NEW YORK — The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced new returns to tradition on Thursday, Jan. 13. The league will once again use umpires to call balls and strikes at home plate and will return the distance between the pitching rubber and the home plate to the conventional 60 feet and 6 inches.
For the second half of the 2021 season, the ALPB used a system called ABS, or Automated Ball-Strike. The league also moved the pitching rubber back to 61 feet and 6 inches as part of a rule testing partnership with Major League Baseball.
“As we enter 2022, we reaffirm to players and fans that ball-strike calls, and the distance of the pitching rubber, will return to accepted norms,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “We retain several past MLB test features, such as 17” bases, extra innings tiebreaker and anti-shift rules, among others. The test rules and equipment are transitional by definition: Some elements remain, others are tweaked, and still others are abandoned. That’s why MLB and the ALPB conduct the tests.”
The Atlantic League says the rules will be announced for the 2022 season later in the spring. The experimental playing rule and equipment changes are part of a multi-year agreement between MLB and ALPB.
Local Atlantic League teams include the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution.