Thursday, July 28, 2011

NCAA Rules Changes: Analysis and Opinions

More changes for college baseball (Baseball America)
  • Instant Replay: "If we can use it without complicating things and slowing the game down to a snail's pace, it's a good tool to have in some cases," said Minnesota coach John Anderson, an outgoing member of the D-I Baseball Committee. "There's a lot of calls you can conference on as umpires, but you can't use instant replay for all of them, that's for sure. You've got to look at it, go slow, make changes as you go along. The game still has humans and umpires, there's going to be some human error—I don't think you can ever come up with a system to take that element out of it. It's part of the game."

  • RPI: "If the home team wins 62 percent of the time, is that because of the facility or because you're on the bottom of the scoreboard and have the last at-bat?" Anderson said. "If UCLA and somebody else go play at Dodger Stadium, is that a home game or a neutral-site game? Right now there's a lot of discrepancy there, and that has to be cleaned up before the (Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet) approves it. We have a working document that we'll send out to coaches to get feedback.

Big changes on the horizon (
  • RPI: “I’m all about balance and things being 50-50. I’m in that world of playing home-and-homes with people, so I’m all about equality. I don’t want to see teams play the first 22 games of their season at home,” Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. “But I’m a little concerned because it seems like if you don’t sweep an inferior team at home, it’s almost like a bad weekend with how much they benefit from one win and you benefit from two wins. It’s hard to sweep anyone in college baseball and I’m not sure if this change wasn’t a little steep.”

  • Instant Replay: It’s worth noting the instant replay review would have to occur before the next pitch or play. Should it occur on a game-ending play, it must be called before umpires leave the field.

RPI adjusted to reward road teams (Fox Sports Houston)
  • RPI: "Anything you can do to encourage people to challenge themselves (is beneficial)," said Rice coach Wayne Graham, whose Owls contested road series at Long Beach State, Cal Poly, Stanford, San Diego and Arizona over the last four seasons. "There's all kinds of reasons a person might schedule a ton of home games, but I think any pressure you can put to encourage teams to play a reasonable amount of road games helps the game because it brings other people into play.

RPI changes proposed (
  • RPI: With this proposed change still a year away, there is time for schedules to adjust. The question is how will coaches weight the RPI-savvy road games versus the financial and competitive advantage of home games? For programs like LSU, this is another shot across the bow.

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