This code of rules is written to govern the playing of baseball
games by professional teams of the American League of Professional
Baseball Clubs, the National League of Professional Baseball
Clubs, and the leagues which are members of the National Association
of Professional Baseball Leagues.
We recognize that many amateur and non professional
organizations play their games under professional rules, and
we are happy to make our rules available as widely as possible.
It is well to remember that specifications as to fields, equipment,
etc., may be modified to meet the needs of each group.
Money fines, long term suspensions and similar
penalties imposed by this code are not practicable for amateur
groups, but officers and umpires of such organizations should
insist on strict observance of all the rules governing the playing
of the game.
Baseball not only has maintained its position
as the National Game of the United States, but also has become
an International Game being played in seventy seven countries.
Its popularity will grow only as long as its players, managers,
coaches, umpires and administrative officers respect the discipline
of its code of rules.
THE OFFICIAL PLAYING RULES COMMITTEE
William A. Murray, Chairman
Leonard S. Coleman Gene A. Budig Joseph J. Buzas
John McHale, Sr. Sandy Alderson Bob Beban
Bill Giles Dan Duquette George Sisler, Jr.
AMATEUR BASEBALL ADVISORY MEMBERS
Raoul Dedeaux Ronald Tellefsen
The Official Playing Rules Committee at its December 1977 meeting,
voted to incorporate the Notes Case Book Comments section directly
into the Official Playing Rules at the appropriate places. Basically,
the Case Book interprets or elaborates on the basic rules and
in essence have the same effect as rules when applied to particular
sections for which they are intended.
This arrangement is designed to give quicker access to any written
language pertaining to an Official Rule and does not require
a reader to refer to different sections of the Official Playing
Rules book in considering the application of a particular rule.
Case Book material is printed in smaller type than the rule language.
RECODIFIED, AMENDED AND ADOPTED BY PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL OFFICIAL
PLAYING RULES COMMITTEE AT NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 21, 1949;
AMENDED AT NEW YORK CITY, FEBRUARY 5, 1951; TAMPA, FLA., MARCH
14, 1951; CHICAGO, ILL., MARCH 3, 1952; NEW YORK CITY, NOVEMBER
4, 1953; NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 8, 1954; CHICAGO, ILL., NOVEMBER
20, 1956; TAMPA, FLA., MARCH 30 31, 1961; TAMPA, FLA., NOVEMBER
26, 1961; NEW YORK CITY, JANUARY 26, 1963; SAN DIEGO, CALIF.,
DECEMBER 2, 1963; HOUSTON, TEX., DECEMBER 1, 1964; COLUMBUS,
O., NOVEMBER 28, 1966; PITTSBURGH, PA., DECEMBER 1, 1966; MEXICO
CITY, MEXICO, NOVEMBER 27, 1967; SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., DECEMBER
3, 1968; NEW YORK CITY, JANUARY 31, 1969; FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.,
DECEMBER 1, 1969; LOS ANGELES, CALIF., NOVEMBER 30, 1970; PHOENIX,
ARIZ., NOVEMBER 29, 1971; ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., MARCH 23, 1972;
HONOLULU, HAWAII, NOVEMBER 27, 1972; HOUSTON, TEX., DECEMBER
3 AND 7, 1973; NEW ORLEANS, LA., DECEMBER 8, 1975; HOLLYWOOD,
FLA., DECEMBER 8, 1975; LOS ANGELES, CALIF., DECEMBER 6, 1976;
HONOLULU, HAWAII, DECEMBER 5, 1977; ORLANDO, FLA., DECEMBER 4,
1978; TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, DECEMBER 3, 1979; DALLAS, TEX.,
DECEMBER 8, 1980; HOLLYWOOD, FLA., DECEMBER 7, 1981; HONOLULU,
HAWAII, DECEMBER 5, 1982; NASHVILLE, TN., DECEMBER 5, 1983; NEW
YORK, N.Y., JANUARY 8, 1985; NEW YORK, N.Y., MARCH 27, 1986;
HOLLYWOOD, FLA., DECEMBER 9, 1986; NEW YORK CITY, NOVEMBER 23,
1987; NEW YORK CITY, JANUARY 26, 1989; CHICAGO, ILL., DECEMBER
3, 1990; MIAMI, FLA., DECEMBER 5, 1991; LOUISVILLE, KY., DECEMBER
4, 1992; Atlanta, Ga. December 12, 1993; New York City, January
©1998 Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc. All rights
1.00 Objectives of the
1.01 Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players
each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field
in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or
The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than
The winner of the game shall be that team which shall have scored,
in accordance with these rules, the greater number of runs at
the conclusion of a regulation game.
THE PLAYING FIELD. The field shall be laid out according to the
instructions below, supplemented by Diagrams No. 1, No. 2 and
The infield shall be a 90 foot square. The
outfield shall be the area between two foul lines formed by extending
two sides of the square, as in Diagram 1. The distance from home
base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on fair
territory shall be 250 feet or more. A distance of 320 feet or
more along the foul lines, and 400 feet or more to center field
is preferable. The infield shall be graded so that the base lines
and home plate are level. The pitcher's plate shall be 10 inches
above the level of home plate. The degree of slope from a point
6 inches in front of the pitcher's plate to a point 6 feet toward
home plate shall be 1 inch to 1 foot, and such degree of slope
shall be uniform. The infield and outfield, including the boundary
lines, are fair territory and all other area is foul territory.
It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitchers
plate to second base shall run East Northeast.
It is recommended that the distance from home base to the backstop,
and from the base lines to the nearest fence, stand or other
obstruction on foul territory shall be 60 feet or more. See Diagram
When location of home base is determined, with a steel tape measure
127 feet, 3 3/8 inches in desired direction to establish second
base. From home base, measure 90 feet toward first base; from
second base, measure 90 feet toward first base; the intersection
of these lines establishes first base. From home base, measure
90 feet toward third base; from second base, measure 90 feet
toward third base; the intersection of these lines establishes
third base. The distance between first base and third base is
127 feet, 3 3/8 inches. All measurements from home base shall
be taken from the point where the first and third base lines
The catcher's box, the batters' boxes, the coaches' boxes, the
three foot first base lines and the next batter's boxes shall
be laid out as shown in Diagrams 1 and 2.
The foul lines and all other playing lines indicated in the diagrams
by solid black lines shall be marked with wet, unslaked lime,
chalk or other white material.
The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those
used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club
shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas
of its playing field.
(a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after
June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from
home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on
the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of
400 feet to the center field fence.
(b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1,
1958, in such manner as to reduce the distance from home base
to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum
specified in paragraph (a) above.
Home base shall be marked by a five sided slab of whitened rubber.
It shall be a 17 inch square with two of the corners removed
so that one edge is 17 inches long, two adjacent sides are 8
1/2 inches and the remaining two sides are 12 inches and set
at an angle to make a point. It shall be set in the ground with
the point at the intersection of the lines extending from home
base to first base and to third base; with the 17 inch edge facing
the pitcher's plate, and the two 12 inch edges coinciding with
the first and third base lines. The top edges of home base shall
be beveled and the base shall be fixed in the ground level with
the ground surface.
First, second and third bases shall be marked by white canvas
bags, securely attached to the ground as indicated in Diagram
2. The first and third base bags shall be entirely within the
infield. The second base bag shall be centered on second base.
The bags shall be 15 inches square, not less than three nor more
than five inches thick, and filled with soft material.
The pitcher's plate shall be a rectangular slab of whitened rubber,
24 inches by 6 inches. It shall be set in the ground as shown
in Diagrams 1 and 2, so that the distance between the pitcher's
plate and home base (the rear point of home plate) shall be 60
feet, 6 inches.
The home club shall furnish players' benches, one each for the
home and visiting teams. Such benches shall not be less than
twenty five feet from the base lines. They shall be roofed and
shall be enclosed at the back and ends.
The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small
core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with two stripes
of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together. It
shall weigh not less than five nor more than 5 1/4 ounces avoirdupois
and measure not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in
(a) The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2 3/4
inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42
inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.
NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used
in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition
games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules
Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.
(b) Cupped Bats. An indentation in the end
of the bat up to one inch in depth is permitted and may be no
wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter.
The indentation must be curved with no foreign substance added.
(c) The bat handle, for not more than 18 inches
from its end, may be covered or treated with any material or
substance to improve the grip. Any such material or substance,
which extends past the 18 inch limitation, shall cause the bat
to be removed from the game.
If the umpire discovers that the bat does not conform to (c)
above until a time during or after which the bat has been used
in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out,
or ejected from the game.
(d) No colored bat may be used in a professional game unless
approved by the Rules Committee.
(a) (1) All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in
color, trim and style, and all players uniforms shall include
minimal six inch numbers on their backs. (2) Any part of an undershirt
exposed to view shall be of a uniform solid color for all players
on a team. Any player other than the pitcher may have numbers,
letters, insignia attached to the sleeve of the undershirt. (3)
No player whose uniform does not conform to that of his teammates
shall be permitted to participate in a game.
(b) A league may provide that (1) each team shall wear a distinctive
uniform at all times, or (2) that each team shall have two sets
of uniforms, white for home games and a different color for road
(c) (1) Sleeve lengths may vary for individual players, but the
sleeves of each individual player shall be approximately the
same length. (2) No player shall wear ragged, frayed or slit
(d) No player shall attach to his uniform tape or other material
of a different color from his uniform.
(e) No part of the uniform shall include a pattern that imitates
or suggests the shape of a baseball.
(f) Glass buttons and polished metal shall not be used on a uniform.
(g) No player shall attach anything to the heel or toe of his
shoe other than the ordinary shoe plate or toe plate. Shoes with
pointed spikes similar to golf or track shoes shall not be worn.
(h) No part of the uniform shall include patches or designs relating
to commercial advertisements.
(i) A league may provide that the uniforms of its member teams
include the names of its players on their backs. Any name other
than the last name of the player must be approved by the League
President. If adopted, all uniforms for a team must have the
names of its players.
The catcher may wear a leather mitt not more than thirty eight
inches in circumference, nor more than fifteen and one half inches
from top to bottom. Such limits shall include all lacing and
any leather band or facing attached to the outer edge of the
mitt. The space between the thumb section and the finger section
of the mitt shall not exceed six inches at the top of the mitt
and four inches at the base of the thumb crotch. The web shall
measure not more than seven inches across the top or more than
six inches from its top to the base of the thumb crotch. The
web may be either a lacing or lacing through leather tunnels,
or a center piece of leather which may be an extension of the
palm, connected to the mitt with lacing and constructed so that
it will not exceed any of the above mentioned measurements.
The first baseman may wear a leather glove or mitt not more than
twelve inches long from top to bottom and not more than eight
inches wide across the palm, measured from the base of the thumb
crotch to the outer edge of the mitt. The space between the thumb
section and the finger section of the mitt shall not exceed four
inches at the top of the mitt and three and one half inches at
the base of the thumb crotch. The mitt shall be constructed so
that this space is permanently fixed and cannot be enlarged,
extended, widened, or deepened by the use of any materials or
process whatever. The web of the mitt shall measure not more
than five inches from its top to the base of the thumb crotch.
The web may be either a lacing, lacing through leather tunnels,
or a center piece of leather which may be an extension of the
palm connected to the mitt with lacing and constructed so that
it will not exceed the above mentioned measurements. The webbing
shall not be constructed of wound or wrapped lacing or deepened
to make a net type of trap. The glove may be of any weight.
Each fielder, other than the first baseman or catcher, may use
or wear a leather glove. The measurements covering size of glove
shall be made by measuring front side or ball receiving side
of glove. The tool or measuring tape shall be placed to contact
the surface or feature of item being measured and follow all
contours in the process. The glove shall not measure more than
12'' from the tip of any one of the 4 fingers, through the ball
pocket to the bottom edge or heel of glove. The glove shall not
measure more than 7 3/4'' wide, measured from the inside seam
at base of first finger, along base of other fingers, to the
outside edge of little finger edge of glove. The space or area
between the thumb and first finger, called crotch, may be filled
with leather webbing or back stop. The webbing may be constructed
of two plies of standard leather to close the crotch area entirely,
or it may be constructed of a series of tunnels made of leather,
or a series of panels of leather, or of lacing leather thongs.
The webbing may not be constructed of wound or wrapped lacing
to make a net type of trap. When webbing is made to cover entire
crotch area, the webbing can be constructed so as to be flexible.
When constructed of a series of sections, they must be joined
together. These sections may not be so constructed to allow depression
to be developed by curvatures in the section sides. The webbing
shall be made to control the size of the crotch opening. The
crotch opening shall measure not more than 4 1/2'' at the top,
not more than 5 3/4'' deep, and shall be 3 1/2'' wide at its
bottom. The opening of crotch shall not be more than 4 1/2''
at any point below its top. The webbing shall be secured at each
side, and at top and bottom of crotch. The attachment to be made
with leather lacing, these connections to be secured. If they
stretch or become loose, they shall be adjusted to their proper
condition. The glove can be of any weight.
(a) The pitcher's glove shall be uniform in color, including
all stitching, lacing and webbing. The pitcher's glove may not
be white or gray.
(b) No pitcher shall attach to his glove any foreign material
of a color different from the glove.
A Professional League shall adopt the following rule pertaining
to the use of helmets:
(a) All players shall use some type of protective helmet while
(b) All players in National Association Leagues shall wear a
double ear flap helmet while at bat.
(c) All players entering the Major Leagues commencing with the
1983 championship season and every succeeding season thereafter
must wear a single ear flap helmet (or at the player's option,
a double ear flap helmet), except those players who were in the
Major League during the 1982 season, and who, as recorded in
that season, objected to wearing a single ear flap helmet.
(d) All catchers shall wear a catcher's protective helmet, while
fielding their position.
(e) All bat/ball boys or girls shall wear a protective helmet
while performing their duties. If the umpire observes any violation
of these rules, he shall direct the violation to be corrected.
If the violation is not corrected within a reasonable time, in
the umpire's judgment, the umpire shall eject the offender from
the game, and disciplinary action, as appropriate, will be recommended.
Playing equipment including but not limited to the bases, pitcher's
plate, baseball, bats, uniforms, catcher's mitts, first baseman's
gloves, infielders and outfielders gloves and protective helmets,
as detailed in the provisions of this rule, shall not contain
any undue commercialization of the product. Designations by the
manufacturer on any such equipment must be in good taste as to
the size and content of the manufacturer's logo or the brand
name of the item. The provisions of this Section 1.17 shall apply
to professional leagues only.
2.00 Definitions of Terms.
(All definitions in Rule 2.00 are listed alphabetically.)
ADJUDGED is a judgment decision by the umpire.
An APPEAL is the act of a fielder in claiming violation of
the rules by the offensive team.
A BALK is an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or
runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.
A BALL is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in
flight and is not struck at by the batter. If the pitch touches
the ground and bounces through the strike zone it is a "ball."
If such a pitch touches the batter, he shall be awarded first
base. If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes,
the ball cannot be caught, for the purposes of Rule 6.05 (c)
and 6.09 (b). If the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action
shall be the same as if he hit the ball in flight.
A BASE is one of four points which must be touched by a
runner in order to score a run; more usually applied to the canvas
bags and the rubber plate which mark the base points.
A BASE COACH is a team member in uniform who is stationed in the
coach's box at first or third base to direct the batter and the
A BASE ON BALLS is an award of first base granted to a batter who,
during his time at bat, receives four pitches outside the strike
A BATTER is an offensive player who takes his position in
the batter's box.
BATTER RUNNER is a term that identifies the offensive player who
has just finished his time at bat until he is put out or until
the play on which he became a runner ends.
The BATTER'S BOX is the area within which the batter shall stand during
his time at bat.
The BATTERY is the pitcher and catcher.
BENCH OR DUGOUT is the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes
and other team members in uniform when they are not actively
engaged on the playing field.
A BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally
met with the bat and tapped slowly within the infield.
A CALLED GAME is one in which, for any reason, the umpire in chief
A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession
in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it;
providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other
part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch,
however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact
with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or
if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling,
drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly
ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire
and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder
has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making
a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have
been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder
shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete
control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary
and intentional. A catch is legal if the ball is finally held
by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder
before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the
instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach
over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make
a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may
be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder
reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch
a ball. He does so at his own risk. If a fielder, attempting
a catch at the edge of the dugout, is "held up" and
kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team
and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.
The CATCHER is the fielder who takes his position back of the
The CATCHER'S BOX is that area within which the catcher shall stand
until the pitcher delivers the ball.
The CLUB is a person or group of persons responsible for assembling
the team personnel, providing the playing field and required
facilities, and representing the team in relations with the league.
A COACH is a team member in uniform appointed by the manager
to perform such duties as the manager may designate, such as
but not limited to acting as base coach.
A DEAD BALL is a ball out of play because of a legally created
temporary suspension of play.
The DEFENSE (or DEFENSIVE) is the team, or any player of the team, in the field.
A DOUBLE HEADER is two regularly scheduled or rescheduled games,
played in immediate succession.
A DOUBLE PLAY is a play by the defense in which two offensive players
are put out as a result of continuous action, providing there
is no error between putouts.
(a) A force double play is one in which both putouts are force
(b) A reverse force double play is one in which the first out
is a force play and the second out is made on a runner for whom
the force is removed by reason of the first out. Examples of
reverse force plays: runner on first, one out; batter grounds
to first baseman, who steps on first base (one out) and throws
to second baseman or shortstop for the second out (a tag play).
Another example: bases loaded, none out; batter grounds to third
baseman, who steps on third base (one out); then throws to catcher
for the second out (tag play).
DUGOUT (See definition of BENCH)
A FAIR BALL is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between
home and first base, or between home and third base, or that
is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past
first or third base, or that touches first, second or third base,
or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base
or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches
the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory,
passes out of the playing field in flight. A fair fly shall be
judged according to the relative position of the ball and the
foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the
fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the
ball. If a fly ball lands in the infield between home and first
base, or home and third base, and then bounces to foul territory
without touching a player or umpire and before passing first
or third base, it is a foul ball; or if the ball settles on foul
territory or is touched by a player on foul territory, it is
a foul ball. If a fly ball lands on or beyond first or third
base and then bounces to foul territory, it is a fair hit. Clubs,
increasingly, are erecting tall foul poles at the fence line
with a wire netting extending along the side of the pole on fair
territory above the fence to enable the umpires more accurately
to judge fair and foul balls.
FAIR TERRITORY is that part of the playing field within, and including
the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bottom
of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards. All foul
lines are in fair territory.
A FIELDER is any defensive player.
