CPBL Tweaks Existing Pitch Clock Rule

On January 10, the CPBL announced some new adjustments to their existing pitch-clock rule. On top of that, the league also implemented the extra inning ghost runner rule and authorised the use of the PitchCom system in order to improve the overall pace of play.

According to the league, the current 20-second timer on pitchers with the bases empty rule will remain the same as before. But now there is a new 25-second timer with runners aboard.

The 20/25-second timer will begin when the pitcher has the ball and is standing on the mound. The batters and catchers must get in their positions before the countdown reaches 8 and 9 seconds.

Pitchers are limited to three “disengagements” per plate appearance. In other words, they are only allowed to step off the rubber or try to pick off a runner three times while facing a batter.

The league also stated that the pitch-clock rule would be strictly enforced, and from now on, there will be no more warnings for pitch-clock violations. The umpire will issue either a ball or a strike penalty immediately.

It is worth noting that initially, the league’s new pitch-clock adjustment proposal was 18 seconds with bases empty and 23 seconds with runners on bases. But after a lengthy discussion, all the team’s representatives settled on the 20/25-second timer rule.

Ghost Runner Rule, Approval of PitchCom System

Apart from the pitch clock, the league also introduced the “ghost runner rule” in the extra innings. According to the league, a free runner will be placed on second base at the start of every inning from the 10th to the 12th inning. The game will be declared as a draw after the 12th inning during the regular season.

In order to avoid sign stealing and to speed up the communication between the pitchers and catchers, the league has approved the usage of the PitchCom system in the upcoming season.

Last year, the average game time in the CPBL was 3 hours and 20 minutes. Will all these new pace-of-play rules be able to make an impact when it comes to shortening the length of the game? I guess we will find out on March 30, the 2024 CPBL Opening Day.


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