Official Rules(view all)

6.08 Entitled to First Base

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided said runner advances to and touches first base) when –

(a) four “balls” have been called by the umpire; ball is live and base runners may advance;

(b) the batter is touched by a pitched ball which the batter 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;

NOTE: 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 that batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched.
A.R.— When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does not entitle that batter to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.

(c) the catcher or any fielder interferes with the batter. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire of a decision 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 batter, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference;
A.R. 1— Intermediate (50-70) Division/ Junior/ Senior/ Big League: If a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base, note the additional penalty set forth in Rule 7.07.

A.R. 2— 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 resume the count.

(d) a fair ball touches an umpire or a runner on fair territory before touching a fielder.
A.R.— Ball is dead. Runner(s) who are forced advance and any runners not forced will return to their bases at the time of the pitch.

NOTE: 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.