FIELDER'S CHOICE is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder
and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter
runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding
runner. The term is also used by scorers
(a) to account for the advance of the batter
runner who takes one or more extra bases when the fielder who
handles his safe hit attempts to put out a preceding runner;
(b) to account for the advance of a runner
(other than by stolen base or error) while a fielder is attempting
to put out another runner; and
(c) to account for the advance of a runner
made solely because of the defensive team's indifference (undefended
A FLY BALL is a batted ball that goes high in the air in flight.
A FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses his right
to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner. Confusion
regarding this play is removed by remembering that frequently
the "force" situation is removed during the play. Example:
Man on first, one out, ball hit sharply to first baseman who
touches the bag and batter runner is out. The force is removed
at that moment and runner advancing to second must be tagged.
If there had been a runner on third or second, and either of
these runners scored before the tag out at second, the run counts.
Had the first baseman thrown to second and the ball then had
been returned to first, the play at second was a force out, making
two outs, and the return throw to first ahead of the runner would
have made three outs. In that case, no run would score. Example:
Not a force out. One out. Runner on first and third. Batter flies
out. Two out. Runner on third tags up and scores. Runner on first
tries to retouch before throw from fielder reaches first baseman,
but does not get back in time and is out. Three outs. If, in
umpire's judgment, the runner from third touched home before
the ball was held at first base, the run counts.
A FORFEITED GAME is a game declared ended by the umpire in chief in
favor of the offended team by the score of 9 to 0, for violation
of the rules.
A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between
home and first base, or between home and third base, or that
bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or
that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base,
or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person
of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural
ground. A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative
position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole,
and not as to whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory
at the time he touches the ball. A batted ball not touched by
a fielder, which hits the pitcher's rubber and rebounds into
foul territory, between home and first, or between home and third
base is a foul ball.
FOUL TERRITORY is that part of the playing field outside the first
and third base lines extended to the fence and perpendicularly
A FOUL TIP is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from
the bat to the catcher's hands and is legally caught. It is not
a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a
strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a
rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher's glove
A GROUND BALL is a batted ball that rolls or bounces close to the
The HOME TEAM is the team on whose grounds the game is played,
or if the game is played on neutral grounds, the home team shall
be designated by mutual agreement.
ILLEGAL (or ILLEGALLY) is contrary to these rules.
An ILLEGAL PITCH is (1) a pitch delivered to the batter when the pitcher
does not have his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate;
(2) a quick return pitch. An illegal pitch when runners are on
base is a balk.
An INFIELDER is a fielder who occupies a position in the infield.
An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor
an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary
effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases
are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any
outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall
be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. When it
seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the
umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for
the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines,
the umpire shall declare "Infield Fly, if Fair." The
ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball
being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched,
the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball,
it is treated the same as any foul. If a declared Infield Fly
is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul
before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared
Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline,
and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an
Infield Fly. On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether
the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder_not
by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines.
The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even
if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire's judgment, the
ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield
fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire's
judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their
own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally
drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions
of Rule 6.05 (L). The infield
fly rule takes precedence.
IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball which
has not yet touched the ground or some object other than a fielder.
IN JEOPARDY is a term indicating that the ball is in play and
an offensive player may be put out.
An INNING is that portion of a game within which the teams
alternate on offense and defense and in which there are three
putouts for each team. Each team's time at bat is a half inning.
(a) Offensive interference is an act by the
team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders
or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire
declares the batter, batter runner, or a runner out for interference,
all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the
judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference,
unless otherwise provided by these rules. In the event the batter
runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to
the base last occupied at the time of the pitch.
(b) Defensive interference is an act by a
fielder which hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch.
(c) Umpire's interference occurs (1) When
an umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher's throw attempting
to prevent a stolen base, or (2) When a fair ball touches an
umpire on fair territory before passing a fielder.
(d) Spectator interference occurs when a spectator
reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field, and
touches a live ball.
On any interference the ball is dead.
THE LEAGUE is a group of clubs whose teams play each other in
a pre arranged schedule under these rules for the league championship.
THE LEAGUE PRESIDENT shall enforce the official rules, resolve any disputes
involving the rules, and determine any protested games. The league
president may fine or suspend any player, coach, manager or umpire
for violation of these rules, at his discretion.
LEGAL (or LEGALLY) is in accordance with these rules.
A LIVE BALL is a ball which is in play.
A LINE DRIVE is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from
the bat to a fielder without touching the ground.
The MANAGER is a person appointed by the club to be responsible
for the team's actions on the field, and to represent the team
in communications with the umpire and the opposing team. A player
may be appointed manager.
(a) The club shall designate the manager to the league president
or the umpire in chief not less than thirty minutes before the
scheduled starting time of the game.
(b) The manager may advise the umpire that he has delegated specific
duties prescribed by the rules to a player or coach, and any
action of such designated representative shall be official. The
manager shall always be responsible for his team's conduct, observance
of the official rules, and deference to the umpires.
(c) If a manager leaves the field, he shall designate a player
or coach as his substitute, and such substitute manager shall
have the duties, rights and responsibilities of the manager.
If the manager fails or refuses to designate his substitute before
leaving, the umpire in chief shall designate a team member as
OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession
of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes
the progress of any runner. If a fielder is about to receive
a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and
near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to
receive the ball he may be considered "in the act of fielding
a ball." It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire
as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After
a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he
can no longer be in the "act of fielding" the ball.
For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball
passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the
progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
OFFENSE is the team, or any player of the team, at bat.
OFFICIAL SCORER. See Rule 10.00.
An OUT is one of the three required retirements of an offensive
team during its time at bat.
An OUTFIELDER is a fielder who occupies a position in the outfield,
which is the area of the playing field most distant from home
OVERSLIDE (or OVERSLIDING) is the act of an offensive player when his slide
to a base, other than when advancing from home to first base,
is with such momentum that he loses contact with the base.
A PENALTY is the application of these rules following an illegal
The PERSON of a player or an umpire is any part of his body,
his clothing or his equipment.
A PITCH is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.
All other deliveries of the ball by one player to another are
A PITCHER is the fielder designated to deliver the pitch to
The PITCHER'S PIVOT
FOOT is that foot which is in contact
with the pitcher's plate as he delivers the pitch.
"PLAY" is the umpire's order to start the game or to resume
action following any dead ball.
A QUICK RETURN pitch is one made with obvious intent to catch a
batter off balance. It is an illegal pitch.
REGULATION GAME. See Rules 4.10 and
A RETOUCH is the act of a runner in returning to a base as
A RUN (or SCORE) is the score made by an offensive player who advances
from batter to runner and touches first, second, third and home
bases in that order.
A RUN DOWN is the act of the defense in an attempt to put out
a runner between bases.
A RUNNER is an offensive player who is advancing toward, or
touching, or returning to any base.
"SAFE" is a declaration by the umpire that a runner is entitled
to the base for which he was trying.
SET POSITION is one of the two legal pitching positions.
SQUEEZE PLAY is a term to designate a play when a team, with a
runner on third base, attempts to score that runner by means
of a bunt.
A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which_
(a) Is struck at by the batter and is missed;
(b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through
any part of the strike zone;
(c) Is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes;
(d) Is bunted foul;
(e) Touches the batter as he strikes at it;
(f) Touches the batter in flight in the strike zone; or
(g) Becomes a foul tip.
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which
is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders
and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line
at the hallow beneath the knee cap. The Strike Zone shall be
determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared
to swing at a pitched ball.
A SUSPENDED GAME is a called game which is to be completed at a later
A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with
his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand
or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand
or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and
firmly in his hand or glove.
A THROW is the act of propelling the ball with the hand and
arm to a given objective and is to be distinguished, always,
from the pitch.
A TIE GAME is a regulation game which is called when each team
has the same number of runs.
"TIME" is the announcement by an umpire of a legal interruption
of play, during which the ball is dead.
TOUCH. To touch a player or umpire is to touch any part
of his body, his clothing or his equipment.
A TRIPLE PLAY is a play by the defense in which three offensive
players are put out as a result of continuous action, providing
there is no error between putouts.
A WILD PITCH is one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that
it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.
WIND UP POSITION is one of the two legal pitching positions.
3.00 Game Preliminaries.
3.01 Before the game begins the umpire shall:
(a) Require strict observance of all rules governing implements
of play and equipment of players;
(b) Be sure that all playing lines (heavy
lines on Diagrams No. 1 and No. 2) are marked with lime, chalk
or other white material easily distinguishable from the ground
(c) Receive from the home club a supply of
regulation baseballs, the number and make to be certified to
the home club by the league president. Each ball shall be enclosed
in a sealed package bearing the signature of the league president,
and the seal shall not be broken until just prior to game time
when the umpire shall open each package to inspect the ball and
remove its gloss. The umpire shall be the sole judge of the fitness
of the balls to be used in the game;
(d) Be assured by the home club that at least
one dozen regulation reserve balls are immediately available
for use if required;
(e) Have in his possession at least two alternate
balls and shall require replenishment of such supply of alternate
balls as needed throughout the game. Such alternate balls shall
be put in play when_
(1) A ball has been batted out of the playing
field or into the spectator area;
(2) A ball has become discolored or unfit
for further use;
(3) The pitcher requests such alternate ball.
The umpire shall not give an alternate ball to the pitcher until
play has ended and the previously used ball is dead. After a
thrown or batted ball goes out of the playing field, play shall
not be resumed with an alternate ball until the runners have
reached the bases to which they are entitled. After a home run
is hit out of the playing grounds, the umpire shall not deliver
a new ball to the pitcher or the catcher until the batter hitting
the home run has crossed the plate.
No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by
rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand paper,
emery paper or other foreign substance.
PENALTY: The umpire shall demand the ball and remove the
offender from the game. In case the umpire cannot locate the
offender, and if the pitcher delivers such discolored or damaged
ball to the batter, the pitcher shall be removed from the game
at once and shall be suspended automatically for ten days.
A player, or players, may be substituted during a game at any
time the ball is dead. A substitute player shall bat in the replaced
player's position in the team's batting order. A player once
removed from a game shall not re enter that game. If a substitute
enters the game in place of a player manager, the manager may
thereafter go to the coaching lines at his discretion. When two
or more substitute players of the defensive team enter the game
at the same time, the manager shall, immediately before they
take their positions as fielders, designate to the umpire in
chief such players' positions in the team's batting order and
the umpire in chief shall so notify the official scorer. If this
information is not immediately given to the umpire in chief,
he shall have authority to designate the substitutes' places
in the batting order. A pitcher may change to another position
only once during the same inning; e.g. the pitcher will not be
allowed to assume a position other than a pitcher more than once
in the same inning. Any player other than a pitcher substituted
for an injured player shall be allowed five warm up throws. (See
Rule 8.03 for pitchers.)
A player whose name is on his team's batting order may not become
a substitute runner for another member of his team. This rule
is intended to eliminate the practice of using so called courtesy
runners. No player in the game shall be permitted to act as a
courtesy runner for a teammate. No player who has been in the
game and has been taken out for a substitute shall return as
a courtesy runner. Any player not in the lineup, if used as a
runner, shall be considered as a substitute player.
(a) The pitcher named in the batting order handed the umpire
in chief, as provided in Rules 4.01
(a) and 4.01 (b), shall pitch to the first batter or any
substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first
base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in
the judgment of the umpire in chief, incapacitates him from pitching.
(b) If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall
pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until
such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive
team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury
or illness which, in the umpire in chief's judgment, incapacitates
him for further play as a pitcher.
(c) If an improper substitution is made for the pitcher, the
umpire shall direct the proper pitcher to return to the game
until the provisions of this rule are fulfilled. If the improper
pitcher is permitted to pitch, any play that results is legal.
The improper pitcher becomes the proper pitcher as soon as he
makes his first pitch to the batter, or as soon as any runner
is put out. If a manager attempts to remove a pitcher in violation
of Rule 3.05 (c) the umpire shall notify the manager of the offending
club that it cannot be done. If, by chance, the umpire in chief
has, through oversight, announced the incoming improper pitcher,
he should still correct the situation before the improper pitcher
pitches. Once the improper pitcher delivers a pitch he becomes
the proper pitcher.
The manager shall immediately notify the umpire in chief of any
substitution and shall state to the umpire in chief the substitute's
place in the batting order. Players for whom substitutions have
been made may remain with their team on the bench or may "warm
up" pitchers. If a manager substitutes another player for
himself, he may continue to direct his team from the bench or
the coach's box. Umpires should not permit players for whom substitutes
have been made, and who are permitted to remain on the bench,
to address any remarks to any opposing player or manager, or
to the umpires.
The umpire in chief, after having been notified, shall immediately
announce, or cause to be announced, each substitution.
(a) If no announcement of a substitution is made, the substitute
shall be considered as having entered the game when_
(1) If a pitcher, he takes his place on the
(2) If a batter, he takes his place in the
(3) If a fielder, he reaches the position
usually occupied by the fielder he has replaced, and play commences;
(4) If a runner, he takes the place of the
runner he has replaced.
(b) Any play made by, or on, any of the above
mentioned unannounced substitutes shall be legal.
Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators,
nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager,
coach or player shall address any spectator before or during
a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any
time while in uniform.
(a) The manager of the home team shall be the sole judge as to
whether a game shall be started because of unsuitable weather
conditions or the unfit condition of the playing field, except
for the second game of a doubleheader. EXCEPTION: Any league
may permanently authorize its president to suspend the application
of this rule as to that league during the closing weeks of its
championship season in order to assure that the championship
is decided each year on its merits. When the postponement of,
and possible failure to play, a game in the final series of a
championship season between any two teams might affect the final
standing of any club in the league, the president, on appeal
from any league club, may assume the authority granted the home
team manager by this rule.
(b) The umpire in chief of the first game shall be the sole judge
as to whether the second game of a doubleheader shall not be
started because of unsuitable weather conditions or the unfit
condition of the playing field.
(c) The umpire in chief shall be the sole judge as to whether
and when play shall be suspended during a game because of unsuitable
weather conditions or the unfit condition of the playing field;
as to whether and when the play shall be resumed after such suspension;
and as to whether and when a game shall be terminated after such
suspension. He shall not call the game until at least thirty
minutes after he has suspended play. He may continue the suspension
as long as he believes there is any chance to resume play. The
umpire in chief shall at all times try to complete a game. His
authority to resume play following one or more suspensions of
as much as thirty minutes each shall be absolute and he shall
terminate a game only when there appears to be no possibility
of completing it.
Between games of a doubleheader, or whenever a game is suspended
because of the unfitness of the playing field, the umpire in
chief shall have control of ground keepers and assistants for
the purpose of making the playing field fit for play.
PENALTY: For violation, the umpire in chief may forfeit the
game to the visiting team.
When the umpire suspends play he shall call "Time."
At the umpire's call of "Play," the suspension is lifted
and play resumes. Between the call of "Time" and the
call of "Play" the ball is dead.
The manager of the home team shall present to the umpire in chief
and the opposing manager any ground rules he thinks necessary
covering the overflow of spectators upon the playing field, batted
or thrown balls into such overflow, or any other contingencies.
If these rules are acceptable to the opposing manager they shall
be legal. If these rules are unacceptable to the opposing manager,
the umpire in chief shall make and enforce any special ground
rules he thinks are made necessary by ground conditions, which
shall not conflict with the official playing rules.
Members of the offensive team shall carry all gloves and other
equipment off the field and to the dugout while their team is
at bat. No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either
in fair or foul territory.
No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game
except players and coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers
authorized by the home team, umpires, officers of the law in
uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home club. In
case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein
authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the
offensive team participating in the game, or a coach in the coach's
box, or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference
is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference
and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion
will nullify the act of interference.
See Rule 7.11 for individuals
excepted above, also see Rule 7.08
The question of intentional or unintentional
interference shall be decided on the basis of the person's action.
For example: a bat boy, ball attendant, policeman, etc., who
tries to avoid being touched by a thrown or batted ball but still
is touched by the ball would be involved in unintentional interference.
If, however, he kicks the ball or picks it up or pushes it, that
is considered intentional interference, regardless of what his
thought may have been.
Batter hits ball to shortstop, who fields ball but throws wild
past first baseman. The offensive coach at first base, to avoid
being hit by the ball, falls to the ground and the first baseman
on his way to retrieve the wild thrown ball, runs into the coach;
the batter runner finally ends up on third base. The question
is asked whether the umpire should call interference on the part
of the coach. This would be up to the judgment of the umpire
and if the umpire felt that the coach did all he could to avoid
interfering with the play, no interference need be called. If
it appeared to the umpire that the coach was obviously just making
it appear he was trying not to interfere, the umpire should rule
When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted
ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and
the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will
nullify the act of interference.
APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder
from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter
out. There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown
or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being
out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator
going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier
and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering
with a player. In the latter case it is clearly intentional and
shall be dealt with as intentional interference as in Rule 3.15.
Batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire's judgment
they would have been had the interference not occurred. No interference
shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing,
rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.
However, should a spectator reach out on the playing field side
of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder
from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out
for the spectator's interference. Example: Runner on third base,
one out and a batter hits a fly ball deep to the outfield (fair
or foul). Spectator clearly interferes with the outfielder attempting
to catch the fly ball. Umpire calls the batter out for spectator
interference. Ball is dead at the time of the call. Umpire decides
that because of the distance the ball was hit, the runner on
third base would have scored after the catch if the fielder had
caught the ball which was interfered with, therefore, the runner
is permitted to score. This might not be the case if such fly
ball was interfered with a short distance from home plate.
Players and substitutes of both teams shall confine themselves
to their team's benches unless actually participating in the
play or preparing to enter the game, or coaching at first or
third base. No one except players, substitutes, managers, coaches,
trainers and bat boys shall occupy a bench during a game.
PENALTY: For violation the umpire may, after warning, remove
the offender from the field. Players on the disabled list are
permitted to participate in pre game activity and sit on the
bench during a game but may not take part in any activity during
the game such as warming up a pitcher, bench jockeying, etc.
Disabled players are not allowed to enter the playing surface
at any time or for any purpose during the game.
The home team shall provide police protection sufficient to preserve
order. If a person, or persons, enter the playing field during
a game and interfere in any way with the play, the visiting team
may refuse to play until the field is cleared.
PENALTY: If the field is not cleared in a reasonable length
of time, which shall in no case be less than fifteen minutes
after the visiting team's refusal to play, the umpire may forfeit
the game to the visiting team.
4.00 Starting and Ending
4.01 Unless the home club shall have given previous notice
that the game has been postponed or will be delayed in starting,
the umpire, or umpires, shall enter the playing field five minutes
before the hour set for the game to begin and proceed directly
to home base where they shall be met by the managers of the opposing
teams. In sequence:
(a) First, the home manager shall give his batting order to the
umpire in chief, in duplicate.
