The NPB announced on July 20 that their proposal to improve the collision rules at home plate were approved by the players and will take effect beginning on July 22.
The [home plate collision] rules will be enforced if the runner shows intent to initiate contact with the fielder at home plate, or if the fielder shows intent to block the pathway of the runner to home plate.
- There will be actual no changes to rules
- The catcher can stand in front of home plate
- The runner shall not initiate contact with the fielder
- The fielder shall not block the pathway of the runner
- These rules will remain the unchanged
- The rules will be strictly enforced for catchers that block home plate
- The rules will not apply if the umpires feel the fielder had to run into the pathway of the runner to catch a ball, or the fielder had to come into contact with the runner to catch a ball
- Even if there was no contact, a catcher might be given a warning depending on where he is positioned
Source: NPB announcement