Extra-inning tiebreaker rule to make Atlantic League debut in 2019

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YORK — The extra-inning tiebreaker rule will make its Atlantic League debut in 2019.

The Atlantic League said Tuesday that the rule was unanimously approved by its board of directors.

“We are eager to see the extra inning tie-breaker rule implemented during the 2019 Atlantic League season,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “There are many potential benefits associated with the rule, including shorter length of games, reduced fatigue among players and umpires, and more efficient postgame travel, among others.”

White added, “With dozens of players transferred from the Atlantic League to MLB organizations annually, we felt it was critical to place them in similar circumstances to what they would encounter as a member of an affiliated club.”

The Atlantic League offered the following explanation of the rule:

  • Extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the leadoff batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player). By way of example, if the number five hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the 10th inning, the number four player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base. Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the Official Baseball Rules.
  • For purposes of calculating earned runs under Rule 9.16, the runner who begins an inning on second base pursuant to this rule shall be deemed to be a runner who has reached second base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player. Additionally, the runner who begins an inning on second base would earn a run scored in his statistics should he cross home plate safely in that inning.
  • The extra-inning tiebreaker rule shall only apply to games played during the Atlantic League’s 140-game regular season. All postseason games will be exempt from this rule and will be played without runners automatically placed on the basepaths until a winner is determined.
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