Enforcing the New NCAA Speed Up Rule Requires Proper Timing

Dec 14th, 2017

This article has been updated since its original 2010 publication.

Used to hearing "Play Ball!" before baseball games? Now at the D1 NCAA level, you might start growing more accustomed to hearing "Hurry Up!".

In an effort to speed play, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has approved a 20-second limit between pitches with no runners on and a 90-second limit between innings for non-TV games (108 seconds for televised).

Implemented in tournament play last year, and now required for the 2011 regular season:

  • Pitchers who go over this time limit with no runners on base risk having a ball added to the count after a warning for a first offense,
  • Hitters who step out within 5 seconds of the clock expiring risk a strike after a warning for a first offense and;
  • The offending team of the between-innings limit risk having a ball or strike added as well. 

Where in-field or on-stadium pitch clocks are not available, what's the lucky base umpire to do who has this responsibility? When 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, etc won't do, would you consider one of these items?

Champro Stop Watch
Champro Stop Watch
Split 1 - 2 fast finish
1/100 second, 24 hour
12/24 hour time of day

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020, 2021, 2024, and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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