MLB

Home Run Derby rules, explained

In recent years, the rules for the Home Run Derby have changed. Here are rules for it.

The rules have change for the Home Run Derby in recent years. Before the Home Run Derby takes place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday, here are the rules that you should know for it.

There are eight players that will be participating. They are placed in seeds with #1 facing #8, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, #4 vs. #5.

This year, the participants will be:

  • #1 Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber vs. #8 Cardinals DH/first baseman Albert Pujols
  • #4 Nationals outfielder Juan Soto vs. #5 Guardians infielder José Ramírez
  • #3 Rangers shortstop Corey Seager vs. #6 Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.
  • #2 Mets first baseman Pete Alonso vs. #7 Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez.

The bracket is a single-elimination bracket with three rounds. The higher seed in each matchup always hits second.

Home Run Derby rules

Each hitter has three minutes in both the first and second rounds to hit as many home runs as possible. The time is reduced to two minutes in the final round. The timer begins with the release of the first pitch, and the round ends when the timer hits zero. A home run will count if the timer hits zero after the pitch is released. If the second contestant in the matchup exceeds their opponents home run total, the round ends regardless of where the time is.

Each player gets 30 seconds of bonus time after the regulation time expires. If a player hits a home run that’s at least 440 feet during the round, they will receive an additional 30 seconds. Also, each player has one timeout that is 45 seconds in each round. However, timeouts cannot be called during bonus time.

In the event of a tie in any round, they’re broken by a 60-second tiebreaker with no bonus time or timeouts. If there’s still a tie after that, the contestants will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.

The winner of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million. The remaining seven participants split $1.5 million. This $2.5 million pool was increased from $750,000 before the 2019 Home Run Derby.