Historic 20-Second Rule Is Finally Approved

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. — Possibly the most important NCAA baseball rule change in history has been approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel after initially being recommended by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee.

Starting with the 2020 baseball season, a 20-second clock will be mandatory between pitches. It will include pitches thrown with nobody on base or runners on base.

There has never been a time clock with runners on base until now in the 110-year history of the NCAA.

This historic rule has the potential of shaving off 20 minutes or more for all NCAA baseball games.

The Missouri Valley Conference proved nearly 30 years ago on an experimental basis that utilizing a 20 second play clock can substantially reduce the time of games.

In 1989, the year prior to implementing the 2-year experiment, Missouri Valley Conference games averaged 2:52 for 9-inning games.

Over the next two years, game times were reduced substantially

In 1990, MVC games averaged 2:38 for 9-inning games.

This included 105 games, plus conference tournament games.

The 1991 average game times were even shorter at 2:32 because players, coaches and umpires were now experienced with the time clock and were ready to play the game at a consistently quick pace.

To read more of this in-depth article on the change and what it means for college baseball, purchase the Sept. 6, 2019 edition or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

The story delves into  the five options a pitcher has with the 20 second clock in place and what the violation will be if he takes too long, as well as the hitter. It also explains the use of time clocks and comments from former NCAA Baseball Rules Committee chairman Elvis Dominguez on how important this new rule is for baseball. Plus it delves into important reasons behind this change.