MLB Plans to Ban Home Plate Collisions

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 11 2013 7:29 PM

MLB Plans to Ban Home Plate Collisions

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The Phillies' Chase Utley collides with Dioner Navarro of the Chicago Cubs.

Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

Baseball isn’t a contact sport, with one exception—collisions at home plate. But, base runners barreling into catchers  will soon be a thing of the past, according to the Major League Baseball rules committee. On Wednesday, chairman of the committee, Sandy Alderson, said the committee voted to outlaw the collisions by 2015 at the latest. According to ESPN, there is a desire to have the new rule in place as early as the 2014 season. Concerns about player safety, particularly concussions, were major factors in the decision, the Associated Press reports. "The result of the vote was we will eliminate collisions at home plate by governing both catchers and runners in that situation,'' Alderson said. "The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to final determination.''

• Catchers will not be allowed to block home plate.
• Runners will not be permitted to target the catchers.
• The question of whether or not the plate was blocked or the runner targeted the catcher will be reviewable, with an immediate remedy available to the umpires.
• Catchers or runners who violate the new rules will be subject to disciplinary action.
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The exact wording of the rule change, Alderson said, will be presented to MLB owners next month. For the change to go into effect for next season the players’ union would have to approve the changes.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.