(b) Next, the visiting manager shall give his batting order to
the umpire in chief, in duplicate.
(c) The umpire in chief shall make certain that the original
and copies of the respective batting orders are identical, and
then tender a copy of each batting order to the opposing manager.
The copy retained by the umpire shall be the official batting
order. The tender of the batting order by the umpire shall establish
the batting orders. Thereafter, no substitutions shall be made
by either manager, except as provided in the rules.
(d) As soon as the home team's batting order is handed to the
umpire in chief the umpires are in charge of the playing field
and from that moment they shall have sole authority to determine
when a game shall be called, suspended or resumed on account
of weather or the condition of the playing field. Obvious errors
in the batting order, which are noticed by the umpire in chief
before he calls "Play" for the start of the game, should
be called to the attention of the manager or captain of the team
in error, so the correction can be made before the game starts.
For example, if a manager has inadvertently listed only eight
men in the batting order, or has listed two players with the
same last name but without an identifying initial and the errors
are noticed by the umpire before he calls "play," he
shall cause such error or errors to be corrected before he calls
"play" to start the game. Teams should not be "trapped"
later by some mistake that obviously was inadvertent and which
can be corrected before the game starts.
The players of the home team shall take their defensive positions,
the first batter of the visiting team shall take his position
in the batter's box, the umpire shall call "Play" and
the game shall start.
When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game,
all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory.
(a) The catcher shall station himself directly back of the plate.
He may leave his position at any time to catch a pitch or make
a play except that when the batter is being given an intentional
base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the
lines of the catcher's box until the ball leaves the pitcher's
(b) The pitcher, while in the act of delivering the ball to the
batter, shall take his legal position;
(c) Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station
himself anywhere in fair territory;
(d) Except the batter, or a runner attempting to score, no offensive
player shall cross the catcher's lines when the ball is in play.
The batting order shall be followed throughout the game unless
a player is substituted for another. In that case the substitute
shall take the place of the replaced player in the batting order.
(a) The offensive team shall station two base coaches on the
field during its term at bat, one near first base and one near
(b) Base coaches shall be limited to two in number and shall
(1) be in team uniform, and
(2) remain within the coach's box at all times.
PENALTY: The offending base coach shall be removed from the
game, and shall leave the playing field. It has been common practice
for many years for some coaches to put one foot outside the coach's
box or stand astride or otherwise be slightly outside the coaching
box lines. The coach shall not be considered out of the box unless
the opposing manager complains, and then, the umpire shall strictly
enforce the rule and require all coaches (on both teams) to remain
in the coach's box at all times. It is also common practice for
a coach who has a play at his base to leave the coach's box to
signal the player to slide, advance or return to a base. This
may be allowed if the coach does not interfere with the play
in any manner.
(a) No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy
shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach's box or
on the playing field, or elsewhere:
(1) Incite, or try to incite, by word or sign a demonstration
(2) Use language which will in any manner refer to or reflect
upon opposing players, an umpire, or any spectator;
(3) Call "Time," or employ any other word or phrase
or commit any act while the ball is alive and in play for the
obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher commit a balk.
(4) Make intentional contact with the umpire in any manner.
(b) No fielder shall take a position in the batter's line of
vision, and with deliberate unsportsmanlike intent, act in a
manner to distract the batter.
PENALTY: The offender shall be removed from the game and
shall leave the playing field, and, if a balk is made, it shall
When a manager, player, coach or trainer is ejected from a game,
he shall leave the field immediately and take no further part
in that game. He shall remain in the club house or change to
street clothes and either leave the park or take a seat in the
grandstand well removed from the vicinity of his team's bench
or bullpen. If a manager, coach or player is under suspension
he may not be in the dugout or press box during the course of
When the occupants of a player's bench show violent disapproval
of an umpire's decision, the umpire shall first give warning
that such disapproval shall cease. If such action continues:
PENALTY: The umpire shall order the offenders from the bench
to the club house. If he is unable to detect the offender, or
offenders, he may clear the bench of all substitute players.
The manager of the offending team shall have the privilege of
recalling to the playing field only those players needed for
substitution in the game.
4.09 HOW A TEAM SCORES.
(a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances
to and touches first, second, third and home base before three
men are put out to end the inning.
EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home
base during a play in which the third out is made
(1) by the batter runner before he touches
(2) by any runner being forced out; or
(3) by a preceding runner who is declared
out because he failed to touch one of the bases.
(b) When the winning run is scored in the last half inning of
a regulation game, or in the last half of an extra inning, as
the result of a base on balls, hit batter or any other play with
the bases full which forces the runner on third to advance, the
umpire shall not declare the game ended until the runner forced
to advance from third has touched home base and the batter runner
has touched first base. An exception will be if fans rush onto
the field and physically prevent the runner from touching home
plate or the batter from touching first base. In such cases,
the umpires shall award the runner the base because of the obstruction
by the fans.
PENALTY: If the runner on third refuses to advance to and
touch home base in a reasonable time, the umpire shall disallow
the run, call out the offending player and order the game resumed.
If, with two out, the batter runner refuses to advance to and
touch first base, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out
the offending player, and order the game resumed. If, before
two are out, the batter runner refuses to advance to and touch
first base, the run shall count, but the offending player shall
be called out. Approved Ruling: No run shall score during a play
in which the third out is made by the batter runner before he
touches first base. Example: One out, Jones on second, Smith
on first. The batter, Brown, hits safely. Jones scores. Smith
is out on the throw to the plate. Two outs. But Brown missed
first base. The ball is thrown to first, an appeal is made, and
Brown is out. Three outs. Since Jones crossed the plate during
a play in which the third out was made by the batter runner before
he touched first base, Jones' run does not count. Approved Ruling:
Following runners are not affected by an act of a preceding runner
unless two are out. Example: One out, Jones on second, Smith
on first, and batter, Brown, hits home run inside the park. Jones
fails to touch third on his way to the plate. Smith and Brown
score. The defense holds the ball on third, appeals to umpire,
and Jones is out. Smith's and Brown's runs count. Approved Ruling:
Two out, Jones on second, Smith on first and batter, Brown, hits
home run inside the park. All three runs cross the plate. But
Jones missed third base, and on appeal is declared out. Three
outs. Smith's and Brown's runs are voided. No score on the play.
Approved Ruling: One out, Jones on third, Smith on second. Batter
Brown flies out to center. Two out. Jones scores after catch
and Smith scores on bad throw to plate. But Jones, on appeal,
is adjudged to have left third before the catch and is out. Three
outs. No runs. Approved Ruling: Two out, bases full, batter hits
home run over fence. Batter, on appeal, is declared out for missing
first base. Three outs. No run counts. Here is a general statement
that covers: When a runner misses a base and a fielder holds
the ball on a missed base, or on the base originally occupied
by the runner if a fly ball is caught, and appeals for the umpire's
decision, the runner is out when the umpire sustains the appeal;
all runners may score if possible, except that with two out the
runner is out at the moment he misses the bag, if an appeal is
sustained as applied to the following runners. Approved Ruling:
One out, Jones on third, Smith on first, and Brown flies out
to right field. Two outs. Jones tags up and scores after the
catch. Smith attempted to return to first but the right fielder's
throw beat him to the base. three outs. But Jones scored before
the throw to catch Smith reached first base, hence Jones' run
counts. It was not a force play.
(a) A regulation game consists of nine innings, unless extended
because of a tie score, or shortened
(1) because the home team needs none of its
half of the ninth inning or only a fraction of it, or
(2) because the umpire calls the game.
EXCEPTION: National Association leagues may adopt a rule providing
that one or both games of a doubleheader shall be seven innings
in length. In such games, any of these rules applying to the
ninth inning shall apply to the seventh inning.
(b) If the score is tied after nine completed innings play shall
(1) the visiting team has scored more total
runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning, or
(2) the home team scores the winning run in
an uncompleted inning.
(c) If a game is called, it is a regulation
(1) If five innings have been completed;
(2) If the home team has scored more runs
in four or four and a fraction half innings than the visiting
team has scored in five completed half innings;
(3) If the home team scores one or more runs
in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.
(d) If each team has the same number of runs
when the game ends, the umpire shall declare it a "Tie Game."
(e) If a game is called before it has become
a regulation game, the umpire shall declare it "No Game."
(f) Rain checks will not be honored for any
regulation or suspended game which has progressed to or beyond
a point of play described in 4.10(c)
The score of a regulation game is the total number of runs scored
by each team at the moment the game ends.
(a) The game ends when the visiting team completes
its half of the ninth inning if the home team is ahead.
(b) The game ends when the ninth inning is
completed, if the visiting team is ahead.
(c) If the home team scores the winning run
in its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning
after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run
EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out
of the playing field, the batter runner and all runners on base
are permitted to score, in accordance with the base running rules,
and the game ends when the batter runner touches home plate.
APPROVED RULING: The batter hits a home run out of the playing field
to win the game in the last half of the ninth or an extra inning,
but is called out for passing a preceding runner. The game ends
immediately when the winning run is scored.
(d) A called game ends at the moment the umpire terminates play.
EXCEPTION: If the game is called while an inning is in progress
and before it is completed, the game becomes a SUSPENDED game
in each of the following situations:
(1) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the
score and the home team has not scored;
(2) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the
lead and the home team has not tied the score or retaken the
lead. National Association Leagues may also adopt the following
rules for suspended games in addition to 4.11 (d) (1) & (2)
above. (If adopted by a National Association League, Rule 4.10
(c) (d) & (e) would not apply to their games.):
(3) The game has not become a regulation game (4 1/2 innings
with the home team ahead, or 5 innings with the visiting club
ahead or tied).
(4) Any regulation game tied at the point play is stopped because
of weather, curfew or other reason.
(5) If a game is suspended before it becomes a regulation game,
and is continued prior to another regularly scheduled game, the
regularly scheduled game will be limited to seven innings.
(6) If a game is suspended after it is a regulation game, and
is continued prior to another regularly scheduled game, the regularly
scheduled game will be a nine inning game.
EXCEPTION: The above sections (3), (4), (5) & (6) will
not apply to the last scheduled game between the two teams during
the championship season, or League Playoffs. Any suspended game
not completed prior to the last scheduled game between the two
teams during the championship season, will become a called game.
4.12 SUSPENDED GAMES.
(a) A league shall adopt the following rules providing for completion
at a future date of games terminated for any of the following
(1) A curfew imposed by law;
(2) A time limit permissible under league rules;
(3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device
under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall
include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment).
(4) Darkness, when a law prevents the lights from being turned
(5) Weather, if the game is called while an inning is in progress
and before it is completed, and one of the following situations
(i) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the
score, and the home team has not scored.
(ii) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the
lead, and the home team has not tied the score or retaken the
(b) Such games shall be known as suspended games. No game called
because of a curfew, weather, or a time limit shall be a suspended
game unless it has progressed far enough to have been a regulation
game under the provisions of Rule 4.10. A game called under the
provisions of 4.12(a), (3) or (4) shall be a suspended game at
any time after it starts.
NOTE: Weather and similar conditions_4.12 (a) (1 through
5)_shall take precedence in determining whether a called game
shall be a suspended game. A game can only be considered a suspended
game if stopped for any of the five (5) reasons specified in
Section (a). Any regulation game called due to weather with the
score tied (unless situation outlined in 4.12 (a) (5) (i) prevails)
is a tie game and must be replayed in its entirety.
(c) A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows:
(1) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game between
the two clubs on the same grounds; or
(2) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader between
the two clubs on the same grounds, if no single game remains
on the schedule; or
(3) If suspended on the last scheduled date between the two clubs
in that city, transferred and played on the grounds of the opposing
club, if possible;
(i) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game, or
(ii) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader, if
no single game remains on the schedule.
(4) If a suspended game has not been resumed and completed on
the last date scheduled for the two clubs, it shall be a called
(d) A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension
of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a
continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order
of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting
order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing
substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had
not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed
before the suspension may be returned to the lineup. A player
who was not with the club when the game was suspended may be
used as a substitute, even if he has taken the place of a player
no longer with the club who would not have been eligible because
he had been removed from the lineup before the game was suspended.
If immediately prior to the call of a suspended game, a substitute
pitcher has been announced but has not retired the side or pitched
until the batter becomes a baserunner, such pitcher, when the
suspended game is later resumed may, but is not required to start
the resumed portion of the game. However, if he does not start
he will be considered as having been substituted for and may
not be used in that game.
(e) Rain checks will not be honored for any regulation or suspended
game which has progressed to or beyond a point of play described
in 4.10 (c).
4.13 RULES GOVERNING DOUBLEHEADERS.
(a) (1) Only two championship games shall be played on one date.
Completion of a suspended game shall not violate this rule.
(2) If two games are scheduled to be played
for one admission on one date, the first game shall be the regularly
scheduled game for that date.
(b) After the start of the first game of a doubleheader, that
game shall be completed before the second game of the doubleheader
(c) The second game of a doubleheader shall start twenty minutes
after the first game is completed, unless a longer interval (not
to exceed thirty minutes) is declared by the umpire in chief
and announced to the opposing managers at the end of the first
EXCEPTION: If the league president has approved a request of
the home club for a longer interval between games for some special
event, the umpire in chief shall declare such longer interval
and announce it to the opposing managers. The umpire in chief
of the first game shall be the timekeeper controlling the interval
(d) The umpire shall start the second game of a doubleheader,
if at all possible, and play shall continue as long as ground
conditions, local time restrictions, or weather permit.
(e) When a regularly scheduled doubleheader is delayed in starting
for any cause, any game that is started is the first game of
(f) When a rescheduled game is part of a doubleheader the rescheduled
game shall be the second game, and the first game shall be the
regularly scheduled game for that date.
The umpire in chief shall order the playing field lights turned
on whenever in his opinion darkness makes further play in daylight
A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team:
(a) Fails to appear upon the field, or being upon the field,
refuses to start play within five minutes after the umpire has
called "Play" at the appointed hour for beginning the
game, unless such delayed appearance is, in the umpire's judgment,
(b) Employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the
(c) Refuses to continue play during a game unless the game has
been suspended or terminated by the umpire;
(d) Fails to resume play, after a suspension, within one minute
after the umpire has called "Play;"
(e) After warning by the umpire, willfully and persistently violates
any rules of the game;
(f) Fails to obey within a reasonable time the umpire's order
for removal of a player from the game;
(g) Fails to appear for the second game of a doubleheader within
twenty minutes after the close of the first game unless the umpire
in chief of the first game shall have extended the time of the
A game shall be forfeited to the visiting team if, after it has
been suspended, the order of the umpire to groundskeepers respecting
preparation of the field for resumption of play are not complied
A game shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is
unable or refuses to place nine players on the field.
If the umpire declares a game forfeited he shall transmit a written
report to the league president within twenty four hours thereafter,
but failure of such transmittal shall not effect the forfeiture.
4.19 PROTESTING GAMES. Each league shall adopt rules governing procedure
for protesting a game, when a manager claims that an umpire's
decision is in violation of these rules. No protest shall ever
be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire. In all protested
games, the decision of the League President shall be final. Even
if it is held that the protested decision violated the rules,
no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of
the League President the violation adversely affected the protesting
team's chances of winning the game. Whenever a manager protests
a game because of alleged misapplication of the rules the protest
will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the
time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch
is made or a runner is retired. A protest arising on a game ending
play may be filed until 12 noon the following day with the League
5.00 Putting the Ball in
Play. Live Ball
5.01 At the time set for beginning the game the umpire
shall call "Play."
After the umpire calls "Play" the ball is alive and
in play and remains alive and in play until for legal cause,
or at the umpire's call of "Time" suspending play,
the ball becomes dead. While the ball is dead no player may be
put out, no bases may be run and no runs may be scored, except
that runners may advance one or more bases as the result of acts
which occurred while the ball was alive (such as, but not limited
to a balk, an overthrow, interference, or a home run or other
fair ball hit out of the playing field). Should a ball come partially
apart in a game, it is in play until the play is completed.
The pitcher shall deliver the pitch to the batter who may elect
to strike the ball, or who may not offer at it, as he chooses.
The offensive team's objective is to have its batter become a
runner, and its runners advance.
The defensive team's objective is to prevent offensive players
from becoming runners, and to prevent their advance around the
When a batter becomes a runner and touches all bases legally
he shall score one run for his team. A run legally scored cannot
be nullified by subsequent action of the runner, such as but
not limited to an effort to return to third base in the belief
that he had left the base before a caught fly ball.
When three offensive players are legally put out, that team takes
the field and the opposing team becomes the offensive team.
If a thrown ball accidently touches a base coach, or a pitched
or thrown ball touches an umpire, the ball is alive and in play.
However, if the coach interferes with a thrown ball, the runner
The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return
to their bases, without liability to be put out, when-
(a) A pitched ball touches a batter, or his clothing, while in
his legal batting position; runners, if forced, advance;
(b) The plate umpire interferes with the catcher's throw; runners
may not advance.
The interference shall be disregarded if the catcher's throw
retires the runner.
(c) A balk is committed; runners advance; (See Penalty
(d) A ball is illegally batted; runners return;
(e) A foul ball is not caught; runners return. The umpire shall
not put the ball in play until all runners have retouched their
(f) A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory
before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches
an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher;
If a fair ball touches an umpire working in the infield after
it has bounded past, or over, the pitcher, it is a dead ball.
If a batted ball is deflected by a fielder in fair territory
and hits a runner or an umpire while still in flight and then
caught by an infielder it shall not be a catch, but the ball
shall remain in play. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an
infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches
a runner after being deflected by an infielder, the ball is in
play and the umpire shall not declare the runner out. In making
such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed
through, or by, the infielder and that no other infielder had
the chance to make a play on the ball; runners advance if forced;
(g) A pitched ball lodges in the umpire's or catcher's mask or
paraphernalia, and remains out of play, runners advance one base;
If a foul tip hits the umpire and is caught by a fielder on the
rebound, the ball is "dead" and the batsman cannot
be called out. The same shall apply where such foul tip lodges
in the umpire's mask or other paraphernalia. If a third strike
(not a foul tip) passes the catcher and hits an umpire, the ball
is in play. If such ball rebounds and is caught by a fielder
before it touches the ground, the batsman is not out on such
a catch, but the ball remains in play and the batsman may be
retired at first base, or touched with the ball for the out.
If a pitched ball lodges in the umpire's or catcher's mask or
paraphernalia, and remains out of play, on the third strike or
fourth ball, then the batter is entitled to first base and all
runners advance one base. If the count on the batter is less
than three balls, runners advance one base.
(h) Any legal pitch touches a runner trying to score; runners
The ball becomes dead when an umpire calls "Time."
