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Designated pinch-hitter and pinch-runner; Extra innings “Knock Out” added

April 28, 2021

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Pioneer Baseball League today announced exciting new rules changes in effect for the 2021 season, as follows: · To avoid the excessive strain on our pitching staffs, the Pioneer Baseball League will not have extra innings, but rather will employ a first-of-its-kind “Knock Out” rule that

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Pioneer Baseball League today announced exciting new rules changes in effect for the 2021 season, as follows:

· To avoid the excessive strain on our pitching staffs, the Pioneer Baseball League will not have extra innings, but rather will employ a first-of-its-kind “Knock Out” rule that resolves tied games with a head-to-head, “sudden death” home run duel. Under the rule, each team designates a hitter who receives 5 pitches, with the game determined by the most home runs hit. If still tied after the first “Knock Out” round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared

· The Designated Pinch Hitter rule permits a player not having previously entered into the game to pinch hit for an eligible roster player who may then return to his defensive position for the remainder of the game, until otherwise substituted for. The Designated Pinch Hitter is thereafter ineligible to return to the game. The Designated Pinch Hitter can only be employed once a game by each team

· The Designated Pinch Runner rule permits a player not having previously entered into the game to pinch run for an eligible roster player who may then return to his defensive position for the remainder of the game, until otherwise substituted for. The Designated Pinch Runner is thereafter ineligible to return to the game. The Designated Pinch Runner can only be employed once a game by each team

· Revised “Check Swing” rule allows a hitter to appeal to the base umpire on a check swing strike decision from the home plate umpire. Previously, only the pitcher or catcher could ask for an appeal

· For better coverage of fly balls, check swings, double plays and other game situations, PBL games will now feature three-man umpiring crews rather than the past use of two-man crews

“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.”

About the Pioneer League: Since 1939, the Pioneer League has operated in the Mountain West region. Beginning in 2021, the PBL will be a Major League Baseball Professional Partner League with teams in Montana (Billings, Missoula and Great Falls), Idaho (Boise and Idaho Falls), Utah (Ogden) and Colorado (Grand Junction and Colorado Springs). The Northern Colorado Owlz, formerly Orem Owlz, join the League for the 2022 season.