2024 MLB All-Star Game: Home Run Derby gets major shakeup, including new format and time rules

Written by on July 1, 2024

The 2024 Home Run Derby is less than three weeks away and there will be a new format this season. Sunday night Major League Baseball and ESPN announced a new format for the annual long ball affiar, one that replaces head-to-head matchups in the first round. Now all eight players will compete against each other in the first round, with four players advancing.

Here are the new rules for this year’s Home Run Derby:

First round

All eight players will hit, and the top four homer totals will advance to the second round. Ties are broken using the longest individual home run distance. Hitters gets three minutes or 40 pitches, whichever comes first, and one timeout. Each player then gets three bonus outs. Basically, after their three minutes or 40 pitches are up, they continue swinging until they make three more outs. Players can earn a fourth bonus out with a 425-foot homer in bonus time. This means every hitter who is behind will have a chance to catch up as long as they continue hitting home runs in bonus time. 


The four remaining players are seeded 1-4 using first round home run totals, then it’s 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in head-to-head matchups. Otherwise, it’s the same rules as the first round: three minutes or 40 pitches, one timeout, plus three bonus outs with the opportunity to earn a fourth.


The two semifinal winners go head-to-head. The finals are only two minutes or 27 pitches, with one timeout. The same bonus outs rules apply here as well.

The new format puts a premium on efficiency — you only get so many pitches now — and also forces players to hit as many homers as possible in the first round rather than just hit more than your head-to-head opponent. In recent years players have complained the Home Run Derby is too exhausting and physically demanding. They would rush to get as many swings in as possible during the allotted time, and fatigue creates injury risk.

The Home Run Derby has undergone many format changes over the years, the most significant of which was the introduction of a clock in 2015. Last year, the eight players were seeded 1-8 using their season home run totals, then they faced off in a single-elimination tournament. Hitters were given three minutes in the first two rounds, and two minutes in the final round. Players could also earn bonus time based on home run distance.

On Sunday, Gunnar Henderson became the first player to commit to the Home Run DerbyShohei Ohtani said he wants to do it as long as he’s cleared medically. MLB home run leader Aaron Judge said he will pass on the Home Run Derby again. He has not participated in it since winning the 2017 Home Run Derby. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the 2023 Home Run Derby in Seattle.

This year’s All-Star Game events will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Home Run Derby is scheduled for Monday, July 15. Phase 2 of the All-Star Game fan voting is now underway. Judge and Bryce Harper earned automatic starting spots in the All-Star Game in Phase 1.

The post 2024 MLB All-Star Game: Home Run Derby gets major shakeup, including new format and time rules first appeared on CBS Sports.

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