Pace of Game

    • Average AFL game time

      • 2013 All Games

        • 2Hours
        • :
        • 52Minutes
      • 2014 Salt River Games

        • Hours
        • :
        • Minutes
    • Average AFL game time based on plate appearances*

      • 2013 All Games

        • 2Hours
        • :
        • 52Minutes
      • 2014 Salt River Games

        • Hours
        • :
        • Minutes

2014 data is from games only in Salt River, in which inning-break, pitching-change and pitch clocks have been enforced.*Extrapolated from the MLB average of 77 plate appearances per game.

Here are six ways Major League Baseball experimented with increasing the pace of play during the 2014 Arizona Fall League season:

01. 20-Second Rule

A modified version of Rule 8.04, which discourages unnecessary delays by the pitcher, shall apply. Rule 8.04 requires the pitcher to deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball with the bases unoccupied. The penalty prescribed by Rule 8.04 for a pitcher's violation of the Rule is that the umpire shall call "Ball."

In the AFL games at Salt River, a clock will be displayed in both dugouts, behind home plate, and in the outfield. A pitcher shall be allowed 20 seconds to throw each pitch. The batter must be in the box prepared for the pitch during the entire 20-second period. If the batter steps out of the box during the 20-second period, the pitcher may deliver the pitch and the umpire may call a strike, unless the batter was first granted time by the umpire.

The clock will stop only when the pitcher begins his motion to deliver the ball (and not "when the pitcher releases the ball" as prescribed in Rule 8.04). Beginning the motion of coming to the set position shall be sufficient to stop the clock. If the pitcher maintains possession of the ball without beginning his pitching motion for more than 20 seconds, the Umpire shall call "Ball."

02. Batter's Box Rule

The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his at-bat, unless one of a series of established exceptions occurs, in which case the batter may leave the batter's box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate. (Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip; a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter's box; "time" being requested and granted; a wild pitch or a passed ball; and several others.)

03. No-Pitch Intentional Walks

In the event a team decides to intentionally walk a batter, no pitches shall be thrown. Instead, the manager shall signal to the home plate umpire with four fingers, and the batter should proceed to first base to become a runner.

04. 2:30 Inning Break Clock

There shall be a maximum 2:30 break between innings. Hitters must enter the batter's box between the 2:00 and 2:15 marks. If the batter has not entered the box by 2:15, the Umpire should call an automatic strike. When the batter is set by the appropriate time and the pitcher fails to begin his windup before the conclusion of the 2:30 period, the Umpire should call a ball.

05. 2:30 Pitching Change Break Clock

There shall be a maximum 2:30 break for pitching changes, including pitching changes that occur during an inning break. The first pitch must be thrown before the conclusion of the 2:30 period or the umpire shall call a ball. The clock shall start when the new pitcher enters the playing field (i.e., crosses the warning track, or foul line).

06. Three "Time Out" Limit

Each team shall be permitted only three "Time Out" conferences per game (including extra innings). Such conferences shall include player conferences with the pitcher (including the catcher), manager or coach conferences with the pitcher, and coach conferences with a batter. Conferences during pitching changes, and time outs called as a result of an injury or other emergency, shall not be counted towards this limit. A manager, coach or player will not be permitted to call a fourth time out in violation of this Rule. In such cases, the game will continue uninterrupted, and offenders may be subject to discipline.