Atlantic League, Major League Baseball announce partnership to test experimental rules

Atlantic League president Rick White
  • MLB and the Atlantic League announced a new three-year partnership.
  • The deal allows MLB to test experimental rules during the Atlantic League season.
  • MLB also will enhance its scouting coverage of the Atlantic League.

There's a new partnership between Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League.

The new, three-year agreement was announced Tuesday afternoon in a news release from the Atlantic League.

The potential changes could have an impact on the 2019 games that York Revolution fans see at PeoplesBank Park. 

The agreement will permit MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during the Atlantic League season. In addition to rules governing the transfer of players from the Atlantic League to MLB, the new agreement includes rights for MLB to implement changes to Atlantic League playing rules in order to observe the effects of potential future rule changes and equipment. MLB will work with the Atlantic League to modify the experimental playing rules and equipment each season during the agreement.

MLB also will enhance its scouting coverage of the Atlantic League, installing radar tracking technology in the eight Atlantic League ballparks and providing statistical services to Atlantic League clubs.

The new agreement continues MLB’s longstanding practice of testing potential new approaches under game conditions. In recent years, MLB has utilized and evaluated experimental rules in its Arizona Fall League, the game’s top offseason developmental platform.

“We look forward to bringing some of the best ideas about the future of our game to life in a highly competitive environment,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s senior vice president for league economics and operations.

Atlantic League president Rick White is excited about the possibilities.

“The Atlantic League prides itself on innovation," White said. "In that spirit, our board of directors, led by chairman and founder Frank Boulton, enthusiastically and unanimously approved this forward-looking agreement.”

MLB and the Atlantic League will announce the experimental playing rules and equipment changes for the 2019 Atlantic League season in the coming weeks.

The Revs will host its 2019 kickoff event on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at PeoplesBank Park. It's a chance for fans to purchase 2019 All-Star Game, which will be held in York, and individual game tickets. The All-Star Game uniform designs will also be unveiled and York manager Mark Mason will be in attendance to greet fans.

The Revs' regular season opens at home on Friday evening, April 26, vs. the Long Island Ducks.

Information for this story was supplied by the Atlantic League.