The collegiate Futures League announced today that it will adopt a homerun derby to decide extra-inning games after the tenth inning. This is a historic decision as the collegiate league is the first league ever to adopt a homerun derby to decide tied games.
Commissioner Chris Hall stated “We wanted to make sure that we could come up with a
way to protect our pitchers,” said Hall. “Each year, our teams struggle to find pitching that can last the whole summer due to the number of innings that each pitcher would have to throw. The ‘Derby’ will help alleviate the number of innings our pitchers will have to throw while reducing the pressure placed on our coaches in using pitchers on short rest.”
In 2016 the Futures league had a historic high number of extra-inning games (26). Fifteen of those games lasted longer than ten innings.
Another reason to adopt the homerun derby, according to Hall, is to ensure the league’s games end at an appropriate time of night. “Eliminating the possibility of marathon games will ensure our players can travel home at a safe time while providing our fans with an exciting finish that will entice more fans to stay until the end of the game.”
With this decision, the Futures League takes care of the welfare of the student-athlete and the fan experience.
In fact, this format is similar to the shootouts with hockey games. If the score is tied after the 10th inning, the game will be decided by a timed home run derby. Like hockey, the new extra inning rules will also be accompanied by a move to a point system that will be implemented to determine league standings. After ten innings of tied baseball, each team will automatically receive one point toward the league standings. The team that wins during the home run derby will receive an additional point (two points total) for the win.
This new rule will help to alleviate the strain on the young pitchers, it will give the fans an exciting end of the game as well.