A quick guide to instant replay

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
Major League Baseball owners approved instant replay Thursday. The league sent out a release detailing the rules. Instant replay will start in 2014 and get a test run in some spring training games. But here are a few notes (as provided by MLB in the release):

First, here's a list of plays that are subject to review:

* Home run
* Ground rule double
* Fan interference
* Stadium boundary calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball)
* Force play (except the fielder’s touching of second base on a double play)
* Tag play (including steals and pickoffs)
* Fair/foul in outfield only
* Trap play in outfield only
* Batter hit by pitch
* Timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out)
* Touching a base (requires appeal)
* Passing runners
* Record keeping (Ball-strike count to a batter, outs, score and substitutions)

How instant replay is initiated:

* The manager will initiate replay by telling the crew chief in a "timely manner." The manager can request the umpire to review multiple portions of the same play, but the manager must make it clear exactly which portions he is challenging.

* If the challenged play is overturned, the manager who challenged it will get to challenge one more play. A manager can't challenge more than two plays in a game.

* At the start of the seventh inning, the umpires can request a challenge to any reviewable call. That's up to the crew chief.

* Home run calls are still subject to review, as they have been, at the crew chief's discretion and managers may request the umpires review a home run, but can't challenge those calls.

The review process (again, as from the MLB release):

* Once instant replay review is invoked (either by the manager or the crew chief), the crew chief will signal to the official scorer that the play is under review.

* The crew chief and at least one other umpire will then move to a designated communication location near home plate, where they will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the replay command center in New York.

* Major League umpires will be staffed as replay officials at the replay command center, located at MLB Advanced Media headquarters, for all Major League games.

* The replay command center will have direct access to video from most cameras in the ballpark in real-time, regardless of whether they are shown on the live broadcast.

* The replay official will look at the video feeds and determine if there is clear and convincing evidence to overturn the call on the field. If the replay official overturns a call on the field, he will also use his judgment to determine where to appropriately place runners if the play had been called correctly on the field.

* The umpires on the field will not have a monitor to review the play and they will not leave the field at any time.

* The replay official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call.

* On-field personnel may not argue with the decision of the replay official.

How does the club have access to video? Answers here:

* To determine whether to challenge a play, personnel in the dugout will be permitted to communicate with a video specialist in the clubhouse who has access to the same video that is available to replay officials. This communication will occur via the dugout phone.

* Both the home and visiting clubs will have standardized technology to ensure each club has equal access to all video.

* No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout.

NOTE: Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on their ballpark scoreboards, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.



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Colby Lewis
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