The umpire in chief shall call "Time"-
(a) When in his judgment weather, darkness or similar conditions
make immediate further play impossible;
(b) When light failure makes it difficult or impossible for the
umpires to follow the play;
A league may adopt its own regulations governing games interrupted
by light failure.
(c) When an accident incapacitates a player or an umpire;
(1) If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent him from
proceeding to a base to which he is entitled, as on a home run
hit out of the playing field, or an award of one or more bases,
a substitute runner shall be permitted to complete the play.
(d) When a manager requests "Time" for a substitution,
or for a conference with one of his players.
(e) When the umpire wishes to examine the ball, to consult with
either manager, or for any similar cause.
(f) When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench
or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators
are on the field. As pertains to runners, the provisions of 7.04
(c) shall prevail. If a fielder after making a catch steps into
a bench, but does not fall, the ball is in play and runners may
advance at their own peril.
(g) When an umpire orders a player or any other person removed
from the playing field.
(h) Except in the cases stated in paragraphs (b) and (c) (1)
of this rule, no umpire shall call "Time" while a play
is in progress.
After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher
takes his place on the pitcher's plate with a new ball or the
same ball in his possession and the plate umpire calls "Play."
The plate umpire shall call "Play" as soon as the pitcher
takes his place on his plate with the ball in his possession.
6.00 The Batter
6.01 (a) Each player of the offensive team shall bat in
the order that his name appears in his team's batting order.
(b) The first batter in each inning after the first inning shall
be the player whose name follows that of the last player who
legally completed his time at bat in the preceding inning.
(a) The batter shall take his position in the batter's box promptly
when it is his time at bat.
(b) The batter shall not leave his position in the batter's box
after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup.
PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call "Ball"
or "Strike," as the case may be. The batter leaves
the batter's box at the risk of having a strike delivered and
called, unless he requests the umpire to call "Time."
The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter's
box at will. Once a batter has taken his position in the batter's
box, he shall not be permitted to step out of the batter's box
in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless there is
a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires,
weather conditions warrant an exception. Umpires will not call
"Time" at the request of the batter or any member of
his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come
to a set position even though the batter claims "dust in
his eyes," "steamed glasses," "didn't get
the sign" or for any other cause. Umpires may grant a hitter's
request for "Time" once he is in the batter's box,
but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter's
box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will
understand that they are in the batter's box and they must remain
there until the ball is pitched. If pitcher delays once the batter
is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified
he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily. If
after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a "set position"
with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because
the batter has stepped out of the box, it shall not be called
a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and
the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start
over from "scratch."
(c) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter's
box during his time at bat, the umpire shall order the pitcher
to pitch, and shall call "Strike" on each such pitch.
The batter may take his proper position after any such pitch,
and the regular ball and strike count shall continue, but if
he does not take his proper position before three strikes are
called, he shall be declared out.
The batter's legal position shall be with both feet within the
APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter's
batter has legally completed his time at bat when he is put out
or becomes a runner.
A batter is out when-
(a) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally
caught by a fielder;
(b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher; "Legally
caught" means in the catcher's glove before the ball touches
the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing
or paraphernalia; or if it touches the umpire and is caught by
the catcher on the rebound. If a foul tip first strikes the catcher's
glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against
his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it
is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered
against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball
struck the catcher's glove or hand first.
(c) A third strike is not caught by the catcher when first base
is occupied before two are out;
(d) He bunts foul on third strike;
(e) An Infield Fly is declared;
(f) He attempts to hit a third strike and the ball touches him;
(g) His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder;
(h) After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball
a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners
may advance. If the batter runner drops his bat and the ball
rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire's
judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course
of the ball, the ball is alive and in play; If a bat breaks and
part of it is in fair territory and is hit by a batted ball or
part of it hits a runner or fielder, play shall continue and
no interference called. If batted ball hits part of broken bat
in foul territory, it is a foul ball. If a whole bat is thrown
into fair territory and interferes with a defensive player attempting
to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional
or not. In cases where the batting helmet is accidently hit with
a batted or thrown ball, the ball remains in play the same as
if it has not hit the helmet. If a batted ball strikes a batting
helmet or any other object foreign to the natural ground while
on foul territory, it is a foul ball and the ball is dead. If,
in the umpire's judgment, there is intent on the part of a baserunner
to interfere with a batted or thrown ball by dropping the helmet
or throwing it at the ball, then the runner would be out, the
ball dead and runners would return to last base legally touched.
(i) After hitting or bunting a foul ball, he intentionally deflects
the course of the ball in any manner while running to first base.
The ball is dead and no runners may advance;
(j) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or
first base is tagged before he touches first base;
(k) In running the last half of the distance from home base to
first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he
runs outside (to the right of) the three foot line, or inside
(to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire's judgment
in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first
base; except that he may run outside (to the right of) the three
foot line or inside (to the left of) the foul line to avoid a
fielder attempting to field a batted ball;
(l) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line
drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first,
second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is
dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base
APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder
permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when
the Infield Fly rule applies.
(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpire's judgment, intentionally
interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown
ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play: The
objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for
deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner
in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the
pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base.
Obviously this is an umpire's judgment play.
(n) With two out, a runner on third base, and two strikes on
the batter, the runner attempts to steal home base on a legal
pitch and the ball touches the runner in the batter's strike
zone. The umpire shall call "Strike Three," the batter
is out and the run shall not count; before two are out, the umpire
shall call "Strike Three," the ball is dead, and the
A batter is out for illegal action when-
(a) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely
outside the batter's box. If a batter hits a ball fair or foul
while out of the batter's box, he shall be called out. Umpires
should pay particular attention to the position of the batter's
feet if he attempts to hit the ball while he is being intentionally
passed. A batter cannot jump or step out of the batter's box
and hit the ball.
(b) He steps from one batter's box to the other while the pitcher
is in position ready to pitch;
(c) He interferes with the catcher's fielding or throwing by
stepping out of the batter's box or making any other movement
that hinders the catcher's play at home base.
EXCEPTION: Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance
is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter's
interference. If the batter interferes with the catcher, the
plate umpire shall call "interference." The batter
is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference
(offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last
base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched
at the time of the interference. If, however, the catcher makes
a play and the runner attempting to advance is put out, it is
to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner
is out_not the batter. Any other runners on the base at the time
may advance as the ruling is that there is no actual interference
if a runner is retired. In that case play proceeds just as if
no violation had been called. If a batter strikes at a ball and
misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around
and, in the umpire's judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher
or the ball in back of him on the backswing before the catcher
has securely held the ball, it shall be called a strike only
(not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner
shall advance on the play.
(d) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire's judgment,
has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the
distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball.
This includes, bats that are filled, flat surfaced, nailed, hollowed,
grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc.
No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs
made during a play shall stand. In addition to being called out,
the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject
to additional penalties as determined by his League President.
6.07 BATTING OUT OF TURN.
(a) A batter shall be called out, on appeal, when he fails to
bat in his proper turn, and another batter completes a time at
bat in his place. (1) The proper batter may take his place in
the batter's box at any time before the improper batter becomes
a runner or is put out, and any balls and strikes shall be counted
in the proper batter's time at bat.
(b) When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and
the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch
to the next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted
play, the umpire shall (1) declare the proper batter out; and
(2) nullify any advance or score made because of a ball batted
by the improper batter or because of the improper batter's advance
to first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter
If a runner advances, while the improper batter is at bat, on
a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance
(c) When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and
a pitch is made to the next batter of either team before an appeal
is made, the improper batter thereby becomes the proper batter,
and the results of his time at bat become legal.
(d) (1) When the proper batter is called out because he has failed
to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name
follows that of the proper batter thus called out;
(2) When an improper batter becomes a proper
batter because no appeal is made before the next pitch, the next
batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized
improper batter. The instant an improper batter's actions are
legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following
that of the legalized improper batter. The umpire shall not direct
the attention of any person to the presence in the batter's box
of an improper batter. This rule is designed to require constant
vigilance by the players and managers of both teams. There are
two fundamentals to keep in mind: When a player bats out of turn,
the proper batter is the player called out. If an improper batter
bats and reaches base or is out and no appeal is made before
a pitch to the next batter, or before any play or attempted play,
that improper batter is considered to have batted in proper turn
and establishes the order that is to follow.
To illustrate various situations arising from batting out of
turn, assume a first inning batting order as follows: Abel Baker
Charles Daniel Edward Frank George Hooker Irwin.
PLAY (1). Baker bats. With the count 2 balls and 1 strike,
(a) the offensive team discovers the error or (b) the defensive
team appeals. RULING: In either case, Abel replaces Baker,
with the count on him 2 balls and 1 strike.
PLAY (2). Baker bats and doubles. The defensive team appeals
(a) immediately or (b) after a pitch to Charles. RULING: (a)
Abel is called out and Baker is the proper batter; (b) Baker
stays on second and Charles is the proper batter.
PLAY (3). Abel walks. Baker walks. Charles forces Baker.
Edward bats in Daniel's turn. While Edward is at bat, Abel scores
and Charles goes to second on a wild pitch. Edward grounds out,
sending Charles to third. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately
or (b) after a pitch to Daniel. RULING: (a) Abel's run
counts and Charles is entitled to second base since these advances
were not made because of the improper batter batting a ball or
advancing to first base. Charles must return to second base because
his advance to third resulted from the improper batter batting
a ball. Daniel is called out, and Edward is the proper batter;
(b) Abel's run counts and Charles stays on third. The proper
batter is Frank.
PLAY (4). With the bases full and two out. Hooker bats
in Frank's turn, and triples, scoring three runs. The defensive
team appeals (a) immediately, or (b) after a pitch to George.
RULING: (a) Frank is called out and no runs score. George
is the proper batter to lead off the second inning; (b) Hooker
stays on third and three runs score. Irwin is the proper batter.
PLAY (5). After Play (4) (b) above, George continues at
bat. (a) Hooker is picked off third base for the third out, or
(b) George flies out, and no appeal is made. Who is the proper
leadoff batter in the second inning? RULING: (a) Irwin.
He became the proper batter as soon as the first pitch to George
legalized Hooker's triple; (b) Hooker. When no appeal was made,
the first pitch to the leadoff batter of the opposing team legalized
George's time at bat.
PLAY (6). Daniel walks and Abel comes to bat. Daniel was
an improper batter, and if an appeal is made before the first
pitch to Abel, Abel is out, Daniel is removed from base, and
Baker is the proper batter. There is no appeal, and a pitch is
made to Abel. Daniel's walk is now legalized, and Edward thereby
becomes the proper batter. Edward can replace Abel at any time
before Abel is put out or becomes a runner. He does not do so.
Abel flies out, and Baker comes to bat. Abel was an improper
batter, and if an appeal is made before the first pitch to Baker,
Edward is out, and the proper batter is Frank. There is no appeal,
and a pitch is made to Baker. Abel's out is now legalized, and
the proper batter is Baker. Baker walks. Charles is the proper
batter. Charles flies out. Now Daniel is the proper batter, but
he is on second base. Who is the proper batter? RULING:
The proper batter is Edward. When the proper batter is on base,
he is passed over, and the following batter becomes the proper
batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without
liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches
first base) when-
(a) Four "balls" have been called by the umpire; A
batter who is entitled to first base because of a base on balls
must go to first base and touch the base before other base runners
are forced to advance. This applies when bases are full and applies
when a substitute runner is put into the game. If, in advancing,
the base runner thinks there is a play and he slides past the
base before or after touching it he may be put out by the fielder
tagging him. If he fails to touch the base to which he is entitled
and attempts to advance beyond that base he may be put out by
tagging him or the base he missed.
(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting
to hit unless
(1) The ball is in the strike zone when it
touches the batter, or
(2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being
touched by the ball; If the ball is in the strike zone when it
touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not
the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the
strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a
ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.
APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which
does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner
(c) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play
follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise
the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty
and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately
at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first
base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise,
and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds
without reference to the interference. If catcher's interference
is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play
to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If
the batter runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next
base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated
in Note of Rule 7.04
(d). Examples of plays the manager might elect
1. Runner on third, one out, batter hits fly ball to the outfield
on which the runner scores but catcher's interference was called.
The offensive manager may elect to take the run and have batter
called out or have runner remain at third and batter awarded
2. Runner on second base. Catcher interferes with batter as he
bunts ball fairly sending runner to third base. The manager may
rather have runner on third base with an out on the play than
have runners on second and first. In situations where the manager
wants the "interference" penalty to apply, the following
interpretation shall be made of 6.08 (c): If the catcher (or
any fielder) interferes with the batter, the batter is awarded
first base. If, on such interference a runner is trying to score
by a steal or squeeze from third base, the ball is dead and the
runner on third scores and batter is awarded first base. If the
catcher interferes with the batter with no runners trying to
score from third on a squeeze or steal, then the ball is dead,
batter is awarded first base and runners who are forced to advance,
do advance. Runners not attempting to steal or not forced to
advance remain on the base they occupied at the time of the interference.
If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher
delivers the ball, it shall not be considered interference on
the batter under Rule 6.08 (c). In such cases, the umpire shall
call "Time" and the pitcher and batter start over from
(d) A fair ball touches an umpire or a runner on fair territory
before touching a fielder. If a fair ball touches an umpire after
having passed a fielder other than the pitcher, or having touched
a fielder, including the pitcher, the ball is in play.
The batter becomes a runner when-
(a) He hits a fair ball;
(b) The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing
(1) first base is unoccupied, or
(2) first base is occupied with two out; When
a batter becomes a base runner on a third strike not caught by
the catcher and starts for the dugout, or his position, and then
realizes his situation and attempts then to reach first base,
he is not out unless he or first base is tagged before he reaches
first base. If, however, he actually reaches the dugout or dugout
steps, he may not then attempt to go to first base and shall
(c) A fair ball, after having passed a fielder other than the
pitcher, or after having been touched by a fielder, including
the pitcher, shall touch an umpire or runner on fair territory;
(d) A fair ball passes over a fence or into the stands at a distance
from home base of 250 feet or more. Such hit entitles the batter
to a home run when he shall have touched all bases legally. A
fair fly ball that passes out of the playing field at a point
less than 250 feet from home base shall entitle the batter to
advance to second base only;
(e) A fair ball, after touching the ground, bounds into the stands,
or passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under
a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the
fence, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled
to advance two bases;
(f) Any fair ball which, either before or after touching the
ground, passes through or under a fence, or through or under
a scoreboard, or through any opening in the fence or scoreboard,
or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, or which
sticks in a fence or scoreboard, in which case the batter and
the runners shall be entitled to two bases;
(g) Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the
stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in
which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance
(h) Any fair fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands,
or over the fence into foul territory, in which case the batter
shall be entitled to advance to second base; but if deflected
into the stands or over the fence in fair territory, the batter
shall be entitled to a home run. However, should such a fair
fly be deflected at a point less than 250 feet from home plate,
the batter shall be entitled to two bases only.
Any League may elect to use the Designated Hitter Rule.
(a) In the event of inter league competition between clubs of
Leagues using the Designated Hitter Rule and clubs of Leagues
not using the Designated Hitter Rule, the rule will be used as
1. In World Series or exhibition games, the rule will be used
or not used as is the practice of the home team.
2. In All Star games, the rule will only be used if both teams
and both Leagues so agree.
(b) The Rule provides as follows: A hitter may be designated
to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in
any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s)
in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher must be selected
prior to the game and must be included in the lineup cards presented
to the Umpire in Chief. The designated hitter named in the starting
lineup must come to bat at least one time, unless the opposing
club changes pitchers. It is not mandatory that a club designate
a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game
precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that game. Pinch
hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter
for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter. A replaced
Designated Hitter shall not re enter the game in any capacity.
The Designated Hitter may be used defensively, continuing to
bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher
must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player,
unless more than one substitution is made, and the manager then
must designate their spots in the batting order. A runner may
be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes
the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch
run. A Designated Hitter is "locked" into the batting
order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter
the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter. Once the game
pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this
move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder
of the game. Once a pinch hitter bats for any player in the batting
order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate
the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. Once
the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter this move shall
terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the
game. (The game pitcher may only pinch hit for the Designated
Hitter). Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position
this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the
remainder of the game. A substitute for the Designated Hitter
need not be announced until it is the Designated Hitter's turn
7.00 The Runner.
7.01 A runner acquires the right to an unoccupied base
when he touches it before he is out. He is then entitled to it
until he is put out, or forced to vacate it for another runner
legally entitled to that base. If a runner legally acquires title
to a base, and the pitcher assumes his pitching position, the
runner may not return to a previously occupied base.
In advancing, a runner shall touch first, second, third and home
base in order. If forced to return, he shall retouch all bases
in reverse order, unless the ball is dead under any provision
of Rule 5.09. In such cases,
the runner may go directly to his original base.
Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is
alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner
shall be out when tagged. The preceding runner is entitled to
Each runner, other than the batter, may without liability to
be put out, advance one base when-
(a) There is a balk;
(b) The batter's advance without liability to be put out forces
the runner to vacate his base, or when the batter hits a fair
ball that touches another runner or the umpire before such ball
has been touched by, or has passed a fielder, if the runner is
forced to advance; A runner forced to advance without liability
to be put out may advance past the base to which he is entitled
only at his peril. If such a runner, forced to advance, is put
out for the third out before a preceding runner, also forced
to advance, touches home plate, the run shall score. Play. Two
out, bases full, batter walks but runner from second is overzealous
and runs past third base toward home and is tagged out on a throw
by the catcher. Even though two are out, the run would score
on the theory that the run was forced home by the base on balls
and that all the runners needed to do was proceed and touch the
(c) A fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench
or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators
are on the field; A fielder or catcher may reach or step into,
or go into the dugout with one or both feet to make a catch,
and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. Ball is
in play. If the fielder or catcher, after having made a legal
catch, should fall into a stand or among spectators or into the
dugout after making a legal catc
h, or fall while in the dugout after making
a legal catch, the ball is dead and runners advance one base
without liability to be put out.
(d) While he is attempting to steal a base, the batter is interfered
with by the catcher or any other fielder.
When a runner is entitled to a base without liability to be
put out, while the ball is in play, or under any rule in which
the ball is in play after the runner reaches the base to which
he is entitled, and the runner fails to touch the base to which
he is entitled before attempting to advance to the next base,
the runner shall forfeit his exemption from liability to be put
out, and he may be put out by tagging the base or by tagging
the runner before he returns to the missed base.
