The ALPB Board of Directors has adopted the following initiatives for trial during the 2015 Championship Season based on the recommendations by The Pace of Play Committee:
The time between innings shall be limited to no more than 2 minutes, 5 seconds. Timing shall commence when the last out is recorded in a half inning and ends when the pitcher starts his windup or delivery of the first pitch to the plate in the subsequent half inning.
- NOTES: a) The 3rd base umpire shall keep time and shall remind the plate umpire with 20 seconds remaining in the period between innings so the plate umpire can ensure teams move at an appropriate pace to begin play; b) in the umpire crew’s sole discretion, the period between innings may be lengthened to contend with issues such as injury, weather, pitching change, etc.; c) Clubs agree that between-innings promotions shall last less than 90 seconds; d) squads are free to begin innings in less than 2:05 if both teams are prepared to start play
The League shall revoke the 6 warm up pitch rule adopted as a trial in 2014.
- NOTES: a) Pitchers shall be allowed the number of warm up pitches they need as long as they are prepared to start the inning within 2:05; b) eight (8) warm up pitches are suggested (as provided for in Rule 8.03)
Clubs may test countdown clocks to time a) the 12 seconds* between pitches with no one on base rule and the b) 2 minute, 5 second limit between innings.
- NOTES: a) The clock operator shall be the official timekeeper; b) clocks must be large enough to be easily read and located within convenient view of on-field personnel. Two clocks are suggested (one outfield, one behind home plate); c) other countdown options may be added in the future to reflect other POP trials or rules; c) in the umpire crew’s sole discretion, the clock may be turned off for either a short period or the remainder of the game to contend with issues such as injury, weather, clock malfunction, etc.; d) the 12 second period starts once the pitcher receives the ball and ends when he begins his windup or delivery.
- Clubs shall cease “walk up music” when hitters reach the home plate circle
The manager or coach shall signal the plate umpire for a pitching change immediately upon leaving the dugout when making the second trip to confer with the same pitcher in the same inning.
- Notes: a) the manager or coach shall physically signal either righty or lefty by raising his right or left hand. If there is any question regarding which player the manager or coach is requesting, he shall verbally inform the plate umpire of the name of the pitcher entering the game. The plate umpire shall then communicate the change to the appropriate base umpire who shall convey the change to the bullpen.
On-field time-outs or conferences shall be limited to no more than 30 seconds, except in the case of injury.
- NOTE: a) A conference begins when a manager, coach or player reaches the dirt portion of the mound OR initiates a conversation which creates delay and shall conclude when all conferees other than the pitcher step off the pitching mound dirt OR cease conversation and begin to return to their normal in-game position.
- Umpires shall exercise good judgment and common sense when arbitrating Atlantic League games, especially with regard to any pace of play initiatives;
- Clubs and managers shall be reminded, warned, then disciplined by the League office if they repeatedly violate pace of play initiatives
- The Atlantic League shall adopt MLB and MiLB pace of play rules if/when they are announced/implemented.
The ALPB Board of Directors has adopted the following trial initiatives introduced 2014 on a permanent basis:
The defensive team, including any manager, coach or player, shall be limited during a game to a total of three (3) "time-outs" in which mound visits or on-the-field conferences are conducted with a pitcher or position player.
- Notes: a) A mound visit which results in a pitching change at the time of the visit shall not count as one of the three (3) permitted "time-outs;” b) in the case of an extra-inning game, one additional "time-out" shall be permitted at the start of the 10th inning and every three (3) innings thereafter (the 13th, 16th etc.); c) each "time-out" shall be limited to thirty (30) seconds as described above; d) the umpire-in-chief is responsible for enforcing the thirty (30) second limit on "time-outs." If the defensive team disregards the umpire's reasonable warning and continues to delay the game, the umpire shall declare a "Ball" for the batter at the plate.
The Atlantic League Office shall direct umpires to be diligent applying and enforcing Rule 6.02 (restricting batters "stepping out" of the box) and Rule 8.04 (requiring the pitcher to deliver the ball within 12 seconds** when the bases are unoccupied).
- Note: Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.”
- The Atlantic League Office shall direct umpires to adhere to the strike zone as defined in Rule 2.00 and to observe that definition when calling pitches “Balls” or “Strikes.”
- When a manager or catcher of the defensive team indicates to the home plate umpire they wish to issue an intentional base on balls, the batter shall be awarded first base without the need for the pitcher to deliver four balls.
*Consistent with MLB