The Class AA state semifinal baseball game on Friday, May...

The Class AA state semifinal baseball game on Friday, May 9, 2017. Credit: AP / Rich Schultz

The New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association approved a 10-run mercy rule for baseball that will start this spring. Suffolk County will adopt the new rule while Nassau County has yet to make a decision.

“A game will end with a run differential of 10 or more after five innings of play unless the home team is ahead by that differential after four and a half innings,” said Tom Combs, the executive director of Section XI, which governs Suffolk County athletics. “It’s a two-year pilot program and coordinators were asked to gather data as to how many games were shortened and by how many innings due to the rule.”

The mercy rule was approved by the state federation for regional and state competition for this year.

“It was up to the individual sections in the state to go with this rule or not,” said Sayville athletic director Dennis Maloney, the assistant chairman for Suffolk baseball. “And our committee voted that it was in the best interests of Suffolk baseball to approve the rule for the next two years and see how it affects our games.”

According to Patrick Pizzarelli, the executive director for Section VIII, the governing body of Nassau athletics, the rule has not yet been decided upon.

“Our committee is scheduled to meet soon to make a decision,” Pizzarelli said. “There are feelings on both sides of the coin, so I don’t know which way it will go.”

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