Updated: Feb 14
Last August, while many sports fans were anxiously awaiting the start of football season, and even die-hard college baseball fans were thinking more of fall ball, the NCAA announced college baseball rule changes that would begin in the 2023 season. What seemed months away then is now just days away, and it's in your best interest to familiarize yourself with those changes coming sooner than later to a ballpark near you.
The announcement appropriately led off with updates to the "action clock" rule that governs the 20 seconds permitted for generally a pitcher or batter to be in position to either throw or hit. The key word is generally, since timeout requests by defensive players are, according to the release from August 12, 2022, treated the same way as a pitcher stepping off.
Last year's iteration and enforcement of the action clock rule sometimes created contentious moments in games, and it's likely the opening weekend, the opening day, or perhaps even the opening inning somewhere will present the scenario again in play and call for explanations to all following along.
We'll leave that for the game officials to call it as they see it, and have no doubt been trained. Further interpretation and implications of this and other new provisions (like review and extra innings baserunners) are left for your reading pleasure at the following link: https://www.ncaa.com/news/baseball/article/2022-08-12/action-clock-modifications-and-other-rule-changes-college-baseball#:~:text=The%20NCAA%20Playing%20Rules%20Oversight,to%20avoid%20a%20clock%20violation.
And, if you're a stickler for the rule book, or perhaps just need some light reading material for the first rain delay of 2023, the complete and updated rule book is available here:
Enjoy the 2023 season we've all been waiting for, and remember Rule #1: Follow all rules!
UPDATE: The Southeastern Conference announced Feb. 14 additional new rules for the 2023 season that will go into effect for Conference vs. Conference games and the SEC tournament. They include additional clock provisions for Between Batters, Mound Visits, and Pitching Change. The SEC also announced a 10-run rule once seven innings are complete and a policy relaxing the timeframe in which the final game of a conference may be completed on a Sunday, contingent on the visiting team not having classes on Monday.
Read the full announcement at https://www.secsports.com/article/35657791/sec-implement-new-rules-2023-baseball-season .