SEC baseball alters several league rules ahead of 2023 season


Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione talks with an umpire during the game against Canisius College on Friday, Mar. 1, 2019, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Isaiah Pinto, Reporter

The upcoming 2023 baseball season will bring three rule changes to speed up the pace of play in SEC matchups.

The Southeastern Conference and D1 Baseball posted the rule changes in a join-Instagram post on Feb. 14.

The first rule change is a 30-second timer that is being added in between batters.

The timer will start after an umpire’s final signal (I.E., safe, out, strikeout, etc.) or any other known indications that play is dead. The batters will be notified with ten or more seconds remaining and the pitcher will begin their windup motion to throw their first pitch of the plate appearance.

Another 30-second timer is also being added for mound visits whenever a coach exits the dugout or when a defender leaves their position to visit the mound. That said, this rule does not apply for pitching changes or doctor/trainer examinations.

A two-minute-and-30-second timer will also be implemented for pitching changes upon a pitcher’s exit from the bullpen or warning track.

Secondly, the SEC has put in place a 10-run rule for conference games. If either team is leading by 10 or more runs after seven innings the game will end with the final innings being forgone, not dissimilar from a mercy-rule. This rule is already in effect in collegiate softball.

Finally, the SEC updated its inclement weather policy, stating that if the visiting team does not have classes in the day following a postponement, general curfew policies will be waived. If the curfew is waved, no game may start after 10 p.m. local time or resume after midnight local time.

The 2023 SEC baseball season officially kicked off on Friday, Feb. 17, with Missouri facing off against No. 9 Oklahoma State in the College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas.

Kentucky baseball is set to begin its 2023 campaign in Elon, North Carolina, at 4 p.m. EST.