“These new international baseball regulations will be introduced at the WBSC Premier12 in November and serve as the basis for Olympic baseball.” — WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari today announced new game regulations for the 2019 WBSC Premier12, the year’s top major international baseball competition and Olympic qualifier, scheduled for November.
WBSC will be introducing game clocks and video review/manager’s challenge for the second edition of the Premier12.
“Given the extreme importance of the Premier12, which will send two teams to the historic return of Olympic baseball at the Tokyo 2020 Games, we have a grave responsibility to ensure the highest integrity and fairness of the game,” said WBSC President Fraccari, “and this means embracing the use of available technologies to help officiate the games with the greatest possible accuracy and impartiality.”
Video Replay and Manager’s Challenge
Team managers will be able to ask for video assistance and challenge an umpire’s call at any time during a regulation nine-inning game. Managers will lose this right, however, upon an unsuccessful challenge, but will have it restored for extra-inning games under the same conditions.
Umpire crew chiefs will be able to independently seek a video review beginning in the eighth inning.
Game Clocks Enforced
The WBSC Premier12 will also see the enforcement of 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 first time such time-limits are imposed at a major international baseball event.
The clocks will be visible from both the field of play and the dugouts, with placements along the backstop as well as outfield fence.
“This will be the first time that game clocks are used in a major international baseball event,” said Fraccari. “These changes aim to make baseball games more fast-paced and exciting to watch, particularly for younger audiences as well as global viewers who may be watching our sport for the first time.”
The II WBSC Premier12 will be staged from 2-17 November — with opening rounds in Guadalajara (MEX) Taichung/Taoyuan (TPE) and Seoul (KOR) — and will serve as a direct qualifier for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The major global competition will feature baseball’s 12 best National Teams in the world, including No. 1 Japan, No. 2 United States, No. 3 Korea, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Cuba, No. 6 Mexico, No. 7 Australia, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 9 Venezuela, No. 10 Canada, No. 11 Puerto Rico and No. 12 Dominican Republic.
Full 2019 WBSC Premier12 rules and regulations can be found here.