MLB and the owners approved an extended replay system prior to the start of the convention. Due to the convention and the week that followed, this is the first opportunity there has been to post this information.
The 30 MLB teams unanimously approved the expansion of instant replay on Jan. 16 at the Owners Meetings in Arizona. The MLBPA and World Umpires Association also agreed to the new system which will be in place for the upcoming season.
Teams will hire video coordinators to assist managers in deciding on challenges. All clubs will have a phone line from the clubhouse video room to the dugout that permits quick communication and counsel on whether the play should be challenged.
Teams will begin using the new instant replay system during some televised games in Spring Training in order to give teams and umpires a chance to start learning how to use the system in actual games.
An announcement was also made last week that Major League Baseball “has told its 30 teams they must implement screening for fans, by 2015, either with hand-held metal detection of walk-through magnetometers.”
MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said, “This procedure, which results from MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to standardize security practices throughout the game, will be in addition to big bag checks that are now uniform throughout baseball. We conducted testing of these measures at the All-Star games and at both World Series venues last year, and we were pleased that it was effective and received without issue from fans.”
Major League Baseball will be assisted by CEIA USA Ltd, and the security company GSIS in the process.
Major League Baseball Instant Replay Rules
The following play types will be subject to review:
- Home Run
- Ground Rule Double
- Fan Interference
- Stadium Boundary Calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball)
- Force Play (except the fielder’s touching of second base on a double play)
- Tag Pay (including steals and pickoffs)
- Fair/Foul in Outfield Only
- Trap Play in Outfield Only
- Batter Hit By Pitch
- Timing Play (whether a runner scores before a third out)
- Touching a Base (requires appeal)
- Passing Runners
- Record Keeping (Ball-Strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions)
All other plays will not be reviewable; however, the Umpires may still convene on the field at any time to discuss the play.
Initiation of Instant Replay
- Field managers may initate replay reviews on one reviewable play per game by verbally indicating his intention to the challenge, in a timely manner, to the Crew Chief. Guidelines will be established to determine whether a challenge is timely.
- The manager may request that the umpire review multiple portions of the same play, but must specify exactly which portions of the play he is challenging.
- If any portion of a challenged play is overturned, the manager who challenged the play with retain the ability to challenge one more play during the game. No manager may challenge more than two plays in a game.
- Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. In that circumstance, the Crew Chief is not obligated to invoke instant replay if requested by the managers.
- Home run calls that are currently subject to instant replay review will continue to be reviews at the Crew Chief’s discretion. Managers may request that an Umpire review a home run call, but managers cannot challenge home run calls.
- Once instant replay is invoked (either by the Manager or the Crew Chief), the Crew Chief will signal to the official scorer that the play is under review.
- The Crew Chief and at least one other umpire will then move to a designated communication location near home plate, where they will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the Replay Command Center in New York.
- Major League Umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center, located at MLB Advanced Media headquarters, for all Major League games.
- The Replay Command Center will have direct access to video from most cameras in the ballpark in real-time, regardless of whether they are shown on the live broadcast.
- The Replay Official will look at the video feeds and determine if there is clear and convincing evidence to overturn the call on the field. If the Replay Official overturns a call on the field, he will also use his judgment to determine where to appropriately place runners if the play had been called correctly on the field.
- The umpires on the field will not have a monitor to review the play and they will not leave the field at any time.
- The Replay Official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call.
- On-Field personnel may not argue with the decision of the Replay Official.
Club Access to Video
- To determine whether to challenge a play, personnel in the dugout will be permitted to communicate with a video specialist in the Clubhouse who has access to the same video that is available to Replay Officials. This communication will occur via the dugout phone.
- Both the home team and visiting Clubs will have standardized technology to ensure each Club has equal access to all video.
- No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout.
- Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on its ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.
A permanent page has been created on the CCO for easy access to the rules during the season – Major League Baseball Instant Replay Rules