Rule Change: All Games Will Go At least 5 Innings
In an effort to make sure games are lasting as long as they're intended, league officials have modified the 10-run lead mercy rule.
Under the mercy rule, if a team was ahead by 10 runs or more at the end of an inning the game was declared over. In some cases this has occurred after only 3, 2 and or even 1 inning, causing a game that is intended to last around 15 minutes only last 5-10 minutes or less.
The new rule is that every game will go 5 innings no matter what, and to ensure the pace of the game still moves smoothly a team cannot score more than 10 runs through the 1st inning, 20 through the 2nd inning, 30 through the 3rd inning, 40 through the 4th inning, and so on.
JAL officials said that too many players come from several miles away for games in the present state of the league and the JAL wants to make sure their time commitment is maximized.
"The old 10 run rule was intended to bail teams out of getting totally crushed, but what we're finding now is that even if a team is going to get blown out they'd prefer to just keep playing it out to the finish," league officials said. "Games will no doubt be higher scoring now. The highest scores have usually been around 25, so we might start seeing 30's or even 40 in rare cases, but that's okay. People want to play full 5 innings games no matter the score."