-inch wooden bat as the standard for certification of non-wood bats.
“Obviously, college baseball has needed some stability, and I feel we have accomplished that,” said Milton Gordon, president at California State University, Fullerton, and chair of the panel. “We have achieved what we were charged to do — create a safe, fair set of standards for baseball. Now, we must continue to make sure the standard we have is a good one and that changes are made in a timely manner as necessary.”
The panel specifically reviewed the issue of safety, including two incidents of pitchers sustaining broken jaws from batted balls during the NCAA Baseball Championship regional competition a week earlier. Based on its review of available data, the panel agreed that bats are performing at an acceptable level of risk.
“No one wants to see players injured,” Gordon said. “Unless we fundamentally change the game, however, playing baseball will never be risk-free. Despite the two unfortunate instances in the regionals, I am confident we have reduced risk overall.
“The panel has been pleased overall with the standards,” he said. “What we are doing now is taking what we’ve learned from a year of testing and collecting data and trying to make better what we have in place.”
The panel voted to recommend changing the standard for baseballs that will be used in NCAA play. The current standard allows baseballs that meet a coefficient-of-restitution (COR) standard of .525 to .555. The panel voted to make the range .515 to .535.
“What this means is that the baseball will be a bit less lively,” said panel member Ken Johnson, professor of physics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. “This is an important addition to reforms that have been made with the bats.”
Moment-of-inertia, which affects how weight is distributed along the barrel of the bat during the swing, was a topic of discussion at the meeting. The current testing protocol does not call for an MOI standard. The panel, however, agreed to recommend a minimum standard based on the length of the bat. The result of the new standard would make metal bats feel and swing more like a wood bat in the field.
Finally, the panel examined adjusting the protocol in such a way that would make the testing procedure more closely replicate field conditions. The panel voted to raise the pitch speed to 80 miles-per-hour, set a specific standard for baseballs that are used during testing, and recommend that bats of different lengths be swung at different speeds during testing.
“With regard to different swing speeds, it only makes sense that you can swing a lighter bat faster,” Johnson said. “The additional speed you can generate is offset by a lower mass, however. Changing the swing speeds should make for a more accurate test.”
The panel also asked James A. Sherwood of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, who runs the NCAA’s baseball testing system, to assist in creating a set exit speed limit based on the highest-quality 33-inch wooden bats available.
The original protocol, finalized in September 1999, stipulated that no changes would be made to the testing procedure or standard until August of 2000. These recommendations will be forwarded to the NCAA’s Baseball Rules Committee for discussion at its annual meeting in July. If the rules committee approves the changes, the Championships/Competition Cabinet would have to give its approval before the new recommendations take effect.
Additionally, early data indicates that a phenomenon known as “workhardening” occurs in non-wood baseball bats. Bats seem to improve their performance after being used in the field. The panel instructed Sherwood to collect additional data on the subject. The NCAA will notify manufacturers of the data collected during random testing and reemphasize that bats may fail testing due to workhardening and would be ruled ineligible. The panel noted that manufacturers should be aware that bats could increase performance after use, and should allow room for this increase.
The panel also recommended that the NCAA continue to support workhardening experiments in addition to certification testing. The panel asked Sherwood to have a proposed protocol change with reference to workhardening prepared by October 1, 2000, with additional data for potential implementation by January 1, 2002.
Further, the panel recommended that the NCAA collect data to determine the accuracy of the testing procedures. Overall, the panel hopes these changes will enhance the testing procedure and also provide stability to what has been a chaotic issue.
“The panel’s feeling is that the standard is a good one,” Gordon said. “We have some changes we would like to see made, but these are not major alterations.”
NCAA Executive Committee Approves Bat Standards
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA—The NCAA Executive Committee has approved a batted-ball exit speed standard of less than 97 miles per hour for bats used in all intercollegiate baseball competitions among NCAA member schools.
The committee’s decision supports a recommendation from the NCAA Baseball Research Panel that solid northern ash wooden bat performance should become the standard for setting limits on all baseball bat performance.
In addition, the Executive Committee approved the panel’s recommendation of January 1, 2000, as the implementation date for the standard and declared a three-year moratorium on changes.
The panel noted that the moratorium will allow researchers to further assess the impact of the new standard and to conduct additional tests on wood and non-wood bats, as well as collecting information related to performance standards for baseballs.
“The moratorium will give the baseball community time to adjust to the new standards and for the panel to do further research,” said Charles Wethington, president at the University of Kentucky and chair of the NCAA Executive Committee. “Of course, we reserve the right to make adjustments in the standards for bats and balls at any time if necessary.”
The panel, which was convened last March to review issues related to the performance of non-wood bats and baseballs, concluded that a batted-ball exit speed should be adopted for non-wood bats that equates to the highest average exit speed using Major League Baseball-quality, 34-inch, solid wood bats.
The new standard is based on testing of solid northern ash wood bats performed in an independent laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The lab will also certify that all non-wood bats used in intercollegiate competition do not exceed the standard.
The committee reaffirmed two other standards approved in August, 1998, that limit the diameter of the bat to 2 5/8 inches and reduce the difference between weight and length for bats to three units (a 34-inch bat can weigh no less than 31 ounces).
A protocol developed by the panel for testing and certification of bats also has received Executive Committee approval.