Is There a Run Rule in MLB?

By Alexis
Last Updated on

First of all, it’s important to state that there are several names for this “Run Rule”, which is also known as:

  • Mercy Rule
  • Skunk Rule
  • Knockout Rule
  • Slaughter Rule
  • 10 Run Rule

However, we’ll call it the Mercy Rule because it’s the one that most people are most familiar with.

is there a mercy rule in mlb

Mercy Rule Definition

It’s called the mercy rule because it basically spares the losing team from any more embarrassment. But why would they be embarrassed you ask? This rule is when a game is abruptly ended before the whole game is supposed to be over. This is applied in most sports when there has been a huge difference in score between the winning and losing team, and it has been deemed that it would be impossible for the losing team to catch up by the supposed end of the game.

Softball and Baseball Mercy Rule

World Baseball Classic (WBC)

  • 10 runs ahead on at least seven (7) completed innings
  • 15 runs ahead on at least five (5) completed innings

Little League Baseball and Other 6-inning Games

  • 10 runs ahead
  • 4 innings completed

Fast Pitch SoftBall

  • 20 runs ahead after three (3) innings
  • 15 runs ahead after four (4) innings
  • arrow-right7 runs ahead after five (5) innings

Slow Pitch Baseball

  • 20 runs ahead after four (4) innings
  • 15 runs ahead after five (5) innings

American High School Baseball

  • 20 runs ahead after three (3) innings
  • 10 runs ahead after five (5) innings

Check the Mercy Rule in Play in the WBC:

Major League Baseball and the Mercy Rule

There is no mercy rule in MLB, not even the usual 10 run rule! But there are mercy rules in minor league baseball, and you can count on a mercy rule in high school baseball. I would think the reason for this is that baseball teams in the Major Leagues are the guys that pretty much are the cream of the crop and things aren’t expected to get out of hand. But an MLB Mercy Rule could also cause many issues, here’s an interesting Major League Baseball article talking about the possibility of a Mercy Rule making a negative effect on a game.

What do you think? Should Major League Baseball include the baseball slaughter rule? Go ahead and let me know in the comments!

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Alexis has been playing baseball since he was around 10. He is a 2020 high school graduate that currently trying to achieve his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.