Atlantic League Reports Shorter Game Times from Pace of Play Rule Changes in 2015 Season

Share Article

Average Game Time Reduced by 20 Minutes During First Four Weeks of Season

News Image
The changes are working, and it's not changing the game we know as baseball. Playing faster, crisper baseball, if anything, keeps everyone's head in the game better.

Through the first 100 games of the 2015 season, the Atlantic League has observed a significant improvement since implementing Pace of Play (POP) rules, finding its average 9-inning games taking 20 minutes less than games played during the same period last year.

When POP changes were initiated during the second half of last year, average 9-inning game times were reduced to 2:54 from 3:01 during the first half of the season. This season, the average ALPB game takes 2:41, a 13-minute reduction since 2014’s rules adjustments.

Rules that have helped reduce game delays include limitations of defensive and offensive timeouts -- whether they be conferences at the mound or batters stepping out of the box. Teams are allowed three defensive timeouts (not exceeding 30 seconds) during the game.

Limiting the break in between innings to no more than 2:05 minutes has allowed games to progress rapidly. In addition, the introduction of an automatic intentional walk rule allows pitchers to disregard throwing four balls if they wish to issue an intentional base on balls.

"We are very pleased with our results to date. The Atlantic League has encouraged umpires to enforce all of these rules, as they ultimately control the pace of the ballgame," said Rick White, President of the Atlantic League. "Our umpires have been diligently enforcing rules, especially when players step out of the box and adjust equipment."

White credits players, managers, coaches, and umpires for the success in cutting down game times, saying: “Everyone has done a terrific job hustling and moving games along at a brisk pace.”

"The changes are working, and it's not changing the game we know as baseball. Playing faster, crisper baseball, if anything, keeps everyone's head in the game better," said Lancaster Barnstormers Manager Butch Hobson. "I know the fans like it. But the most important thing is that none of the changes that have been implemented have compromised anything about the way the game is played."

The Atlantic League's Pace of Play Committee is comprised of former MLB executives and players with over 200 years of collective professional experience. The committee also invites suggestions from those who wish to see games take proceed quickly.

About The Atlantic League
The Atlantic League is considered the most innovative league in professional baseball and offers the highest level of minor league baseball among independent leagues and is a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Atlantic League players are highly experienced professionals, having progressed through professional baseballs developmental levels (A, AA, AAA). Over 40% of all Atlantic League players have Major League service time. Like MLB, Atlantic League clubs pay their players to win baseball games, not be apprentices as in the developmental levels.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Mooney

+1 908-720-6057
Email >

Marty Appel

212-245-1772
Email >
Visit website