NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced new and enhanced on-field rules for the 2022 season as part of its commitment to long-term player and pitcher safety. The updates include the addition of a championship game and a “sudden death” extra-innings format and modifications to player substitutions and weekly seven-inning games.
The MLB Draft League’s first- and second-half champions will meet in a winner-take-all MLB Draft League Championship Game on Sept. 6, hosted by the first-half winner. If the same team wins both halves, then the second-place finisher of the season’s second half will qualify for the Championship Game.
A “sudden death” format will replace traditional extra innings in 2022 as part of the MLB Draft League’s emphasis on pitcher health and arm safety. Before the game, the home team manager will decide to play either offense or defense in the event of an extra-inning game. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the teams will play an additional half-inning to determine a winner. The inning will begin with a runner – the third out from the previous inning – on first base and the scheduled hitter at the plate. The team starting the additional half-inning on offense will have three outs to score a run and win the game. If they fail to score a run, the winner is the team that began the half-inning on defense. Though the win or loss will count towards the standings, any statistics accumulated in the sudden death half-inning will not count towards a player or team's end-of-year total.
Free substitutions will be allowed at each manager’s discretion to provide opportunities for more players.
All Tuesday games during the first half of the season (June 2-July 16) will be seven innings, excluding home openers. All Tuesday games during the season’s second half (July 22-Sept. 6) will be nine innings.
Opening Day for the MLB Draft League is Thursday, June 2. Click here to learn more about the League’s new amateur/professional hybrid format and expanded schedule in 2022.