The CPBL will implement the no-pitch intentional walk rule in 2018 to increase the pace of play. Originally, the new rule was to go into effect only for the farm league, but the league have decided to implement that across the entire league after the general assembly.
The New Intentional Walk Rule
Under the new intentional walk rule, the manager only needs to signal the umpire and the batter can advance to the first base straight away. According to the league’s representative, they are expecting to cut down nine seconds per game with this new rule.
CPBL Pace of Play By the Numbers
The past few seasons, the CPBL have been a hitter’s league, and the average time per game have also increased along with it.
- 2017 season average time per game: 3 hours and 28 minutes.
- 2016 season average time per game: 3 hours and 27 minutes.
- 2015 season average time per game: 3 hours and 25 minutes.
- 2014 season average time per game: 3 hours and 20 minutes.
- Quickest team per game in 2017: Fubon Guardians with 3 hours and 23 minutes.
- Slowest team per game in 2017: Uni-Lions with 3 hours and 33 minutes.
What We Think
While it is a good idea to cut down the average time per game, removing the intentional walk does not seems like an efficient way to go about it.
One of the major culprit is the pitching clock and lack of enforcement by the league. A 15 seconds rule was first introduced in 2006, and it was revised and further reduced down to 12 seconds in 2017, but no one takes it seriously or even trying to enforced it.
With the pitching clock being properly enforced, we will very likely to see a significant drop in the average game time. Maybe even possible to bring the average game time down to the 3 hours and 10 minutes range.
But again, it is all up to the league whether they want to start enforcing the rule or not.
(Monkeys closer Chen Yu-Hsun refused to pitch to protest umpire’s strikezone)