Rule 7.13 will be enacted on an experimental basis after it was agreed upon by MLB's players and owners.
Just announced: Players and owners adopt experimental rule on home-plate collisions.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 24, 2014
Rule says runner may not deviate from direct pathway to plate to initiate contact with catcher or another player covering home plate.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 24, 2014
If, in umpire’s judgment, runner attempting to score initiates contact in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 24, 2014
“In determining whether a runner deviated from his pathway in order to initiate a collision, the umpire will consider whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate, and whether he lowered his shoulders or pushed through with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher,” according to the rule. “Beginning immediately, clubs will be required to train their runners to slide and their catchers to provide the runner with a pathway to reach the plate at all levels in their organizations.”
It’s possible that the new rule will be permanently adopted as soon as 2015.
Collision plays are subject to replay review, according to new rule.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 24, 2014
"I think it can be good for the catcher, but at the same time, it's hard," Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said last week. "We're used to playing hard every time, and that's part of baseball. Being a catcher, you have to be tough. For me, if they kept it like always, that would be fine. But like I said, this means probably not as many guys are going to get hurt."
My take on new rule: Necessary move to end “egregious” collisions, protect catchers. Plays at plate still will be exciting, just different.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 24, 2014
“As the runner, you know you can't hit him. Now you've put yourself in a vulnerable position to possibly get hurt," Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley said last week. "I can just visualize a play develop where there's no choice but to make contact. So we'll see what happens."