The New Intentional Walk Rule

In 2018, the CPBL will implement a no-pitch intentional walk rule to increase the pace of play. The new rule was originally to go into effect only in the farm league, but the decision was made to implement the new rule across the entire league after the general assembly.

Under the new intentional walk rule, the manager needs only to signal the umpire and the batter can then advance to the first base straight away. According to a league representative, they are expecting this new rule to cut down nine seconds per game.

CPBL to adopt new intentional walk rule in 2018
The CPBL to adopt new intentional walk rule in 2018. Photo credit: (

The Pace of Play in the CPBL: By the Numbers

For the past few seasons, the CPBL has been a hitter’s league, with the average time per game increasing 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: The Fubon Guardians with 3 hours and 23 minutes.
  • Slowest Team per Game in 2017: The Uni-Lions with 3 hours and 33 minutes.

What We Think About CPBL Pace of Time

While it is a good idea to cut down the average time per game, removing the intentional walk does not seem like an efficient way to go about it.

One of the major culprits in the increasing length of time is the pitching clock and its lack of enforcement by the league. A 15-second rule was first introduced in 2006, and was revised and further reduced down to 12 seconds in 2017, but no one takes it seriously or even tries to enforce it.

With a properly enforced pitching clock, we would very likely see a significant drop in the average game time. Doing this may even make it possible to bring the average game time down to the 3 hours and 10 minutes range.

But again, in the end, it is all up to the league and whether they want to start enforcing the rule or not.

While we are on the topic of pace of time, here is a fun video, where the Lamigo Monkeys’ closer Chen Yu-Hsun refused to pitch to protest the umpire’s strike zone.



  1. What happened in the second exhibition game between the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Lamigo Monkeys? Did Wang Po-Jung get any more hits?

    Now that March 1st is here, do we have more information on who is filling the remaining foreign pitcher roster spots?

    • Monkeys’ lineup got shutdown in the second game against the Fighters. Only managed to get 3 hits the entire game. Wang Po-Jung went 0-for-4. He did drilled one all the way to the wall, but it was caught near at the warning track.

      No news on the Guardians roster spot yet. But I am assuming the announcement should be out soon. Definitely going to be Woodall and Billings in my opinion.

        • They had a press conference today. And Guardians GM told everyone they are now in talks with Billings and Woodall. Haha, even it’s after 228, they’re still trying to fake it.

          Oh yeah, definitely going to be the best pitching in 2018. Going to very very tough to beat Guardians this season.

  2. One problem with playing only a couple of games is that it doesn’t give a prospect a real opportunity to show how good he really is unless he gets lucky. I’m sure everyone in NPB took notice of Wang’s two games against NPB’s best starters last year and the two hits he got in the first game against the Fighters this year.

    Do you know if Yang Dai-Kang is treated as “foreign” player for NPB major league roster limits? Wikipedia says he was drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the NPB amateur draft in 2007, and he should have become a free agent a lot sooner if he was a “foreign” player. Did he play high school, college or industrial league ball in Japan before signing with the Fighters?

    • Yang Dai-Kang (Yoh Daikan) is considered as domestic player in the NPB as he went through the Japanese education system (High school). It’s a really good system for a lot of young Taiwanese players to play in the NPB, quite a lot of Taiwanese players benefit from this.

  3. Yang reportedly played as a back-up for the Taiwanese team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. I wonder if he will play in the CPBL when his four or five year contract with the Yomiuri Giants ends.


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