Sport Home Run Derby format, explained: Number of rounds, time limits & tie rules for 2021 contest

09:40  11 july  2021
09:40  11 july  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The Home Run Derby has undergone a number of format changes since the inaugural competition in 1985.

It used to be done in innings, then outs and now it is done in time. It went from a wide-open field to brackets of players.

But the latest format seems to be a popular one. Fans enjoy the faster pace with batters being now more inclined to swing often as opposed to waiting for the exact right pitch to come by.

Here's a rundown of what to expect out of the format in the 2021 Home Run Derby.

MORE: Breaking down the Home Run Derby field

How many rounds are in the derby?

There are three rounds in the Home Run Derby, which operates in a bracket style. Two competitors will be pitted against one another in the quarterfinals with each one hoping to hit as many home runs as they can in the time allotted to them. The batter with the most home runs moves on to the semifinals, where he will face off against the winner of the neighboring bracket. The two hitters will go through the process again to decide who will be paired up in the finals of the Home Run Derby.

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This has been the format of the derby since 2015 when, for the first time, participants faced off in a bracket to reach the finals. Previously, each player was allotted a number of outs to work with — any swing that didn't result in a home run was considered an out — to hit as many home runs as possible. Each hitter had 10 outs from 1991 through 2013 before it was changed to just seven outs in 2014. The top four in home runs advanced to the semifinals, working to narrow the field down to just the remaining two for the final round.

What are the time limits?

Video: Joey Gallo Crushes Two Home Runs (Stadium)

Under the new format, batters have four minutes each to hit as many home runs as they can. They are allowed to take as many swings as they would like as they do not face a penalty for swinging and failing to hit a home run. The clock starts as soon as the first pitch is thrown. Players can take one timeout at any point during the round.

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Batters can extend their time limits by 30 seconds if they launch two baseballs equal to or farther than 440 feet.

What happens in a tie?

There are two steps for a tie in the Home Run Derby. The first step is a one-minute round where each batter will have a minute to hit as many home runs as they can. Should the batters remain tied after that round, there will be three-swing swing-offs until a winner is decided.

There had never been a tie in the first first four years of the new format, but fans had the chance to see it take place for the first time in Cleveland in the 2019 derby, when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson were forced to do battle in three swing-offs in their second round matchup — one timed, and two three-swing swing-offs. Guerrero ultimately won with a total of 40 home runs to Pederson's 39.

When is the 2021 Home Run Derby?

  • Date: Monday, July 12
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
  • Channel: ESPN | ESPN2 (Statcast broadcast)
  • Live stream: ESPN+ | fuboTV (7-day free trial)

The Home Run Derby will be held on the first day of the All-Star break, coming on Monday, July 12. Fans can tune into the broadcast on ESPN, or watch the Statcast broadcast on ESPN2.

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Those hoping to live stream can find both broadcasts either on ESPN+ or fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

Past Home Run Derby champions

Here's who has won the Home Run Derby in the past. Ken Griffey Jr. is the only hitter to win the derby in Colorado. He also holds the record for the most Home Run Derby wins overall, sitting at three, including 1998 and 1999 when he became the first player to win the event in back-to-back years.

Year Player Team Park (City)
2019 Pete Alonso Mets Progressive Field (Cleveland)
2018 Bryce Harper Nationals Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.)
2017 Aaron Judge Yankees Marlins Park (Miami)
2016 Giancarlo Stanton Marlins Petco Park (San Diego)
2015 Todd Frazier Reds Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati)
2014 Yoenis Cespedes Athletics Target Field (Minneapolis)
2013 Yoenis Cespedes Athletics Citi Field (New York City)
2012 Prince Fielder Tigers Kauffman Park (Kansas City)
2011 Robinson Cano Yankees Chase Field (Phoenix)
2010 David Ortiz Red Sox Angel Stadium (Anaheim)
2009 Prince Fielder Brewers Busch Stadium (St. Louis)
2008 Justin Morneau Twins Yankee Stadium (New York City)
2007 Vladimir Guerrero Angels AT&T Park (San Francisco)
2006 Ryan Howard Phillies PNC Park (Pittsburgh)
2005 Bobby Abreu Phillies Comerica Park (Detroit)
2004 Miguel Tejada Orioles Minute Maid Park (Houston)
2003 Garret Anderson Angels U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago)
2002 Jason Giambi Yankees Miller Park (Milwaukee)
2001 Luis Gonzalez Diamondbacks Safeco Field (Seattle)
2000 Sammy Sosa Cubs Turner Field (Atlanta)
1999 Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners Fenway Park (Boston)
1998 Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners Coors Field (Colorado)
1997 Tino Martinez Yankees Jacobs Field (Cleveland)
1996 Barry Bonds Giants Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia)
1995 Frank Thomas White Sox The Ballpark in Arlington (Arlington)
1994 Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh)
1993 Juan Gonzalez Rangers Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore)
1992 Mark McGwire Athletics Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego)
1991 Cal Ripken Jr. Orioles SkyDome (Toronto)
1990 Ryne Sandberg Cubs Wrigley Field (Chicago)
1989* Ruben Sierra Rangers Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)
1989* Eric Davis Reds Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)
1987 Andre Dawson Cubs Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland)
1986* Wally Joyner Angels Astrodome (Houston)
1986* Darryl Strawberry Mets Astrodome (Houston)
1985 Dave Parker Reds Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minneapolis)

*Both 1986 and 1989 saw ties in the Home Run Derby

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gave Juan Soto a great mic'd-up pep talk before swing-off vs. Shohei Ohtani .
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. elected to not participate in this year's Home Run Derby, which was a bit of a bummer because we all wanted to see him crush baseballs through Denver's altitude (he saved that for the actual All-Star Game). But tBut that didn’t mean that he wasn’t heavily focused on Monday’s epic Home Run Derby.

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