MLB Expands Pace of Game Rules for 2016 Season
Major League Baseball announced the pace of game program has been expanded to the 2016 season to include timed visits to the pitcher’s mound of managers and coaches.
Pace of Game
The pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher’s mound by managers and pitching coaches. In addition, break timers will now mirror the time allotted to broadcasters between innings: 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games, a reduction of 20 seconds each from the 2015 season, when the times counted down from 2:25 for local games and from 2:45 for national games. The change aims to allow players to more closely match the resumption of play with the return of broadcasters from commercial breaks.
The vast majority of last year’s newly implemented pace of game initiatives will continue in 2016. The 2015 changes centered around enhanced enforcement of Rule 5.04(b)(4) – the “Batter’s Box Rule” – and the addition of ballpark timers measuring the break between innings and during pitching changes.
Those efforts contributed to a reduction of six minutes and seven seconds (6:07) per nine-inning game from 2014 to 2015, dropping the average length from 3:02:21 to 2:56:14.