Each runner including the batter runner may, without liability
to be put out, advance-
(a) To home base, scoring a run, if a fair ball goes out of the
playing field in flight and he touched all bases legally; or
if a fair ball which, in the umpire's judgment, would have gone
out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by the act of
a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or any article of his apparel;
(b) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball
with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its
proper place on his person. The ball is in play and the batter
may advance to home base at his peril;
(c) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at
and touches a fair ball. The ball is in play and the batter may
advance to home base at his peril.
(d) Two bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a thrown ball
with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its
proper place on his person. The ball is in play;
(e) Two bases, if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at
and touches a thrown ball. The ball is in play; In applying (b
c d e) the umpire must rule that the thrown glove or detached
cap or mask has touched the ball. There is no penalty if the
ball is not touched. Under (c e) this penalty shall not be invoked
against a fielder whose glove is carried off his hand by the
force of a batted or thrown ball, or when his glove flies off
his hand as he makes an obvious effort to make a legitimate catch.
(f) Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or is deflected into the
stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goes
through or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard,
or through or under shrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it
sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines;
(g) Two bases when, with no spectators on the playing field,
a thrown ball goes into the stands, or into a bench (whether
or not the ball rebounds into the field), or over or under or
through a field fence, or on a slanting part of the screen above
the backstop, or remains in the meshes of a wire screen protecting
spectators. The ball is dead. When such wild throw is the first
play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall
be governed by the position of the runners at the time the ball
was pitched; in all other cases the umpire shall be governed
by the position of the runners at the time the wild throw was
APPROVED RULING: If all runners, including the batter runner, have
advanced at least one base when an infielder makes a wild throw
on the first play after the pitch, the award shall be governed
by the position of the runners when the wild throw was made.
In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two
bases. Example: Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right.
Runner holds up between first and second and batter comes around
first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely. Outfielder,
in throwing to first, throws ball into stand.
APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance
beyond the base to which he is entitled, the runner originally
on first base goes to third base and the batter is held at second
base. The term "when the wild throw was made" means
when the throw actually left the player's hand and not when the
thrown ball hit the ground, passes a receiving fielder or goes
out of play into the stands. The position of the batter runner
at the time the wild throw left the thrower's hand is the key
in deciding the award of bases. If the batter runner has not
reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch
was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter
runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment
call. If an unusual play arises where a first throw by an infielder
goes into stands or dugout but the batter did not become a runner
(such as catcher throwing ball into stands in attempt to get
runner from third trying to score on passed ball or wild pitch)
award of two bases shall be from the position of the runners
at the time of the throw. (For the purpose of Rule 7.05 (g) a
catcher is considered an infielder.)
on first base, batter hits a ball to the shortstop, who throws
to second base too late to get runner at second, and second baseman
throws toward first base after batter has crossed first base.
Ruling_Runner at second scores. (On this play, only if batter
runner is past first base when throw is made is he awarded third
(h) One base, if a ball, pitched to the batter,
or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher's plate
to a base to catch a runner, goes into a stand or a bench, or
over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead;
APPROVED RULING: When a wild pitch or passed ball goes through or
by the catcher, or deflects off the catcher, and goes directly
into the dugout, stands, above the break, or any area where the
ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be one base. One base
shall also be awarded if the pitcher while in contact with the
rubber, throws to a base, and the throw goes directly into the
stands or into any area where the ball is dead. If, however,
the pitched or thrown ball goes through or by the catcher or
through the fielder, and remains on the playing field, and is
subsequently kicked or deflected into the dugout, stands or other
area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be two
bases from position of runners at the time of the pitch or throw.
(i) One base, if the batter becomes a runner
on Ball Four or Strike Three, when the pitch passes the catcher
and lodges in the umpire's mask or paraphernalia. If the batter
becomes a runner on a wild pitch which entitles the runners to
advance one base, the batter runner shall be entitled to first
base only. The fact a runner is awarded a base or bases without
liability to be put out does not relieve him of the responsibility
to touch the base he is awarded and all intervening bases. For
example: batter hits a ground ball which an infielder throws
into the stands but the batter runner missed first base. He may
be called out on appeal for missing first base after the ball
is put in play even though he was "awarded" second
base. If a runner is forced to return to a base after a catch,
he must retouch his original base even though, because of some
ground rule or other rule, he is awarded additional bases. He
may retouch while the ball is dead and the award is then made
from his original base.
When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction."
(a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the
batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the
ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability
to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's
judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner
shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last
legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners,
forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction,
shall advance without liability to be put out. When a play is
being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction
in the same manner that he calls "Time," with both
hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal
is given; however, should a thrown ball be in flight before the
obstruction is called by the umpire, the runners are to be awarded
such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had
not obstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped
between second and third and obstructed by the third baseman
going into third base while the throw is in flight from the shortstop,
if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is to
be awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation
would also be awarded two bases from the base they last legally
touched before obstruction was called.
(b) If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play
shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire
shall then call "Time" and impose such penalties, if
any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction.
Under 7.06 (b) when the ball is not dead on obstruction and an
obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire's
judgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed,
he does so at his own peril and may be tagged out. This is a
The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right
to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base
line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only
when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in
If, with a runner on third base and trying to score by means
of a squeeze play or a steal, the catcher or any other fielder
steps on, or in front of home base without possession of the
ball, or touches the batter or his bat, the pitcher shall be
charged with a balk, the batter shall be awarded first base on
the interference and the ball is dead.
Any runner is out when-
(a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from a direct line
between bases to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid
interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball; or
(2) after touching first base, he leaves the
baseline, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base;
Any runner after reaching first base who leaves the baseline
heading for his dugout or his position believing that there is
no further play, may be declared out if the umpire judges the
act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to
run the bases. Even though an out is called, the ball remains
in play in regard to any other runner. This rule also covers
the following and similar plays: Less than two out, score tied
last of ninth inning, runner on first, batter hits a ball out
of park for winning run, the runner on first passes second and
thinking the home run automatically wins the game, cuts across
diamond toward his bench as batter runner circles bases. In this
case, the base runner would be called out "for abandoning
his effort to touch the next base" and batter runner permitted
to continue around bases to make his home run valid. If there
are two out, home run would not count (see Rule 7.12). This is
not an appeal play.
believing he is called out on a tag at first or third base starts
for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distance still indicating
by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoning
the bases. In the above two plays the runners are considered
actually abandoning their base paths and are treated differently
than the batter who struck out as described. APPROVED RULING OF 7.08 (a).
APPROVED RULING: When a batter becomes a runner on third strike not
caught, and starts for his bench or position, he may advance
to first base at any time before he enters the bench. To put
him out, the defense must tag him or first base before he touches
(b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders
a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball; A runner
who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting
to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional
or not. If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied
base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out
unless, in the umpire's judgment, such hindrance, whether it
occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire
declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty shall
apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both
the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare
the batter out. If, in a run down between third base and home
plate, the succeeding runner has advanced and is standing on
third base when the runner in a run down is called out for offensive
interference, the umpire shall send the runner standing on third
base back to second base. This same principle applies if there
is a run down between second and third base and succeeding runner
has reached second (the reasoning is that no runner shall advance
on an interference play and a runner is considered to occupy
a base until he legally has reached the next succeeding base).
(c) He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off his base.
EXCEPTION: A batter runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning
or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base;
APPROVED RULING: (1) If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose
from its position, no play can be made on that runner at that
base if he had reached the base safely.
APPROVED RULING: (2) If a base is dislodged from its position during
a play, any following runner on the same play shall be considered
as touching or occupying the base if, in the umpire's judgment,
he touches or occupies the point marked by the dislodged bag.
(d) He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is
legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder.
He shall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after
the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. This
is an appeal play; Runners need not "tag up" on a foul
tip. They may steal on a foul tip. If a so called tip is not
caught, it becomes an ordinary foul. Runners then return to their
(e) He fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him
or the base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of
the batter becoming a runner. However, if a following runner
is put out on a force play, the force is removed and the runner
must be tagged to be put out. The force is removed as soon as
the runner touches the base to which he is forced to advance,
and if he overslides or overruns the base, the runner must be
tagged to be put out. However, if the forced runner, after touching
the next base, retreats for any reason towards the base he had
last occupied, the force play is reinstated, and he can again
be put out if the defense tags the base to which he is forced;
on first and three balls on batter: Runner steals on the next
pitch, which is fourth ball, but after having touched second
he overslides or overruns that base. Catcher's throw catches
him before he can return. Ruling is that runner is out. (Force
out is removed.) Oversliding and overrunning situations arise
at bases other than first base. For instance, before two are
out, and runners on first and second, or first, second and third,
the ball is hit to an infielder who tries for the double play.
The runner on first beats the throw to second base but overslides
the base. The relay is made to first base and the batter runner
is out. The first baseman, seeing the runner at second base off
the bag, makes the return throw to second and the runner is tagged
off the base. Meanwhile runners have crossed the plate. The question
is: Is this a force play? Was the force removed when the batter
runner was out at first base? Do the runs that crossed the plate
during this play and before the third out was made when the runner
was tagged at second, count? Answer: The runs score. It is not
a force play. It is a tag play.
(f) He is touched by a fair ball in fair territory before the
ball has touched or passed an infielder. The ball is dead and
no runner may score, nor runners advance, except runners forced
to advance. EXCEPTION: If a runner is touching his base when touched by
an Infield Fly, he is not out, although the batter is out; If
two runners are touched by the same fair ball, only the first
one is out because the ball is instantly dead. If runner is touched
by an Infield Fly when he is not touching his base, both runner
and batter are out.
(g) He attempts to score on a play in which the batter interferes
with the play at home base before two are out. With two out,
the interference puts the batter out and no score counts;
(h) He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out;
(i) After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs
the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense
or making a travesty of the game. The umpire shall immediately
call "Time" and declare the runner out; If a runner
touches an unoccupied base and then thinks the ball was caught
or is decoyed into returning to the base he last touched, he
may be put out running back to that base, but if he reaches the
previously occupied base safely he cannot be put out while in
contact with that base.
(j) He fails to return at once to first base after overrunning
or oversliding that base. If he attempts to run to second he
is out when tagged. If, after overrunning or oversliding first
base he starts toward the dugout, or toward his position, and
fails to return to first base at once, he is out, on appeal,
when he or the base is tagged; Runner who touches first base
in overrunning and is declared safe by the umpire has, within
the intent of Rule 4.09 (a)
"reached first base" and any run which scores on such
a play counts, even though the runner subsequently becomes the
third out for failure to return "at once," as covered
in Rule 7.08 (j).
(k) In running or sliding for home base, he
fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to the
base, when a fielder holds the ball in his hand, while touching
home base, and appeals to the umpire for the decision. This rule
applies only where runner is on his way to the bench and the
catcher would be required to chase him. It does not apply to
the ordinary play where the runner misses the plate and then
immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged.
In that case, runner must be tagged.
It is interference by a batter or a runner when-
(a) After a third strike he hinders the catcher in his attempt
to field the ball;
(b) After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball
a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners
may advance. If the batter runner drops his bat and the ball
rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire's
judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course
of the ball, the ball is alive and in play;
(c) He intentionally deflects the course of a foul ball in any
(d) Before two are out and a runner on third base, the batter
hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is
(e) Any member or members of the offensive team stand or gather
around any base to which a runner is advancing, to confuse, hinder
or add to the difficulty of the fielders. Such runner shall be
declared out for the interference of his teammate or teammates;
(f) Any batter or runner who has just been put out hinders or
impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner
shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate; If
the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been
put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing,
hindering or impeding the fielders.
(g) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully
and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in
the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to
break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call
the runner out for interference and also call out the batter
runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may
bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner.
(h) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a batter runner willfully
and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in
the act of fielding a batted ball, with the obvious intent to
break up a double play, the ball is dead; the umpire shall call
the batter runner out for interference and shall also call out
the runner who had advanced closest to the home plate regardless
where the double play might have been possible. In no event shall
bases be run because of such interference.
(i) In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base,
or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically
assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base.
(j) With a runner on third base, the base coach leaves his box
and acts in any manner to draw a throw by a fielder;
(k) In running the last half of the distance from home base to
first base while the ball is being fielded to first base, he
runs outside (to the right of) the three foot line, or inside
(to the left of) the foul line and, in the umpire's judgment,
interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, or
attempting to field a batted ball; The lines marking the three
foot lane are a part of that "lane" but the interpretation
to be made is that a runner is required to have both feet within
the three foot "lane" or on the lines marking the "lane."
(l) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a
batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball,
provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted
ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them,
the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit
of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming
in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines
to be entitled to field such a ball; When a catcher and batter
runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding
the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should
be called. "Obstruction" by a fielder attempting to
field a ball should be called only in very flagrant and violent
cases because the rules give him the right of way, but of course
such "right of way" is not a license to, for example,
intentionally trip a runner even though fielding the ball. If
the catcher is fielding the ball and the first baseman or pitcher
obstructs a runner going to first base "obstruction"
shall be called and the base runner awarded first base.
(m) A fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching
a fielder. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder,
and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches the
runner after having been deflected by a fielder, the umpire shall
not declare the runner out for being touched by a batted ball.
In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the
ball passed through, or by, the fielder, and that no other infielder
had the chance to make a play on the ball. If, in the judgment
of the umpire, the runner deliberately and intentionally kicks
such a batted ball on which the infielder has missed a play,
then the runner shall be called out for interference.
PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.
Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when-
(a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original
base before he or his original base is tagged; "Retouch,"
in this rule, means to tag up and start from a contact with the
base after the ball is caught. A runner is not permitted to take
a flying start from a position in back of his base.
(b) With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a
base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missed
base, is tagged.
APPROVED RULING: (1) No runner may return to touch a missed base after
a following runner has scored.
(2) When the ball is dead, no runner may return
to touch a missed base or one he has left after he has advanced
to and touched a base beyond the missed base.
PLAY. (a) Batter
hits ball out of park or ground rule double and misses first
base (ball is dead)_he may return to first base to correct his
mistake before he touches second but if he touches second he
may not return to first and if defensive team appeals he is declared
out at first.
PLAY. (b) Batter
hits ball to shortstop who throws wild into stand (ball is dead)_batter
runner misses first base but is awarded second base on the overthrow.
Even though the umpire has awarded the runner second base on
the overthrow, the runner must touch first base before he proceeds
to second base. These are appeal plays.
(c) He overruns or overslides first base and fails to return
to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged;
(d) He fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return
to that base, and home base is tagged. Any appeal under this
rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted
play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half
inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves
the field. An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an
attempted play. Successive appeals may not be made on a runner
at the same base. If the defensive team on its first appeal errs,
a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the same
base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning of
the word "err" is that the defensive team in making
an appeal threw the ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher
threw to first base to appeal and threw the ball into the stands,
no second appeal would be allowed.) Appeal plays may require
an umpire to recognize an apparent "fourth out." If
the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is
sustained on another runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence
in determining the out. If there is more than one appeal during
a play that ends a half inning, the defense may elect to take
the out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this
rule, the defensive team has "left the field" when
the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on their
way to the bench or clubhouse. If two runners arrive at home
base about the same time and the first runner misses home plate
but a second runner legally touches the plate, the runner is
tagged out on his attempt to come back and touch the base or
is called out, on appeal, then he shall be considered as having
been put out before the second runner scored and being the third
out. Second runner's run shall not count, as provided in Rule
7.12. If a pitcher balks when making an appeal, such act shall
be a play. An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal,
either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably
indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently stepping
on the base with a ball in his hand, would not constitute an
appeal. Time is not out when an appeal is being made.
players, coaches or any member of an offensive team shall vacate
any space (including both dugouts) needed by a fielder who is
attempting to field a batted or thrown ball.
PENALTY: Interference shall be called and the batter or runner
on whom the play is being made shall be declared out.
Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected
by a preceding runner's failure to touch or retouch a base. If,
upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runners
following him shall score. If such third out is the result of
a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.
8.00 The Pitcher.
8.01 Legal pitching delivery. There are two legal pitching
positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and either
position may be used at any time. Pitchers shall take signs from
the catcher while standing on the rubber. Pitchers may disengage
the rubber after taking their signs but may not step quickly
onto the rubber and pitch. This may be judged a quick pitch by
the umpire. When the pitcher disengages the rubber, he must drop
his hands to his sides. Pitchers will not be allowed to disengage
the rubber after taking each sign.
(a) The Windup Position. The pitcher shall stand facing the batter,
his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and touching and not
off the end of the pitcher's plate, and the other foot free.
From this position any natural movement associated with his delivery
of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without interruption
or alteration. He shall not raise either foot from the ground,
except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter,
he may take one step backward, and one step forward with his
free foot. When a pitcher holds the ball with both hands in front
of his body, with his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and
touching but not off the end of the pitcher's plate, and his
other foot free, he will be considered in the Windup Position.
The pitcher may have one foot, not the pivot foot, off the rubber
and any distance he may desire back of a line which is an extension
to the back edge of the pitcher's plate, but not at either side
of the pitcher's plate. With his "free" foot the pitcher
may take one step backward and one step forward, but under no
circumstances, to either side, that is to either the first base
or third base side of the pitcher's rubber. If a pitcher holds
the ball with both hands in front of his body, with his entire
pivot foot on or in front of and touching but not off the end
of the pitcher's plate, and his other foot free, he will be considered
in a windup position. From this position he may:
(1) deliver the ball to the batter, or
(2) step and throw to a base in an attempt
to pick off a runner, or
(3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must
drop his hand to his sides). In disengaging the rubber the pitcher
must step off with his pivot foot and not his free foot first.
He may not go into a set or stretch position - if he does it
is a balk.
(b) The Set Position. Set Position shall be indicated by the
pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his entire pivot
foot on, or in front of, and in contact with, and not off the
end of the pitcher's plate, and his other foot in front of the
pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his
body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he
may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward
off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot. Before assuming
Set Position, the pitcher may elect to make any natural preliminary
motion such as that known as "the stretch." But if
he so elects, he shall come to Set Position before delivering
the ball to the batter. After assuming Set Position, any natural
motion associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter
commits him to the pitch without alteration or interruption.
Preparatory to coming to a set position, the pitcher shall have
one hand on his side; from this position he shall go to his set
position as defined in Rule 8.01 (b) without interruption and
in one continuous motion. The whole width of the foot in contact
with the rubber must be on the rubber. A pitcher cannot pitch
from off the end of the rubber with just the side of his foot
touching the rubber. The pitcher, following his stretch, must
(a) hold the ball in both hands in front of
his body and
(b) come to a complete stop. This must be
enforced. Umpires should watch this closely. Pitchers are constantly
attempting to "beat the rule" in their efforts to hold
runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make
a complete "stop" called for in the rules, the umpire
should immediately call a "Balk."
