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NCAA Baseball Regional Home Team Rules

By Ayush Khadka / 5 June 2023 01:49 AM

NCAA has many guidelines for its 2023 tournament.
Source : twitter

NCAA Baseball Regional Home Team Rules is that the home team batting practice starts 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to game time. The practice time is 30 minutes.

Played between different colleges, NCAA Baseball is prevalent throughout the United States. However, unlike basketball and football, baseball does not extensively grow its players from the colleges, but the Minor League. Many MLB teams draft players directly from their high school.

Still, there are many players who have become great MLB players from their college like Jacoby Ellsbury, Troy Glaus, and Jason Varitek. These players are out of many and have participated in the College World Series too. Athletes who enroll in college must complete at least three years before they get listed for the Major League.

There are four divisions in which colleges compete in the NCAA baseball competitions, ranging from D1 to D3. 301 teams compete in the D1's regular season, while only top colleges proceed to the D1 baseball tournament, and the best of them head to the CWS.

NCAA Regional Baseball Rules

NCAA regional rules 2023 contains the pre-game schedules for home and away teams and the application of the Mercy Rule. 

Home Team Rules

The home team gets to start their batting practice for 30 minutes which is available 1 hour and 45 minutes before the official start of the game. 

Mercy Rule is one of the special regulations in NCAA baseball.
Source : twitter

So, the hosting college needs to keep track of their time, since the away team will also get to have their practice after them. The away team will start their session 1 hour and 10 minutes before the match starts. They also get to conduct their practice session only for 30 minutes

Likewise, the home team can have their infield practice 35 minutes before the match begins. After their session, the visiting college will initiate their training 22 minutes prior to the match time for 12 minutes. Both teams are recommended to follow their sessions timely so as to prevent disruption and conflict.

The home team also has the duty to provide the game balls for the match. So, the visiting college does not have to bring their own balls. Meanwhile, the hosting college needs to establish a designated scoreboard operator for the match too.

Mercy Rule

NCAA Mercy Rule is a game-changer for the team that makes a wide lead of at least 10 runs.

College baseball tournaments are held annually.
Source : twitter

This rule remarks that once a team creates a 10-run lead by the 7th inning of the game, then this team will automatically win the match. Both teams do not have to play the rest of the two innings, making the game shorter as well. 

There must be an agreement between the two coaches before the game since it could result in a conflict later on. The home team leading by 10 runs will have the last at-bats appearance due to them playing at the bottom of the innings. 

However, the MLB has not employed the Mercy rule as of the 2023 season. NCAA has established this rule to shorten the match if the lead is too high, and to save face for the opponent colleges as well. 

Other New Rules In 2023

Southeastern Conference has employed many new rules for the 2023 season like the Mound Visit Clock and Between Batters Clock. These rules adhere to the NCAA regulations and will increase the game pace. 

Mound Visit Clock states that there will be the application of a 30-second timer whenever a coach or other defensive player will visit the mound to talk strategy to their pitchers. Within the designated time, the player or coach must leave the mound at any cost. 

However, this rule will be employed when the coach/player comes alongside a medical team to diagnose an injured pitcher. if the coach does not leave the mound within the timer, the 20-second rule will begin. If 20 seconds pass without any pitch happening, then a ball is added. 

Another rule is the Between Batters Clock which tells us that the batters will have 30 seconds to be ready for their at-bat. Once the previous play has concluded, then the hitters have to be ready within the allocated timer to face the pitcher. , preferably with 10 seconds remaining. 

Pitching Change Clock offers a 2 minutes and 30 seconds timer when the pitching change occurs at the start of a fresh inning or toward the mid-inning. This rule is specifically designed for the new pitchers so that they don't take too much time from the dugout to enter the mound. 

NCAA Baseball Tournament Rules

NCAA regional rules state that the games will feature nine innings and reschedules will be done in case of harsh weather. 

