Mexican Baseball League to play seven-inning games, follows WBSC international baseball, softball

Mexican Baseball League to play seven-inning games, follows WBSC international baseball, softball
The league was inspired by the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup and the high number of highly competitive games.

The Mexican Baseball League (LMB) announced that regular season games played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be seven innings and start at 7.30 pm. The new rule doesn't apply to games scheduled during the season's first week.

LMB's target is to reduce the duration of games and came to the decision after acknowledging that seven-inning games resulted in 56% of scores with a run difference of three or less ("highly competitive games") at the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup that Mexico hosted last year.

Mexico was also the host of the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016. Nine-inning games resulted in only 24% of highly competitive games.

Professional leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB), scheduled so far seven-inning games only in doubleheaders.

Game clocks will become another important tool to reduce game times. They will measure the duration of coaching visits. Coaches will be able to visit the mound three times in seven-inning games and four times in nine-inning games. Each visit will last no more than 30 seconds. They will also monitor the time of pitching changes, which won't exceed two minutes.

Game clocks will be available in each LMB ballpark starting Friday, 6 May.

The 20-team LMB is a WBSC Associate Member.

Opening day is scheduled for Thursday, 21 April. The defending champions Tijuana Toros will host the Mexico City Diablos Rojos at the Estadio Chevron.

Nine games are scheduled for Friday, 22 April.

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