(c) At any time during the pitcher's preliminary movements and
until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he
may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such
base before making the throw. The pitcher shall step "ahead
of the throw." A snap throw followed by the step directly
toward the base is a balk.
(d) If the pitcher makes an illegal pitch with the bases unoccupied,
it shall be called a ball unless the batter reaches first base
on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.
A ball which slips out of a pitcher's hand and crosses the foul
line shall be called a ball; otherwise it will be called no pitch.
This would be a balk with men on base.
(e) If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the
pitcher's plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby
becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position,
it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other
infielder. The pitcher, while off the rubber, may throw to any
base. If he makes a wild throw, such throw is the throw of an
infielder and what follows is governed by the rules covering
a ball thrown by a fielder.
The pitcher shall not-
(a) (1) Bring his pitching hand in contact with his mouth or
lips while in the 18 foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber.
EXCEPTION: Provided it is agreed to by both managers, the umpire
prior to the start of a game played in cold weather, may permit
the pitcher to blow on his hand.
PENALTY: For violation of this part of this rule the umpires
shall immediately call a ball. However, if the pitch is made
and a batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a hit batsman
or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing
at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to
the violation. Repeated offenders shall be subject to a fine
by the league president.
(2) Apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;
(3) expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove;
(4) rub the ball on his glove, person or clothing;
(5) deface the ball in any manner;
(6) deliver what is called the "shine" ball, "spit"
ball, "mud" ball or "emery" ball. The pitcher,
of course, is allowed to rub the ball between his bare hands.
PENALTY: For violation of any part of this rule 8.02 (a) (2
to 6) the umpire shall:
(a) Call the pitch a ball, warn the pitcher and have announced
on the public address system the reason for the action.
(b) In the case of a second offense by the same pitcher in the
same game, the pitcher shall be disqualified from the game.
(c) If a play follows the violation called by the umpire, the
manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects
to accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at
the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base
on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise,
and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one
base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation.
(d) Even though the offense elects to take the play, the violation
shall be recognized and the penalties in (a) and (b) will still
be in effect.
(e) The umpire shall be sole judge on whether any portion of
this rule has been violated. All umpires shall carry with them
one official rosin bag. The umpire in chief is responsible for
placing the rosin bag on the ground back of the pitcher's plate.
If at any time the ball hits the rosin bag it is in play. In
the case of rain or wet field, the umpire may instruct the pitcher
to carry the rosin bag in his hip pocket. A pitcher may use the
rosin bag for the purpose of applying rosin to his bare hand
or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player shall dust
the ball with the rosin bag; neither shall the pitcher nor any
other player be permitted to apply rosin from the bag to his
glove or dust any part of his uniform with the rosin bag.
(b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.
For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be
immediate ejection from the game.
(c) Intentionally delay the game by throwing the ball to players
other than the catcher, when the batter is in position, except
in an attempt to retire a runner.
PENALTY: If, after warning by the umpire, such delaying action
is repeated, the pitcher shall be removed from the game.
(d) Intentionally Pitch at the Batter. If, in the umpire's judgment,
such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:
1. Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the
pitcher, from the game, or
2. may warn the pitcher and the manager of
both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate
expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.
If, in the umpire's judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams
may be officially "warned" prior to the game or at
any time during the game. (League Presidents may take additional
action under authority provided in Rule
9.05) To pitch at a batter's head is unsportsmanlike and
highly dangerous. It should be_and is_condemned by everybody.
Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this
When a pitcher takes his position at the beginning of each inning,
or when he relieves another pitcher, he shall be permitted to
pitch not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to his catcher
during which play shall be suspended. A league by its own action
may limit the number of preparatory pitches to less than eight
preparatory pitches. Such preparatory pitches shall not consume
more than one minute of time. If a sudden emergency causes a
pitcher to be summoned into the game without any opportunity
to warm up, the umpire in chief shall allow him as many pitches
as the umpire deems necessary.
When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the
ball to the batter within 20 seconds after he receives the ball.
Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule,
the umpire shall call "Ball." The intent of this rule
is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that
the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that
the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious
delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when-
(a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally
associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery; If
a lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past
the back edge of the pitcher's rubber, he is required to pitch
to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick off play.
(b) The pitcher, while touching his plate, feints a throw to
first base and fails to complete the throw;
(c) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly
toward a base before throwing to that base; Requires the pitcher,
while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before
throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his
free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and
throws before stepping, it is a balk. A pitcher is to step directly
toward a base before throwing to that base but does not require
him to throw (except to first base only) because he steps. It
is possible, with runners on first and third, for the pitcher
to step toward third and not throw, merely to bluff the runner
back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second,
turn and step toward and throw to first base. This is legal.
However, if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher, while
in contact with the rubber, steps toward third and then immediately
and in practically the same motion "wheels" and throws
to first base, it is obviously an attempt to deceive the runner
at first base, and in such a move it is practically impossible
to step directly toward first base before the throw to first
base, and such a move shall be called a balk. Of course, if the
pitcher steps off the rubber and then makes such a move, it is
not a balk.
(d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints
a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making
(e) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch; A quick pitch is an illegal
pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before
the batter is reasonably set in the batter's box. With runners
on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is
a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.
(f) The pitcher delivers the ball to the batter while he is not
facing the batter;
(g) The pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his
pitch while he is not touching the pitcher's plate;
(h) The pitcher unnecessarily delays the game;
(i) The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride
the pitcher's plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch;
(j) The pitcher, after coming to a legal pitching position, removes
one hand from the ball other than in an actual pitch, or in throwing
to a base;
(k) The pitcher, while touching his plate, accidentally or intentionally
drops the ball;
(l) The pitcher, while giving an intentional base on balls, pitches
when the catcher is not in the catcher's box;
(m)The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming
to a stop.
PENALTY: The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one
base without liability to be put out, unless the batter reaches
first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or otherwise,
and all other runners advance at least one base, in which case
the play proceeds without reference to the balk.
APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and throws wild, either
to a base or to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond
the base to which he is entitled at his own risk.
APPROVED RULING: A runner who misses the first base to which he is
advancing and who is called out on appeal shall be considered
as having advanced one base for the purpose of this rule. Umpires
should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent
the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there
is doubt in the umpire's mind, the "intent" of the
pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne
(a) Straddling the pitcher's rubber without the ball is to be
interpreted as intent to deceive and ruled a balk.
(b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete
turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This
is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.
A professional league shall adopt the following rule pertaining
to the visit of the manager or coach to the pitcher:
(a) This rule limits the number of trips a manager or coach may
make to any one pitcher in any one inning;
(b) A second trip to the same pitcher in the
same inning will cause this pitcher's automatic removal;
(c) The manager or coach is prohibited from
making a second visit to the mound while the same batter is at
(d) if a pinch hitter is substituted for this
batter, the manager or coach may make a second visit to the mound,
but must remove the pitcher. A manager or coach is considered
to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18
foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber. If the manager
or coach goes to the catcher or infielder and that player then
goes to the mound or the pitcher comes to him at his position
before there is an intervening play (a pitch or other play) that
will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound.
Any attempt to evade or circumvent this rule by the manager or
coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player
going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute
a trip to the mound. If the coach goes to the mound and removes
a pitcher and then the manager goes to the mound to talk with
the new pitcher, that will constitute one trip to that new pitcher
that inning. In a case where a manager has made his first trip
to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in
the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same
batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot
return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game
and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired
or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a base
runner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game. The
manager should be notified that his pitcher will be removed from
the game after he pitches to one hitter, so he can have a substitute
pitcher warmed up. The substitute pitcher will be allowed eight
preparatory pitches or more if in the umpire's judgment circumstances
9.00 The Umpire
9.01 (a) The league president shall appoint one or more
umpires to officiate at each league championship game. The umpires
shall be responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance
with these official rules and for maintaining discipline and
order on the playing field during the game.
(b) Each umpire is the representative of the
league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required
to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order
a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or
refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of
these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties.
(c) Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically
covered in these rules.
(d) Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach,
manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike
conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from
the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a
play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect
until no further action is possible in that play.
(e) Each umpire has authority at his discretion to eject from
the playing field
(1) any person whose duties permit his presence
on the field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers,
newsmen, broadcasting crew members, etc., and
(2) any spectator or other person not authorized
to be on the playing field.
(a) Any umpire's decision which involves judgment, such as, but
not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether
a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or
out, is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall
object to any such judgment decisions.
(a) Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or
managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue
on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned
if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue,
they will be ejected from the game.
(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision may
be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision
and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made
only to the umpire who made the protested decision.
(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision
may ask another umpire for information before making a final
decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere
with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire
(c) The manager or the catcher may request the plate umpire to
ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire
calls the pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike.
The manager may not complain that the umpire made an improper
call, but only that he did not ask his partner for help. Field
umpires must be alerted to the request from the plate umpire
and quickly respond. Managers may not protest the call of a ball
or strike on the pretense they are asking for information about
a half swing. Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the
call of ball and when asked to appeal, the home plate umpire
must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the half swing.
Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call
shall prevail. Baserunners must be alert to the possibility that
the base umpire on appeal from the plate umpire may reverse the
call of a ball to the call of a strike, in which event the runner
is in jeopardy of being out by the catcher's throw. Also, a catcher
must be alert in a base stealing situation if a ball call is
reversed to a strike by the base umpire upon appeal from the
plate umpire. The ball is in play on appeal on a half swing.
On a half swing, if the manager comes out to argue with first
or third base umpire and if after being warned he persists in
arguing, he can be ejected as he is now arguing over a called
ball or strike.
(d) No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he is injured
or becomes ill.
(a) If there is only one umpire, he shall have complete jurisdiction
in administering the rules. He may take any position on the playing
field which will enable him to discharge his duties (usually)
behind the catcher, but sometimes behind the pitcher if there
(b) If there are two or more umpires, one
shall be designated umpire in chief and the others field umpires.
The umpire in chief shall stand behind the catcher. (He usually
is called the plate umpire.) His duties shall be to:
(1) Take full charge of, and be responsible
for, the proper conduct of the game;
(2) Call and count balls and strike;
(3) Call and declare fair balls and fouls
except those commonly called by field umpires;
(4) Make all decisions on the batter;
(5) Make all decisions except those commonly
reserved for the field umpires;
(6) Decide when a game shall be forfeited;
(7) If a time limit has been set, announce
the fact and the time set before the game starts;
(8) Inform the official scorer of the official
batting order, and any changes in the lineups and batting order,
(9) Announce any special ground rules, at
(b) A field umpire may take any position on
the playing field he thinks best suited to make impending decisions
on the bases. His duties shall be to:
(1) Make all decisions on the bases except
those specifically reserved to the umpire in chief;
(2) Take concurrent jurisdiction with the
umpire in chief in calling "Time," balks, illegal pitches,
or defacement or discoloration of the ball by any player.
(3) Aid the umpire in chief in every manner
in enforcing the rules, and excepting the power to forfeit the
game, shall have equal authority with the umpire in chief in
administering and enforcing the rules and maintaining discipline.
(c) If different decisions should be made on one play by different
umpires, the umpire in chief shall call all the umpires into
consultation, with no manager or player present. After consultation,
the umpire in chief (unless another umpire may have been designated
by the league president) shall determine which decision shall
prevail, based on which umpire was in best position and which
decision was most likely correct. Play shall proceed as if only
the final decision had been made.
(a) The umpire shall report to the league president within twelve
hours after the end of a game all violations of rules and other
incidents worthy of comment, including the disqualification of
any trainer, manager, coach or player, and the reasons therefore.
(b) When any trainer, manager, coach or player is disqualified
for a flagrant offense such as the use of obscene or indecent
language, or an assault upon an umpire, trainer, manager, coach
or player, the umpire shall forward full particulars to the league
president within four hours after the end of the game.
(c) After receiving the umpire's report that a trainer, manager,
coach or player has been disqualified, the league president shall
impose such penalty as he deems justified, and shall notify the
person penalized and the manager of the club of which the penalized
person is a member. If the penalty includes a fine, the penalized
person shall pay the amount of the fine to the league within
five days after receiving notice of the fine. Failure to pay
such fine within five days shall result in the offender being
debarred from participation in any game and from sitting on the
players' bench during any game, until the fine is paid.
Umpires, on the field, should not indulge in conversation with
players. Keep out of the coaching box and do not talk to the
coach on duty.
Keep your uniform in good condition. Be active and alert on the
Be courteous, always, to club officials; avoid visiting in club
offices and thoughtless familiarity with officers or employees
of contesting clubs. When you enter a ball park your sole duty
is to umpire a ball game as the representative of baseball.
Do not allow criticism to keep you from studying out bad situations
that may lead to protested games. Carry your rule book. It is
better to consult the rules and hold up the game ten minutes
to decide a knotty problem than to have a game thrown out on
protest and replayed.
Keep the game moving. A ball game is often helped by energetic
and earnest work of the umpires.
You are the only official representative of baseball on the ball
field. It is often a trying position which requires the exercise
of much patience and good judgment, but do not forget that the
first essential in working out of a bad situation is to keep
your own temper and self control.
You no doubt are going to make mistakes, but never attempt to
"even up" after having made one. Make all decisions
as you see them and forget which is the home or visiting club.
Keep your eye everlastingly on the ball while it is in play.
It is more vital to know just where a fly ball fell, or a thrown
ball finished up, than whether or not a runner missed a base.
Do not call the plays too quickly, or turn away too fast when
a fielder is throwing to complete a double play. Watch out for
dropped balls after you have called a man out.
Do not come running with your arm up or down, denoting "out"
or "safe." Wait until the play is completed before
making any arm motion.
Each umpire team should work out a simple set of signals, so
the proper umpire can always right a manifestly wrong decision
when convinced he has made an error. If sure you got the play
correctly, do not be stampeded by players' appeals to "ask
the other man." If not sure, ask one of your associates.
Do not carry this to extremes, be alert and get your own plays.
But remember! The first requisite is to get decisions correctly.
If in doubt don't hesitate to consult your associate. Umpire
dignity is important but never as important as "being right."
A most important rule for umpires is always "BE IN POSITION
TO SEE EVERY PLAY." Even though your decision may be 100%
right, players still question it if they feel you were not in
a spot to see the play clearly and definitely.
Finally, be courteous, impartial and firm, and so compel respect
10.00 The Official Scorer.
10.01 (a) The league president shall appoint an official
scorer for each league championship game. The official scorer
shall observe the game from a position in the press box. The
scorer shall have sole authority to make all decisions involving
judgment, such as whether a batter's advance to first base is
the result of a hit or an error. He shall communicate such decisions
to the press box and broadcasting booths by hand signals or over
the press box loud speaker system, and shall advise the public
address announcer of such decisions if requested. The Official
Scorer must make all decisions concerning judgment calls within
twenty four (24) hours after a game has been officially concluded.
No judgment decision shall be changed thereafter except, upon
immediate application to the League President, the scorer may
request a change, citing the reasons for such. In all cases,
the official scorer is not permitted to make a scoring decision
which is in conflict with the scoring rules. After each game,
including forfeited and called games, the scorer shall prepare
a report, on a form prescribed by the league president, listing
the date of the game, where it was played, the names of the competing
clubs and the umpires, the full score of the game, and all records
of individual players compiled according to the system specified
in these Official Scoring Rules. He shall forward this report
to the league office within thirty six hours after the game ends.
He shall forward the report of any suspended game within thirty
six hours after the game has been completed, or after it becomes
an official game because it cannot be completed, as provided
by the Official Playing Rules.
(b) (1) To achieve uniformity in keeping the records of championship
games, the scorer shall conform strictly to the Official Scoring
Rules. The scorer shall have authority to rule on any point not
specifically covered in these rules.
(2) If the teams change sides before three men are put out, the
scorer shall immediately inform the umpire of the mistake.
(3) If the game is protested or suspended, the scorer shall make
a note of the exact situation at the time of the protest or suspension,
including the score, the number of outs, the position of any
runners, and the ball and strike count on the batter.
NOTE: It is important that a suspended game resume with
exactly the same situation as existed at the time of suspension.
If a protested game is ordered replayed from the point of protest,
it must be resumed with exactly the situation that existed just
before the protested play.
(4) The scorer shall not make any decision conflicting with the
Official Playing Rules, or with an umpire's decision.
(5) The scorer shall not call the attention of the umpire or
of any member of either team to the fact that a player is batting
out of turn.
(c) (1) The scorer is an official representative of the league,
and is entitled to the respect and dignity of his office, and
shall be accorded full protection by the league president. The
scorer shall report to the president any indignity expressed
by any manager, player, club employee or club officer in the
course of, or as the result of, the discharge of his duties.
The official score report prescribed by the league president
shall make provisions for entering the information listed below,
in a form convenient for the compilation of permanent statistical
(a) The following records for each batter and runner:
(1) Number of times he batted, except that no time at bat shall
be charged against a player when
(i) He hits a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly
(ii) He is awarded first base on four called balls
(iii) He is hit by a pitched ball
(iv) He is awarded first base because of interference or obstruction.
(2) Number of runs scored
(3) Number of safe hits
(4) Number of runs batted in
(5) Two base hits
(6) Three base hits
(7) Home runs
(8) Total bases on safe hits
(9) Stolen bases
(10) Sacrifice bunts
(11) Sacrifice flies
(12) Total number of bases on balls
(13) Separate listing of any intentional bases on balls
(14) Number of times hit by a pitched ball
(15) Number of times awarded first base for interference or obstruction.
(b) The following records for each fielder:
(1) Number of putouts
(2) Number of assists
(3) Number of errors
(4) Number of double plays participated in
(5) Number of triple plays participated in
(c) The following records for each pitcher:
(1) Number of innings pitched.
NOTE: In computing innings pitched, count each putout
as one third of an inning. If a starting pitcher is replaced
with one out in the sixth inning, credit that pitcher with 5
1/3 innings. If a starting pitcher is replaced with none out
in the sixth inning, credit that pitcher with 5 innings, and
make the notation that he faced ___ batters in the sixth. If
a relief pitcher retires two batters and is replaced, credit
that pitcher with 2/3 inning pitched.
(2) Total number of batters faced
(3) Number of batters officially at bat against pitcher computed
according to 10.02 (a) (1).
