MLB officially banned home-plate collisions today, but left a loophole.
Rule 7.13 states it has banned most home field collisions, except in the case where the catcher has the ball and the runner makes no effort to touch home plate.
The rule states:
“the failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation.”
The runner that violates the rule will be called out, even if the catcher drops the baseball. If the catcher doesn’t have the baseball and tags the runner, the runner will be called safe. The catcher may also only block the plate to field a throw and if contact with the runner is unavoidable.
“We believe the new experimental rule allows for the play at the plate to retain its place as one of the most exciting plays in the game, while providing an increased level of protection to both the runner and the catcher,” new union head Tony Clark said.
The rule will take a test run this season and it will be discussed whether the rule should stick around in the future.
“We will monitor the rule closely this season before discussing with the commissioner’s office whether the rule should become permanent.”