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Atlantic League returns to the human referees of the home draw, moves the ball again for 2022
The Atlantic League will return to having human umpires in-house and will bring its hill back to 60 feet, six inches for the 2022 season. The league has introduced Automated Ball-Strike (ABS) since 2019, while the second half of last season it was played at 61 feet six inches at home plate. Through experiments done with MLB.
The Atlantic League described the ABS test field as “successful” in a news release Thursday, noting that MLB will continue testing the automated umpiring system in a minor league next season. In 2021, MLB pioneered ABS in the Low-A League using Hawk-Eye machine vision cameras, while the Atlantic League’s ABS system for the past three seasons has used TrackMan radars.
MLB expanded its 2020 partnership with the Atlantic League to continue using the league to test rule changes through 2023. The Atlantic League will retain other MLB test rules, such as 17-inch rules, additional tiebreakers and anti-transition rules. More collaborations with MLB will be announced this spring.
“The rules and equipment for tryouts are transitory by definition: some elements remain, some are changed and some remain,” Atlantic League president Rick White said in a statement. “We are proud that many of today’s tests will make it to the major tournaments of the future. We will continue to closely emphasize testing with MLB.”
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