NPB expands replay to plays at home plate, regional parks

Starting this year, umpires in Nippon Professional Baseball will be able to use video replay to assist on plays at home plate.

From this year, NPB will no longer permit catchers to violate rule 7.06(b) — the long-existing rule that prohibits players from blocking the base path without the ball. NPB will also adopt the international rule that prohibits runners from going out of their way to dislodge balls from a fielder.

Until this year, video replays were limited to potential home runs and for catches made against the outfield wall. This year, umpires can call for video assistance on plays at the plate if they deem it necessary.

Video replay will also be expanded to all regional parks from this season.