Pioneer League announces rule changes for 2021 season

Pioneer League announces rule changes for 2021 season
Posted at 11:05 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 01:05:52-04

SPOKANE, WA — There will be a new vibe at UCHealth Park, the home of the Rocky Mountain Vibes, this season.

The Pioneer League, the new MLB partnership league the Vibes are now apart of, have made several rules changes ahead of the 2021 season.

One of them includes a new extra inning rule.

Instead of extra innings for a game tied after 9-innings of play, the league will now make teams play a a sudden-death home run derby between a selected batter on both teams.

According to a release, each team will designates a hitter who receives five pitches from a coach or a player. The game will then be determined by the most home runs hit by each player. If still tied after the first round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared.

The new rule was created “to avoid excessive strain on our pitching staffs,” the release stated.

The Pioneer League is also adding two additional rules for their designated pinch hitter and pinch runner.

Both the designated pinch hitter & runner can only be employed once a game by each team for a player.

Once played, those designated hitter/runner cannot re-enter the game, but the player they were substituted for can return to his defensive position for the remainder of the game (until otherwise substituted for).

“I’m thrilled to see these exciting rules changes implemented for this season,” said Pioneer League President Michael Shapiro. “The Pioneer Baseball League is committed to developing ideas that enhance the strategy of the game, protect the safety of our players and add to the fun and engagement of our fans. We believe this focus will help assure the future of the game among a broader and more diverse audience."

The Rocky Mountain Vibes open their season at UCHealth Park on May 22 against the Grand Junction Rockies.