SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pioneer League announce multiple rule changes for the league’s upcoming baseball season, which includes the Ogden Raptors.
The league announced the new rules on Tuesday, April 27.
“I’m thrilled to see these exciting rules changes implemented for this season,” Pioneer League president Michael Shapiro said in a statement. “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.”
New Pioneer League Rules
- 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
The Pioneer League is entering its first season as an independent League.
From 1939 until 2020, the Pioneer League was affiliated with Minor League Baseball.
Starting this season, the league will run as an MLB Partner with no direct affiliation.
The Raptors are an Independent baseball team that is no longer affiliated with Minor League Baseball. 2021 will be the team’s first season as an independent.
The Raptors were previously an Advanced Rookie class-level baseball team from 1994-2020. Ogden was affiliated with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers from 2003-2020.
Ogden has hosted the Raptors since 1994, which was the team’s first season in the Pioneer League.
The team has called Lindquist Field home since 1997. The ball club previously played in Salt Lake City from 1985-1992 under the Salt Lake Trappers nickname.
Ogden won its first-ever Pioneer League title in 2017.
The Raptors open the 2021 season at home against the Boise Hawks on Saturday, May 22 at 7 p.m. (MDT).
Formerly Orem Owlz
The Orem Owlz used to be members of the Pioneer League. The club recently relocated to Colorado and will play in the Pioneer League as the Northern Colorado Owlz starting in 2022.