The grand World Baseball Classic Question and Answer (Part 2: The Game Rules)

Okay, if you saw yesterday’s post, you are no doubt prepared for another round of questions and answers about the World Baseball Classic. Today, we look at some of the rules and regulations of the tournament… after the jump:

Okay, quick, do they use the DH in the WBC?

Yes, which is hardly surprising, since only two major leagues in the world (the NL and the Japanese Central League) don’t use the DH and it’s hard enough to get pitchers to play anyway.

Speaking of which, what are the pitch-counts for the WBC?

It depends on the round. It goes like this: 65 pitches in the first round, 80 in the second round and 95 in the semifinals and finals. Also, there are then rules on how long they have to rest if they pitch a certain amount. From the official WBC website:

  • Not pitch until a minimum of four days have passed since he last pitched, if he threw 50 or more pitches when he last pitched;
  • Not pitch until a minimum of one day has passed since he last pitched, if he threw 30 or more pitches when he last pitched;
  • Not pitch until a minimum of one day has passed since any second consecutive day on which the pitcher pitched.

Note that a pitcher can go above his pitch count if it is needed to finish an at-bat.

Okay, so what about the mercy rules I’ve heard about?

In order to keep games between mismatched foes from being grandiose 22-1 affairs, a mercy rule is in effect. In essence, if a team is up by 10 after seven or more innings or up by 15 after five or more innings, the game is over.

Wait, if the pitchers have pitch counts on them, what happens if the games go into deep extra innings?

Actually, funny you ask, because WBC games- with the exception of the finals- have special extra innings rules created by the IBAF.

What?

Okay, it’s like this: starting in the 13th inning, the team at bat starts with runners at first and second.

Why?

Two reasons. The first is the reason why it came into being to begin with: to make sure that games would end in a semi-timely manner during time-sensitive events like the Olympics. The second reason, unstated but the reason why it’s still around for the WBC, is that it helps to make sure a game ends before a team’s entire bullpen has been pitch-counted into oblivion.

Okay, any other rules differences?

None that really concern what’s going on in the field, although there are minor common-sense things such as allowing for more interpreters.

Tomorrow, come read part 3, about roster rules and similar concerns.

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2 thoughts on “The grand World Baseball Classic Question and Answer (Part 2: The Game Rules)

  1. Pingback: The grand World Baseball Classic Question and Answer (Part 3: Nationality and other eligibility stuff) | The Baseball Continuum

  2. Pingback: The grand World Baseball Classic Question and Answer (Part 4: Miscellaneous) | The Baseball Continuum

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