Something for any team to consider: The independent Atlantic League has shortened the length of games by 10 minutes since the implementation of new Pace of Play initiatives.
After 38 games played through August 10, the length of nine-inning games have declined from 2:59 to 2:49. Prior to August 1, only 11 percent of nine-inning games ended in less than 2:30 as compared to 26 percent of games with the onset of the POP initiatives.
“We are very encouraged with early pace of play results and owe appreciation to managers, players and umpires for adopting mid-season changes,” said Rick White, president of the Atlantic League. “It’s early and our POP initiative is a continuing process, but we are pleased with initial progress. We will continue to monitor and report upon the effectiveness of pace of play adjustments throughout the remainder of the 2014 season.”
On August 1, five measures were adopted by the Atlantic League as a result of recommendations from its Pace of Play Committee formed in late June. Chaired by former Houston Astros President Tal Smith, the Pace of Play Committee is charged with reviewing ways to reduce the average time and enliven the pace of baseball games to enhance fan experience.
With the first initiatives in place, League officials have seen game tempo improve as players and managers take fewer breaks in play, such as stepping out of the batter’s box or making excessive trips to the mound. Games times are anticipated to continue to as more games are played and teams adopt up tempo routines.
When asked about these new measures, York Revolution Manager, Mark Mason commented, “The five initiatives have made a difference and I am seeing the biggest change in the first 4-5 innings of a game. The players, umpires and managers have done a good job of working together to help make the transition as smooth as could be expected. Over a week into the initiatives it appears everyone involved is a little more comfortable with the pace of the game.”
Joe Klein, League Executive Director of Baseball Operations, also added, “The results after 10 days of trial speak for themselves. On the field we’re continuing to adjust and getting better with each game played. Off the field there is a buzz around our League and we’re excited to see how the POP Committee can help improve our great game.”
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