VBL Introduces New Rules For 2022 Season

As a new season of Valley Baseball League action kicks off, the league has implemented a pair of new rules, both in an effort to protect pitcher’s arms.

The league introduced a run rule and adopted the “international tie-breaker” for extra innings, placing a runner on second to start each extra frame.

First seen in the Valley League All-Star game last summer, the run rule was put in place to reduce pitchers throwing “unnecessary innings” when a game is out of hand. The rule is initiated when a team has a 10-run lead after seven innings in a nine-inning game or after five in a seven-inning game.

It didn’t take long for the run-rule to be used, as the Strasburg Express knocked off the Winchester Royals 13-2 in seven innings on Thursday night, the VBL’s first game of the season.

 

The league’s other new rule, the “international tie-breaker,” places the batter that was the final out in the ninth inning on second to start the 10th in games that go to extras. It will continue for each extra frame until the game concludes.

Major League Baseball introduced the same rule during the 2020 and 2021 seasons impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and kept it in place for the 2022 season.

The rule has shown its effectiveness at the MLB level with no game going past the 13th inning during the 2020 season. According to Sporting News, it was the first time since 1901 that no game in a season went at least 15 innings.