The National Executive Committee of American Legion Baseball announced several notable rule changes that will go into effect in 2018.
The most dramatic is a departure from nine-inning games starting at the state tournament level. Counties can still opt to play nine-inning games during the regular season and county playoffs, but the Pennsylvania State Championship through the American Legion World Series will now operate with seven innings.
It coincides with a change in last year's newly adopted pitch count rules. The maximum number of pitches allowed in a game is now 105, down from 120. Pitchers can only make two appeances in an three consecutive days, and a second appearance in a game counts as two total appearances. Up to 30 pitches requires no days rest, 31-45 requires a day's rest, 46-60 two days rest, 61-80 three days rest and 81-105 four days rest.
The graduate rule was adjusted that 19-year-olds are not required to be former Legion players. They must play for their previous team (if applicable) or the team closest to their place of residents.
The committee also will allow departments the option to allow courtesy runners and re-entry.