If you happened to see the Minors Baseball Division game on Opening Night, you witnessed a first in ZLL history. The two teams, the Nationals and the Mariners played under a new set of rules designed to increase player engagement and to speed up the pace of the game.
The ZLL Minors Baseball Division is participating in a pilot program for Little League International where the rules of the game have been adjusted. Every inning begins with runners on first and second base, and every batter steps to the plate with a 1 ball 1 strike count. Starting the innings in this manner increases the likelihood the defense can make a play for an out somewhere on the infield and heightens the players awareness of situational baseball. Having players start their at bats with a 1-1 count similarly increases the odds of batters being more aggressive at the plate.
As part of the pilot program, the Minors Division coaches will be surveying players and coaches about their view of the game under the pilot rules.