ROCHESTER, Mich. – Starting this Thursday, the United Shore Professional Baseball League will implement a 2 hour and 30 minute time limit, announced by theleague office on Wednesday. The USPBL is the first professional baseball organization to place time limits on games to help amplify pace of play. No inning will begin after 2 hours and 25 minutes, and the team leading at the end of the time limit will be declared the winner.
“We believe that a majority of our games will still be nine innings and that is our full intention,” said Owner, Founder and CEO Andy Appleby. “In an event that a game is running longer than usual, which some baseball games do, then our fans will have the expectation and confidence that we will have a conclusion in two-and-a-half hours.”
In the event of a tied game, the USPBL will continue to utilize the international tiebreaker rule by placing a runner on second base with no outs. The USPBL is also looking at developing a new tiebreaker/shootout rule in the near future.
“We are a developmental league for Major League Baseball and in no way does this time limit change that,” said Director of Baseball Operations Justin Orenduff. “This will not restrict any of our players chances of being signed by Major League Baseball organizations.”
We believe that many of our games will be completed by this time limit and that it will further emphasize an attention to pace of play that we already emphasize with our players.”
The USPBL will be home to the two-and-a-half hour game – allowing fans and families to schedule exactly how long they will be at the ballpark and plan accordingly.
“Attracting fans and ensuring they can enjoy entire games and post-activities like fireworks and running the bases means being mindful of their time, perhaps today more than ever,” said Appleby. “We have great respect for the game as well as what works best for our customers. We feel this accomplishes the optimal balance.”