Regionals are a match-up between 64 teams.
Source : twitter

The Regionals will be played in the format of double elimination between four teams. This means that only one team will progress to the Super-Regionals after three others will lose two games each. For the first match, the No. 1 seed will play against the No. 4, while the No. 2 will face the No. 3. 

There are 16 regions and the No. 1 seeds will be hosting their own region. The other 48 colleges will be the visitors for this round. Once the regionals are over with the 16 winners declared, they will head to the Super-Regionals. 

Super-Regionals Rules

The NCAA Super-Regionals consist of 16 teams that will play in a best-of-three series format. 

All 16 teams are divided into 8 groups, and two of them will play against each other to clinch the CWS position. The host for this round will be determined based on the national seed ranking. 

If the top eight national seeds proceed to this round, then they are automatically deemed as hosts. However, if two teams who are not national seeds come against each other, then their ranking will determine the outcome. For instance, if one college was No. 2 in their regionals, while the other was No. 3, then the No. 2 becomes the host. 

The 8 national seeds will not have to face each other. The match is designated in the format of No.1 playing against the No. 16 seed, while the No. 4 will go head-to-head against the No. 12. 

Rain-Out Policy

If there are disturbances due to rain, the NCAA tournament director will take the necessary steps to reschedule and refund. 

Rains will disrupt the match, but there are refunds in place.
Source : twitter

When a downpour happens during the game, the tournament and the college will collectively decide on the best outcome, and games could get rescheduled at a later date.

The tournament will refund every team $100 if their matches do not commence due to rain from the first pitch. A game that is already initiated will not get re-funds. 

For the pre-game practice, NCAA will refund $75 per team if they have not initiated their sessions. However, if they have already started practicing and then the rain comes, then there won't be any refund. 

Some Pre-game Rules

Before the game begins, the field preparation is slated to take 10 minutes. Similarly, 10 minutes will be left for the ground rules preparation before the first bat at home plate.

Both the home and visiting teams are requested to leave the dugout immediately after the game, so as to provide sufficient pre-game time sessions for the next playing teams. Both NCAA teams also need to clean out rubbish before exiting the field. 

Every team is required to have their own official scorer during their matches. If the home teams cannot manage an official scoreboard, then the scorer will have the added responsibility to keep track of the score and verify them after the end of every of each inning. 

NCAA Extra Innings Rules

College baseball extra innings rules tell that there will be a runner in the second base on every inning after the 9th. 

College games have extra-innings after the ninth is completed.
Source : twitter

Once the official 9-inning match concludes and the game is tied, then the game proceeds to the extra-innings where each team has one inning to gain the upper hand. If one extra inning does not suffice, then others will get added until a winner is finally decided. 

To speed up the game, NCAA has designated the runner on second base automatically upon the initiation of the half-inning. The road team has to wait till the home team can get their final at-bats since the visiting will bat at the top of the inning. 

If the home team scores a dinger in the first pitch during their extra-innings turn to bat, then they automatically win the game since the away side cannot bat now. This is known as a 'Walk-off home run' in baseball.

College Baseball World Series Rules

NCAA baseball World Series rules remark that 8 teams will participate in a four-team bracket first. Two teams will then proceed to the CWS Final. 

CWS is played in a double elimination and best-of-three format.
Source : twitter

CWS combines the format of both the regional and super-regionals in their round. Firstly, the 8 teams will be put in a four-team bracket, and a double elimination will determine the ultimate winner. Then, the two winners from each bracket will meet in a best-of-three series to clinch the Series title. 

The bracket and matchup are decided based on the team's national ranking. If the top 8 national seeds reach the CWS, then the first bracket will contain the No. 1 seed vs the No. 8, while the No. 5 will play against the No. 4. 

Similarly, the second bracket will contain the No. 2 seed against the No. 7, while the No. 2 will play against the No. 3 team. The College World Series 2023 is designated to take place in Omaha, Nebraska, so there is no inclusion of hosts in this final round. 

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