(4) Number of hits allowed
(5) Number of runs allowed
(6) Number of earned runs allowed
(7) Number of home runs allowed
(8) Number of sacrifice hits allowed
(9) Number of sacrifice flies allowed
(10) Total number of bases on balls allowed
(11) Separate listing of any intentional bases on balls allowed
(12) Number of batters hit by pitched balls
(13) Number of strikeouts
(14) Number of wild pitches
(15) Number of balks
(d) The following additional data:
(1) Name of the winning pitcher
(2) Name of the losing pitcher
(3) Names of the starting pitcher and the finishing pitcher for
(4) Name of pitcher credited with save.
(e) Number of passed balls allowed by each catcher.
(f) Name of players participating in double plays and triple
EXAMPLE: Double Plays_Jones, Roberts and Smith (2). Triple Play_Jones
(g) Number of runners left on base by each team. This total shall
include all runners who get on base by any means and who do not
score and are not put out. Include in this total a batter runner
whose batted ball results in another runner being retired for
the third out.
(h) Names of batters who hit home runs with bases full.
(i) Names of batters who ground into force double plays and reverse
force double plays.
(j) Names of runners caught stealing.
(k) Number of outs when winning run scored, if game is won in
last half inning.
(l) The score by innings for each team.
(m) Names of umpires, listed in this order
(1) plate umpire,
(2) first base umpire,
(3) second base umpire,
(4) third base umpire.
(n) Time required to play the game, with delays for weather or
light failure deducted.
(a) In compiling the official score report, the official scorer
shall list each player's name and his fielding position or positions
in the order in which the player batted, or would have batted
if the game ends before he gets to bat.
NOTE: When a player does not exchange positions with another
fielder but is merely placed in a different spot for a particular
batter, do not list this as a new position.
EXAMPLES: (1) Second baseman goes to the outfield to form
a four man outfield.
(2) Third baseman moves to a position between shortstop and second
(b) Any player who enters the game as a substitute batter or
substitute runner, whether or not he continues in the game thereafter,
shall be identified in the batting order by a special symbol
which shall refer to a separate record of substitute batters
and runners. Lower case letters are recommended as symbols for
substitute batters, and numerals as symbols for substitute runners.
The record of substitute batters shall describe what the substitute
EXAMPLES - "a - Singled for ___ in third inning;
b - Flied out for ___ in sixth inning; c - Forced ___ for ___
in seventh inning; d - Grounded out for ___ in ninth inning;
1 - Ran for ___ in ninth inning. The record of substitute batters
and runners shall include the name of any such substitute whose
name is announced, but who is removed for a second substitute
before he actually gets into the game. Such substitution shall
be recorded as "e Announced as substitute for ___ in seventh
inning." Any such second substitute shall be recorded as
batting or running for the first announced substitute.
HOW TO PROVE A BOX SCORE
(c) A box score is in balance (or proved) when the total of the
team's times at bat, bases on balls received, hit batters, sacrifice
bunts, sacrifice flies and batters awarded first base because
of interference or obstruction equals the total of that team's
runs, players left on base and the opposing team's putouts.
WHEN PLAYER BATS OUT OF
(d) When a player bats out of turn, and is put out, and the proper
batter is called out before the ball is pitched to the next batter,
charge the proper batter with a time at bat and score the putout
and any assists the same as if the correct batting order had
been followed. If an improper batter becomes a runner and the
proper batter is called out for having missed his turn at bat,
charge the proper batter with a time at bat, credit the putout
to the catcher, and ignore everything entering into the improper
batter's safe arrival on base. If more than one batter bats out
of turn in succession score all plays just as they occur, skipping
the turn at bat of the player or players who first missed batting
in the proper order.
CALLED AND FORFEITED GAMES
(e) (1) If a regulation game is called, include the record of
all individual and team actions up to the moment the game ends,
as defined in Rules 4.10 and 4.11.
If it is a tie game, do not enter a winning or losing pitcher.
(2) If a regulation game is forfeited, include the record of
all individual and team actions up to the time of forfeit. If
the winning team by forfeit is ahead at the time of forfeit,
enter as winning and losing pitchers the players who would have
qualified if the game had been called at the time of forfeit.
If the winning team by forfeit is behind or if the score is tied
at the time of forfeit, do not enter a winning or losing pitcher.
If a game is forfeited before it becomes a regulation game, include
no records. Report only the fact of the forfeit.
RUNS BATTED IN
(a) Credit the batter with a run batted in for every run which
reaches home base because of the batter's safe hit, sacrifice
bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder's choice; or which
is forced over the plate by reason of the batter becoming a runner
with the bases full (on a base on balls, or an award of first
base for being touched by a pitched ball, or for interference
(1) Credit a run batted in for the run scored by the batter who
hits a home run. Credit a run batted in for each runner who is
on base when the home run is hit and who scores ahead of the
batter who hits the home run.
(2) Credit a run batted in for the run scored when, before two
are out, an error is made on a play on which a runner from third
base ordinarily would score.
(b) Do not credit a run batted in when the batter grounds into
a force double play or a reverse force double play.
(c) Do not credit a run batted in when a fielder is charged with
an error because he muffs a throw at first base which would have
completed a force double play.
(d) Scorer's judgment must determine whether a run batted in
shall be credited for a run which scores when a fielder holds
the ball, or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner
keeps going, credit a run batted in; if the runner stops and
takes off again when he notices the misplay, credit the run as
scored on a fielder's choice.
A base hit shall be scored in the following cases:
(a) When a batter reaches first base (or any succeeding base)
safely on a fair ball which settles on the ground or touches
a fence before being touched by a fielder, or which clears a
(b) When a batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball hit
with such force, or so slowly, that any fielder attempting to
make a play with it has no opportunity to do so;
NOTE: A hit shall be scored if the fielder attempting
to handle the ball cannot make a play, even if such fielder deflects
the ball from or cuts off another fielder who could have put
out a runner.
(c) When a batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball which
takes an unnatural bounce so that a fielder cannot handle it
with ordinary effort, or which touches the pitcher's plate or
any base, (including home plate), before being touched by a fielder
and bounces so that a fielder cannot handle it with ordinary
(d) When a batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball which
has not been touched by a fielder and which is in fair territory
when it reaches the outfield unless in the scorer's judgment
it could have been handled with ordinary effort;
(e) When a fair ball which has not been touched by a fielder
touches a runner or an umpire.
not score a hit when a runner is called out for having been touched
by an Infield Fly;
(f) When a fielder unsuccessfully attempts to put out a preceding
runner, and in the scorer's judgment the batter runner would
not have been put out at first base by ordinary effort.
NOTE: In applying the above rules, always give the batter
the benefit of the doubt. A safe course to follow is to score
a hit when exceptionally good fielding of a ball fails to result
in a putout.
A base hit shall not be scored in the following cases:
(a) When a runner is forced out by a batted ball, or would have
been forced out except for a fielding error;
(b) When the batter apparently hits safely and a runner who is
forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner fails
to touch the first base to which he is advancing and is called
out on appeal. Charge the batter with a time at bat but no hit;
(c) When the pitcher, the catcher or any infielder handles a
batted ball and puts out a preceding runner who is attempting
to advance one base or to return to his original base, or would
have put out such runner with ordinary effort except for a fielding
error. Charge the batter with a time at bat but no hit;
(d) When a fielder fails in an attempt to put out a preceding
runner, and in the scorer's judgment the batter runner could
have been put out at first base.
NOTE: This shall not apply if the fielder merely looks
toward or feints toward another base before attempting to make
the putout at first base;
(e) When a runner is called out for interference with a fielder
attempting to field a batted ball, unless in the scorer's judgment
the batter runner would have been safe had the interference not
DETERMINING VALUE OF BASE
Whether a safe hit shall be scored as one base hit, two base
hit, three base hit or home run when no error or putout results
shall be determined as follows:
(a) Subject to the provisions of 10.07 (b) and (c), it is a one
base hit if the batter stops at first base; it is a two base
hit if the batter stops at second base; it a three base hit if
the batter stops at third base; it is a home run if the batter
touches all bases and scores.
(b) When, with one or more runners on base, the batter advances
more than one base on a safe hit and the defensive team makes
an attempt to put out a preceding runner, the scorer shall determine
whether the batter made a legitimate two base hit or three base
hit, or whether he advanced beyond first base on the fielder's
NOTE: Do not credit the batter with a three base hit
when a preceding runner is put out at the plate, or would have
been out but for an error. Do not credit the batter with a two
base hit when a preceding runner trying to advance from first
base is put out at third base, or would have been out but for
an error. However, with the exception of the above, do not determine
the value of base hits by the number of bases advanced by a preceding
runner. A batter may deserve a two base hit even though a preceding
runner advances one or no bases; he may deserve only a one base
hit even though he reaches second base and a preceding runner
advances two bases.
EXAMPLES: (1) Runner on first, batter hits to right fielder,
who throws to third base in unsuccessful attempt to put out runner.
Batter takes second base. Credit batter with one base hit.
(2) Runner on second. Batter hits fair fly ball. Runner holds
up to determine if ball is caught, and advances only to third
base, while batter takes second. Credit batter with two base
(3) Runner on third. Batter hits high fair fly. Runner takes
lead, then runs back to tag up, thinking ball will be caught.
Ball falls safe, but runner cannot score, although batter has
reached second. Credit batter with two base hit.
(c) When the batter attempts to make a two base hit or a three
base hit by sliding, he must hold the last base to which he advances.
If he overslides and is tagged out before getting back to the
base safely, he shall be credited with only as many bases as
he attained safely. If he overslides second base and is tagged
out, he shall be credited with a one base hit; if he overslides
third base and is tagged out, he shall be credited with a two
NOTE: If the batter overruns second or third base and
is tagged out trying to return, he shall be credited with the
last base he touched. If he runs past second base after reaching
that base on his feet, attempts to return and is tagged out,
he shall be credited with a two base hit. If he runs past third
base after reaching that base on his feet, attempts to return
and is tagged out, he shall be credited with a three base hit.
(d) When the batter, after making a safe hit, is called out for
having failed to touch a base, the last base he reached safely
shall determine if he shall be credited with a one base hit,
a two base hit or a three base hit. If he is called out after
missing home base, he shall be credited with a three base hit.
If he is called out for missing third base, he shall be credited
with a two base hit. If he is called out for missing second base,
he shall be credited with a one base hit. If he is called out
for missing first base, he shall be charged with a time at bat,
but no hit.
(e) When the batter runner is awarded two bases, three bases
or a home run under the provisions of Playing Rules
7.05 or 7.06 (a), he shall be credited with a two base hit,
a three base hit or a home run, as the case may be.
GAME ENDING HITS
(f) Subject to the provisions of 10.07 (g), when the batter ends
a game with a safe hit which drives in as many runs as are necessary
to put his team in the lead, he shall be credited with only as
many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores
the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit
for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the
NOTE: Apply this rule even when the batter is theoretically
entitled to more bases because of being awarded an "automatic"
extra base hit under various provisions of Playing Rules
6.09 and 7.05.
(g) When the batter ends a game with a home run hit out of the
playing field, he and any runners on base are entitled to score.
A stolen base shall be credited to a runner whenever he advances
one base unaided by a hit, a putout, an error, a force out, a
fielder's choice, a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk, subject
to the following:
(a) When a runner starts for the next base before the pitcher
delivers the ball and the pitch results in what ordinarily is
scored a wild pitch or passed ball, credit the runner with a
stolen base and do not charge the misplay.
as a result of the misplay, the stealing runner advances an extra
base, or another runner also advances, score the wild pitch or
passed ball as well as the stolen base.
(b) When a runner is attempting to steal, and the catcher, after
receiving the pitch, makes a wild throw trying to prevent the
stolen base, credit a stolen base. Do not charge an error unless
the wild throw permits the stealing runner to advance one or
more extra bases, or permits another runner to advance, in which
case credit the stolen base and charge one error to the catcher.
(c) When a runner, attempting to steal, or after being picked
off base, evades being put out in a run down play and advances
to the next base without the aid of an error, credit the runner
with a stolen base. If another runner also advances on the play,
credit both runners with stolen bases. If a runner advances while
another runner, attempting to steal, evades being put out in
a run down play and returns safely, without the aid of an error,
to the base he originally occupied, credit a stolen base to the
runner who advances.
(d) When a double or triple steal is attempted and one runner
is thrown out before reaching and holding the base he is attempting
to steal, no other runner shall be credited with a stolen base.
(e) When a runner is tagged out after oversliding a base, while
attempting either to return to that base or to advance to the
next base, he shall not be credited with a stolen base.
(f) When in the scorer's judgment a runner attempting to steal
is safe because of a muffed throw, do not credit a stolen base.
Credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw; charge an
error to the fielder who muffed the throw, and charge the runner
with "caught stealing."
(g) No stolen base shall be scored when a runner advances solely
because of the defensive team's indifference to his advance.
Score as a fielder's choice.
(h) A runner shall be charged as "Caught Stealing"
if he is put out, or would have been put out by errorless play
(1) Tries to steal.
(2) Is picked off a base and tries to advance (any move toward
the next base shall be considered an attempt to advance).
(3) Overslides while stealing.
NOTE: In those instances where a pitched ball eludes
the catcher and the runner is put out trying to advance, no caught
stealing shall be charged. No caught stealing should be charged
when a runner is awarded a base due to obstruction.
(a) Score a sacrifice bunt when, before two are out, the batter
advances one or more runners with a bunt and is put out at first
base, or would have been put out except for a fielding error.
(b) Score a sacrifice bunt when, before two are out, the fielders
handle a bunted ball without error in an unsuccessful attempt
to put out a preceding runner advancing one base.
an attempt to turn a bunt into a putout of a preceding runner
fails, and in the scorer's judgment perfect play would not have
put out the batter at first base, the batter shall be credited
with a one base hit and not a sacrifice.
(c) Do not score a sacrifice bunt when any runner is put out
attempting to advance one base on a bunt. Charge the batter with
a time at bat.
(d) Do not score a sacrifice bunt when, in the judgment of the
scorer, the batter is bunting primarily for a base hit and not
for the purpose of advancing a runner or runners. Charge the
batter with a time at bat.
NOTE: In applying the above rule, always give the batter
the benefit of the doubt.
(e) Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter
hits a fly ball or a line drive handled by an outfielder or an
infielder running in the outfield which
(1) is caught, and a runner scores after the catch, or
(2) is dropped, and a runner scores, if in the scorer's judgment
the runner could have scored after the catch had the fly been
NOTE: Score a sacrifice fly in accordance with 10.09
(e) (2) even though another runner is forced out by reason of
the batter becoming a runner.
A putout shall be credited to each fielder who
(1) catches a fly ball or a line drive, whether
fair or foul;
(2) catches a thrown ball which puts out a
batter or runner, or
(3) tags a runner when the runner is off the
base to which he legally is entitled.
(a) Automatic putouts shall be credited to
the catcher as follows:
(1) When the batter is called out for an illegally
(2) When the batter is called out for bunting
foul for his third strike; (Note exception in 10.17 (a) (4)).
(3) When the batter is called out for being
touched by his own batted ball;
(4) When the batter is called out for interfering
with the catcher.
(5) When the batter is called out for failing
to bat in his proper turn; (See 10.03 (d)).
(6) When the batter is called out for refusing
to touch first base after receiving a base on balls;
(7) When a runner is called out for refusing
to advance from third base to home with the winning run.
(b) Other automatic putouts shall be credited
as follows (Credit no assists on these plays except as specified):
(1) When the batter is called out on an Infield
Fly which is not caught, credit the putout to the fielder who
the scorer believes could have made the catch;
(2) When a runner is called out for being
touched by a fair ball (including an Infield Fly), credit the
putout to the fielder nearest the ball;
(3) When a runner is called out for running
out of line to avoid being tagged, credit the putout to the fielder
whom the runner avoided;
(4) When a runner is called out for passing
another runner, credit the putout to the fielder nearest the
point of passing;
(5) When a runner is called out for running
the bases in reverse order, credit the putout to the fielder
covering the base he left in starting his reverse run;
(6) When a runner is called out for having
interfered with a fielder, credit the putout to the fielder with
whom the runner interfered, unless the fielder was in the act
of throwing the ball when the interference occurred, in which
case credit the putout to the fielder for whom the throw was
intended, and credit an assist to the fielder whose throw was
(7) When the batter runner is called out because
of interference by a preceding runner, as provided in Playing
Rule 6.05 (m), credit the putout to the first baseman. If the
fielder interfered with was in the act of throwing the ball,
credit him with an assist, but credit only one assist on any
one play under the provisions of 10.10 (b) (6) and (7).
An assist shall be credited to each fielder who throws or deflects
a batted or thrown ball in such a way that a putout results,
or would have resulted except for a subsequent error by any fielder.
Only one assist and no more shall be credited to each fielder
who throws or deflects the ball in a run down play which results
in a putout, or would have resulted in a putout, except for a
NOTE: Mere ineffective contact with the ball shall not be
considered an assist. "Deflect" shall mean to slow
down or change the direction of the ball and thereby effectively
assist in putting out a batter or runner.
(a) Credit an assist to each fielder who throws or deflects the
ball during a play which results in a runner being called out
for interference, or for running out of line.
(b) Do not credit an assist to the pitcher on a strikeout.
an assist if the pitcher fields an uncaught third strike and
makes a throw which results in a putout.
(c) Do not credit an assist to the pitcher when, as the result
of a legal pitch received by the catcher, a runner is put out,
as when the catcher picks a runner off base, throws out a runner
trying to steal, or tags a runner trying to score.
(d) Do not credit an assist to a fielder whose wild throw permits
a runner to advance, even though the runner subsequently is put
out as a result of continuous play. A play which follows a misplay
(whether or not it is an error) is a new play, and the fielder
making any misplay shall not be credited with an assist unless
he takes part in the new play.
DOUBLE PLAYS - TRIPLE PLAYS
Credit participation in the double play or triple play to each
fielder who earns a putout or an assist when two or three players
are put out between the time a pitch is delivered and the time
the ball next becomes dead or is next in possession of the pitcher
in pitching position, unless an error or misplay intervenes between
NOTE: Credit the double play or triple play also if
an appeal play after the ball is in possession of the pitcher
results in an additional putout.
An error shall be charged for each misplay (fumble, muff or wild
throw) which prolongs the time at bat of a batter or which prolongs
the life of a runner, or which permits a runner to advance one
or more bases.
NOTE (1) Slow handling of the ball which does not involve
mechanical misplay shall not be construed as an error.
NOTE (2) It is not necessary that the fielder touch the
ball to be charged with an error. If a ground ball goes through
a fielder's legs or a pop fly falls untouched and in the scorer's
judgment the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary
effort, an error shall be charged.
NOTE (3) Mental mistakes or misjudgments are not to be
scored as errors unless specifically covered in the rules.
(a) An error shall be charged against any fielder when he muffs
a foul fly, to prolong the time at bat of a batter whether the
batter subsequently reaches first base or is put out.
