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Major League Baseball approves expanded instant replay

The Sports Xchange
January 16. 2014 8:43PM

All 30 major league clubs unanimously approved Thursday the expansion of instant replay, which will be in effect for the 2014 regular season and postseason.

The historic announcement was made at the conclusion of MLB’s quarterly owners meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

Managers will have at least one challenge to use. If any portion of a challenged play is overturned, then the manager who challenged the play will retain the ability to challenge one more play during the game. No manager may challenge more than two plays in a game.

Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the crew chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. Home run and other boundary calls will remain reviewable under the procedures in place last season.

Both the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association gave their consent.

MLB’s new system of instant replay dictates which plays are subject to review, how instant replay will be initiated by field managers and how the review process will be conducted.

As a part of the replay expansion, clubs will now be allowed to show all replays on the ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play was reviewed.

A designated communication location near home plate will be established at all 30 ballparks. There, the crew chief and at least one other umpire will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the Replay Command Center, which will remain at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York.

Major league umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center. After viewing video feeds, the replay official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call, based on the continuing standard of whether there is clear and convincing evidence.

Instant replay will be utilized during some televised games in spring training for the purposes of educating on-field personnel on the rules of the new system.

Other protocols of the new system for instant replay are as follows:


The following play types will be subject to review:

— Home run.

—Ground rule double.

—Fan interference

—Stadium boundary calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball).

—Force play (except the fielder’s touching of second base on a double play).

—Tag play (including steals and pickoffs).

—Fair/foul in outfield only.

—Trap play in outfield only.

—Batter hit by pitch.

—Timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out).

—Touching a base.

—Passing runners.

—Record keeping (ball-strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions).

All other plays will not be reviewable. However, the umpires may still convene on the field at any time to discuss the play.

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