Pioneer League


The Pioneer League is introducing a new idea to the sport of baseball. Could it be adopted by MLB in the future?

Major League baseball has been experimenting with extra-inning rule changes for the last few years. But now, the Pioneer League, which is an MLB partnered Independent league will be introducing a first-of-its-kind idea.

The league announced this on Tuesday:

The Boise Hawks who were previously an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels (1990-2000), Chicago Cubs (2001- 2014), and most recently the Colorado Rockies from 2015 to 2020. They joined the Pioneer League before the 2021 season after the contraction of MiLB teams.

So How Does It Work?

“Under the rule, each team designates a hitter who receives five pitches, with the game determined by the most home runs hit,” said a news release announcing the rule changes. “If still tied after the first ‘Knock Out’ round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared.”

According to ESPN.

“In addition to the Knock Out, the league is also experimenting with a designated pinch hitter rule, allowing a player to be pinch hit for before returning to their defensive position for the remainder of the game. Additionally, a designated pinch runner rule allows an eligible rostered player to be pinch run for before returning to their designated defensive position for the remainder of the game. Also, a hitter may appeal a check swing strike decision to a base umpire. Under standard baseball rules, only the defensive team can ask for an appeal.”

The new rules seem to be very interesting ideas that the MLB may play with or at least they’d keep an eye on how it plays out in the Pioneer League. Though, currently these are not ideas established by Major League Baseball.

There are a lot of rule changes happening in the sport of baseball. With the MiLB adopting a few themselves:

“MLB also recently instituted rule changes at the minor league level including bigger bases, regulations of the shift and forcing pitchers to step off the rubber completely before throwing to a base.”

The “Knock Out” idea seems to be very interesting though because it could definitely change the dynamics of baseball, and minimize the time spent at a ballpark.

We will stay up to date on this new rule throughout the summer, and maybe bring you live coverage of it at some point. You never know, but for now let us know what you think of these new rule changes. Do you like them or hate them?

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