Rule 2 – Section 9 – CATCH, CATCHER, CATCHER’S BOX
2-9-1 A catch is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a live ball in flight and firmly holding it, provided he does not use his cap, protector, mask, pocket or other part of his uniform to trap the ball. The catch of a fly ball by a fielder is not completed until the continuing action of the catch is completed. A fielder who catches a ball and then runs into a wall or another player and drops the ball has not made a catch. A fielder, at full speed, who catches a ball and whose initial momentum carries him several more yards after which the ball drops from his glove has not made a catch. When the fielder, by his action of stopping, removing the ball from his glove, etc., signifies the initial action is completed and then drops the ball, will be judged to have made the catch. The same definition of a catch would apply when making a double play. It is considered a catch if a fielder catches a fair or foul ball and then steps or falls into a bench, dugout, stand, bleacher or over any boundary or barrier, such as a fence, rope, chalk line, or a pregame determined imaginary boundary line from the field of play. Falling into does not include merely running against such object. (See 2-24-4 for fielder juggling ball and 8-4-1c for intentionally dropped ball; 2-16-2 and 5-1-1d for ball striking catcher before touching his glove.) It is not a catch when a fielder touches a batted ball in flight which then contacts a member of the offensive team or an umpire and is then caught by a defensive player.
NOTE: When a batted ball or a pitch is involved, the above definition of a catch applies. For any other thrown ball, the term is used loosely to also apply to a pick-up or to the trapping of a low throw which has touched the ground. A fielder may have the ball in his grasp even though it is touching the ground while in his glove.
2-9-2 The catcher is the player to whom the pitcher throws when delivering the ball to the batter.
2-9-3 The catcher’s box is an area 43 inches by 8 feet. See official measurements in Diagram 2.