(b) An error shall be charged against any fielder when he catches
a thrown ball or a ground ball in time to put out the batter
runner and fails to tag first base or the batter runner.
(c) An error shall be charged against any fielder when he catches
a thrown ball or a ground ball in time to put out any runner
on a force play and fails to tag the base or the runner.
(d) (1) An error shall be charged against any fielder whose wild
throw permits a runner to reach a base safely, when in the scorer's
judgment a good throw would have put out the runner.
error shall be charged under this section if the wild throw is
made attempting to prevent a stolen base.
(2) An error shall be charged against any fielder whose wild
throw in attempting to prevent a runner's advance permits that
runner or any other runner to advance one or more bases beyond
the base he would have reached had the throw not been wild.
(3) An error shall be charged against any fielder whose throw
takes an unnatural bounce, or touches a base or the pitcher's
plate, or touches a runner, a fielder or an umpire, thereby permitting
any runner to advance.
NOTE: Apply this rule even when it appears to be an
injustice to a fielder whose throw was accurate. Every base advanced
by a runner must be accounted for.
(4) Charge only one error on any wild throw, regardless of the
number of bases advanced by one or more runners.
(e) An error shall be charged against any fielder whose failure
to stop, or try to stop, an accurately thrown ball permits a
runner to advance, providing there was occasion for the throw.
If such throw be made to second base, the scorer shall determine
whether it was the duty of the second baseman or the shortstop
to stop the ball, and an error shall be charged to the negligent
NOTE: If in the scorer's judgment there was no occasion
for the throw, an error shall be charged to the fielder who threw
(f) When an umpire awards the batter or any runner or runners
one or more bases because of interference or obstruction, charge
the fielder who committed the interference or obstruction with
one error, no matter how many bases the batter, or runner or
runners, may be advanced.
NOTE: Do not charge an error if obstruction does not
change the play in the opinion of the scorer.
No error shall be charged in the following cases:
(a) No error shall be charged against the catcher when after
receiving the pitch, he makes a wild throw attempting to prevent
a stolen base, unless the wild throw permits the stealing runner
to advance one or more extra bases, or permits any other runner
to advance one or more bases.
(b) No error shall be charged against any fielder who makes a
wild throw if in the scorer's judgment the runner would not have
been put out with ordinary effort by a good throw, unless such
wild throw permits any runner to advance beyond the base he would
have reached had the throw not been wild.
(c) No error shall be charged against any fielder when he makes
a wild throw in attempting to complete a double play or triple
play, unless such wild throw enables any runner to advance beyond
the base he would have reached had the throw not been wild.
NOTE: When a fielder muffs a thrown ball which, if held,
would have completed a double play or triple play, charge an
error to the fielder who drops the ball and credit an assist
to the fielder who made the throw.
(d) No error shall be charged against any fielder when, after
fumbling a ground ball or dropping a fly ball, a line drive or
a thrown ball, he recovers the ball in time to force out a runner
at any base.
(e) No error shall be charged against any fielder who permits
a foul fly to fall safe with a runner on third base before two
are out, if in the scorer's judgment the fielder deliberately
refuses the catch in order that the runner on third shall not
score after the catch.
(f) Because the pitcher and catcher handle the ball much more
than other fielders, certain misplays on pitched balls are defined
in Rule 10.15 as wild pitches and passed balls. No error shall
be charged when a wild pitch or passed ball is scored.
(1) No error shall be charged when the batter is awarded first
base on four called balls or because he was touched by a pitched
ball, or when he reaches first base as the result of a wild pitch
or passed ball.
(i) When the third strike is a wild pitch, permitting the batter
to reach first base, score a strikeout and a wild pitch.
(ii) When the third strike is a passed ball, permitting the batter
to reach first base, score a strikeout and a passed ball.
(2) No error shall be charged when a runner or runners advance
as the result of a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk.
(i) When the fourth called ball is a wild pitch or a passed ball,
and as a result
(a) the batter runner advances to a base beyond
(b) any runner forced to advance by the base
on balls advances more than one base, or
(c) any runner, not forced to advance, advances
one or more bases, score the base on balls, and also the wild
pitch or passed ball, as the case may be;
(ii) When the catcher recovers the ball after a wild pitch or
passed ball on the third strike, and throws out the batter runner
at first base, or tags out the batter runner, but another runner
or runners advance, score the strikeout, the putout and assists,
if any, and credit the advance of the other runner or runners
as having been made on the play.
WILD PITCHES - PASSED BALLS
(a) A wild pitch shall be charged when a legally delivered ball
is so high, or so wide, or so low that the catcher does not stop
and control the ball by ordinary effort, thereby permitting a
runner or runners to advance.
(1) A wild pitch shall be charged when a legally delivered ball
touches the ground before reaching home plate and is not handled
by the catcher, permitting a runner or runners to advance.
(b) A catcher shall be charged with a passed ball when he fails
to hold or to control a legally pitched ball which should have
been held or controlled with ordinary effort, thereby permitting
a runner or runners to advance.
BASES ON BALLS
(a) A base on balls shall be scored whenever a batter is awarded
first base because of four balls having been pitched outside
the strike zone, but when the fourth such ball touches the batter
it shall be scored as a "hit batter." (See 10.18 (h)
for procedure when more than one pitcher is involved in giving
a base on balls: Also see 10.17 (b) relative to substitute batter
who receives base on balls.)
(b) Intentional base on balls shall be scored when the pitcher
makes no attempt to throw the last pitch to the batter into the
strike zone but purposely throws the ball wide to the catcher
outside the catcher's box.
(1) If a batter awarded a base on balls is
called out for refusing to advance to first base, do not credit
the base on balls. Charge a time at bat.
10.17 (a) A strikeout shall be scored whenever:
(1) A batter is put out by a third strike
caught by the catcher;
(2) A batter is put out by a third strike
not caught when there is a runner on first before two are out;
(3) A batter becomes a runner because a third
strike is not caught;
(4) A batter bunts foul on third strike.
such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly caught by any
fielder, do not score a strikeout. Credit the fielder who catches
such foul fly with a putout.
(b) When the batter leaves the game with two strikes against
him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, charge
the strikeout and the time at bat to the first batter. If the
substitute batter completes the turn at bat in any other manner,
including a base on balls, score the action as having been that
of the substitute batter.
10.18 An earned run is a run for which the pitcher is held
accountable. In determining earned runs, the inning should be
reconstructed without the errors (which include catcher's interference)
and passed balls, and the benefit of the doubt should always
be given to the pitcher in determining which bases would have
been reached by errorless play. For the purpose of determining
earned runs, an intentional base on balls, regardless of the
circumstances, shall be construed in exactly the same manner
as any other base on balls.
(a) An earned run shall be charged every time a runner reaches
home base by the aid of safe hits, sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice
fly, stolen bases, putouts, fielder's choices, bases on balls,
hit batters, balks or wild pitches (including a wild pitch on
third strike which permits a batter to reach first base) before
fielding chances have been offered to put out the offensive team.
For the purpose of this rule, a defensive interference penalty
shall be construed as a fielding chance.
(1) A wild pitch is solely the pitcher's fault, and contributes
to an earned run just as a base on balls or a balk.
(b) No run shall be earned when scored by a runner who reaches
(1) on a hit or otherwise after his time at
bat is prolonged by a muffed foul fly;
(2) because of interference or obstruction
(3) because of any fielding error.
(c) No run shall be earned when scored by a runner whose life
is prolonged by an error, if such runner would have been put
out by errorless play.
(d) No run shall be earned when the runner's advance is aided
by an error, a passed ball, or defensive interference or obstruction,
if the scorer judges that the run would not have scored without
the aid of such misplay.
(e) An error by a pitcher is treated exactly the same as an error
by any other fielder in computing earned runs.
(f) Whenever a fielding error occurs, the pitcher shall be given
the benefit of the doubt in determining to which bases any runners
would have advanced had the fielding of the defensive team been
(g) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher
shall not be charged with any run (earned or unearned) scored
by a runner who was on base at the time he entered the game,
nor for runs scored by any runner who reaches base on a fielder's
choice which puts out a runner left on base by the preceding
NOTE: It is the intent of this rule to charge each pitcher
with the number of runners he put on base, rather than with the
individual runners. When a pitcher puts runners on base, and
is relieved, he shall be charged with all runs subsequently scored
up to and including the number of runners he left on base when
he left the game, unless such runners are put out without action
by the batter, i.e., caught stealing, picked off base, or called
out for interference when a batter runner does not reach first
base on the play.
EXAMPLES: (1) P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B grounds
out, sending A to second. C flies out. D singles, scoring A.
Charge run to P1.
(2) P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B forces
A at second. C grounds out, sending B to second. D singles, scoring
B. Charge run to P1.
(3) P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B singles,
sending A to third. C grounds to short, and A is out at home,
B going to second. D flies out. E singles, scoring B. Charge
run to P1.
(4) P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B walks.
C flies out. A is picked off second. D doubles, scoring B from
first. Charge run to P2.
(5) P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. P2 walks
B and is relieved by P3. C forces A at third. D forces B at third.
E hits home run, scoring three runs. Charge one run to P1; one
run to P2, one run to P3.
(6) P1 walks A, and is relieved by P2, P2
walks B. C singles, filling the bases. D forces A at home. E
singles, scoring B and C. Charge one run to P1 and one run to
(7) P1 walks A, and is relieved by P2. P2
allows B to single, but A is out trying for third. B takes second
on the throw. C singles, scoring B. Charge run to P2.
(h) A relief pitcher shall not be held accountable
when the first batter to whom he pitches reaches first base on
four called balls if such batter has a decided advantage in the
ball and strike count when pitchers are changed.
(1) If, when pitchers are changed, the count
2 balls, no strike,
2 balls, 1 strike,
3 balls, no strike,
3 balls, 1 strike,
3 balls, 2 strikes,
and the batter gets a base on balls, charge
that batter and the base on balls to the preceding pitcher, not
to the relief pitcher.
(2) Any other action by such batter, such as reaching base on
a hit, an error, a fielder's choice, a force out, or being touched
by a pitched ball, shall cause such a batter to be charged to
the relief pitcher.
NOTE: The provisions of 10.18 (h) (2) shall not be construed
as affecting or conflicting with the provisions of 10.18 (g).
(3) If, when pitchers are changed, the count is
2 balls, 2 strikes,
1 ball, 2 strikes,
1 ball, 1 strike,
1 ball, no strike,
no ball, 2 strikes,
no ball, 1 strike,
charge that batter and his actions to the
(i) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher
shall not have the benefit of previous chances for outs not accepted
in determining earned runs.
NOTE: It is the intent of this rule to charge relief pitchers
with earned runs for which they are solely responsible. In some
instances, runs charged as earned against the relief pitcher
can be charged as unearned against the team.
EXAMPLES: (1) With two out, P1 walks A. B reaches base
on an error. P2 relieves P1. C hits home run, scoring three runs.
Charge two unearned runs to P1, one earned run to P2.
(2) With two out, P1 walks A and B and is
relieved by P2. C reaches base on an error. D hits home run,
scoring four runs. Charge two unearned runs to P1, two unearned
runs to P2.
(3) With none out, P1 walks A. B reaches base
on an error. P2 relieves P1. C hits home run, scoring three runs.
D and E strike out. F reaches base on an error. G hits home run,
scoring two runs. Charge two runs, one earned, to P1. Charge
three runs, one earned, to P2.
WINNING AND LOSING PITCHER
(a) Credit the starting pitcher with a game won only if he has
pitched at least five complete innings and his team not only
is in the lead when he is replaced but remains in the lead the
remainder of the game.
(b) The "must pitch five complete innings"
rule in respect to the starting pitcher shall be in effect for
all games of six or more innings. In a five inning game, credit
the starting pitcher with a game won if he has pitched at least
four complete innings and his team not only is in the lead when
he is replaced but remains in the lead the remainder of the game.
(c) When the starting pitcher cannot be credited
with the victory because of the provisions of 10.19 (a) or (b)
and more than one relief pitcher is used, the victory shall be
awarded on the following basis:
(1) When, during the tenure of the starting
pitcher, the winning team assumes the lead and maintains it to
the finish of the game, credit the victory to the relief pitcher
judged by the scorer to have been the most effective;
(2) Whenever the score is tied the game becomes
a new contest insofar as the winning and losing pitcher is concerned;
(3) Once the opposing team assumes the lead
all pitchers who have pitched up to that point are excluded from
being credited with the victory except that if the pitcher against
whose pitching the opposing team gained the lead continues to
pitch until his team regains the lead, which it holds to the
finish of the game, that pitcher shall be the winning pitcher;
(4) The winning relief pitcher shall be the
one who is the pitcher of record when his team assumes the lead
and maintains it to the finish of the game.
not credit a victory to a relief pitcher who is ineffective in
a brief appearance, when a succeeding relief pitcher pitches
effectively in helping his team maintain the lead. In such cases,
credit the succeeding relief pitcher with the victory.
(d) When a pitcher is removed for a substitute
batter or substitute runner, all runs scored by his team during
the inning in which he is removed shall be credited to his benefit
in determining the pitcher of record when his team assumes the
(e) Regardless of how many innings the first
pitcher has pitched, he shall be charged with the loss of the
game if he is replaced when his team is behind in the score,
or falls behind because of runs charged to him after he is replaced,
and his team thereafter fails either to tie the score or gain
(f) No pitcher shall be credited with pitching
a shutout unless he pitches the complete game, or unless he enters
the game with none out before the opposing team has scored in
the first inning, puts out the side without a run scoring and
pitches all the rest of the game. When two or more pitchers combine
to pitch a shutout a notation to that effect should be included
in the league's official pitching records.
(g) In some non championship games (such as
the Major League All Star Game) it is provided in advance that
each pitcher shall work a stated number of innings, usually two
or three. In such games, it is customary to credit the victory
to the pitcher of record, whether starter or reliever, when the
winning team takes a lead which it maintains to the end of the
game, unless such pitcher is knocked out after the winning team
has a commanding lead, and the scorer believes a subsequent pitcher
is entitled to credit for the victory.
SAVES FOR RELIEF PITCHERS
Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game
won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following
(a) He enters the game with a lead of no more
than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
(b) He enters the game, regardless of the
count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat,
or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already
on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces); or
(c) He pitches effectively for at least three
innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.
The league president shall appoint an official statistician.
The statistician shall maintain an accumulative record of all
the batting, fielding, running and pitching records specified
in 10.02 for every player who appears in a league championship
game. The statistician shall prepare a tabulated report at the
end of the season, including all individual and team records
for every championship game, and shall submit this report to
the league president. This report shall identify each player
by his first name and surname, and shall indicate as to each
batter whether he bats righthanded, lefthanded or both ways;
as to each fielder and pitcher, whether he throws righthanded
or lefthanded. When a player listed in the starting lineup for
the visiting club is substituted for before he plays defensively,
he shall not receive credit in the defensive statistics (fielding),
unless he actually plays that position during a game. All such
players, however, shall be credited with one game played (in
"batting statistics") as long as they are announced
into the game or listed on the official lineup card. Any games
played to break a divisional tie shall be included in the statistics
for that championship season.
(a) Percentage of games won and lost, divide
the number of games won by the total games won and lost;
(b) Batting average, divide the total number
of safe hits (not the total bases on hits) by the total times
at bat, as defined in 10.02 (a);
(c) Slugging percentage, divide the total
bases of all safe hits by the total times at bat, as defined
in 10.02 (a);
(d) Fielding average, divide the total putouts
and assists by the total of putouts, assists and errors;
(e) Pitcher's earned run average, multiply
the total earned runs charged against his pitching by 9, and
divide the result by the total number of innings he pitched.
NOTE: Earned run average shall be calculated on the
basis of total innings pitched including fractional innings.
EXAMPLE: 9 1/3
innings pitched and 3 earned runs is an earned run average of
2.89 (3 ER times 9 divided by 9 1/3 equals 2.89).
(f) On base percentage, divide the total of hits, all bases on
balls, and hit by pitch by the total of at bats, all bases on
balls, hit by pitch and sacrifice flies.
For the purpose of computing on base percentage, ignore being
awarded first base on interference or obstruction.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR INDIVIDUAL
10.23 To assure uniformity in establishing the batting,
pitching and fielding championships of professional leagues,
such champions shall meet the following minimum performance standards:
(a) The individual batting champion or slugging champion shall
be the player with the highest batting average or slugging percentage,
provided he is credited with as many or more total appearances
at the plate in League Championship games as the number of games
scheduled for each club in his league that season, multiplied
by 3.1 in the case of a major league player.
if there is any player with fewer than the required number of
plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were
charged with the required number of plate appearances or official
at bats, then that player shall be awarded the batting championship
or slugging championship.
a major league schedules 162 games for each club, 502 plate appearances
qualify (162 times 3.1 equals 502). If a National Association
league schedules 140 games for each club, 378 plate appearances
qualify (140 times 2.7 equals 378). Total appearances at the
plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases on balls,
times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times
awarded first base because of interference or obstruction.
(b) The individual pitching champion shall
be the pitcher with the lowest earned run average, provided that
he has pitched at least as many innings as the number of games
scheduled for each club in his league that season.
pitchers in National Association leagues shall qualify for the
pitching championship by having the lowest earned run average
and having pitched at least as many innings as 80% of the number
of games scheduled for each club in his league that season.
(c) The individual fielding champions shall
be the fielders with the highest fielding average at each position,
(1) A catcher must have participated as a
catcher in at least one half the number of games scheduled for
each club in his league that season;
(2) An infielder or outfielder must have participated
at his position in at least two thirds of the number of games
scheduled for each club in his league that season;
(3) A pitcher must have pitched at least as
many innings as the number of games scheduled for each club in
his league that season.
another pitcher has a fielding average as high or higher, and
has handled more total chances in a lesser number of innings,
he shall be the fielding champion.
GUIDELINES FOR CUMULATIVE
10.24 CONSECUTIVE HITTING
(a) A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if the
plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive
interference or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate
(b) CONSECUTIVE GAME HITTING STREAKS. A consecutive game hitting
streak shall not be terminated if all the player's plate appearances
(one or more) result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive
interference or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate
if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit. The player's individual
consecutive game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive
games in which the player appears and is not determined by his
(c) CONSECUTIVE PLAYING STREAK. A consecutive game playing streak
shall be extended if the player plays one half inning on defense,
or if he completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put
out. A pinch running appearance only shall not extend the streak.
If a player is ejected from a game by an umpire before he can
comply with the requirements of this rule, his streak shall continue.
(d) SUSPENDED GAMES. For the purpose of this rule, all performances
in the completion of a suspended game shall be considered as
occurring on the original date of the game.
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