The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee will allow the Atlantic Coast Conference to use an experimental instant replay rule during its baseball conference tournament in 2014.
Committee members, who met via conference call on Tuesday, had previously approved the use of the experimental instant replay rules for the 2014 West Coast Conference tournament.
In 2012, the committee added to the instant replay rule for the 2013 season. Originally, the experimental rule was to be used only in games that took place in the Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The rule allows umpires to use video replay to see if a ball originally called foul was actually fair.
For the umpires to conference in this scenario, the ball must have touched the ground beyond first or third base, have touched the ground beyond the first or third baseman and originally been called foul. If the call is overturned, it will be up to the umpire crew chief to determine where to place all base runners on the play.
Umpires are now allowed to conference on several specific types of plays. This new rule is an expansion of the “Getting the Call Right” provisions already in the rule book.
The foul-to-fair call was one of the plays added to the instant replay experimental rule at the MCWS. In 2012, the committee permitted experimental instant replay reviews at the MCWS on the following:
• Deciding if an apparent home run is fair or foul
• Deciding whether a batted ball left the playing field for a home run or a ground-rule double
• Spectator-interference plays (only on plays involving home run balls)
There were no instant replay reviews during the 2012 or '13 MCWS.
Committee members are in favor of the West Coast Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference implementing the experimental replay rule since the league is prepared to follow the same procedures and protocols that would be followed at the MCWS. Select expansion of the rule to events outside of the MCWS is also intended to create additional opportunities for the rule to be used, and if replay and review are executed for a permitted situation, for feedback to be provided to the committee regarding the outcome and how well the process worked from an officiating perspective.