GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) — Some new rule changes are in effect for the 2023 NCAA college baseball season.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the changes last year. Here’s a look at the modifications:
- The rules regarding the 20-second action clock with runners on base have been changed. The clock starts when a pitcher receives the ball and ends when he begins his pitching motion. Prior to this season, pitchers received a warning for their first violation of the 20-second clock. Subsequent violations would result in a ball being added to the count. There was no limit on the number of step-offs or fake pickoff throws pitchers could make to reset the clock, and that’s where the big difference is. Now, pitchers are allowed just one step-off or fake pick-off throw per batter to reset the clock. If a defensive player requests and is granted a timeout it would be treated the same as a step-off, with the one-per-batter rule still in effect. A ball is added to the count if the pitcher has a 20-second clock violation, and a strike is added if the batter commits a similar infraction by delaying the game.
- Umpires can now initiate video replay reviews to determine whether “malicious contact or misconduct” has occurred. They can also initiate reviews for catcher’s interference.
- Celebratory props are no longer allowed outside the dugout.
- Coaches cannot enter the dirt circle at home plate for appeals or interpretations of the rules of play. They must initiate those actions at the midpoint of their team’s respective foul line.
- Either by conference rule or mutual consent between the two teams, a game could be completed with one umpire. By those same stipulations, all extra innings (10th inning of a nine-inning game or the eighth inning of a seven-inning doubleheader game) could start with a runner on second base.
- The rules on fencing and padding at college ballparks have also been changed, although teams have some time to make those changes before the deadline. Teams will be required to have a 3-foot fence or protective netting installed on the field side of their dugouts. Division I teams are required to have those changes in place by Jan. 1, 2024, and the deadline for teams in Divisions II and III is one year after that.