Rule 4 – Section 2 – ENDING A REGULATION GAME
4-2-1 A regulation interscholastic game consists of seven innings (turns at bat) unless extra inning(s) are necessary because of a tie score, or unless shortened because the home team needs none of its half of the seventh or only a fraction of it (4-2); or because of weather, or darkness (4-3). Each team must have nine players in its lineup throughout the game (see 4-4-1f Note 2). Otherwise, the game will be forfeited. A forfeited game is regulation, regardless of innings played (4-4-2).
4-2-2 The game ends when the team behind in score has completed its turn at bat in the seventh inning, or any inning thereafter if extra innings are necessary. If the home team scores a go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning, or in any extra inning, the game is terminated at that point. Any game that is tied at the end of 4-1/2 or at least five full innings when the game is called shall be a tie game, unless the state association has adopted a specific game ending procedure. Batting and fielding records are counted, but the game is not counted in computing percentages of games won and lost. By state association adoption, the game shall end when the visiting team is behind 10 or more runs after 4-1/2 innings, or after the fifth inning, if either team is 10 runs behind and both teams have had an equal number of times at bat.
- If an over-the-fence home run is hit, all runs score before the game is terminated.
- Two seven-inning games shall constitute a doubleheader.
4-2-3 If weather or darkness interferes with play so that the game is called (ended) by the umpire, it is a regulation game:
- if five full innings have been played, or if the home team has scored an equal or greater number of runs in four or four and a fraction turns at bat than the visiting team has scored in five turns at bat; or
- if play has gone beyond five full innings.
If the game is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turns at bat, the score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; except that if the home team in its half of the incomplete inning, scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent’s score, the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called.
4-2-4 A state association may adopt game-ending procedures that determine how games are ended, including suspended games. However, if a state does not adopt game ending procedures, by mutual agreement of the opposing coaches and the umpire-in-chief, any remaining play may be shortened or the game terminated. If a state association has adopted game-ending procedures, only those game-ending procedures may be used, should the opposing coaches wish to terminate a game.