There could be as many as ten rules changes to college baseball as early as next season.

The changes are proposed by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to review potential baseball rules changes Aug. 15.

The most significant change would be an inclusion of a 20 second pitch clock for all games beginning next season throughout Division I.  The clock would start when the pitcher walks onto the dirt part of the mound with the baseball.  The clock would reset if the pitcher makes a pickoff attempt, make a pitch or step off the rubber before time expires, a ball would be assessed.  If the batter is not ready to hit by the time the clock expires, a strike would be called.  Under the proposal, two visible play clocks would be installed; one in the home plate area and one over the outfield wall.

Some of the other proposals include having a two-minute time limit after each half-inning. The clock would start after the third out is recorded. The current rule calls for play to begin 90 seconds after the last fielder crosses into foul territory.

• Defensive players are not allowed to block a base without possession of the ball at any time.

• A batter cannot make a movement to intentionally be hit by a pitch. A player who leans or sticks a portion of his body outside the batter’s box to be hit will have a strike awarded to the count.

• Pitchers will not be allowed to fake a throw to third base and then throw to first. A balk will be called on these kinds of pick-off attempts.

• Pitchers will no longer be required to throw four pitches on intentional walks. Instead, the defensive team can inform the umpire that it is walking the hitter.

• Teams will be limited to six defensive conferences on the mound per game. Base runners will not be allowed to leave the bases they are occupying during a defensive conference.

• To be considered in a wind-up position, a pitcher must stand with his chest and shoulders generally facing the batter, with the pivot foot on or in front of and touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher’s free foot must be touching or be behind the plane of the front edge of the pitching plate.

• For a pitcher to be in a stretch position, the pitcher must stand with his chest and shoulders generally facing the respective foul line. The pitcher’s pivot foot must be in contact parallel with the pitching plate, and his free foot must be in front of the pitcher’s plate. It is permissible for the pitcher to turn his shoulders and face the batter while getting the sign and before bringing his hands together in the set position.

• Any umpire ruling on intentionally hit batters cannot be argued.

• Any team personnel, other than coaches, who leave their positions, the dugouts or the bullpens at the time of an altercation will be ejected and suspended from the team’s next game.

Changes to replay are also proposed for those leagues that use replay.  You can find out more about that by reading this article from Brian Foley of


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