Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association adopted a rule Monday that bans "egregious collisions" at home plate for the 2014 season, MLB and the MLBPA announced.
Rule 7.13 states that catchers can block the plate if they catch the ball before a runner arrives, but the catcher cannot block the path of runner trying to score. If catcher does block in such fashion, the runner will be called safe.
The rule also states that runners who slide, and catchers who provide the runner with a lane to reach plate, will never be found to be in violation of the new rule. The new instant replay will be available to review potential violations of the new rule. The umpire has the discretion to use replay to see if the rule was violated.
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MLB will distribute training materials throughout Spring Training, and discussions on the new rule, including the retraining of catchers and base runners, will be held during MLB's meetings with managers in the weeks ahead. Additionally, MLB and the MLBPA will form a committee of players and managers to review developments as the season progresses and to discuss the possible application of the new rule in 2015.