When is a batting order official

  • Post
    Allan Wilson
    I was always under the impression exchanging lineup cards were mandatory not a courtesy and at the exchange of the batting order/lineup card it was official. I was recently told this is a courtesy and is not official until the first time through the order is complete.

    I looked at 4.03 and though it refers to home and visitor representatives exchanging lineup cards it doesn’t specify mandatory/courtesy nor does it clarify when a lineup is considered official. It does clarify courtesy for a lineup card to include substitutes but not mandatory.

    If I provided a lineup card of batters 1-9 and later decided to switch batter 7-8 around before they had batted their first time of the game is this acceptable?

    Is an exchange of lineups mandatory or a courtesy?

    When does the lineup become official batting order?

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  • Replies
      Stan Dyer
      It depends a lot on what level you are playing.  Some lower levels require teams to bat the entire lineup with “free substitution,” and, thus, lineups are only necessary for the people keeping the books.  At high school, and above, however, the Umpire in Chief needs to keep track of the lineup of both teams for a variety of reasons, so he/she needs to know each teams starting lineup, and who is playing where.

      It’s not really “mandatory” to exchange lineups at the plate meeting, but it is a good idea for good, accurate officiating.  A lot of teams really don’t know the rules that well, and having the lineup can help an umpire sort out any difficulties that occur.  Whether lineups are exchanged or not, they become official at the Plate Meeting, and can only be changed in accordance with the rules.  Having the lineup of each team in hand also helps in preventative officiating.  The Umpire in Chief can go over the lineup, and point out any discrepancies ahead of time, and before they become a problem

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