(Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Three rule changes for junior baseball teams

The 2014 American Legion Baseball season gets underway Jan. 1 with new rules for all junior teams that departments may elect to adopt. Coaches and department baseball chairman voiced their ideas for possible rule changes in a recent Legion Baseball survey, and the Legion Baseball Subcommittee and National Americanism Commission listened.

The three rule changes that will be in the 2014 Legion Baseball Rule Book are:

Rule 1 E. Courtesy runners. Teams have the option to use a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher at any time. For speed-up purposes, it is recommended that the courtesy runner be used with two men out in all games.

Rule 1 G. Designated hitter. A hitter may be (not mandatory) designated for any one starting player (not just pitchers) and all subsequent substitutes for that player in the game. A starting defensive player cannot be listed as the designated hitter in the starting lineup. A designated hitter for said player shall be selected prior to the start of the game, and his name shall be included on the lineup cards presented to the umpire-in-chief and to the official scorer. Failure to declare a designated hitter prior to the game precludes the use of a designated hitter in that game.

Rule 1 Q: Re-entry. Any of the starting players, with the exception of the pitcher and the designated hitter, may withdraw from the game and re-enter once, provided such players occupy the same batting position whenever they re-enter the lineup. Starting pitchers and designated hitters that change positions later in the same game are NOT eligible to re-enter.