Experimental replay rules tweaked for college baseball
Teams to be allowed 2 coach’s challenges in SEC, ACC; Big 12 to add pitch clock
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a tweak to allow baseball coaches in the Southeastern Conference two challenges per team in league games for video review in the 2018 season.
Last August, a challenge system in SEC games was approved to allow a coach one challenge to have a call overturned by video review. If the challenge was successful, that coach would have been able to challenge another play later in the game.
If the challenge was unsuccessful, the coach would have lost the ability to issue a challenge for the rest of the game.
Now, regardless of whether the challenge is successful or not, a coach is only allowed two challenges per game. However, the umpiring crew still can initiate a video review to ensure the original call is correct.
The panel also approved a request from the Atlantic Coast Conference to use the same coach’s challenge system in its league games, as well as to allow wireless communication between the dugout and the catcher. The SEC received approval for the wireless communication in August. The experimental rule is being allowed to see if the technology improves the pace of play.
Pitch clock in Big 12
The Big 12 Conference’s request to use two visible 15-second pitch clocks when no runners are on base during league games also was approved by the panel.
If the batter isn’t in the box before the 15 seconds is up, a strike will be awarded. If the pitcher fails to throw a pitch before the clock expires, a ball will be awarded to the count. There will be no warnings for the first violation of the experimental rule.