Changes to rules, video reviews in 2019

By: The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2019
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has a word with home plate umpire Mike Morris after a close call at home plate in the third inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional baseball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Sunday, June 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has a word with home plate umpire Mike Morris after a close call at home plate in the third inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional baseball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Sunday, June 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Rule changes going into effect during the 2019 NCAA baseball season:

VIDEO REVIEWS

Coaches will have two video review challenges per game where the technology is available. The play must be one of the following 12 types, and the coach can initiate a challenge in any inning.

The crew chief can decide to review plays 1-6 at any time, but only review plays 7-12 during the last two innings of regulation and extra innings.

1, If a batted ball is fair or foul, when the ball has first touched the ground, or a fielder is beyond the initial position of the first and third baseman.

2, If a batted ball is a ground rule double or a home run.

3, If any catch or no catch call in the outfield or foul territory.

4, If a call of "no catch" can be changed to "catch" within the infield if the catch results in the third out with any runners or at any time with a batter runner only.

5, If spectator interference occurred.

6, Scoring plays at home plate, including collisions or time plays.

7, Force and tag plays at any base.

8, Plays involving runners passing a preceding runner, scoring prior to the third out and whether a runner touched a base.

9, Plays involving hit by pitch.

10, If a runner failed to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is caught.

11, The umpire's placement of a batter runner or runners following a boundary call.

12, If interference occurred in an attempt to break up a double play.

Plays 7-12 were used on an experimental basis in Southeastern Conference games only in 2018, but were adopted by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee during the offseason and can be used in all games where the technology is available this year.

At the SEC's spring meetings last year in Destin, Fla., league athletics directors approved the use of centralized replay in conference games only, which will allow a replay official at the SEC office in Birmingham, Ala., to communicate with on-site umpires about reviewable calls. This is similar to the practice already in place for NCAA super regionals and the College World Series.

Centralized replay will not be available for non-conference games.

OTHER NOTABLE CHANGES

— Teams will be limited to six defensive conferences on the mound in regulation. A maximum of three of the defensive conferences may include a coach. An extra defensive conference is allowed during extra innings, and the coach may be involved. A pitching change is required if a coach makes a second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning; a coach has already been involved with three charged defensive conferences during regulation or the "extra" conference during extra innings; or a team has already used all permitted charged conferences and a coach goes to the mound.

— The defensive team's head coach is allowed to signal the umpire his intent to intentionally walk the batter without the pitcher throwing four pitches.

— A defensive player may not block any part of the base with any part of his body unless he has clear possession of the ball. If the defensive player blocks a base before having clear possession of the ball, the umpire will call obstruction, the ball will be dead immediately and the runner involved will be awarded one base beyond the last base the runner had attained before the obstruction.

— A batter cannot make a movement to intentionally be hit by a pitch. A player who leans or sticks a portion of his body to be hit by a pitch will have a strike added to the count, regardless of where the pitch is located.

— Pitchers will not be allowed to fake a throw to third base and then throw to first. A balk will be called for this type of pick-off attempt.

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