The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a 20-second action rule in baseball that will be enforced before all pitches in the 2019-20 academic year.

It will be optional for a school to have visible clocks to keep the time between pitches. If no visible clock is used, one of the base umpires will keep the 20-second time limit on the field.

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If the pitcher is at fault for violating the 20-second action rule, a ball will be awarded in the count. If the hitter violates the 20-second action rule, a strike will be awarded in the count.

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee proposed the change to enhance the pace of play.

The panel also authorized a proposal requiring all chest protectors used in competition for the 2019-20 academic year be models that are approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.

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