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Major League Baseball Bans Rolling Slides

  • Reuters

FILE - New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada suffered a broken leg on this play when Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley rolled toward him to try to break up a double play in a National League playoff game at Dodger Stadium, Oct 10, 2015.

FILE - New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada suffered a broken leg on this play when Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley rolled toward him to try to break up a double play in a National League playoff game at Dodger Stadium, Oct 10, 2015.

Rolling slides to break up double plays will not be permitted starting with the 2016 season, according to new regulations adopted Thursday by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The World Umpires Association also approved the banishment of "roll block" slides in light of last season's incident in the National League playoffs, in which New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada suffered a broken leg on a takeout at second base by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley.

According to the new sliding rules, a runner is required to make a "bona fide" attempt to reach the bag, or an umpire can call the runner and the batter out.

A bona fide slide occurs when a runner makes contact with the ground ahead of the base, is in position to reach the base with his hand or foot, and attempts to remain on the base without changing his path to initiate contact with a fielder.

Potential violations will be subject to instant replay review. So will "neighborhood play" calls, which previously were exempt.

A "neighborhood play," generally made at second base, is a force play in which the fielder receiving the ball does not actually touch the base, or touches it well before catching the ball. He's merely "in the neighborhood" of the base.

The MLB and the players union also signed off on two new pace-of-play initiatives designed to help speed up the game. Visits to the pitcher's mound by managers and coaches will be limited to 30 seconds, and broadcast breaks between innings will be reduced by 20 seconds.

MLB said last year's pace-of-game directives, which included a batter's box rule (batters are required, for the most part, to keep at least one foot in the box) and decreased break time between innings and pitching changes, resulted in the average length of games falling to 2 hours, 56 minutes, 14 seconds, from 3:02:21.

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