The extra-innings tiebreaker rule has become an official rule of Major League Baseball (MLB). According to The Associated Press on Tuesday, MLB’s joint competition committee, which includes six team representatives, four player representatives, and one umpire representative, unanimously voted to make the rule permanent for the regular season. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the players are now accustomed to and are favorable to the new rule.
MLB first introduced the tiebreaker rule in 2020 when the season was kicked off in late July owing to the outbreak of Covid-19, and the rule “temporarily” remained in place for three consecutive years until 2022. But the new rule does not apply to Post-season games.
The extra-innings tiebreak, where a runner is automatically placed at second base to begin each extra inning, is steadily being established as a “standard rule.” The tiebreaker rule has been practiced by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when the organization was formerly known as the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), and it will also be applied to the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which is scheduled to kick off in March.
The joint competition committee also agreed to tighten the rule to allow position players to take the mound. Starting from the new season, position players are allowed to pitch when their team is ahead by more than 10 runs in the 9th inning or later or when their team is trailing by more than eight runs, which applies irrespective of the inning being played.