WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari: ‘New faster games make baseball/softball more attractive for Olympics and other multi-sport events.’
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today welcomed a report on the faster average game times of baseball games at the recent Lima 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru.
The 20-game tournament in Lima, which trialed the new WBSC game clock regulations ahead of November’s WBSC Premier12 major global event, registered an average game time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, significantly below the general 3-hour benchmark.
“The success of WBSC’s new game-clock regulations and faster baseball games at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games is a major — maybe even revolutionary — step forward for our sport at the international level as well as for potential adoption from leagues around the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Showcasing a faster, more action-packed baseball game will help us continue to globalise our sport and attract new audiences, while improving the presentation of our sport in multi-sport programmes like the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Pan Am Games.”
WBSC’s new international regulations include a 20-second pitch clock, a 30-second pitcher’s mound visit clock, a 90-second pitching change clock and a 90-second between innings clock.
The eight-team baseball tournament at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, won by Puerto Rico for the first-time ever, included the National Teams of Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru.
Overall it was reported that National Team managers, coaching staffs and players responded favorably to the new regulations and how they were applied at the Pan Am Games.
While there were a few warnings and infractions of the 20-second pitch rule at the Pan Am Games, pitchers generally took 12 seconds to throw a pitch, pushing a faster overall pace of play and delivering increased game action.
The full rollout of the new game-clock regulations, along with video replay review, will be introduced this November at the WBSC Premier12, the year’s biggest international baseball event and Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier. Following any needed fine-tuning after the Premier12, the WBSC will apply the new regulations at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.