Hit and Run Baseball is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball. The program's objective is to provide modified rules that create a quicker-paced baseball game that allows players to develop skills in a more interactive format while promoting player health & safety and enhancing the fun nature of the game. The program will serve youth leagues, tournament providers and amateur coaches with recommended game formats that can be easily applied at all levels of amateur baseball. Additionally, operators can create their own modified rules to best suit their individual league, tournament or team needs.
Hit and Run Baseball will serve as another step toward MLB's goal to modernize the youth game by encouraging:
- Quicker pace-of-play by reducing the number of pitches per at-bat, increasing the frequency of balls-in-play and giving teams bonuses for hitting certain pace-of-play goals;
- More engagement with youth players by introducing more diverse game situations, giving players the opportunity to play different defensive positions and getting them more opportunities to participate defensively;
- Improved player health and safety by limiting player pitch counts, particularly among the youngest age groups; and
- More teaching opportunities for coaches to provide immediate feedback to players.
Pilot Programs across a variety of organizations have shown excellent results. They have found that, compared to their typical contests, Hit and Run Baseball games:
- Were shorter and resulted in fewer pitches thrown;
- Had more batted balls, resulting in defensive players becoming more actively involved in the game.
The program's strategic vision will be actively guided by a committee at the forefront of game modification and maximizing youth participation & activity within the game of baseball. The Hit and Run Baseball Advisory Committee will consist of:
- Leadership from the top youth organizations in the country;
- MLB Club executives and staff;
- Managers and Former Players;
- NCAA championship coaches;
- Leaders from the National Federation of State High School Associations, USA Baseball's Medical/Safety Committee and USA Baseball's Sport Development.