March 20, 2020

MLB Umpire Manual Changes for 2019

MLB Umpire Manual Changes for 2019



(1) The numbering of some interpretations has changed from last year’s

edition due to the addition of new interpretations for 2019.

(2) All Official Baseball Rule numbers in this section of the MLB Umpire

Manual refer to the current (new as of 2015) Official Baseball Rule


The following changes have been made to the MLB Umpire Manual (Rule

Interpretations Section) for 2019:

• Interpretation #6 (“Ball Going Into Player’s Uniform”—Rules 5.01(b),

5.06(c)(7), 5.06(c)(7) Comment)): Amended this interpretation to reflect

the changes made to the 2019 Official Baseball Rules governing the

award when a player intentionally places a ball in his uniform in an

attempt to deceive a base runner. In addition, language added to clarify

that this determination is not subject to Replay Review.

• Interpretation #17 (“Lodged Ball”—Rule 5.06(b)(4)(F)): Amended to add

further clarification on how to determine if a ball should be considered


• New Interpretation #28 (“Bunt/Foul Ball”—Rule 5.09(a)(4)): Added to

this interpretation to clarify that a ball striking a bat as the batter is

pulling it back after initially squaring to bunt is a foul ball. (The definition

of a bunt is already included in the Official Baseball Rules.)

• New Interpretation #35 (“Runner Touched by Infield Fly—Rule

5.09(b)(7)): New interpretation added to clarify situations when a runner

is struck by an Infield Fly.

• Interpretation #44 (“Trips to the Mound”—Rule 5.10(l)): First paragraph

of this interpretation amended to permit an interpreter to go to

the mound unaccompanied by a manager or coach during a betweeninning

pitching change.

• New Interpretation #45 (“Trips to the Mound—Approved Rulings”—

Rule 5.10(l)): The Joint Committee felt it would be beneficial to add specific

examples of mound visit scenarios similar in fashion to Rule Inter –

pretation #58: “Obstruction and Interference Plays—Approved Rulings.”

Some of these examples come from the training document that was sent

to umpires prior to the start of Opening Day 2018.



2019 Rule Interpretations, continued

• Interpretation #66 (“Batter Interferes With Catcher—Rules 6.03(a)(3),

6.01(a)(1)): Added additional language that had been re moved from the

2009 MLB Umpire Manual.

• New Interpretation #70 (“Reference Cards”—Rule 6.03(c)(7)): Added

new interpretation regarding reference cards with information that was

circulated to umpires during the 2018 season.

Don't strike out!

Become a part of the largest baseball rules community in the world!

Get free access to baseball forums, rules analysis and exclusive email content from current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires.