Official Rules of Major League Baseball

1.01 Objectives of the Game

1.01 (1.01) Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.

1.03 Objectives of the Game

1.03 (5.05) The defensive team’s objective is to prevent offensive players from becoming runners, and to prevent their advance around the bases.

1.04 Objectives of the Game

1.04 (5.06) When a batter becomes a runner and touches all bases legally he shall score one run for his team.

1.06 Objectives of the Game

1.06 (1.03) The winner of the game shall be that team which shall have scored, in accordance with these rules, the greater number of runs at the conclusion of a regulation game.

2.01 Layout of the Field

2.01 Layout of the Field

(1.04) The field shall be laid out according to the instructions below, supplemented by the diagrams in Appendices 1, 2, and 3.

(1.04) The infield shall be a 90-foot square. The outfield shall be the area between two foul lines formed by extending two sides of the square, as in diagram in Appendix 1 (page 153). The distance from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on fair territory shall be 250 feet or more. A distance of 320 feet or more along the foul lines, and 400 feet or more to center field is preferable. The infield shall be graded so that the base lines and home plate are level. The pitcher’s plate shall be 10 inches above the level of home plate. The degree of slope from a point 6 inches in front of the pitcher’s plate to a point 6 feet toward home plate shall be 1 inch to 1 foot, and such degree of slope shall be uniform. The infield and outfield, including the boundary lines, are fair territory and all other area is foul territory.

It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitcher’s plate to second base shall run East-Northeast.

It is recommended that the distance from home base to the backstop, and from the base lines to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on foul territory shall be 60 feet or more. See Appendix 1.

When location of home base is determined, with a steel tape measure 127 feet, 3 3⁄8 inches in desired direction to establish second base. From home base, measure 90 feet toward first base; from second base, measure 90 feet toward first base; the intersection of these lines establishes first base. From home base, measure 90 feet toward third base; from second base, measure 90 feet toward third base; the intersection of these lines establishes third base. The distance between first base and third base is 127 feet, 3 3⁄8 inches. All measurements from home base shall be taken from the point where the first and third base lines intersect.

The catcher’s box, the batters’ boxes, the coaches’ boxes, the three-foot first base lines and the next batter’s boxes shall be laid out as shown in the diagrams in Appendices 1 and 2.

The foul lines and all other playing lines indicated in the diagrams by solid black lines shall be marked with paint or non-toxic and non-burning chalk or other white material.

The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas of its playing field.

NOTE: (a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.

(b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.

2.02 (1.05) Home Base

2.02 (1.05) Home Base

Home base shall be marked by a five-sided slab of whitened rubber. It shall be a 17-inch square with two of the corners removed so that one edge is 17 inches long, two adjacent sides are 8 1/2 inches and the remaining two sides are 12 inches and set at an angle to make a point. It shall be set in the ground with the point at the intersection of the lines extending from home base to first base and to third base; with the 17-inch edge facing the pitcher’s plate, and the two 12-inch edges coinciding with the first and third base lines. The top edges of home base shall be beveled and the base shall be fixed in the ground level with the ground surface. (See drawing D in Appendix 2.)

2.03 (1.06) The Bases

2.03 (1.06) The Bases

First, second and third bases shall be marked by white canvas or rubber-covered bags, securely attached to the ground as indicated in Diagram 2. The first and third base bags shall be entirely within the infield. The second base bag shall be centered on second base. The bags shall be 15 inches square, not less than three nor more than five inches thick, and filled with soft material.

2.04 (1.07) The Pitcher’s Plate

2.04 (1.07) The Pitcher’s Plate

The pitcher’s plate shall be a rectangular slab of whitened rubber, 24 inches by 6 inches. It shall be set in the ground as shown in Diagrams 1 and 2, so that the distance between the pitcher’s plate and home base (the rear point of home plate) shall be 60 feet, 6 inches.

2.05 (1.08) Benches

2.05 (1.08) Benches

The home club shall furnish players’ benches, one each for the home and visiting teams. Such benches shall not be less than twenty-five feet from the base lines. They shall be roofed and shall be enclosed at the back and ends.

3.01 (1.09) The Ball

3.01 (1.09) The Ball

The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together. It shall weigh not less than five nor more than 5 1/4 ounces avoirdupois and measure not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference.

(3.02) No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.

PENALTY: The umpire shall demand the ball and remove the offender from the game. In addition, the offender shall be suspended automatically for 10 games. For rules in regard to a pitcher defacing the ball, see Rules 6.02(c (2) through (6) (Rules 8.02(a)(2) through (6)).

Rule 3.01 Comment (Rule 5.02 Comment): Should a ball come partially apart in a game, it is in play until the play is completed.

3.02 (1.10) The Bat

3.02 (1.10) The Bat

(a) The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.

NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.

(b) Cupped Bats. An indentation in the end of the bat up to 1 1/4 inches in depth is permitted and may be no wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter. The indentation must be curved with no foreign substance added.

(c) The bat handle, for not more than 18 inches from its end, may be covered or treated with any material or substance. Any such material or substance that extends past the 18-inch limitation shall cause the bat to be removed from the game.

NOTE: If the umpire discovers that the bat does not conform to (c) above until a time during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out, or ejected from the game.

Rule 3.02(c) Comment (Rule 1.10(c) Comment): If pine tar extends past the 18-inch limitation, then the umpire, on his own initiative or if alerted by the opposing team, shall order the batter to use a different bat. The batter may use the bat later in the game only if the excess substance is removed. If no Rule 3.02(c) (Rule 1.10(c)) on that play does not nullify any action or play on the field and no protests of such play shall be allowed.

(d) No colored bat may be used in a professional game unless approved by the Rules Committee.

3.03 (1.11) Player Uniforms

3.03 (1.11) Player Uniforms

(a) (1.11(a)(1)) All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style, and all players’ uniforms shall include minimal six-inch numbers on their backs.

(b) (1.11(a)(2)) Any part of an undershirt exposed to view shall be of a uniform solid color for all players on a team. Any player other than the pitcher may have numbers, and /or letters, insignia attached to the sleeve of the undershirt.

(c) (1.11(a)(3)) No player whose uniform does not conform to that of his teammates shall be permitted to participate in a game.

(d) (1.11(b)(1) -(2)) A league may provide that each team shall wear a distinctive uniform at all times, or that each team shall have two sets of uniforms, white for home games and a different color for road games.

(e) (1.11(c)(1)-(2)) Sleeve lengths may vary for individual players, but the sleeves of each individual player shall be approximately the same length, and no player shall wear ragged, frayed or slit sleeves.

(f ) (1.11(d)) No player shall attach to his uniform tape or other material of a different color from his uniform.

(g) (1.11(e)) No part of the uniform shall include a pattern that imitates or suggests the shape of a baseball.

(h) (1.11(f )) Glass buttons and polished metal shall not be used on a uniform.

(i) (1.11(g)) No player shall attach anything to the heel or toe of his shoe other than the ordinary shoe plate or toe plate. Shoes with pointed spikes similar to golf or track shoes shall not be worn.

( j) (1.11(h)) No part of the uniform shall include patches or designs relating to commercial advertisements.

(k) (1.11(i)) A league may provide that the uniforms of its member teams include the names of its players on their backs. Any name other than the last name of the player must be approved by the League President. If adopted, all uniforms for a team must have the names of its players.

3.04 (1.12) Catcher’s Mitt

3.04 (1.12) Catcher’s Mitt

The catcher may wear a leather mitt not more than thirty-eight inches in circumference, nor more than fifteen and one-half inches from top to bottom. Such limits shall include all lacing and any leather band or facing attached to the outer edge of the mitt. The space between the thumb section and the finger section of the mitt shall not exceed six inches at the top of the mitt and four inches at the base of the thumb crotch. The web shall measure not more than seven inches across the top or more than six inches from its top to the base of the thumb crotch. The web may be either a lacing, lacing through leather tunnels, or a center piece of leather which may be an extension of the palm, connected to the mitt with lacing and constructed so that it will not exceed any of the above mentioned measurements.

3.05 (1.13) First Baseman’s Glove

3.05 (1.13) First Baseman’s Glove

The first baseman may wear a leather glove or mitt not more than thirteen inches long from top to bottom and not more than eight inches wide across the palm, measured from the base of the thumb crotch to the outer edge of the mitt. The space between the thumb section and the finger section of the mitt shall not exceed four inches at the top of the mitt and three and one-half inches at the base of the thumb crotch. The mitt shall be constructed so that this space is permanently fixed and cannot be enlarged, extended, widened, or deepened by the use of any materials or process whatsoever. The web of the mitt shall measure not more than five inches from its top to the base of the thumb crotch. The web may be either a lacing, lacing through leather tunnels, or a center piece of leather which may be an extension of the palm connected to the mitt with lacing and constructed so that it will not exceed the above mentioned measurements. The webbing shall not be constructed of wound or wrapped lacing or deepened to make a net type of trap. The glove may be of any weight.

3.06 (1.14) Fielding Gloves

3.06 (1.14) Fielding Gloves

Each fielder, other than the catcher, may use or wear a leather glove. The measurements covering size of glove shall be made by measuring front side or ball receiving side of glove. The tool or measuring tape shall be placed to contact the surface or feature of item being measured and follow all contours in the process. The glove shall not measure more than 13 inches from the tip of any one of the 4 fingers, through the ball pocket to the bottom edge or heel of glove. The glove shall not measure more than 7 3/4 inches wide, measured from the inside seam at base of first finger, along base of other fingers, to the outside edge of little finger edge of glove. The space or area between the thumb and first finger, called crotch, may be filled with leather webbing or back stop. The webbing may be constructed of two plies of standard leather to close the crotch area entirely, or it may be constructed of a series of tunnels made of leather, or a series of panels of leather, or of lacing leather thongs. The webbing may not be constructed of wound or wrapped lacing to make a net type of trap. When webbing is made to cover entire crotch area, the webbing can be constructed so as to be flexible. When constructed of a series of sections, they must be joined together. These sections may not be so constructed to allow depression to be developed by curvatures in the section sides. The webbing shall be made to control the size of the crotch opening. The crotch opening shall measure not more than 4 1/2 inches at the top, not more than 5 3/4 inches deep, and shall be 3 1/2 inches wide at its bottom. The opening of the crotch shall not be more than 4 1/2 inches at any point below its top. The webbing shall be secured at each side, and at top and bottom of crotch. The attachment is to be made with leather lacing, these connections to be secured. If they stretch or become loose, they shall be adjusted to their proper condition. The glove can be of any weight. See Appendix 4 for diagram of glove dimensions.

3.07 (1.15) Pitcher’s Glove

3.07 (1.15) Pitcher’s Glove

(a) The pitcher’s glove may not, exclusive of piping, be white, gray, nor, in the judgment of an umpire, distracting in any manner. No fielder, regardless of position, may use a fielding glove that falls within a PANTONE® color set lighter than the current 14-series.

(b) No pitcher shall attach to his glove any foreign material of a color different from the glove.

(c) The umpire-in-chief shall cause a glove that violates Rules 3.07(a) or (b) (Rules 1.15(a) or 1.15(b)) to be removed from the game, either on his own initiative, at the recommendation of another umpire or upon complaint of the opposing manager that the umpire-in-chief agrees has merit.

3.08 (1.16) Helmets

3.08 (1.16) Helmets

A Professional League shall adopt the following rule pertaining to the use of helmets:

(a) All players shall use some type of protective helmet while at bat and while running the bases.

(b) All players in National Association Leagues shall wear a double ear-flap helmet while at bat.

(c) All Major League players must wear a single ear-flap helmet (or at the player’s option, a double ear-flap helmet).

(d) All catchers shall wear a catcher’s protective helmet and face mask while receiving a pitch.

(e) All base coaches shall wear a protective helmet while performing their duties.

(f ) All bat /ball boys or girls shall wear a double ear-flap protective helmet while performing their duties.

Rule 3.08 Comment (Rule 1.16 Comment): If the umpire observes any violation of these rules, he shall direct the violation to be corrected. If the violation is not corrected within a reasonable time, in the umpire’s judgment, the umpire shall eject the offender from the game, and disciplinary action, as appropriate, will be recommended.

3.09 (1.17) Undue Commercialization

3.09 (1.17) Undue Commercialization

Playing equipment including but not limited to the bases, pitcher’s plate, baseball, bats, uniforms, catcher’s mitts, first baseman’s gloves, infielders’ and outfielders’ gloves and protective helmets, as detailed in the provisions of this rule, shall not contain any undue commercialization of the product. Designations by the manufacturer on any such equipment must be in good taste as to the size and content of the manufacturer’s logo or the brand name of the item. The provisions of this Rule 3.09 shall apply to professional leagues only.

NOTE: Manufacturers who plan innovative changes in baseball equipment for professional baseball leagues should submit same to the Official Playing Rules Committee prior to production.

3.10 (3.14) Taking Equipment From the Field

3.10 (3.14) Taking Equipment From the Field

Members of the offensive team shall carry all gloves and other equipment off the field and to the dugout while their team is at bat. No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either in fair or foul territory.

4.01 (3.01) Umpire Duties

4.01 (3.01) Umpire Duties

Before the game begins the umpire shall:

(a) Require strict observance of all rules governing implements of play and equipment of players;

(b) Be sure that all playing lines (heavy lines on Appendices No. 1 and No. 2) are marked with lime, chalk or other white material easily distinguishable from the ground or grass;

(c) Receive from the home club a supply of regulation baseballs, the number and make to be certified to the home club by the League President. The umpire shall inspect the baseballs and ensure they are regulation baseballs and that they are properly rubbed so that the gloss is removed. The umpire shall be the sole judge of the fitness of the balls to be used in the game;

(d) Be assured by the home club that at least one dozen regulation reserve balls are immediately available for use if required;

(e) Have in his possession at least two alternate balls and shall require replenishment of such supply of alternate balls as needed throughout the game. Such alternate balls shall be put in play when:

(1) A ball has been batted out of the playing field or into the spectator area;

(2) A ball has become discolored or unfit for further use;

(3) The pitcher requests such alternate ball.

Rule 4.01(e) Comment (Rule 3.01(e) Comment): The umpire shall not give an alternate ball to the pitcher until play has ended and the previously used ball is dead. After a thrown or batted ball goes out of the playing field, play shall not be resumed with an alternate ball until the runners have reached the bases to which they are entitled. After a home run is hit out of the playing grounds, the umpire shall not deliver a new ball to the pitcher or the catcher until the batter hitting the home run has crossed the plate.

(f ) Ensure that an official rosin bag is placed on the ground behind the pitcher’s plate prior to the start of each game.

(g) (4.14) The umpire-in-chief shall order the playing field lights turned on whenever in his opinion darkness makes further play in daylight hazardous.

4.02 (2.00) Field Manager

4.02 (2.00) Field Manager

(a) The club shall designate the manager to the League President or the umpire-in-chief not less than thirty minutes before the scheduled starting time of the game.

(b) The manager may advise the umpire-in-chief that he has delegated specific duties prescribed by the rules to a player or coach, and any action of such designated representative shall be official. The manager shall always be responsible for his team’s conduct, observance of the official rules, and deference to the umpires.

(c) If a manager leaves the field, he shall designate a player or coach as his substitute, and such substitute manager shall have the duties, rights and responsibilities of the manager. If the manager fails or refuses to designate his substitute before leaving, the umpire-in-chief shall designate a team member as substitute manager.

4.03 (4.01) Exchange of Lineup Cards

4.03 (4.01) Exchange of Lineup Cards

Unless the home club shall have given previous notice that the game has been postponed or will be delayed in starting, the umpire, or umpires, shall enter the playing field five minutes before the hour set for the game to begin and proceed directly to home base where they shall be met by the managers of the opposing teams. In sequence:

(a) First, the home manager, or his designee, shall give his batting order to the umpire-in-chief, in duplicate.

(b) Next, the visiting manager, or his designee, shall give his batting order to the umpire-in-chief, in duplicate.

(c) As a courtesy, each lineup card presented to the umpire-in-chief should list the fielding positions to be played by each  player in the batting order. If a designated hitter is to be used, the lineup card shall designate which hitter is to be the designated hitter. See Rule 5.11(a) (Rule 6.10(b)). As a courtesy, potential substitute players should also be listed, but the failure to list a potential substitute player shall not make such potential substitute player ineligible to enter the game.

(d) The umpire-in-chief shall make certain that the original and copies of the respective batting orders are identical, and then tender a copy of each batting order to the opposing manager. The copy retained by the umpire shall be the official batting order. The tender of the batting order by the umpire shall establish the batting orders. Thereafter, no substitutions shall be made by either manager, except as provided in the rules.

(e) As soon as the home team’s batting order is handed to the umpire-in-chief the umpires are in charge of the playing field and from that moment the umpire-in-chief shall have sole authority to determine when a game shall be called, suspended or resumed on account of weather or the condition of the playing field. The umpire-in-chief shall not call the game until at least 30 minutes after he has suspended play. The umpire-in-chief may continue the suspension so long as he believes there is any chance to resume play.

Rule 4.03 Comment (Rule 4.01 Comment): Obvious errors in the batting order, which are noticed by the umpire-in-chief before he calls “Play” for the start of the game, should be called to the attention of the manager or captain of the team in error, so the correction can be made before the game starts. For example, if a manager has inadvertently listed only eight men in the batting order, or has listed two players with the same last name but without an identifying initial and the errors are noticed by the umpire before he calls “play,” he shall cause such error or errors to be corrected before he calls “play” to start the game. Teams should not be “trapped” later by some mistake that obviously was inadvertent and which can be corrected before the game starts. The umpire-in-chief shall at all times try to complete a game. His authority to resume play following one or more suspensions of as much as 30 minutes each shall be absolute and he shall terminate a game only when there appears to be no possibility of completing it. The Major Leagues have determined that Rule 4.03(e) (Rule 4.01(e)) does not apply to any Wild Card, Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series games or for any additional Major League championship season game played to break a tie.

4.04 (3.10) Weather and Field Conditions

4.04 (3.10) Weather and Field Conditions

(a) The home team shall be the sole judge as to whether a game shall not be started because of unsuitable weather conditions or the unfit condition of the playing field, except for the second game of a doubleheader.

EXCEPTION: Any league may permanently authorize its president to suspend the application of this rule as to that league during the closing weeks of its championship season in order to assure that the championship is decided each year on its merits. When the postponement of, and possible failure to play, a game in the final series of a championship season between any two teams might affect the final standing of any club in the league, the president, on appeal from any league club, may assume the authority granted the home team by this rule.

(b) The umpire-in-chief of the first game shall be the sole judge as to whether the second game of a doubleheader shall not be started because of unsuitable weather conditions or the unfit condition of the playing field.

(c) A postponed game shall be a “No Game” and shall be treated in the same manner as a game called before it has become a regulation game within the meaning of Rule 7.01(e).

4.05 (3.13) Special Ground Rules

4.05 (3.13) Special Ground Rules

The manager of the home team shall present to the umpire-in-chief and the opposing manager any ground rules he thinks necessary covering the overflow of spectators upon the playing field, batted or thrown balls into such overflow, or any other contingencies. If these rules are acceptable to the opposing manager they shall be legal. If these rules are unacceptable to the opposing manager, the umpire-in-chief shall make and enforce any special ground rules he thinks are made necessary by ground conditions, which shall not conflict with the official playing rules.

4.06 (3.09) No Fraternization

4.06 (3.09) No Fraternization

Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.

4.07 Security

4.07 Security

(a) (3.15) No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game except players and coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers authorized by the home team, umpires, officers of the law in uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home club.

(b) (3.18) The home team shall provide police protection sufficient to preserve order. If a person, or persons, enter the playing field during a game and interfere in any way with the play, the visiting team may refuse to play until the field is cleared.

PENALTY: If the field is not cleared in a reasonable length of time, which shall in no case be less than 15 minutes after the visiting team’s refusal to play, the umpire-in-chief may forfeit the game to the visiting team.

4.08 (4.13) Doubleheaders

4.08 (4.13) Doubleheaders

(a) (1) Only two championship games shall be played on one date. Completion of a suspended game shall not violate this rule.

(a) (2) If two games are scheduled to be played for one admission on one date, the first game shall be the regularly scheduled game for that date.

(b) After the start of the first game of a doubleheader, that game shall be completed before the second game of the doubleheader shall begin.

(c) The second game of a doubleheader shall start twenty minutes after the first game is completed, unless a longer interval (not to exceed thirty minutes) is declared by the umpire-in-chief and announced to the opposing managers at the end of the first game.

EXCEPTION: If the League President has approved a request of the home club for a longer interval between games for some special event, the umpire-in-chief shall declare such longer interval and announce it to the opposing managers. The umpire-in-chief of the first game shall be the timekeeper controlling the interval between games.

(d) The umpire shall start the second game of a doubleheader, if at all possible, and play shall continue as long as ground conditions, local time restrictions, or weather permit.

(e) When a regularly scheduled doubleheader is delayed in starting for any cause, any game that is started is the first game of the doubleheader.

(f ) When a rescheduled game is part of a doubleheader the rescheduled game shall be the second game, and the first game shall be the regularly scheduled game for that date.

(g) (3.11) Between games of a doubleheader, or whenever a game is suspended because of the unfitness of the playing field, the umpire-in-chief shall have control of ground-keepers and assistants for the purpose of making the playing field fit for play.

PENALTY: For violation, the umpire-in-chief may forfeit the game to the visiting team.

5.01 Starting the Game (“Play Ball!”)

5.01 Starting the Game (“Play Ball!”)

(a)  (4.02 and 5.01) At the time set for beginning the game the players of the home team shall take their defensive positions, the first batter of the visiting team shall take his position in the batter’s box, the umpire-in-chief shall call “Play,” and the game shall start.

(b)  (5.02) After the umpire calls “Play” the ball is alive and in play and remains alive and in play until for legal cause, or at the umpire’s call of “Time” suspending play, the ball becomes dead.

(c)  (5.03) The pitcher shall deliver the pitch to the batter who may elect to strike the ball, or who may not offer at it, as he chooses.

5.02 (4.03) Fielding Positions

5.02  (4.03) Fielding Positions

When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory.

(a)  The catcher shall station himself directly back of the plate. He may leave his position at any time to catch a pitch or make a play except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catcher’s box until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.

PENALTY: Balk.

(b)  The pitcher, while in the act of delivering the ball to the batter, shall take his legal position;

(c)  Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory.

5.03 (4.05) Base Coaches

5.03  (4.05) Base Coaches

(a)  The team at bat shall station two base coaches on the field during its time at bat, one near first base and one near third base.

(b)  Base coaches shall be limited to two in number and shall (1) be in team uniform, and (2) remain within the coach’s box at all times.

PENALTY: The offending base coach shall be removed from the game, and shall leave the playing field.

Rule 5.03 Comment (Rule 4.05 Comment): It has been common practice for many years for some coaches to put one foot outside the coach’s box or stand astride or otherwise be slightly outside the coaching box lines. Until a batted ball passes a coach, a coach is not permitted to position himself closer to home plate than the coach’s box nor closer to fair territory than the coach’s box. Otherwise, a coach shall not be considered out of the box unless the opposing manager complains, in which case the umpire shall strictly enforce the rule and require all coaches (on both teams) to remain in the coach’s box at all times.

It is also common practice for a coach who has a play at his base to leave the coach’s box to signal the player to slide, advance or return to a base. This may be allowed if the coach does not interfere with the play in any manner. Other than exchanging equipment, all base coaches shall refrain from physically touching base runners, especially when signs are being given.

5.04 (a) (6.01) Batting Order

5.04 (a) (6.01) Batting Order

(1)  (6.01(a)) Each player of the offensive team shall bat in the order that his name appears in his team’s batting order.

(2)  (4.04) The batting order shall be followed throughout the game unless a player is substituted for another. In that case the substitute shall take the place of the replaced player in the batting order.

(3)  (6.01(b)) The first batter in each inning after the first inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last player who legally completed his time at bat in the preceding inning.

5.04 (b) (6.02) The Batter’s Box

5.04 (b) (6.02) The Batter’s Box

(1) The batter shall take his position in the batter’s box promptly when it is his time at bat.

(2) The batter shall not leave his position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup.

PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call “Ball” or “Strike,” as the case may be.

Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment (Rule 6.02(b) Comment): The batter leaves the batter’s box at the risk of having a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will.

Once a batter has taken his position in the batter’s box, he shall not be permitted to step out of the batter’s box in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless there is a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires, weather conditions warrant an exception.

Umpires will not call “Time” at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims “dust in his eyes,” “steamed glasses,” “didn’t get the sign” or for any other cause.

Umpires may grant a hitter’s request for “Time” once he is in the batter’s box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter’s box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batter’s box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched. See Rule 5.04(b)(4) (Rule 6.02(d)).

The following two paragraphs are additional material for Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment (Rule 6.02(b) Comment), for Major League play only:

If pitcher delays once the batter is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily.

If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a “set position” with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has inadvertently caused the pitcher to interrupt his delivery, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from “scratch.”

The following paragraph is additional material for Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment (Rule 6.02(b) Comment), for National Association play (in lieu of the additional two paragraphs, above, that apply to Major League play):

If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a “set position” with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has stepped out of the box, the umpire shall not call a balk. The umpire shall call an automatic strike if Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A) (Rule 6.02(d)(1)) calls for such sanction.

(3) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out.

Rule 5.04(b)(3) Comment (Rule 6.02(c) Comment): The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 5.04(b)(3) (Rule 6.02(c)) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 5.04(b)(3) (Rule 6.02(c)).

(4) (6.02(d)) The Batter’s Box Rule

(A) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate:

(i) The batter swings at a pitch;

(ii) An attempted check swing is appealed to a base umpire;

(iii) The batter is forced off balance or out of the batter’s box by a pitch;

(iv) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”;

(v)  A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;

(vi)  The batter feints a bunt;

(vii)  A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;

(viii)  The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or

(ix)  The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals.

If the batter intentionally leaves the batter’s box and delays play, and none of the exceptions listed in Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A)(i) through (ix) (Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i) through (ix)) applies, the umpire shall issue a warning to the batter for the batter’s first violation of this Rule in a game. For a batter’s second or subsequent violations of this Rule in a game, the League President may issue an appropriate discipline.

(B) The batter may leave the batter’s box and the dirt area surrounding home plate when “Time” is called for the purpose or as a result of

(i) an injury or potential injury;

(ii) making a substitution; or

(iii) a conference by either team.

(5) (6.03) The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box.

APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter’s box.

Rule 5.04(b)(4)(B) Comment (Rule 6.02(d) Comment): Umpires shall encourage the on-deck batter to take a position in the batter’s box quickly after the previous batter reaches base or is put out.

5.05 (6.09) When the Batter Becomes a Runner

5.05 (6.09) When the Batter Becomes a Runner

(a) The batter becomes a runner when:

(1)  He hits a fair ball;

Rule 5.05(a) Comment (Rule 2.00 (Ball) Comment): If the batter hits a pitch that touches the ground first, the ensuing action shall be the same as if he hit the ball in flight.

(2)  The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out;

Rule 5.05(a)(2) Comment (Rule 6.09(b) Comment): A batter who does not realize his situation on a third strike not caught, and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

(3)  If the pitch touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone it is a “ball.” If such a pitch touches the batter, he shall be awarded first base. If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes, the ball cannot be caught, for the purposes of Rule 5.05(b) and 5.09(a)(3). (Rule 2.00 (Ball) Comment)

(4)  A fair ball, after having passed a fielder other than the pitcher, or after having been touched by a fielder, including the pitcher, shall touch an umpire or runner on fair territory;

(5)  A fair ball passes over a fence or into the stands at a distance from home base of 250 feet or more. Such hit entitles the batter to a home run when he shall have touched all bases legally. A fair fly ball that passes out of the playing field at a point less than 250 feet from home base shall entitle the batter to advance to second base only;

 (6)  A fair ball, after touching the ground, bounds into the stands, or passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled to advance two bases;

(7)  Any fair ball which, either before or after touching the ground, passes through or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through any opening in the fence or scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, or which sticks in a fence or scoreboard, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled to two bases;

(8)  Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases;

(9)  Any fair fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over the fence into foul territory, in which case the batter shall be entitled to advance to second base; but if deflected into the stands or over the fence in fair territory, the batter shall be entitled to a home run. However, should such a fair fly be deflected at a point less than 250 feet from home plate, the batter shall be entitled to two bases only.

(b) (6.08) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when:

(1) Four “balls” have been called by the umpire;

Rule 5.05(b)(1) Comment (Rule 6.08(a) Comment): A batter who is entitled to first base because of a base on balls must go to first base and touch the base before other base runners are forced to advance. This applies when bases are full and applies when a substitute runner is put into the game.

If, in advancing, the base runner thinks there is a play and he slides past the base before or after touching it he may be put out by the fielder tagging him. If he fails to touch the base to which he is entitled and attempts to advance beyond that base he may be put out by tagging him or the base he missed.

(2) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;

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 he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.

(3) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects 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 batsman, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference.

Rule 5.05(b)(3) Comment (Rule 6.08(c) Comment): If catcher’s interference is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 5.06(e)(4) (Rule 7.04(d)).

Examples of plays the manager might elect to take:

1. Runner on third, one out, batter hits fly ball to the outfield on which the runner scores but catcher’s interference was called. The offensive manager may elect to take the run and have batter called out or have runner remain at third and batter awarded first base.

2. Runner on second base. Catcher interferes with batter as he bunts ball fairly sending runner to third base. The manager may rather have runner on third base with an out on the play than have runners on second and first.

If a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base, note the additional penalty set forth in Rule 6.01(g) (Rule 7.07).

If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher delivers the ball, it shall not be considered interference on the batter under Rule 5.05(i)(3) (Rule 6.08(c)). In such cases, the umpire shall call “Time” and the pitcher and batter start over from “scratch.”

(4) A fair ball touches an umpire or a runner on fair territory before touching a fielder.

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.

5.06 (a) (7.01) Occupying the Base

(a) (7.01) Occupying the Base

(1) A runner acquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out. He is then entitled to it until he is put out, or forced to vacate it for another runner legally entitled to that base.

Rule 5.06(a)/5.06 (c) Comment (Rule 7.01 Comment): If a runner legally acquires title to a base, and the pitcher assumes his pitching position, the runner may not return to a previously occupied base.

(2) (7.03(a)) Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner shall be out when tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base, unless Rule 5.06(b)(2) (Rule 7.03(b)) applies.

5.06 (b) Advancing Bases

5.06 (b) Advancing Bases

(1) (7.02) In advancing, a runner shall touch first, second, third and home base in order. If forced to return, he shall  retouch all bases in reverse order, unless the ball is dead under any provision of Rule 5.06(c) (Rule 5.09). In such cases, the runner may go directly to his original base.

(2)  (7.03(b)) If a runner is forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner and two runners are touching a base to which the following runner is forced, the following runner is entitled to the base and the preceding runner shall be out when tagged or when a fielder possesses the ball and touches the base to which such preceding runner is forced.

(3)  (7.04) Each runner, other than the batter, may without liability to be put out, advance one base when:

(A)  There is a balk;

(B)  The batter’s advance without liability to be put out forces the runner to vacate his base, or when the batter hits a fair ball that touches another runner or the umpire before such ball has been touched by, or has passed a fielder, if the runner is forced to advance;

Rule 5.06(b)(3)(B) Comment (Rule 7.04(b) Comment): A runner forced to advance without liability to be put out may advance past the base to which he is entitled only at his peril. If such a runner, forced to advance, is put out for the third out before a preceding runner, also forced to advance, touches home plate, the run shall score.

Play. Two out, bases full, batter walks but runner from second is overzealous and runs past third base toward home and is tagged out on a throw by the catcher. Even though two are out, the run would score on the theory that the run was forced home by the base on balls and that all the runners needed to do was proceed and touch the next base.

(C) A fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area;

Rule 5.06(b)(3)(C) Comment (Rule 7.04(c) Comment): If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should step or fall into any out-of-play area, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out-of-play area.

(D) While he is attempting to steal a base, the batter is interfered with by the catcher or any other fielder.

NOTE: When a runner is entitled to a base without liability to be put out, while the ball is in play, or under any rule in which the ball is in play after the runner reaches the base to which he is entitled, and the runner fails to touch the base to which he is entitled before attempting to advance to the next base, the runner shall forfeit his exemption from liability to be put out, and he may be put out by tagging the base or by tagging the runner before he returns to the missed base;

(E) A fielder deliberately touches a pitched ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play, and the award is made from the position of the runner at the time the ball was touched.

(4) (7.05) Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance:

(A)  To home base, scoring a run, if a fair ball goes out of the playing field in flight and he touched all bases legally; or if a fair ball which, in the umpire’s judgment, would have gone out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by the act of a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or any article of his apparel;

(B)  Three bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home base at his peril;

(C)  Three bases, if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at and touches a fair ball. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home base at his peril;

(D)  Two bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a thrown ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play;

(E)  Two bases, if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at and touches a thrown ball. The ball is in play;

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(B) through (E) Comment (Rule 7.05(b) through 7.05(e) Comment): In applying (B-C-D-E) (b-c-d-e) the umpire must rule that the thrown glove or detached cap or mask has touched the ball. There is no penalty if the ball is not touched.

Under (C-E) (c-e) this penalty shall not be invoked against a fielder whose glove is carried off his hand by the force of a batted or thrown ball, or when his glove flies off his hand as he makes an obvious effort to make a legitimate catch.

(F)  Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or is deflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goes through or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines;

(G)  Two bases when, with no spectators on the playing field, a thrown ball goes into the stands, or into a bench (whether or not the ball rebounds into the field), or over or under or through a field fence, or on a slanting part of the screen above the backstop, or remains in the meshes of a wire screen protecting spectators. The ball is dead. When such wild throw is the first play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched; in all other cases the umpire shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the wild throw was made;

APPROVED RULING: If all runners, including the batter-runner, have advanced at least one base when an infielder makes a wild throw on the first play after the pitch, the award shall be governed by the position of the runners when the wild throw was made.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment (Rule 7.05(g) Comment): In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two bases. Example: Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right. Runner holds up between first and second and batter comes around first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely. Outfielder, in throwing to first, throws ball into stands.

APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled, the runner originally on first base goes to third base and the batter is held at second base.

The term “when the wild throw was made” means when the throw actually left the player’s hand and not when the thrown ball hit the ground, passes a receiving fielder or goes out of play into the stands.

The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call.

If an unusual play arises where a first throw by an infielder goes into stands or dugout but the batter did not become a runner (such as catcher throwing ball into stands in attempt to get runner from third trying to score on passed ball or wild pitch) award of two bases shall be from the position of the runners at the time of the throw. (For the purpose of Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) (Rule 7.05(g)) a catcher is considered an infielder.)

PLAY—Runner on first base, batter hits a ball to the shortstop, who throws to second base too late to get run- ner at second, and second baseman throws toward first base after batter has crossed first base.

RULING: Runner at second scores. (On this play, only if batter-runner is past first base when throw is made is he awarded third base.)

(H) One base, if a ball, pitched to the batter, or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher’s plate to a base to catch a runner, goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead;

APPROVED RULING: When a wild pitch or passed ball goes through or by the catcher, or deflects off the catcher, and goes directly into the dugout, stands, above the break, or any area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be one base. One base shall also be awarded if the pitcher while in contact with the rubber, throws to a base, and the throw goes directly into the stands or into any area where the ball is dead.

If, however, the pitched or thrown ball goes through or by the catcher or through the fielder, and remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected into the dugout, stands or other area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be two bases from position of runners at the time of the pitch or throw.

(I) One base, if the batter becomes a runner on Ball Four or Strike Three, when the pitch passes the catcher and lodges in the umpire’s mask or paraphernalia.

If the batter becomes a runner on a wild pitch which entitles the runners to advance one base, the batter-runner shall be entitled to first base only.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(I) Comment (Rule 7.05(i) Comment): The fact a runner is awarded a base or bases without liability to be put out does not relieve him of the responsibility to touch the base he is awarded and all intervening bases. For example: Batter hits a ground ball which an infielder throws into the stands but the batter-runner missed first base. He may be called out on appeal for missing first base after the ball is put in play even though he was “awarded” second base.

If a runner is forced to return to a base after a catch, he must retouch his original base even though, because of some ground rule or other rule, he is awarded additional bases. He may retouch while the ball is dead and the award is then made from his original base.

5.06 (c) Dead Balls

5.06 (c) Dead Balls

The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out, when:

(1) A pitched ball touches a batter, or his clothing, while in his legal batting position; runners, if forced, advance;

(2) The plate umpire interferes with the catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pick-off play; runners may not advance.

NOTE: The interference shall be disregarded if the catcher’s throw retires the runner.

While the ball is dead no player may be put out, no bases may be run and no runs may be scored, except that runners may advance one or more bases as the result of acts which occurred while the ball was alive (such as, but not limited to a balk, an overthrow, interference, or a home run or other fair ball hit out of the playing field).

Rule 5.06(c)(2) Comment (Rule 5.09(b) Comment): Umpire interference may also occur when an umpire interferes with a catcher returning the ball to the pitcher.

A balk is committed; runners advance; (See Penalty 6.02(a) (Penalty 8.05).)

A ball is illegally batted; runners return; 31

(5)  A foul ball is not caught, in which case runners return to their bases. The umpire-in-chief shall not put the ball in play until all runners have retouched their bases;

(6)  A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher; runners advance, if forced.

If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, no other infielder has a chance to make a play on the ball and the ball touches a runner immediately behind the infielder that the ball went through, or by, the ball is in play and the umpire shall not declare the runner out. If a fair ball touches a runner after being deflected by an infielder, the ball is in play and the umpire shall not declare the runner out;

Rule 5.06(c)(6) Comment (Rule 5.09(f) Comment): If a fair ball touches an umpire working in the infield after it has bounded past, or over, the pitcher, it is a dead ball. If a batted ball is deflected by a fielder in fair territory and hits a runner or an umpire while still in flight and then caught by an infielder it shall not be a catch, but the ball shall remain in play.

(7) A pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, runners advance one base;

Rule 5.06(c)(7) Comment (Rule 5.09(g) Comment): If a foul tip hits the umpire and is caught by a fielder on the rebound, the ball is “dead” and the batsman cannot be called out. The same shall apply where such foul tip lodges in the umpire’s mask or other paraphernalia.

If a third strike (not a foul tip) passes the catcher and hits an umpire, the ball is in play. If such ball rebounds and is caught by a fielder before it touches the ground, the batsman is not out on such a catch, but the ball remains in play and the batsman may be retired at first base, or touched with the ball for the out.

If a pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, on the third strike or fourth ball, then the batter is entitled to first base and all runners advance one base. If the count on the batter is less than three balls, runners advance one base.

(8) Any legal pitch touches a runner trying to score; runners advance.

5.07 (a) (1) The Windup Position

(1) The Windup Position

The pitcher shall stand facing the batter, his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and the other foot free. From this position any natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without interruption or alteration. He shall not raise either foot from the ground, except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter, he may take one step backward, and one step forward with his free foot. When a pitcher holds the ball with both hands in front of his body, with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and his other foot free, he will be considered in the Windup Position.

Rule 5.07(a)(1) Comment (Rule 8.01(a) Comment): In the Windup Position, a pitcher is permitted to have his “free” foot on the rubber, in front of the rubber, behind the rubber or off the side of the rubber.

From the Windup Position, the pitcher may:

(A) deliver the ball to the batter, or

(B) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or

(C) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drop his hand to his sides).

In disengaging the rubber the pitcher must step off with his pivot foot and not his free foot first. He may not go into a set or stretch position—if he does it is a balk.

5.07 (a) (2) The Set Position

There are two legal pitching positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and either position may be used at any time.

Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while in contact with the pitcher’s plate.

Rule 5.07(a) Comment (Rule 8.01 Comment): Pitchers may disengage the rubber after taking their signs but may not step quickly onto the rubber and pitch. This may be judged a quick pitch by the umpire. When the pitcher disengages the rubber, he must drop his hands to his sides. Pitchers will not be allowed to disengage the rubber after taking each sign.

(2) The Set Position

Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his pivot foot in contact with, and his other foot in front of, the pitcher’s plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot. Before assuming Set Position, the pitcher may elect to make any natural preliminary motion such as that known as “the stretch.” But if he so elects, he shall come to Set Position before delivering the ball to the batter. After assuming Set Position, any natural motion associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without alteration or interruption. Preparatory to coming to a set position, the pitcher shall have one hand on his side; from this position he shall go to his set position as defined in Rule 5.07(a)(2) (Rule 8.01(b)) without interruption and in one continuous motion. The pitcher, following his stretch, must (a) hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) come to a complete stop.

This must be enforced. Umpires should watch this closely. Pitchers are constantly attempting to “beat the rule” in their efforts to hold runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete “stop” called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a “Balk.”

Rule 5.07(a)(2) Comment (Rule 8.01(b) Comment):  With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position.  If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball.  See Rule 6.02(a)(5) Comment (Rule 8.05(e) Comment).

5.07 (b) (8.03) Warm-Up Pitches

(b) (8.03) Warm-Up Pitches

When a pitcher takes his position at the beginning of each inning, or when he relieves another pitcher, he shall be permitted to pitch not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to his catcher during which play shall be suspended. A league by its own action may limit the number of preparatory pitches to less than eight preparatory pitches. Such preparatory pitches shall not consume more than one minute of time. If a sudden emergency causes a pitcher to be summoned into the game without any opportunity to warm up, the umpire-in-chief shall allow him as many pitches as the umpire deems necessary.

5.07 (c) (8.04) Pitcher Delays

(c) (8.04) Pitcher Delays

When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.”

The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.

The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.

5.07 (d) (8.01) (c)) Throwing to the Bases

(d) (8.01(c)) Throwing to the Bases

At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.

Rule 5.07(d) Comment (Rule 8.01(c) Comment): The pitcher shall step “ahead of the throw.” A snap throw followed by the step directly toward the base is a balk.

5.07 (e) (8.01(e)) Effect of Removing Pivot Foot From Plate

5.07 (e) (8.01(e)) Effect of Removing Pivot Foot From Plate

If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the pitcher’s plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder.

Rule 5.07(e) Comment (Rule 8.01(e) Comment): The pitcher, while off the rubber, may throw to any base. If he makes a wild throw, such throw is the throw of an infielder and what follows is governed by the rules covering a ball thrown by a fielder.

 

5.07 (f) (8.01 (f)) Ambidextrous Pitchers

5.07 (f)(8.01(f)) Ambidextrous Pitchers

A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.

5.08 (4.09) How a Team Scores

5.08 (4.09) How a Team Scores

(a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning.

EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base; (2) by any runner being forced out; or (3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.

Rule 5.08(a) Comment (Rule 5.06 Comment): A run legally scored cannot be nullified by subsequent action of the runner, such as but not limited to an effort to return to third base in the belief that he had left the base before a caught fly ball.

(b) When the winning run is scored in the last half-inning of a regulation game, or in the last half of an extra inning, as the result of a base on balls, hit batter or any other play with the bases full which forces the batter and all other runners to advance without liability of being put out, the umpire shall not declare the game ended until the runner forced to advance from third has touched home base and the batter-runner has touched first base.

Rule 5.08(b) Comment (Rule 4.09(b) Comment): An exception will be if fans rush onto the field and physically prevent the runner from touching home plate or the batter from touching first base. In such cases, the umpires shall award the runner the base because of the obstruction by the fans.

PENALTY: If the runner on third refuses to advance to and touch home base in a reasonable time, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out the offending player and order the game resumed. If, with two out, the batter-runner refuses to advance to and touch first base, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out the offending player, and order the game resumed. If, before two are out, the batter-runner refuses to advance to and touch first base, the run shall count, but the offending player shall be called out.

Rule 5.08 Comment (Rule 4.09 Comment):

APPROVED RULING: No run shall score during a play in which the third out is made by the batter-runner before he touches first base. Example: One out, Jones on second, Smith on first. The batter, Brown, hits safely. Jones scores. Smith is out on the throw to the plate. Two outs. But Brown missed first base. The ball is thrown to first, an appeal is made, and Brown is out. Three outs. Since Jones crossed the plate during a play in which the third out was made by the batter-runner before he touched first base, Jones’ run does not count.

APPROVED RULING: Following runners are not affected by an act of a preceding runner unless two are out.

EXAMPLE: One out, Jones on second, Smith on first, and batter, Brown, hits home run inside the park. Jones fails to touch third on his way to the plate. Smith and Brown score. The defense holds the ball on third, appeals to umpire, and Jones is out. Smith’s and Brown’s runs count.

APPROVED RULING: Two out, Jones on second, Smith on first and batter, Brown, hits home run inside the park. All three runs cross the plate. But Jones missed third base, and on appeal is declared out. Three outs. Smith’s and Brown’s runs are voided. No score on the play.

APPROVED RULING: One out, Jones on third, Smith on second. Batter Brown flies out to center. Two out. Jones scores after catch and Smith scores on bad throw to plate. But Jones, on appeal, is adjudged to have left third before the catch and is out. Three outs. No runs.

APPROVED RULING: Two out, bases full, batter hits home run over fence. Batter, on appeal, is declared out for missing first base. Three outs. No run counts.

Here is a general statement that covers:

When a runner misses a base and a fielder holds the ball on a missed base, or on the base originally occupied by the runner if a fly ball is caught, and appeals for the umpire’s decision, the runner is out when the umpire sustains the appeal; all runners may score if possible, except that with two out the runner is out at the moment he misses the bag, if an appeal is sustained as applied to the following runners.

APPROVED RULING: One out, Jones on third, Smith on first, and Brown flies out to right field. Two outs. Jones tags up and scores after the catch. Smith attempted to return to first but the right fielder’s throw beat him to the base. Three outs. But Jones scored before the throw to catch Smith reached first base, hence Jones’ run counts. It was not a force play.

5.09 (a) (6.05) Retiring the Batter

5.09 (a) (6.05) Retiring the Batter

A batter is out when:

(1) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder;

Rule 5.09(a)(1) Comment (Rule 6.05(a) Comment): A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order to make a catch on a foul ball nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as the stands), must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface (including the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area. Ball is in play, unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, steps or falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead. Status of run- ners shall be as described in Rule 5.06(b)(3)(C) Comment (Rule 7.04(c) Comment).

A catch is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught.

Catch Comment: A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.

If a fielder, attempting a catch at the edge of the dugout, is “held up” and kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.

(2) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher;

Rule 5.09(a)(2) Comment (Rule 6.05(b) Comment): “Legally caught” means in the catcher’s glove before the ball touches the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing or paraphernalia; or if it touches the umpire and is caught by the catcher on the rebound.

If a foul tip first strikes the catcher’s glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catcher’s glove or hand first.

(3)  A third strike is not caught by the catcher when first base is occupied before two are out;

(4)  He bunts foul on third strike;

(5)  An Infield Fly is declared;

(6)  He attempts to hit a third strike and the ball touches him;

(7)  His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 5.04(b)(5) (Rule 6.03), and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball;

(8)  After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 5.04(b)(5) (Rule 6.03), and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball;

Rule 5.09(a)(8) Comment (Rule 6.05(h) Comment): If a bat breaks and part of it is in fair territory and is hit by a batted ball or part of it hits a runner or fielder, play shall continue and no interference called. If a batted ball hits part of a broken bat in foul territory, it is a foul ball.

If a whole bat is thrown into fair or foul territory and interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional or not.

In cases where the batting helmet is accidentally hit with a batted ball on or over fair territory or a thrown ball, the ball remains in play the same as if it has not hit the helmet.

If a batted ball strikes a batting helmet or any other object foreign to the natural ground while on foul territory, it is a foul ball and the ball is dead.

If, in the umpire’s judgment, there is intent on the part of a baserunner to interfere with a batted or thrown ball by dropping the helmet or throwing it at the ball, then the runner would be out, the ball dead and runners would return to last base legally touched.

(9) After hitting or bunting a ball that continues to move over foul territory, he intentionally deflects the course of the ball in any manner while running to first base. The ball is dead and no runners may advance;

(10)  After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base;

(11)  In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of ) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of ) the foul line, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead; except that he may run outside (to the right of ) the three-foot line or inside (to the left of ) the foul line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball;

Rule 5.09 (a)(11) Comment (Rule 6.05(k) Comment): The lines marking the three-foot lane are a part of that lane and a batter-runner is required to have both feet within the three-foot lane or on the lines marking the lane. The batter-runner is permitted to exit the three-foot lane by means of a step, stride, reach or slide in the immediate vicinity of first base for the sole purpose of touching first base.

(12) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases;

APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies.

(13) A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play;

Rule 5.09(a)(13) Comment (Rule 6.05(m) Comment): The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play. (See Rule 6.01(j).)

(14)  With two out, a runner on third base, and two strikes on the batter, the runner attempts to steal home base on a legal pitch and the ball touches the runner in the batter’s strike zone. The umpire shall call “Strike Three,” the batter is out and the run shall not count; before two are out, the umpire shall call “Strike Three,” the ball is dead, and the run counts;

(15)  A member of his team (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to catch or field a batted ball. See Rule 6.01(b) (Rule 7.11). For interference by a runner, see Rule 5.09(b)(3) (Rule 7.08(b)).

5.09 (b) (7.08) Retiring a Runner

5.09 (b) (7.08) Retiring a Runner

Any runner is out when:

(1)  He runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely; or

(2)  after touching first base, he leaves the base path, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base;

Rule 5.09(b)(1) and (2) Comment (Rule 7.08(a) Comment): Any runner after reaching first base who leaves the base path heading for his dugout or his position believing that there is no further play, may be declared out if the umpire judges the act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to run the bases. Even though an out is called, the ball remains in play in regard to any other runner.

This rule also covers the following and similar plays: Less than two out, score tied last of ninth inning, runner on first, batter hits a ball out of park for winning run, the runner on first passes second and thinking the home run automatically wins the game, cuts across diamond toward his bench as batter-runner circles bases. In this case, the base runner would be called out “for abandoning his effort to touch the next base” and batter-runner permitted to continue around bases to make his home run valid. If there are two out, home run would not count. See Rule 5.09(d) (Rule 7.12). This is not an appeal play.

PLAY—Runner believing he is called out on a tag at first or third base starts for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distance still indicating by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoning the bases.

(3) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball (see Rule 6.01(j));

PENALTY: For penalties applying to a runner’s intentional interference with a thrown ball or his hindrance of a fielder’s attempt to make a play on a batted ball, see Rule 6.01(a) PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE Comment (Rule 7.08(b) Comment).

(4) He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off his base.

EXCEPTION: A batter-runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base;

APPROVED RULING: (A) If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from its position, no play can be made on that runner at that base if he had reached the base safely.

APPROVED RULING: (B) If a base is dislodged from its position during a play, any following runner on the same play shall be considered as touching or occupying the base if, in the umpire’s judgment, he touches or occupies the point marked by the dislodged bag.

(5)  He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder. He shall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. This is an appeal play;

Rule 5.09(b)(5) Comment (Rule 7.08(d) Comment): Runners need not “tag up” on a foul tip. They may steal on a foul tip. If a so-called tip is not caught, it becomes an ordinary foul. Runners then return to their bases.

(6)  He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner. However, if a following runner is put out on a force play, the force is removed and the runner must be tagged to be put out. The force is removed as soon as the runner touches the base to which he is forced to advance, and if he overslides or overruns the base, the runner must be tagged to be put out. However, if the forced runner, after touching the next base, retreats for any reason towards the base he had last occupied, the force play is reinstated, and he can again be put out if the defense tags the base to which he is forced;

Rule 5.09(b)(6) Comment (Rule 7.08(e) Comment):

PLAY—Runner on first and three balls on batter: Runner steals on the next pitch, which is fourth ball, but after having touched second he overslides or overruns that base. Catcher’s throw catches him before he can return. Ruling is that runner is out. (Force out is removed.)

Oversliding and overrunning situations arise at bases other than first base. For instance, before two are out, and runners on first and second, or first, second and third, the ball is hit to an infielder who tries for the double play. The runner on first beats the throw to second base but overslides the base. The relay is made to first base and the batter-runner is out. The first baseman, seeing the runner at second base off the bag, makes the return throw to second and the runner is tagged off the base. Meanwhile runners have crossed the plate. The question is: Is this a force play? Was the force removed when the batter-runner was out at first base? Do the runs that crossed the plate during this play and before the third out was made when the runner was tagged at second, count? Answer: The runs score. It is not a force play. It is a tag play.

(7)  He is touched by a fair ball in fair territory before the ball has touched or passed an infielder. The ball is dead and no runner may score, nor runners advance, except runners forced to advance. EXCEPTION: If a runner is touching his base when touched by an Infield Fly, he is not out, although the batter is out;

Rule 5.09(b)(7) Comment (Rule 7.08(f) Comment): If two runners are touched by the same fair ball, only the first one is out because the ball is instantly dead.

If a runner is touched by an Infield Fly when he is not touching his base, both the runner and batter are out.

(8)  He attempts to score on a play in which the batter interferes with the play at home base before two are out. With two out, the interference puts the batter out and no score counts;

(9)  He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out;

Rule 5.09(b)(9) Comment: A runner may be deemed to have passed a preceding (i.e., lead) runner based on his actions or the actions of a preceding runner.

PLAY—Runners on second base and third base with one out. The runner from third base (i.e., the lead runner) makes an advance toward home and is caught in a rundown between third base and home plate. Believing the lead runner will be tagged out, the runner at second base (i.e., the trailing runner) advances to third base. Before being tagged, the lead runner runs back to and beyond third base toward left field. At this time, the trailing runner has passed the lead runner as a result of the lead runner’s actions. As a result, the trailing runner is out and third base is unoccupied. The lead runner is entitled to third base if he returns to touch it before he is out, see Rule 5.06(a)(1), unless he is declared out for abandoning the bases.

(10) After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game. The umpire shall immediately call “Time” and declare the runner out;

Rule 5.09(b)(10) Comment (Rule 7.08(i) Comment): If a runner touches an unoccupied base and then thinks the ball was caught or is decoyed into returning to the base he last touched, he may be put out running back to that base, but if he reaches the previously occupied base safely he cannot be put out while in contact with that base.

(11) He fails to return at once to first base after overrunning or oversliding that base. If he attempts to run to second he is out when tagged. If, after overrunning or oversliding first base he starts toward the dugout, or toward his position, and fails to return to first base at once, he is out, on appeal, when he or the base is tagged;

Rule 5.09(b)(11) Comment (Rule 7.08(j) Comment): Runner who touches first base in overrunning and is declared safe by the umpire has, within the intent of Rule 5.08(a) (Rule 4.09(a)) “reached first base” and any run which scores on such a play counts, even though the runner subsequently becomes the third out for failure to return “at once,” as covered in Rule 5.09(b)(11) (Rule 7.08( j)).

(12) In running or sliding for home base, he fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to the base, when a fielder holds the ball in his hand, while touching home base, and appeals to the umpire for the decision;

Rule 5.09(b)(12) Comment (Rule 7.08(k) Comment): This rule applies only where runner is on his way to the bench and the catcher would be required to chase him. It does not apply to the ordinary play where the runner misses the plate and then immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged. In that case, runner must be tagged.

(13) A play on him is being made and a member of his team (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to field a thrown ball. See Rule 5.09(b)(3) (Rule 7.11). For interference by a runner, see Rule 5.09(b)(3) (Rule 7.08(b)).

5.09 (c) (7.10) Appeal Plays

5.09 (c) (7.10) Appeal Plays

Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when:

(1)  After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged;

Rule 5.09(c)(1) Comment (Rule 7.10(a) Comment): “Retouch,” in this rule, means to tag up and start from a contact with the base after the ball is caught. A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in back of his base.

(2)  With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missed base, is tagged;

APPROVED RULING: (A) No runner may return to touch a missed base after a following runner has scored. (B) When the ball is dead, no runner may return to touch a missed base or one he has left after he has advanced to and touched a base beyond the missed base.

Rule 5.09(c)(2) Comment (Rule 7.10(b) Comment):

PLAY—(A) Batter hits ball out of park or ground rule double and misses first base (ball is dead)—he may return to first base to correct his mistake before he touches second but if he touches second he may not return to first and if defensive team appeals he is declared out at first.

PLAY—(B) Batter hits ball to shortstop who throws wild into stand (ball is dead)—batter-runner misses first base but is awarded second base on the overthrow. Even though the umpire has awarded the runner second base on the overthrow, the runner must touch first base before he proceeds to second base.

These are appeal plays.

(3)  He overruns or overslides first base and fails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged prior to the runner returning to first base;

(4)  He fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to that base, and home base is tagged.

Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field.

An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted play.

Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base. If the defensive team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning of the word “err” is that the defensive team in making an appeal threw the ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal and threw the ball into the stands, no second appeal would be allowed.)

Appeal plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent “fourth out.” If the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there is more than one appeal during a play that ends a half-inning, the defense may elect to take the out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this rule, the defensive team has “left the field” when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse.

Rule 5.09(c) Comment (Rule 7.10 Comment): If two runners arrive at home base about the same time and the first runner misses home plate but a second runner legally touches the plate, the runner is tagged out on his attempt to come back and touch the base or is called out, on appeal, then he shall be considered as having been put out before the second runner scored and being the third out. Second runner’s run shall not count, as provided in Rule 5.09(d) (Rule 7.12).

If a pitcher balks when making an appeal, such act shall be a play. An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball in his hand, would not constitute an appeal. Time is not out when an appeal is being made.

5.09 (d) (7.12) Effect of Preceding Runner’s Failure to Touch a Base

5.09 (d) (7.12) Effect of Preceding Runner’s Failure to Touch a Base

Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner’s failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runners following him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.

5.09 (e) (5.07) Retiring the Side

5.09 (e) (5.07) Retiring the Side

When three offensive players are legally put out, that team takes the field and the opposing team becomes the offensive team.

5.10 Substitutions and Pitching Changes (Including Visits to the Mound)

5.10 Substitutions and Pitching Changes (Including Visits to the Mound)

(a)  (3.03) A player, or players, may be substituted during a game at any time the ball is dead. A substitute player shall bat in the replaced player’s position in the team’s batting order.

(b)  (3.06) The manager shall immediately notify the umpire-in-chief of any substitution and shall state to the umpire-in-chief the substitute’s place in the batting order.

Rule 5.10(b) Comment (Rule 3.06 Comment): To avoid any confusion, the manager should give the name of the substitute, his position in the batting order and his position on the field. When two or more substitute players of the defensive team enter the game at the same time, the manager shall, immediately before they take their positions as fielders, designate to the umpire-in-chief such players’ positions in the team’s batting order, and the umpire-in-chief shall so notify the official scorer. If this information is not immediately given to the umpire-in-chief, the umpire-in-chief shall have authority to designate the substitutes’ places in the batting order.

If a double-switch is being made, the manager or coach shall first notify the plate umpire. The umpire-in-chief must be informed of the multiple substitutions and interchanged batting order before the manager calls for a new pitcher (regardless of whether the manager or coach announces the double-switch before crossing the foul line). Signaling or motioning to the bullpen is to be considered an official substitution for the new pitcher. It is not permissible for the manager to go to the mound, call for a new pitcher, and then inform the umpire of multiple substitutions with the intention of interchanging the batting order.

Players for whom substitutions have been made may remain with their team on the bench or may “warm-up” pitchers. If a manager substitutes another player for himself, he may continue to direct his team from the bench or the coach’s box. Umpires should not permit players for whom substitutes have been made, and who are permitted to remain on the bench, to address any remarks to any opposing player or manager, or to the umpires.

(c) (3.07) The umpire-in-chief, after having been notified, shall immediately announce, or cause to be announced, each substitution.

(d) (3.03) A player once removed from a game shall not re-enter that game. If a player who has been substituted for attempts to re-enter, or re-enters, the game in any capacity, the umpire-in- chief shall direct the player’s manager to remove such player from the game immediately upon noticing the player’s presence or upon being informed of the player’s improper presence by another umpire or by either manager. If such direction to remove the substituted for player occurs before play commences with the substituted-for player improperly in the game, then the substitute player may enter the game. If such direction to remove the substituted-for player occurs after play has commenced with the substituted-for player in the game, then the substitute player shall be deemed to have been removed from the game (in addition to the removal of the substituted-for player) and shall not enter the game. If a substitute enters the game in place of a player-manager, the manager may thereafter go to the coaching lines at his discretion. When two or more substitute players of the defensive team enter the game at the same time, the manager shall, immediately before they take their positions as fielders, designate to the umpire-in-chief such players’ positions in the team’s batting order and the umpire-in-chief shall so notify the official scorer. If this information is not immediately given to the umpire-in-chief, he shall have authority to designate the substitutes’ places in the batting order.

Rule 5.10(d) Comment (Rule 3.03 Comment): A pitcher may change to another position only once during the same inning; e.g. the pitcher will not be allowed to assume a position other than a pitcher more than once in the same inning.

Any player other than a pitcher substituted for an injured player shall be allowed five warm-up throws. (See Rule 5.07(b) (Rule 8.03) for pitchers.)

Any play that occurs while a player appears in a game after having been substituted for shall count. If, in an umpire’s judgment, the player re-entered the game knowing that he had been removed, the umpire may eject the manager.

(e) (3.04) A player whose name is on his team’s batting order may not become a substitute runner for another member of his team.

Rule 5.10(e) Comment (3.04 Comment): This rule is intended to eliminate the practice of using so-called courtesy runners. No player in the game shall be permitted to act as a courtesy runner for a teammate. No player who has been in the game and has been taken out for a substitute shall return as a courtesy runner. Any player not in the lineup, if used as a runner, shall be considered as a substitute player.

(f) (3.05(a)) The pitcher named in the batting order handed the umpire-in-chief, as provided in Rules 4.02(a) and 4.02(b) (Rules 4.01(a) and 4.01(b)), shall pitch to the first batter or any substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching.

(g) (3.05(b)) If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.

(h) (3.05(c)) If an improper substitution is made for the pitcher, the umpire shall direct the proper pitcher to return to the game until the provisions of this rule are fulfilled. If the improper pitcher is permitted to pitch, any play that results is legal. The improper pitcher becomes the proper pitcher as soon as he makes his first pitch to the batter, or as soon as any runner is put out.

Rule 5.10(h) Comment (Rule 3.05(c) Comment): If a manager attempts to remove a pitcher in violation of Rule 5.10(h) (Rule 3.05(c)) the umpire shall notify the manager of the offending club that it cannot be done. If, by chance, the umpire-in-chief has, through oversight, announced the incoming improper pitcher, he should still correct the situation before the improper pitcher pitches. Once the improper pitcher delivers a pitch he becomes the proper pitcher.

(i) (3.05(d)) If a pitcher who is already in the game crosses the foul line on his way to take his place on the pitcher’s plate to start an inning, he shall pitch to the first batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the batter is substituted for, or the pitcher sustains an injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching. If the pitcher ends the previous inning on base or at bat and does not return to the dugout after the inning is completed, the pitcher is not required to pitch to the first batter of the inning until he makes contact with the pitcher’s plate to begin his warm-up pitches.

( j) (3.08(a)) If no announcement of a substitution is made, the substitute shall be considered as having entered the game when:

(1) If a pitcher, he takes his place on the pitcher’s plate;

(2) If a batter, he takes his place in the batter’s box;

(3) If a fielder, he reaches the position usually occupied by the fielder he has replaced, and play commences;

(4) If a runner, he takes the place of the runner he has replaced.

(3.08(b)) Any play made by, or on, any of the above mentioned unannounced substitutes shall be legal.

(k) (3.17) Players and substitutes of both teams shall confine themselves to their team’s benches unless actually participating in the play or preparing to enter the game, or coaching at first or third base. No one except players, substitutes, managers, coaches, trainers and bat boys shall occupy a bench during a game.

PENALTY: For violation the umpire may, after warning, remove the offender from the field.

Rule 5.10(k) Comment (Rule 3.17 Comment): Players on the disabled list are permitted to participate in pre-game activity and sit on the bench during a game but may not take part in any activity during the game such as warming up a pitcher, bench- jockeying, etc. Disabled players are not allowed to enter the playing surface at any time or for any purpose during the game.

(l) (8.06) Visits to the Mound
A professional league shall adopt the following rule pertaining to the visit of the manager or coach to the pitcher:

(1)  This rule limits the number of trips a manager or coach may make to any one pitcher in any one inning;

(2)  A second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher’s automatic removal from the game;

(3)  The manager or coach is prohibited from making a second visit to the mound while the same batter is at bat, but

(4)  if a pinch-hitter is substituted for this batter, the manager or coach may make a second visit to the mound, but must remove the pitcher from the game.

A manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher’s rubber.

Rule 5.10(l) Comment (Rule 8.06 Comment): If the manager or coach goes to the catcher or infielder and that player then goes to the mound or the pitcher comes to him at his position before there is an intervening play (a pitch or other play) that will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound.

Any attempt to evade or circumvent this rule by the manager or coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute a trip to the mound.

If the coach goes to the mound and removes a pitcher and then the manager goes to the mound to talk with the new pitcher, that will constitute one trip to that new pitcher that inning.

A manager or coach shall not be considered to have concluded his visit to the mound if he temporarily leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher’s rubber for purposes of notifying the umpire that a double-switch or substitution is being made.

In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a base runner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game. The manager should be notified that his pitcher will be removed from the game after he pitches to one hitter, so he can have a substitute pitcher warmed up.

The substitute pitcher will be allowed eight preparatory pitches or more if in the umpire’s judgment circumstances justify.

5.11 (6.10) Designated Hitter Rule

5.11 (6.10) Designated Hitter Rule

Any League may elect to use Rule 5.11(a) (Rule 6.10(b)), which shall be called the Designated Hitter Rule.

(a) (6.10(b)) The Designated Hitter Rule provides as follows:

(1) A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher, if any, must be selected prior to the game and must be included in the lineup cards presented to the Umpire-in-Chief. If a manager lists 10 players in his team’s lineup card, but fails to indicate one as the Designated Hitter, and an umpire or either manager (or designee of either manager who presents his team’s lineup card) notices the error before the umpire-in-chief calls “Play” to start the game, the umpire-in-chief shall direct the manager who had made the omission to designate which of the nine players, other than the pitcher, will be the Designated Hitter.

Rule 5.11(a)(1) Comment (Rule 6.10(b)(1) Comment): A correction of a failure to indicate a Designated Hitter when 10 players are listed in a batting order is an “obvious” error that may be corrected before a game starts. See Rule 4.03 Comment (Rule 4.01 Comment).

(2)  The Designated Hitter named in the starting lineup must come to bat at least one time, unless the opposing club changes pitchers.

(3)  It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that club for that game.

(4)  Pinch-hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter. A replaced Designated Hitter shall not re-enter the game in any capacity.

(5)  The Designated Hitter may be used on defense, continuing to bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made, and the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.

(6)  A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch-run.

(7)  A Designated Hitter is “locked” into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter.

(8)  Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a position on defense, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game.

(9)  Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game.

(10)  Once the game pitcher bats or runs for the Designated Hitter, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game. The game pitcher may pinch-hit or pinch-run only for the Designated Hitter.

(11)  If a manager lists 10 players in his team’s lineup card, but fails to indicate one as the Designated Hitter, and the opposing manager brings the failure to list a Designated Hitter to the attention of the umpire-in-chief after the game starts, then

(A)  the pitcher will be required to bat in the batting order in the place of the listed player who has not assumed a position on defense, if the team has taken the field on defense, or

(B)  if the team has not yet taken the field on defense, the pitcher will be placed in the batting order in place of any player, as chosen by the manager of that team.

In either case, the player whom the pitcher replaces in the batting order shall be considered to have been substituted for and is removed from the game and the Designated Hitter role for that club shall be terminated for the remainder of the game. Any play that occurred before the violation is brought to the attention of the umpire-in-chief shall count, subject to Rule 6.03(b) (Rule 6.07) (Batting Out of Turn).

(12)  Once a Designated Hitter assumes a position on defense, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game.

(13)  A substitute for the Designated Hitter need not be announced until it is the Designated Hitter’s turn to bat.

(14)  If a player on defense goes to the mound (i.e., replaces the pitcher), this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter’s role for that club for the remainder of the game.

(15)  The Designated Hitter may not sit in the bullpen unless serving as a catcher in the bullpen.

(b) (6.10)(a)) In the event of inter-league competition between clubs of leagues using the Designated Hitter Rule and clubs of leagues not using the Designated Hitter Rule, the rule will be used as follows:

(1)  In World Series or exhibition games, the rule will be used or not used as is the practice of the league of the home team.

(2)  In All-Star games, the rule will only be used if both teams and both Leagues so agree.

5.12 Calling “Time” and Dead Balls

5.12 Calling “Time” and Dead Balls

(a)  (3.12) When an umpire suspends play, he shall call “Time.” At the umpire-in-chief’s call of “Play,” the suspension is lifted and play resumes. Between the call of “Time” and the call of “Play” the ball is dead.

(b)  (5.10) The ball becomes dead when an umpire calls “Time.” The umpire-in-chief shall call “Time:

(1)  When in his judgment weather, darkness or similar conditions make immediate further play impossible;

(2)  When light failure makes it difficult or impossible for the umpires to follow the play;

NOTE: A league may adopt its own regulations governing games interrupted by light failure.

(3) When an accident incapacitates a player or an umpire;

(A) If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent him from proceeding to a base to which he is entitled, as on a home run hit out of the playing field, or an award of one or more bases, a substitute runner shall be permitted to complete the play.

(4)  When a manager requests “Time” for a substitution, or for a conference with one of his players.

(5)  When the umpire wishes to examine the ball, to consult with either manager, or for any similar cause.

(6)  When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area. All other runners shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out-of-play area.

(7)  When an umpire orders a player or any other person removed from the playing field.

(8)  Except in the cases stated in paragraphs (2) and (3)(A) of this rule, no umpire shall call “Time” while a play is in progress.

(5.11) After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes his place on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in his possession and the plate umpire calls “Play.” The plate umpire shall call “Play” as soon as the pitcher takes his place on his plate with the ball in his possession.

6.01 (a) (7.09) Batter or Runner Interference

6.01 (a) (7.09) Batter or Runner Interference

It is interference by a batter or a runner when:

(1)  After a third strike that is not caught by the catcher, the batter-runner clearly hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball. Such batter-runner is out, the ball is dead, and all other runners return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch;

Rule 6.01(a)(1) Comment (Rule 7.09(a) Comment): If the pitched ball deflects off the catcher or umpire and subsequently touches the batter-runner, it is not considered interference unless, in the judgment of the umpire, the batter-runner clearly hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball.

(2)  He intentionally deflects the course of a foul ball in any manner;

(3)  Before two are out and a runner on third base, the batter hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is out;

(4)  Any member or members of the offensive team stand or gather around any base to which a runner is advancing, to confuse, hinder or add to the difficulty of the fielders. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate or teammates;

(5)  Any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate (see Rule 6.01(j));

Rule 6.01(a)(5) Comment (Rule 7.09(e) Comment): If the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.

(6)  If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner (see Rule 6.01(j));

(7)  If, in the judgment of the umpire, a batter-runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball, with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead; the umpire shall call the batter-runner out for interference and shall call out the runner who had advanced closest to the home plate regardless where the double play might have been possible. In no event shall bases be run because of such interference (see Rule 6.01(j));

(8)  In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base;

(9)  With a runner on third base, the base coach leaves his box and acts in any manner to draw a throw by a fielder;

(10)  He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball. The umpire shall call the runner out in accordance with Rule 5.09(b)(3) (former Rule 7.08(b)). If the batter-runner is adjudged not to have hindered a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball, and if the base runner’s interference is adjudged not to be intentional, the batter-runner shall be awarded first base;

Rule 6.01(a)(10) Comment (Rule 7.09(j) Comment): When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called. “Obstruction” by a fielder attempting to field a ball should be called only in very flagrant and violent cases because the rules give him the right of way, but of course such “right of way” is not a license to, for example, intentionally trip a runner even though fielding the ball. If the catcher is fielding the ball and any fielder, including the pitcher, obstructs a runner going to first base, “obstruction” shall be called and the base runner awarded first base.

(11) A fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching a fielder. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches the runner after having been deflected by a fielder, the umpire shall not declare the runner out for being touched by a batted ball. In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed through, or by, the fielder, and that no other infielder had the chance to make a play on the ball. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner deliberately and intentionally kicks such a batted ball on which the infielder has missed a play, then the runner shall be called out for interference.

PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.

If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules. (Definition of Terms (Interference))

In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch; provided, however, if during an intervening play at the plate with less than two outs a runner scores, and then the batter-runner is called out for interference outside the three-foot lane, the runner is safe and the run shall count. (Definition of Terms (Interference) Comment)

Rule 6.01(a) Penalty for Interference Comment (Rule 7.08(b) Comment): A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.

If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire’s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty shall apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batter out.

If, in a run-down between third base and home plate, the succeeding runner has advanced and is standing on third base when the runner in a run-down is called out for offensive interference, the umpire shall send the runner standing on third base back to second base.

This same principle applies if there is a run-down between second and third base and succeeding runner has reached second (the reasoning is that no runner shall advance on an interference play and a runner is considered to occupy a base until he legally has reached the next succeeding base).

6.01 (b) (7.11) Fielder Right of Way

6.01 (b) (7.11) Fielder Right of Way

The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to catch or field a batted ball, the ball is dead, the batter is declared out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference.

Rule 6.01(b) Comment (Rule 2.00 (Interference)): Defensive interference is an act by a fielder that hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch.

6.01 (c) Catcher Interference

6.01 (c) Catcher Interference

(6.08) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when the catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects 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 batsman, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference.

Rule 6.01(c) Comment (Rule 6.08(c) Comment): If catcher’s interference is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 5.06(b)(3)(D) (Rule 7.04(d)).

Examples of plays the manager might elect to take:

  1. Runner on third, one out, batter hits fly ball to the outfield on which the runner scores but catcher’s interference was called. The offensive manager may elect to take the run and have batter called out or have runner remain at third and batter awarded first base.
  2. Runner on second base. Catcher interferes with batter. As he bunts ball fairly sending runner to third base. The manager may rather have runner on third base with an out on the play than have runners on second and first. If a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base, note the additional penalty set forth in Rule 6.01(g) (Rule 7.07).If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher delivers the ball, it shall not be considered interference on the batter under Rule 5.05(b)(3) (Rule 6.08(c)). In such cases, the umpire shall call “Time” and the pitcher and batter start over from “scratch.”

6.01 (d) (3.15) Unintentional Interference

6.01(d) (3.15) Unintentional Interference

In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the team at bat who are participating in the game, or a base coach, any of whom interfere with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball; or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

Rule 6.01(d) Comment (Rule 3.15 Comment): For interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball by members of the team at bat or base coaches, who are excepted in Rule 6.01(d) (Rule 3.15), see Rule 6.01(b) (Rule 7.11). See also Rules 5.06(c)(2), 5.06(c)(6) and 5.05(b)(4) (Rules 5.09 (b)), 5.09(f) and 6.08(d)), which cover interference by an umpire, and Rule 5.09(b)(3) (Rule 7.08(b)), which covers interference by a runner.

The question of intentional or unintentional interference shall be decided on the basis of the person’s action. For example: a bat boy, ball attendant, policeman, etc., who tries to avoid being touched by a thrown or batted ball but still is touched by the ball would be involved in unintentional interference. If, however, he kicks the ball or picks it up or pushes it, that is considered intentional interference, regardless of what his thought may have been.

PLAY: Batter hits ball to shortstop, who fields ball but throws wild past first baseman. The coach at first base, to avoid being hit by the ball, falls to the ground and the first baseman on his way to retrieve the wild thrown ball, runs into the coach. The batter-runner finally ends up on third base. Whether the umpire should call interference on the part of the coach is up to the judgment of the umpire and if the umpire felt that the coach did all he could to avoid interfering with the play, no interference need be called. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the coach was attempting to make it appear that he was trying not to interfere, the umpire should rule interference.

6.01 (e) (3.16) Spectator Interference

6.01 (e) (3.16) Spectator Interference

When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out.

Rule 6.01(e) Comment (Rule 3.16 Comment): There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering with a player. In the latter case it is clearly intentional and shall be dealt with as intentional interference as in Rule 6.01(d) (Rule 3.15). Batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire’s judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred.

No interference shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk. However, should a spectator reach out on the playing field side of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out for the spectator’s interference.

EXAMPLE: Runner on third base, one out and a batter hits a fly ball deep to the outfield (fair or foul). Spectator clearly interferes with the outfielder attempting to catch the fly ball. Umpire calls the batter out for spectator interference. Ball is dead at the time of the call. Umpire decides that because of the distance the ball was hit, the runner on third base would have scored after the catch if the fielder had caught the ball which was interfered with, therefore, the runner is permitted to score. This might not be the case if such fly ball was interfered with a short distance from home plate.

6.01 (f) (5.08) Coach and Umpire Interference

6.01 (f ) (5.08) Coach and Umpire Interference

If a thrown ball accidentally touches a base coach, or a pitched or thrown ball touches an umpire, the ball is alive and in play. However, if the coach interferes with a thrown ball, the runner is out.

Rule 6.01(f) Comment (Rule 2.00 (Interference)(c)) and Comment): Umpire’s interference occurs (1) when a plate umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pick-off play; or (2) when a fair ball touches an umpire on fair territory before passing a fielder. Umpire interference may also occur when an umpire interferes with a catcher returning the ball to the pitcher.

6.01 (g) (7.07) Interference With Squeeze Play or Steal of Home

6.01 (g) (7.07) Interference With Squeeze Play or Steal of Home

If, with a runner on third base and trying to score by means of a squeeze play or a steal, the catcher or any other fielder steps on, or in front of home base without possession of the ball, or touches the batter or his bat, the pitcher shall be charged with a balk, the batter shall be awarded first base on the interference and the ball is dead.

6.01 (h) (7.06) Obstruction

6.01 (h) (7.06) Obstruction

When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal “Obstruction.”

(1) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter-runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

Rule 6.01(h )(1) Comment (Rule 7.06 (a) Comment): When a play is being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction in the same manner that he calls “Time,” with both hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given; however, should a thrown ball be in flight before the obstruction is called by the umpire, the runners are to be awarded such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had not obstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped between second and third and obstructed by the third baseman going into third base while the throw is in flight from the shortstop, if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is to be awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation would also be awarded two bases from the base they last legally touched before obstruction was called.

(2) If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction.

Rule 6.01(h)(2) Comment (Rule 7.06(b) Comment): Under Rule 6.01(h)(2) (Rule 7.06(b)) when the ball is not dead on obstruction and an obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire’s judgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed, he does so at his own peril and may be tagged out. This is a judgment call.

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

Rule 6.01(h ) Comment (Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment): If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: An infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.

6.01 (i) (7.13) Collisions at Home Plate

6.01 (i) (7.13) Collisions at Home Plate

(1) A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate), or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (regardless of whether the player covering home plate maintains possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 6.01(i) (Rule 7.13).

Rule 6.01(i)(1) Comment (Rule 7.13(1) Comment): The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 6.01(i) (Rule 7.13), or otherwise initiated a collision that could have been avoided. A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner’s buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. In the case of a head first slide, a runner shall be deemed to have slid appropriately if his body should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. If a catcher blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall not find that the runner initiated an avoidable collision in violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(1) (Rule 7.13(1)).

(2) Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Not withstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(2) (Rule 7.13(2)) if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (e.g., in reaction to the direction, trajectory or the hop of the incoming throw, or in reaction to a throw that originates from a pitcher or drawn-in infielder). In addition, a catcher without possession of the ball shall not be adjudged to violate this Rule 6.01(i)(2) (Rule 7.13(2)) if the runner could have avoided the collision with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) by sliding.

Rule 6.01(i)(2) Comment (Rule 7.13(2) Comment): A catcher shall not be deemed to have violated Rule 6.01(i)(2) (Rule 7.13(2)) unless he has both blocked the plate without possession the ball (or when not in a legitimate attempt to field the throw), and also hindered or impeded the progress of the runner attempting to score. A catcher shall not be deemed to have hindered or impeded the progress of the runner if, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner would have been called out notwithstanding the catcher having blocked the plate. In addition, a catcher should use best efforts to avoid unnecessary and forcible contact while tagging a runner attempting to slide. Catchers who routinely make unnecessary and forcible contact with a runner attempting to slide (e.g., by initiating contact using a knee, shin guard, elbow or forearm) may be subject to discipline by the League President.

This Rule 6.01(i)(2) (Rule 7.13(2)) shall not apply to force plays at home plate.

6.01 (j) (7.14) Sliding to Bases on Double Play Attempts

6.01 (j) (7.14) Sliding to Bases on Double Play Attempts

If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01. A “bona fide slide” for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:

(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;

(2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;

(3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and

(4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

A runner who engages in a “bona fide slide” shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide. In addition, interference shall not be called where a runner’s contact with the fielder was caused by the fielder being positioned in (or moving into) the runner’s legal pathway to the base.

Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a “bona fide slide” if a runner engages in a “roll block,” or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder’s knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.

If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.

6.02 (a) (8.05) Balks

6.02 (a) (8.05) Balks

If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when:

(1)  The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery;

Rule 6.02(a)(1) Comment (Rule 8.05(a) Comment): If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

(2)  The pitcher, while touching his plate, feints a throw to first or third base and fails to complete the throw;

(3)  The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;

Rule 6.02 (a)(3)Comment (Rule8.05(c) Comment): Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.

A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps. It is a balk if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher steps toward third and does not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. It is legal for a pitcher to feint a throw to second base.

(4) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;

Rule 6.02(a)(4) Comment (Rule 8.05(d) Comment): When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base.

(5) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch;

Rule 6.02(a)(5) Comment (Rule 8.05(e) Comment): A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

(6)  The pitcher delivers the ball to the batter while he is not facing the batter;

(7)  The pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher’s plate;

(8)  The pitcher unnecessarily delays the game;

Rule 6.02(a)(8) Comment (Rule 8.05(h) Comment): Rule 6.02(a)(8) (Rule 8.05(h)) shall not apply when a warning is given pursuant to Rule 6.02(c)(8) (Rule 8.02(c)) (which prohibits intentional delay of a game by throwing to fielders not in an attempt to put a runner out). If a pitcher is ejected pursuant to Rule 6.02(c)(8) (Rule 8.02(c)) for continuing to delay the game, the penalty in Rule 6.02(a)(8) (Rule 8.05(h)) shall also apply. Rule 5.07(c) (Rule 8.04) (which sets a time limit for a pitcher to deliver the ball when the bases are unoccupied) applies only when there are no runners on base.

(9)  The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch;

(10)  The pitcher, after coming to a legal pitching position, removes one hand from the ball other than in an actual pitch, or in throwing to a base;

(11)  The pitcher, while touching his plate, accidentally or intentionally has the ball slip or fall out of his hand or glove;

(12)  The pitcher, while giving an intentional base on balls, pitches when the catcher is not in the catcher’s box;

(13)  The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop.

PENALTY: The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one base without liability to be put out, unless the batter reaches first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, in which case the play proceeds without reference to the balk.

APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and throws wild, either to a base or to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled at his own risk.

APPROVED RULING: A runner who misses the first base to which he is advancing and who is called out on appeal shall be considered as having advanced one base for the purpose of this rule.

Rule 6.02(a) Comment (Rule 8.05 Comment): Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne in mind:

(A)  Straddling the pitcher’s rubber without the ball is to be interpreted as intent to deceive and ruled a balk.

(B)  With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

6.02 (b) (8.01 (d)) Illegal Pitches With Bases Unoccupied

If the pitcher makes an illegal pitch with the bases unoccupied, it shall be called a ball unless the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.

Rule 6.02(b) Comment (Rule 8.01(d) Comment): A ball which slips out of a pitcher’s hand and crosses the foul line shall be called a ball; otherwise it will be called no pitch. This would be a balk with men on base.

6.02 (c) (8.02) Pitching Prohibitions

6.02 (c) (8.02) Pitching Prohibitions

The pitcher shall not:

(1) While in the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher’s plate, touch the ball after touching his mouth or lips, or touch his mouth or lips while he is in contact with the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher must clearly wipe the fingers of his pitching hand dry before touching the ball or the pitcher’s plate.

EXCEPTION: Provided it is agreed to by both managers, the umpire prior to the start of a game played in cold weather, may permit the pitcher to blow on his hand.

PENALTY: For violation of this part of this rule the umpires shall immediately remove the ball from play and issue a warning to the pitcher. Any subsequent violation shall be called a ball. However, if the pitch is made and a batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a hit batsman or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation. Repeat offenders shall be subject to a fine by the League President.

(2)  expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove;

(3)  rub the ball on his glove, person or clothing;

(4)  apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;

(5)  deface the ball in any manner; or

(6)  deliver a ball altered in a manner prescribed by Rule 6.02(c)(2) through (5) or what is called the “shine” ball, “spit” ball, “mud” ball or “emery” ball. The pitcher is allowed to rub the ball between his bare hands.

(7)  Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.

Rule 6.02(c)(7) Comment (Rule 8.02(b) Comment): The pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Rule 6.02(c)(7) (Rule 8.02(b)), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.

(8) Intentionally delay the game by throwing the ball to players other than the catcher, when the batter is in position, except in an attempt to retire a runner.

PENALTY: If, after warning by the umpire, such delaying action is repeated, the pitcher shall be removed from the game.

(9) Intentionally Pitch at the Batter.

If, in the umpire’s judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:

(A) Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or

(B) may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.

If, in the umpire’s judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially “warned” prior to the game or at any time during the game.

(League Presidents may take additional action under authority provided in Rule 8.04 (Rule 9.05))

Rule 6.02(c)(9) Comment (Rule 8.02(d) Comment): Team personnel may not come onto the playing surface to argue or dispute a warning issued under Rule 6.02(c)(9) (Rule 8.02(d)). If a manager, coach or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop. If he continues, he is subject to ejection.

To pitch at a batter’s head is unsportsmanlike and highly dangerous. It should be—and is—condemned by everybody. Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.

(d) PENALTY: For violation of any part of (c)(2) through (7):

(1)  The pitcher shall be ejected immediately from the game and shall be suspended automatically. In National Association Leagues, the automatic suspension shall be for 10 games.

(2)  If a play follows the violation called by the umpire, the manager of the team at bat may advise the umpire-in-chief that he elects to 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 batsman, or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation.

(3)  Even though the team at bat elects to take the play, the violation shall be recognized and the penalties in subsection 1 will still be in effect.

(4)  If the manager of the team at bat does not elect to accept the play, the umpire-in-chief shall call an automatic ball and, if there are any runners on base, a balk.

(5) The umpire shall be sole judge on whether any portion of this rule has been violated.

Rule 6.02(d)(1) through 6.02(d)(5) Comment (Rule 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6) Comment): If a pitcher violates either Rule 6.02(c)(2) or Rule 6.02(c)(3) (Rule 8.02(a)(2) or Rule 8.02(a)(3)) and, in the judgment of the umpire, the pitcher did not intend, by his act, to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball, then the umpire may, in his discretion, warn the pitcher in lieu of applying the penalty set forth for violations of Rules 6.02(c)(2) through 6.02(c)(6) (Rules 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6)). If the pitcher persists in violating either of those Rules, however, the umpire should then apply the penalty.

Rule 6.02(d) Comment (Rule 8.02(a) Comment): If at any time the ball hits the rosin bag it is in play. In the case of rain or wet field, the umpire may instruct the pitcher to carry the rosin bag in his hip pocket. A pitcher may use the rosin bag for the purpose of applying rosin to his bare hand or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player shall dust the ball with the rosin bag; neither shall the pitcher nor any other player be permitted to apply rosin from the bag to his glove or dust any part of his uniform with the rosin bag. (Rule 8.02(a) Comment)

6.03 (a) (6.06) A batter out for illegal action

6.03 (a) (6.06) A batter is out for illegal action when:

(1) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box.

Rule 6.03(a)(1) Comment (Rule 6.06(a) Comment): If a batter hits a ball fair or foul while out of the batter’s box, he shall be called out. Umpires should pay particular attention to the position of the batter’s feet if he attempts to hit the ball while he is being intentionally passed. A batter cannot jump or step out of the batter’s box and hit the ball.

(2) He steps from one batter’s box to the other while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch;

(3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base.

(4) He throws his bat into fair or foul territory and hits a catcher (including the catcher’s glove) and the catcher was attempting to catch a pitch with a runner(s) on base and/or the pitch was a third strike.

EXCEPTION to Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4): Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter’s interference.

Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment (Rule 6.06(c) and (d) Comment): If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference.” The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference.

If, however, the catcher makes a play and the runner attempting to advance is put out, it is to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner is out—not the batter. Any other runners on the base at the time may advance as the ruling is that there is no actual interference if a runner is retired. In that case play proceeds just as if no violation had been called.

If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

(5) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire’s judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes bats that are filled, flat-surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc.

No advancement on the bases will be allowed (except advancements that are not caused by the use of an illegal bat, e,g., stolen base, balk, wild pitch, passed ball), and any out or outs made during a play shall stand. In addition to being called out, the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject to additional penalties as determined by his League President.

Rule 6.03(a)(5) Comment (Rule 6.06(e) Comment): A batter shall be deemed to have used or attempted to use an illegal bat if he brings such a bat into the batter’s box.

6.03 (b) (6.07) Batting out of Turn

6.03 (b) (6.07) Batting out of Turn

(1)  A batter shall be called out, on appeal, when he fails to bat in his proper turn, and another batter completes a time at bat in his place.

(2)  The proper batter may take his place in the batter’s box at any time before the improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and any balls and strikes shall be counted in the proper batter’s time at bat.

(3)  When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch to the next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted play, the umpire shall (1) declare the proper batter out; and (2) nullify any advance or score made because of a ball batted by the improper batter or because of the improper batter’s advance to first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.

(4)  If a runner advances, while the improper batter is at bat, on a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance is legal.

(5)  When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and a pitch is made to the next batter of either team before an appeal is made, the improper batter thereby becomes the proper batter, and the results of his time at bat become legal.

(6)  When the proper batter is called out because he has failed to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of the proper batter thus called out.

(7) When an improper batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is made before the next pitch, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an improper batter’s actions are legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following that of the legalized improper batter.

Rule 6.03(b)(7) Comment (Rule 6.07 Comment): The umpire shall not direct the attention of any person to the presence in the batter’s box of an improper batter. This rule is designed to require constant vigilance by the players and managers of both teams.

There are two fundamentals to keep in mind: When a player bats out of turn, the proper batter is the player called out. If an improper batter bats and reaches base or is out and no appeal is made before a pitch to the next batter, or before any play or attempted play, that improper batter is considered to have batted in proper turn and establishes the order that is to follow.

APPROVED RULING: To illustrate various situations arising from batting out of turn, assume a first-inning batting order as follows:

Abel-Baker-Charles-Daniel-Edward-Frank-George-Hooker-Irwin.

PLAY (1) — Baker bats. With the count 2 balls and 1 strike, (a) the offensive team discovers the error or (b) the defensive team appeals. Ruling—In either case, Abel replaces Baker, with the count on him 2 balls and 1 strike.

PLAY (2) — Baker bats and doubles. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately or (b) after a pitch to Charles.

RULING: (a) Abel is called out and Baker is the proper batter; (b) Baker stays on second and Charles is the proper batter.

PLAY (3) — Abel walks. Baker walks. Charles forces Baker. Edward bats in Daniel’s turn. While Edward is at bat, Abel scores and Charles goes to second on a wild pitch. Edward grounds out, sending Charles to third. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately or (b) after a pitch to Daniel.

RULING: (a) Abel’s run counts and Charles is entitled to second base since these advances were not made because of the improper batter batting a ball or advancing to first base. Charles must return to second base because his advance to third resulted from the improper batter batting a ball. Daniel is called out, and Edward is the proper batter; (b) Abel’s run counts and Charles stays on third. The proper batter is Frank.

PLAY (4) — With the bases full and two out. Hooker bats in Frank’s turn, and triples, scoring three runs. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately, or (b) after a pitch to George.

RULING: (a) Frank is called out and no runs score. George is the proper batter to lead off the second inning; (b) Hooker stays on third and three runs score. Irwin is the proper batter.

PLAY (5) — After Play (4)(b) above, George continues at bat. (a) Hooker is picked off third base for the third out, or (b) George flies out, and no appeal is made. Who is the proper leadoff batter in the second inning?

RULING: (a) Irwin. He became the proper batter as soon as the first pitch to George legalized Hooker’s triple; (b) Hooker. When no appeal was made, the first pitch to the leadoff batter of the opposing team legalized George’s time at bat.

PLAY (6)—Daniel walks and Abel comes to bat. Daniel was an improper batter, and if an appeal is made before the first pitch to Abel, Abel is out, Daniel is removed from base, and Baker is the proper batter. There is no appeal, and a pitch is made to Abel. Daniel’s walk is now legalized, and Edward thereby becomes the proper batter. Edward can replace Abel at any time before Abel is put out or becomes a runner. He does not do so. Abel flies out, and Baker comes to bat. Abel was an improper batter, and if an appeal is made before the first pitch to Baker, Edward is out, and the proper batter is Frank. There is no appeal, and a pitch is made to Baker. Abel’s out is now legalized, and the proper batter is Baker. Baker walks. Charles is the proper batter. Charles flies out. Now Daniel is the proper batter, but he is on second base. Who is the proper batter?

RULING: The proper batter is Edward. When the proper batter is on base, he is passed over, and the following batter becomes the proper batter.

 

6.04 (4.06) Unsportsmanlike Conduct

6.04 (4.06) Unsportsmanlike Conduct

(a) No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach’s box or on the playing field, or elsewhere:

(1)  Incite, or try to incite, by word or sign a demonstration by spectators;

(2)  Use language which will in any manner refer to or reflect upon opposing players, an umpire, or any spectator;

(3)  Call “Time,” or employ any other word or phrase or commit any act while the ball is alive and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher commit a balk.

(4)  Make intentional contact with the umpire in any manner.

(b) (3.09) Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectator, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.

(c) No fielder shall take a position in the batter’s line of vision, and with deliberate unsportsmanlike intent, act in a manner to distract the batter.

PENALTY: The offender shall be removed from the game and shall leave the playing field, and, if a balk is made, it shall be nullified.

(d) (4.07) When a manager, player, coach or trainer is ejected from a game, he shall leave the field immediately and take no further part in that game. He shall remain in the club house or change to street clothes and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand well removed from the vicinity of his team’s bench or bullpen.

Rule 6.04(d) Comment (Rule 4.07 Comment): If a manager, coach or player is under suspension he may not be in the dugout or press box during the course of a game.

(e) (4.08) When the occupants of a player’s bench show violent disapproval of an umpire’s decision, the umpire shall first give warning that such disapproval shall cease.

PENALTY: [If such action continues] The umpire shall order the offenders from the bench to the club house. If he is unable to detect the offender, or offenders, he may clear the bench of all substitute players. The manager of the offending team shall have the privilege of recalling to the playing field only those players needed for substitution in the game.

 

7.01 (4.10) Regulation Games

7.01 (4.10) Regulation Games

(a) A regulation game consists of nine innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened (1) because the home team needs none of its half of the ninth inning or only a fraction of it, or (2) because the umpire-in-chief calls the game.

EXCEPTION: National Association leagues may adopt a rule providing that one or both games of a double-header shall be seven innings in length. In such games, any of these rules applying to the ninth inning shall apply to the seventh inning.

(b) If the score is tied after nine completed innings play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning, or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning.

(c) If a game is called, it is a regulation game:

(1)  If five innings have been completed;

(2)  If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings;

(3)  If the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.

(d) If a regulation game is called with the score tied, it shall become a suspended game. See Rule 7.02 (Rule 4.12).

(e) If a game is postponed or otherwise called before it has become a regulation game, the umpire-in-chief shall declare it “No Game,” unless the game is called pursuant to Rules 7.02(a)(3) or 7.02(a)(4) (Rules 4.12(a)(3) or 4.12(a)(4)), which shall be a suspended game at any time after it starts.

(f) A League President may determine whether rain checks will be honored for any regulation or suspended game that has progressed to or beyond a point of play described in Rule 7.01(c) (Rule 4.10(c)).

Rule 7.01 Comment (Rule 4.10 Comment): The Major Leagues have determined that Rules 7.01(c) and 7.01(e) (Rules 4.10(c) and 4.10(e)) do not apply to any Wild Card, Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series games or for any additional Major League championship season game played to break a tie.

(g) (4.11) The score of a regulation game is the total number of runs scored by each team at the moment the game ends.

(1)  The game ends when the visiting team completes its half of the ninth inning if the home team is ahead.

(2)  The game ends when the ninth inning is completed, if the visiting team is ahead.

(3)  If the home team scores the winning run in its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored.

EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate.

APPROVED RULING: The batter hits a home run out of the playing field to win the game in the last half of the ninth or an extra inning, but is called out for passing a preceding runner. The game ends immediately when the winning run is scored, unless there are two out and the winning run has not yet reached home plate when the runner passes another, in which case the inning is over and only those runs that scored before the runner passes another shall count.

(4) A called game ends at the moment the umpire terminates play, unless it becomes a suspended game pursuant to (Rule 7.02(a) (Rule (4.12(a)).

7.02 (4.12) Suspended, Postponed, and Tie Games

7.02 (4.12) Suspended, Postponed, and Tie Games

(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:

(1)  A curfew imposed by law;

(2)  A time limit permissible under league rules;

(3)  Light failure, malfunction of, or unintentional operator error in employing, a mechanical or field device or equipment under the control of the home club (e.g., a retractable roof, a tarpaulin, or other water removal equipment);

(4)  Darkness, when a law prevents the lights from being turned on;

(5)  Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead; or

(6)  It is a regulation game that is called with the score tied;

National Association Leagues may also adopt the following rules for suspended games. (If adopted by a National Association League, Rule 7.01(e) (Rule 4.10(e)) would not apply to their games.);

(7)  The game has not become a regulation game (41⁄2 innings with the home team ahead, or 5 innings with the visiting club ahead or tied);

(8)  If a game is suspended before it becomes a regulation game, and is continued prior to another regularly scheduled game, the regularly scheduled game shall be seven innings in length. See the exception described in Rule 7.01(a) (Rule 4.10(a));

(9)  If a game is suspended after it is a regulation game, and is continued prior to another regularly scheduled game, the regularly scheduled game shall be a nine-inning game.

EXCEPTION: Optional Rules 7.02(a)(7), 7.02(a)(8) and 7.02(a)(9) (Rules 4.12(a)(7), 4.12(a)(8) and 4.12(a)(9)) for National Association Leagues shall not apply to the last scheduled game between the two teams during the championship season. A National Association League may adopt any of Rules 7.02(a)(7), 7.02(a)(8) and 7.02(a)(9) (Rules 4.12(a)(7), 4.12(a)(8) and 4.12(a)(9)) for its post-season games.

No game called because of a curfew (Rule 7.02(a)(1) (Rule 4.12(a)(1)), weather (Rule 7.02(a)(5) (Rule 4.12(a)(5)), a time limit (Rule 7.02(a)(2) (Rule 4.12(a)(2)) or with a tied score (Rule 7.02(a)(6) (Rule 4.12(a)(6)) shall be a suspended game unless it has progressed far enough to have been a regulation game pursuant to Rule 7.01(c) (Rule 4.10(c)). A game called pursuant to Rules 7.02(a)(3) or 7.02(a)(4) (Rules 4.12(a)(3) or 4.12(a)(4)) shall be a suspended game at any time after it starts.

NOTE: Weather and similar conditions—Rules 7.02(a)(1) through 7.02(a)(5) (Rules 4.12(a)(1) through 4.12(a)(5))— shall take precedence in determining whether a called game shall be a suspended game. If a game is halted by weather, and subsequent light failure or an intervening curfew or time limit prevents its resumption, the game shall not be a suspended game. If a game is halted by light failure, and weather or field conditions prevent its resumption, the game shall not be a suspended game. A game can only be considered a suspended game if stopped for any of the six reasons specified in Rule 7.02(a) (Rule 4.12(a)).

Rule 7.02(a) Comment (Rule 4.12(a) Comment): The Major Leagues have determined that Rule 7.02(a) (Rule 4.12(a)) does not apply to any Wild Card, Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series games or for any additional Major League championship season game played to break a tie.

(b) A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows:

(1) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game between the two clubs on the same grounds; or

(2)  Immediately preceding the next scheduled double-header between the two clubs on the same grounds, if no single game remains on the schedule; or

(3)  If suspended on the last scheduled date between the two clubs in that city, transferred and played on the grounds of the opposing club, if possible;

(A)  Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game, or

(B)  Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader, if no single game remains on the schedule.

(4)  Any suspended game that has progressed far enough to become a regulation game, but which has not been completed prior to the last scheduled game between the two teams during the championship season shall become a called game, as follows:

(A)  If one team is ahead, the team that is ahead shall be declared the winner (unless the game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead, in which case the score upon the completion of the last full inning shall stand for purposes of this Rule 7.02(b)(4) (Rule 4.12(b)(4)(i)); or

(B)  If the score is tied, the game shall be declared a “tie game” (unless the game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the game, and the home team has not retied the game, in which case the score upon the completion of the last full inning shall stand for purposes of this Rule 7.02(b)(4) (Rule 4.12(b)(4)(ii)).

(5) Any postponed game, suspended game (that has not progressed far enough to become a regulation game), or tie game that has not been rescheduled and completed prior to the last scheduled game between the two teams during the championship season must be played (or continued, in the case of a suspended or tie game) to a completed regulation game, if the League President determines that not playing such game might affect post-season play, including eligibility for the post-season and/or home-field advantage for any post-season game.

Rule 7.02(b) Comment (Rule 4.12(b) Comment): The Major Leagues have determined that Rule 7.02(b) (Rule 4.12(b)) does not apply to any Wild Card, Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series games or for any additional Major League championship season game played to break a tie. The National Association has determined that games shall not be rescheduled and played to a completed regulation game in accordance with Rule 7.02(b)(5) for the purpose of determining eligibility or home-field advantage for the post-season.

(c) A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup.

A player who was not with the club when the game was suspended may be used as a substitute, even if he has taken the place of a player no longer with the club who would not have been eligible because he had been removed from the lineup before the game was suspended.

Rule 7.02(c) Comment (Rule 4.12(c) Comment): If immediately prior to the call of a suspended game, a substitute pitcher has been announced but has not retired the side or pitched until the batter becomes a base runner, such pitcher, when the suspended game is later resumed may, but is not required to start the resumed portion of the game. However, if he does not start he will be considered as having been substituted for and may not be used in that game.

7.03 Forfeited Games

7.03 Forfeited Games

(a) (4.15) A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team:

(1)  Fails to appear upon the field, or being upon the field, refuses to start play within five minutes after the umpire-in-chief has called “Play” at the appointed hour for beginning the game, unless such delayed appearance is, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, unavoidable;

(2)  Employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game;

(3)  Refuses to continue play during a game unless the game has been suspended or terminated by the umpire-in- chief;

(4)  Fails to resume play, after a suspension, within one minute after the umpire-in-chief has called “Play;”

(5)  After warning by the umpire, willfully and persistently violates any rules of the game;

(6)  Fails to obey within a reasonable time the umpire’s order for removal of a player from the game;

(7)  Fails to appear for the second game of a doubleheader within twenty minutes after the close of the first game unless the umpire-in-chief of the first game shall have extended the time of the intermission.

(b) (4.17) A game shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to place nine players on the field.

(c) (4.16) A game shall be forfeited to the visiting team if, after it has been suspended, the order of the umpire to groundskeepers respecting preparation of the field for resumption of play intentionally or willfully is not complied with.

(d) (4.18) If the umpire-in-chief declares a game forfeited he shall transmit a written report to the League President within 24 hours thereafter, but failure of such transmittal shall not affect the forfeiture.

7.04 (4.19) Protesting Games

7.04 (4.19) Protesting Games

Each league shall adopt rules governing procedure for protesting a game, when a manager claims that an umpire’s decision is in violation of these rules. No protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire. In all protested games, the decision of the League President shall be final.

Even if it is held that the protested decision violated the rules, no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of the League President the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game.

Rule 7.04 (Rule 4.19 Comment): Whenever a manager protests a game because of alleged misapplication of the rules the protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play or attempted play. A protest arising on a game-ending play may be filed until 12 noon the following day with the league office.

8.01 Umpire Qualifications and Authority

8.01 Umpire Qualifications and Authority

(a)  The League President shall appoint one or more umpires to officiate at each league championship game. The umpires shall be responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance with these official rules and for maintaining discipline and order on the playing field during the game.

(b)  Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties.

(c)  Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules.

(d)  Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play.

(e)  Each umpire has authority at his discretion to eject from the playing field (1) any person whose duties permit his presence on the field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers, newsmen, broadcasting crew members, etc., and (2) any spectator or other person not authorized to be on the playing field.

8.02 Appeal of Umpire Decisions

8.02 Appeal of Umpire Decisions

(a) Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

Rule 8.02(a) Comment. (Rule 9.02(a) Comment): Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.

(b)  If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c)  If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it. If the umpires consult after a play and change a call that had been made, then they have the authority to take all steps that they may deem necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that they are reversing, including placing runners where they think those runners would have been after the play, had the ultimate call been made as the initial call, disregarding interference or obstruction that may have occurred on the play; failures of runners to tag up based upon the initial call on the field; runners passing other runners or missing bases; etc., all in the discretion of the umpires. No player, manager or coach shall be permitted to argue the exercise of the umpires’ discretion in resolving the play and any person so arguing shall be subject to ejection.

Rule 8.02(c) Comment (Rule 9.02(c) Comment): A manager is permitted to ask the umpires for an explanation of the play and how the umpires have exercised their discretion to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that the umpires are reversing. Once the umpires explain the result of the play, however, no one is permitted to argue that the umpires should have exercised their discretion in a different manner.

The manager or the catcher may request the plate umpire to ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike. The manager may not complain that the umpire made an improper call, but only that he did not ask his partner for help. Field umpires must be alerted to the request from the plate umpire and quickly respond. Managers may not protest the call of a ball or strike on the pretense they are asking for information about a half swing.

Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the call of ball and when asked to appeal, the home plate umpire must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the half swing. Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail. Appeals on a half swing must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the half swing occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before all infielders of the defensive team leave fair territory.

Baserunners must be alert to the possibility that the base umpire on appeal from the plate umpire may reverse the call of a ball to the call of a strike, in which event the runner is in jeopardy of being out by the catcher’s throw. Also, a catcher must be alert in a base stealing situation if a ball call is reversed to a strike by the base umpire upon appeal from the plate umpire.

The ball is in play on appeal on a half swing.

On a half swing, if the manager comes out to argue with first or third base umpire and if after being warned he persists in arguing, he can be ejected as he is now arguing over a called ball or strike.

(d) No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he is injured or becomes ill.

If there is only one umpire, he shall have complete jurisdiction in administering the rules. He may take any position on the playing field which will enable him to discharge his duties (usually behind the catcher, but sometimes behind the pitcher if there are runners). He shall be considered umpire-in-chief.

(e)  If there are two or more umpires, one shall be designated umpire-in-chief and the others field umpires.

8.03 Umpire Position

8.03 Umpire Position

(a)  The umpire-in-chief shall stand behind the catcher. (He usually is called the plate umpire.) His duties shall be to:

(1)  Take full charge of, and be responsible for, the proper conduct of the game;

(2)  Call and count balls and strikes;

(3)  Call and declare fair balls and fouls except those commonly called by field umpires;

(4)  Make all decisions on the batter;

(5)  Make all decisions except those commonly reserved for the field umpires;

(6)  Decide when a game shall be forfeited;

(7)  If a time limit has been set, announce the fact and the time set before the game starts;

(8)  Inform the official scorer of the official batting order, and any changes in the lineups and batting order, on request;

(9)  Announce any special ground rules, at his discretion.

(b)  A field umpire may take any position on the playing field he thinks best suited to make impending decisions on the bases. His duties shall be to:

(1)  Make all decisions on the bases except those specifically reserved to the umpire-in-chief;

(2)  Take concurrent jurisdiction with the umpire-in-chief in calling “Time,” balks, illegal pitches, or defacement or discoloration of the ball by any player.

(3)  Aid the umpire-in-chief in every manner in enforcing the rules, and excepting the power to forfeit the game, shall have equal authority with the umpire-in-chief in administering and enforcing the rules and maintaining discipline.

(c)  If different decisions should be made on one play by different umpires, the umpire-in-chief shall call all the umpires into consultation, with no manager or player present. After consultation, the umpire-in-chief (unless another umpire may have been designated by the League President) shall determine which decision shall prevail, based on which umpire was in best position and which decision was most likely correct. Play shall proceed as if only the final decision had been made.

8.04 Reporting

8.04 Reporting
(a)  The umpire shall report to the League President within twelve hours after the end of a game all violations of rules and other incidents worthy of comment, including the disqualification of any trainer, manager, coach or player, and the reasons therefore.

(b)  When any trainer, manager, coach or player is disqualified for a flagrant offense such as the use of obscene or indecent language, or an assault upon an umpire, trainer, manager, coach or player, the umpire shall forward full particulars to the League President within four hours after the end of the game.

 After receiving the umpire’s report that a trainer, manager, coach or player has been disqualified, the League President shall impose such penalty as he deems justified, and shall notify the person penalized and the manager of the club of which the penalized person is a member. If the penalty includes a fine, the penalized person shall pay the amount of the fine to the league within five days after receiving notice of the fine. Failure to pay such fine within five days shall result in the offender being debarred from participation in any game and from sitting on the players’ bench during any game, until the fine is paid.

9.01 Official Scorer (General Rules)

9.01 Official Scorer (General Rules)
(a) The Office of the Commissioner, with respect to Major League games, and the Minor League President, with respect to Minor League games, shall appoint an official scorer for each league championship, post-season or all-star game. The official scorer shall observe the game from a position in the press box. The official scorer shall have sole authority to make all decisions concerning application of Rule 9 (Rule 10) that involve judgment, such as whether a batter’s advance to first base is the result of a hit or an error. The official scorer shall communicate such decisions to the press box and broadcasting booths by hand signals or over the press box loudspeaker system and shall advise the public address announcer of such decisions, if requested. Club officials and players are prohibited from communicating with the official scorer regarding any such decisions.

The official scorer shall make all decisions concerning judgment calls within 24 hours after a game concludes or is suspended. A Major League player or club may request that the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations review a judgment call of an official scorer made in a game in which such player or club participated, by notifying the Office of the Commissioner in writing or by approved electronic means within 72 hours of the conclusion or suspension of such game, or within 72 hours of the official scorer’s call, in the event the official scorer changes a call within 24 hours after a game concludes or is suspended, as provided in this Rule 9.01(a) (Rule 10.01(a)). The Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations shall have access to all relevant and available video and, after considering any evidence he wishes to consider, may order a change in a judgment call if he determines that the judgment of the official scorer was clearly erroneous. No judgment decision shall be changed thereafter. If the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations determines that a player or club has abused the appeals process by repeatedly filing frivolous appeals, or acting in bad faith, he may, after providing a warning, impose reasonable sanctions on the club or player. A Minor League player or club may request that the League President review a judgment call of an official scorer in accordance with league rules.

After each game, including forfeited and called games, the official scorer shall prepare a report, on a form prescribed by the Office of the Commissioner, with respect to Major League games, and the Minor League President, with respect to Minor League games, listing the date of the game, where it was played, the names of the competing clubs and the umpires, the full score of the game and all records of individual players compiled according to the system specified in this Rule 9. The official scorer shall forward this report to the Office of the Commissioner, with respect to Major League games, and the league office, with respect to Minor League games, as soon as practicable after the game ends. The official scorer shall forward the report of any suspended game as soon as practicable after the game has been completed, or after it becomes a called game because it cannot be completed, as provided by the Rule 7.02) Rule 4.12(b)(4)).

Rule 9.01(a) Comment: The official scorer shall forward the official score report to the league statistician instead of to the league office, if requested to do so by the league. In the event of any discrepancy in records maintained by a league statistician and the rulings by an official scorer, the report of such official scorer shall control. League statisticians and official scorers should consult cooperatively to resolve any discrepancies.

(b) (1) In all cases, the official scorer shall not make a scoring decision that is in conflict with Rule 9 (Rule 10) or any other Official Baseball Rule. The official scorer shall conform strictly to the rules of scoring set forth in this Rule 9. The official scorer shall not make any decision that conflicts with an umpire’s decision. The official scorer shall have authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules. The Office of the Commissioner, with respect to Major League scorers, and the League President, with respect to Minor League scorers shall order changed any decision of an official scorer that contradicts the rules of scoring set forth in this Rule 9 (Rule 10) and shall take whatever remedial actions as may be necessary to correct any statistics that need correction as a result of such mistaken scoring decision.

(2) If the teams change sides before three men are put out, the official scorer shall immediately inform the umpire-in-chief of the mistake.

(3) If the game is protested or suspended, the official scorer shall make a note of the exact situation at the time of the protest or suspension, including the score, the number of outs, the position of any runners, the ball-and-strike count on the batter, the lineups of both teams and the players who have been removed from the game for each team.

Rule 9.01(b)(3) Comment: It is important that a suspended game resume with exactly the same situation as existed at the time of suspension. If a protested game is ordered replayed from the point of protest, the game must be resumed with exactly the situation that existed just before the protested play.

(4) The official scorer shall not call the attention of any umpire or of any member of either team to the fact that a player is batting out of turn.

(c) The official scorer is an official representative who is entitled to the respect and dignity of his office and shall be accorded full protection by the Office of the Commissioner, with respect to Major League scorers, and the League President, with respect to Minor League scorers. The official scorer shall report to the appropriate league official any indignity expressed by any manager, player, club employee or club officer in the course of, or as the result of, the discharge of official scorer duties.

9.02 Official Scorer Report

9.02 Official Scorer Report

The official score report prepared by the official scorer shall be in a form prescribed by the league and shall include:

(a) The following records for each batter and runner:

(1)  Number of times batted, except that no time at bat shall be charged when a player

(A)  hits a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly;

(B)  is awarded first base on four called balls;

(C)  is hit by a pitched ball; or

(D)  is awarded first base because of interference or obstruction;

(2)  Number of runs scored;

(3)  Number of safe hits;

(4)  Number of runs batted in;

(5)  Two-base hits;

(6)  Three-base hits;

(7)  Home runs;

(8)  Total bases on safe hits;

(9)  Stolen bases;

(10)  Sacrifice bunts;

(11)  Sacrifice flies;

(12)  Total number of bases on balls;

(13)  Separate listing of any intentional bases on balls;

(14)  Number of times hit by a pitched ball;

(15)  Number of times awarded first base for interference or obstruction;

(16)  Strikeouts;

(17)  Number of force double plays and reverse-force double plays grounded into; and

Rule 9.02(a)(17) Comment: The official scorer should not charge a batter with grounding into a double play if the batter-runner is called out due to interference by a preceding runner.

(18)  Number of times caught stealing.

(b) The following records for each fielder:

(1) Number of putouts;
(2) Number of assists;
(3) Number of errors;
(4) Number of double plays participated in;and
(5) Number of triple plays participated in.

(c) The following records for each pitcher:

(1) Number of innings pitched;

Rule 9.02(c)(1) Comment: In computing innings pitched, the official scorer shall count each putout as 1⁄3 of an inning. For example, if a starting pitcher is replaced with one out in the sixth inning, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 5 1⁄3 innings. If a starting pitcher is replaced with none out in the sixth inning, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 5 innings and make the notation that that pitcher faced _____ batters in the sixth, noting the number of batters faced. If a relief pitcher retires two batters and is replaced, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 2⁄3 of an inning pitched. If a relief pitcher enters a game and his team initiates a successful appeal play that results in one out, the officer scorer shall credit such relief pitcher with 1⁄3 of an inning pitched.

(2)  Total number of batters faced;

(3)  Number of batters officially at bat against pitcher, computed according to Rule 9.02(a)(1);

(4)  Number of hits allowed;

(5)  Number of runs allowed;

(6)  Number of earned runs allowed;

(7)  Number of home runs allowed;

(8)  Number of sacrifice hits allowed;

(9)  Number of sacrifice flies allowed;

(10)  Total number of bases on balls allowed;

(11)  Separate listing of any intentional bases on balls allowed;

(12)  Number of batters hit by pitched balls;

(13)  Number of strikeouts;

(14)  Number of wild pitches; and

(15)  Number of balks.

(d) The following additional data:

(1)  Name of the winning pitcher;

(2)  Name of the losing pitcher;

(3)  Names of the starting pitcher and the finishing pitcher for each team; and

(4)  Name of pitcher credited with a save, if any.

(e) Number of passed balls allowed by each catcher.

(f ) Name of players participating in double plays and triple plays.

Rule 9.02(f) Comment: For example, an official scorer would note: “Double Plays—Jones, Roberts and Smith (2). Triple Play—Jones and Smith.”

(g) Number of runners left on base by each team. This total shall include all runners who get on base by any means and who do not score and are not put out. The official scorer shall include in this total a batter-runner whose batted ball results in another runner being retired for the third out.

(h) Names of batters who hit home runs with the bases full.

(i) Number of outs when winning run scored,ifthegamewaswon in the last half-inning.

(j) The score by innings for each team.

(k) Names of umpires, listed in this order: plate umpire, first-base umpire, second-base umpire, third-base umpire, left-field umpire (if any) and right-field umpire (if any).

(l) Time required to play the game, with delays deducted for weather, light failure or technological failure not related to game action.

Rule 9.02(l) Comment: A delay to attend to the injury of a player, manager, coach or umpire shall be counted in computing time of game.

(m) Official attendance, as provided by the home club.

9.03 Official Score Report (Additional Rules)

9.03 Official Score Report (Additional Rules)

(a) In compiling the official score report, the official scorer shall list each player’s name and fielding position, or positions, in the order in which the player batted, or would have batted if the game ended before the player came to bat.

Rule 9.03(a) Comment: When a player does not exchange positions with another fielder but is merely placed in a different spot for a particular batter (for example, if a second baseman goes to the outfield to form a four-man outfield, or if a third baseman moves to a position between the shortstop and second baseman), the official scorer should not list this as a new position.

(b) The official scorer shall identify in the official score report any player who enters the game as a substitute batter or substitute runner, whether or not such player continues in the game thereafter, in the batting order by a special symbol that shall refer to a separate record of substitute batters and runners. The record of substitute batters shall describe what the substitute batter did. The record of substitute batters and runners shall include the name of any such substitute whose name is announced, but who is removed for another substitute before he actually gets into the game. Any such second substitute shall be recorded as batting or running for the first announced substitute.

Rule 9.03(b) Comment: Lower case letters are recommended as symbols for substitute batters and numerals are recommended as symbols for substitute runners. For example, an official score report may note as follows: “a-Singled for Abel in third inning; b-Flied out for Baker in sixth inning; c-Hit into force for Charles in seventh inning; d-Grounded out for Daniel in ninth inning; 1-Ran for Edward in ninth inning.” If a substitute’s name is announced but the substitute is removed for another substitute before he actually gets into the game, the official scorer report shall record the substitute, for example, as follows: “e-Announced as substitute for Frank in seventh inning.”

(c) How to Prove a Box Score

A box score shall balance (or is proven) when the total of the team’s times at bat, bases on balls received, hit batters, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies and batters awarded first base because of interference or obstruction equals the total of that team’s runs, players left on base and the opposing team’s putouts.

(d) When Player Bats Out of Turn

When a player bats out of turn and is put out, and the proper batter is called out before the ball is pitched to the next batter, the official scorer shall charge the proper batter with a time at bat and score the putout and any assists the same as if the correct batting order had been followed. If an improper batter becomes a runner and the proper batter is called out for having missed his turn at bat, the official scorer shall charge the proper batter with a time at bat, credit the putout to the catcher and ignore everything entering into the improper batter’s safe arrival on base. If more than one batter bats out of turn in succession, the official scorer shall score all plays just as they occur, skipping the turn at bat of the player or players who first missed batting in the proper order.

(e) Called and Forfeited Games

(1)  If a regulation game is called, the official scorer shall include the record of all individual and team actions up to the moment the game ends, as defined in Rule 7.01 (Rules 4.10 and 4.11). If the game is a tie game, the official scorer shall not enter a winning or losing pitcher.

(2)  If a regulation game is forfeited, the official scorer shall include the record of all individual and team actions up to the time of forfeit. If the winning team by forfeit is ahead at the time of forfeit, the official scorer shall enter as winning and losing pitchers the players who would have qualified as the winning and losing pitchers if the game had been called at the time of forfeit. If the winning team by forfeit is behind or if the score is tied at the time of forfeit, the official scorer shall not enter a winning or losing pitcher. If a game is forfeited before it becomes a regulation game, the official scorer shall include no records and shall report only the fact of the forfeit.

Rule 9.03(e) Comment: The official scorer shall not consider that, by rule, the score of a forfeited game is 9 to 0 (see Rule 2.00 (Forfeited Game)), notwithstanding the results on the field at the point the game is forfeited.

9.04 Runs Batted In

9.04 Runs Batted In

A run batted in is a statistic credited to a batter whose action at bat causes one or more runs to score, as set forth in this Rule 9.04.

(a) The official scorer shall credit the batter with a run batted in for every run that scores

(1)  unaided by an error and as part of a play begun by the batter’s safe hit (including the batter’s home run), sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder’s choice, unless Rule 9.04(b) (Rule 10.04(b)) applies;

(2)  by reason of the batter becoming a runner with the bases full (because of a base on balls, an award of first base for being touched by a pitched ball or for interference or obstruction); or

(3)  when, before two are out, an error is made on a play on which a runner from third base ordinarily would score.

(b) The official scorer shall not credit a run batted in

(1)  when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play; or

(2)  when a fielder is charged with an error because the fielder muffs a throw at first base that would have completed a force double play.

(c) The official scorer’s judgment must determine whether a run batted in shall be credited for a run that scores when a fielder holds the ball or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner keeps going, the official scorer should credit a run batted in; if the runner stops and takes off again when the runner notices the misplay, the official scorer should credit the run as scored on a fielder’s choice.

9.05 Base Hits

9.05 Base Hits

A base hit is a statistic credited to a batter when such batter reaches base safely, as set forth in this Rule 9.05 (Rule 10.05).

(a) The official scorer shall credit a batter with a base hit when:

(1)  the batter reaches first base (or any succeeding base) safely on a fair ball that settles on the ground, that touches a fence before being touched by a fielder or that clears a fence;

(2)  the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball hit with such force, or so slowly, that any fielder attempting to make a play with the ball has no opportunity to do so;

Rule 9.05(a)(2) Comment: The official scorer shall credit a hit if the fielder attempting to handle the ball cannot make a play, even if such fielder deflects the ball from or cuts off another fielder who could have put out a runner.

(3)  the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that takes an unnatural bounce so that a fielder cannot handle it with ordinary effort, or that touches the pitcher’s plate or any base (including home plate) before being touched by a fielder and bounces so that a fielder cannot handle the ball with ordinary effort;

(4)  the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that has not been touched by a fielder and that is in fair territory when the ball reaches the outfield, unless in the scorer’s judgment the ball could have been handled with ordinary effort;

(5)  a fair ball that has not been touched by a fielder touches a runner or an umpire, unless a runner is called out for having been touched by an Infield Fly, in which case the official scorer shall not score a hit; or

(6) a fielder unsuccessfully attempts to put out a preceding runner and, in the official scorer’s judgment, the batter-runner would not have been put out at first base by ordinary effort.

Rule 9.05(a) Comment: In applying Rule 9.05(a) (Rule 10.05(a)), the official scorer shall always give the batter the benefit of the doubt. A safe course for the official scorer to follow is to score a hit when exceptionally good fielding of a ball fails to result in a putout.

(b) The official scorer shall not credit a base hit when a:

(1)  runner is forced out by a batted ball, or would have been forced out except for a fielding error;

(2)  batter apparently hits safely and a runner who is forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner fails to touch the first base to which such runner is advancing and is called out on appeal. The official scorer shall charge the batter with a time at bat but no hit;

 (3)  pitcher, the catcher or any infielder handles a batted ball and puts out a preceding runner who is attempting to advance one base or to return to his original base, or would have put out such runner with ordinary effort except for a fielding error. The official scorer shall charge the batter with a time at bat but no hit;
(4)  fielder fails in an attempt to put out a preceding runner and, in the scorer’s judgment, the batter-runner could have been put out at first base; or
Rule 9.05(b) Comment: Rule 9.05(b) (Rule 10.05(b)) shall not apply if the fielder merely looks toward or feints toward another base before attempting to make the putout at first base.
(5)  is called out for interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball, unless in the scorer’s judgment the batter-runner would have been safe had the interference not occurred.

9.06 Determining Value of Base Hits

9.06 Determining Value of Base Hits

The official scorer shall score a base hit as a one-base hit, two-base hit, three-base hit or home run when no error or putout results, as follows:

(a)  Subject to the provisions of Rule 9.06(b) and 9.06(c) (Rules 10.06(b) and 10.06(c)), it is a one-base hit if the batter stops at first base; it is a two-base hit if the batter stops at second base; it a three-base hit if the batter stops at third base; and it is a home run if the batter touches all bases and scores.

(b)  When, with one or more runners on base, the batter advances more than one base on a safe hit and the defensive team makes an attempt to put out a preceding runner, the scorer shall determine whether the batter made a legitimate two-base hit or three-base hit, or whether the batter-runner advanced beyond first base on the fielder’s choice.

Rule 9.06 Comment: The official scorer shall not credit the batter with a three-base hit when a preceding runner is put out at home plate, or would have been out but for an error. The official scorer shall not credit the batter with a two-base hit when a preceding runner trying to advance from first base is put out at third base, or would have been out but for an error. The official scorer shall not, however, with the exception of the above, determine the value of base-hits by the number of bases advanced by a preceding runner. A batter may deserve a two-base hit even though a preceding runner advances one or no bases; a batter may deserve only a one-base hit even though he reaches second base and a preceding runner advances two bases. For example:

(1)  Runner on first. Batter hits to right fielder, who throws to third base in an unsuccessful attempt to put out runner. Batter takes second base. The official scorer shall credit batter with one-base hit.

(2)  Runner on second. Batter hits fair fly ball. Runner holds up to determine if ball is caught and then advances only to third base, while batter takes second base. The official scorer shall credit batter with two-base hit.

(3)  Runner on third. Batter hits high, fair fly. Runner takes a lead, then runs back to tag up, thinking the ball will be caught. The ball falls safe, but runner cannot score, although batter has reached second. The official scorer shall credit batter with a two-base hit.

(c) When the batter attempts to make a two-base hit or a three-base hit by sliding, he must hold the last base to which he advances. If a batter-runner overslides and is tagged out before getting back to the base safely, he shall be credited with only as many bases as he attained safely. If a batter-runner overslides second base and is tagged out, the official scorer shall credited him with a one-base hit; if the batter-runner overslides third base and is tagged out, the official scorer shall credit him with a two-base hit.

Rule 9.06(c) Comment: If the batter-runner overruns second or third base and is tagged out trying to return, the official scorer shall credit the batter-runner with the last base he touched. If a batter-runner runs past second base after reaching that base on his feet, attempts to return and is tagged out, the official scorer shall credit the batter with a two-base hit. If a batter-runner runs past third base after reaching that base on his feet, attempts to return and is tagged out, the official scorer shall credit the batter with a three-base hit.

(d)  When the batter, after making a safe hit, is called out for having failed to touch a base, the last base the batter reached safely shall determine if the official scorer shall credit him with a one-base hit, a two-base hit or a three-base hit. If a batter-runner is called out after missing home plate, the official scorer shall credit him with a three-base hit. If a batter-runner is called out for missing third base, the official scorer shall credit him with a two-base hit. If a batter-runner is called out for missing second base, the official scorer shall credit him with a one-base hit. If a batter-runner is called out for missing first base, the official scorer shall charge him with a time at bat, but no hit.

(e)  When a batter-runner is awarded two bases, three bases or a home run under the provisions of Rules 5.06(b)(4) or 6.01(h) (Rules 7.05 or 7.06(a)), the official scorer shall credit the batter-runner with a two-base hit, a three-base hit or a home run, as the case may be.

(f)  Subject to the provisions of Rule 9.06(g) (Rule 10.06(g)), when a batter ends a game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the official scorer shall credit such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run.

Rule 9.06 (f) Comment: The official scorer shall apply this rule even when the batter is theoretically entitled to more bases because of being awarded an “automatic” extra-base hit under various provisions of Rules 5.05 and 5.06(b)(4) (Rules 6.09 and 7.05).

The official scorer shall credit the batter with a base touched in the natural course of play, even if the winning run has scored moments before on the same play. For example, the score is tied in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner on second base and the batter hits a ball to the outfield that falls for a base hit. The runner scores after the batter has touched first base and continued on to second base but shortly before the batter-runner reaches second base. If the batter-runner reaches second base, the official scorer shall credit the batter with a two-base hit.

(g) When the batter ends a game with a home run hit out of the playing field, the batter and any runners on base are entitled to score.

9.07 Stolen Bases and Caught Stealing

9.07 Stolen Bases and Caught Stealing

The official scorer shall credit a stolen base to a runner whenever the runner advances one base unaided by a hit, a putout, an error, a force-out, a fielder’s choice, a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk, subject to the following:

(a)  When a runner starts for the next base before the pitcher delivers the ball and the pitch results in what ordinarily is scored a wild pitch or passed ball, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base and shall not charge the misplay, unless, as a result of the misplay, the stealing runner advances an extra base, or another runner also advances, in which case the official scorer shall score the wild pitch or passed ball as well as the stolen base.

(b)  When a runner is attempting to steal, and the catcher, after receiving the pitch, makes a wild throw trying to prevent the stolen base, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base. The official scorer shall not charge an error unless the wild throw permits the stealing runner to advance one or more extra bases, or permits another runner to advance, in which case the official scorer shall credit the runner with the stolen base and charge one error to the catcher.

(c)  When a runner, attempting to steal, or after being picked off base, evades being put out in a run-down play and advances to the next base without the aid of an error, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base. If another runner also advances on the play, the official scorer shall credit both runners with stolen bases. If a runner advances while another runner, attempting to steal, evades being put out in a run-down play and returns safely, without the aid of an error, to the base he originally occupied, the official scorer shall credit a stolen base to the runner who advances.

(d) When a double-or triple-steal is attempted and one runner is thrown out before reaching and holding the base such runner is attempting to steal, no other runner shall be credited with a stolen base.

(e) When a runner is tagged out after oversliding a base, while attempting either to return to that base or to advance to the next base, the official scorer shall not credit such runner with a stolen base.

(f ) When in the scorer’s judgment a runner attempting to steal is safe because of a muffed throw, the official scorer shall not credit a stolen base. The official scorer shall credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw, charge an error to the fielder who muffed the throw and charge the runner with “caught stealing.”

(g) The official scorer shall not score a stolen base when a runner advances solely because of the defensive team’s indifference to the runner’s advance. The official scorer shall score such a play as a fielder’s choice.

Rule 9.07(g) Comment: The scorer shall consider, in judging whether the defensive team has been indifferent to a runner’s advance, the totality of the circumstances, including the inning and score of the game, whether the defensive team had held the runner on base, whether the pitcher had made any pickoff attempts on that runner before the runner’s advance, whether the fielder ordinarily expected to cover the base to which the runner advanced made a move to cover such base, whether the defensive team had a legitimate strategic motive to not contest the runner’s advance or whether the defensive team might be trying impermissibly to deny the runner credit for a stolen base. For example, with runners on first and third bases, the official scorer should ordinarily credit a stolen base when the runner on first advances to second, if, in the scorer’s judgment, the defensive team had a legitimate strategic motive—namely, preventing the runner on third base from scoring on the throw to second base—not to contest the runner’s advance to second base. The official scorer may conclude that the defensive team is impermissibly trying to deny a runner credit for a stolen base if, for example, the defensive team fails to defend the advance of a runner approaching a league or career record or a league statistical title.

(h) The official scorer shall charge a runner as “caught stealing” if such runner is put out, or would have been put out by errorless play, when such runner

(1)  tries to steal;

(2)  is picked off a base and tries to advance (any move toward the next base shall be considered an attempt to advance); or

(3)  overslides while stealing.

Rule 9.07(h) Comment: In those instances where a pitched ball eludes the catcher and the runner is put out trying to advance, the official scorer shall not charge any “caught stealing.” The official scorer shall not charge any caught stealing when a runner is awarded a base due to obstruction or when a runner is called out due to interference by the batter. The official scorer shall not charge a runner with a caught stealing if such runner would not have been credited with a stolen base had such runner been safe (for example, when a catcher throws the runner out after such runner tries to advance after a ball that had eluded the catcher on a pitch).

9.08 Sacrifices

9.08 Sacrifices

The official scorer shall:

(a) Score a sacrifice bunt when, before two are out, the batter advances one or more runners with a bunt and is put out at first base, or would have been put out except for a fielding error, unless, in the judgment of the official scorer, the batter was bunting exclusively for a base hit and not sacrificing his own chance of reaching first base for the purpose of advancing a runner or runners, in which case the official scorer shall charge the batter with a time at bat;

Rule 9.08(a) Comment: In determining whether the batter had been sacrificing his own chance of reaching first base for the purpose of advancing a runner, the official scorer shall give the batter the benefit of the doubt. The official scorer shall consider the totality of the circumstances of the at-bat, including the inning, the number of outs and the score.

(b)  Score a sacrifice bunt when, before two are out, the fielders handle a bunted ball without error in an unsuccessful attempt to put out a preceding runner advancing one base, unless, an attempt to turn a bunt into a putout of a preceding runner fails, and in the judgment of the official scorer ordinary effort would not have put out the batter at first base, in which case the batter shall be credited with a one-base hit and not a sacrifice;

(c)  Not score a sacrifice bunt when any runner is put out attempting to advance one base on a bunt, or would have been put out, except for a fielding error, in which case the official scorer shall charge the batter with a time at bat; and

(d) Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that

(1) is caught, and a runner scores after the catch, or

(2) is dropped, and a runner scores, if in the scorer’s judgment the runner could have scored after the catch had the fly been caught.

Rule 9.08(d) Comment: The official scorer shall score a sacrifice fly in accordance with Rule 9.08(d)(2) (Rule 10.08(d)(2)) even though another runner is forced out by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

9.09 Putouts

9.09 Putouts

A putout is a statistic credited to a fielder whose action causes the out of a batter-runner or runner, as set forth in this Rule 9.09 (Rule 10.09).

(a) The official scorer shall credit a putout to each fielder who

(1)  catches a ball that is in flight, whether fair or foul;

(2)  catches a batted or thrown ball and tags a base to put out a batter or runner; or

Rule 9.09(a)(2) Comment: The official scorer shall credit a fielder with a putout if such fielder catches a thrown ball and tags a base to record an out on an appeal play.

(3)  tags a runner when the runner is off the base to which the runner is entitled.

(b) The official scorer shall credit an automatic putout to the catcher when a:

(1)  batter is called out on strikes;

(2)  batter is called out for an illegally batted ball;

(3)  batter is called out for bunting foul for his third strike;

Rule 9.09(b)(3) Comment: Note the exception in Rule 9.15(a)(4) (Rule 10.15(a)(4)).

(4)  batter is called out for being touched by his own batted ball;

(5)  batter is called out for interfering with the catcher;

(6)  batter is called out for failing to bat in his proper turn;

Rule 9.09(b)(6) Comment: See Rule 9.03(d) (Rule 10.03(d).

(7)  batter is called out for refusing to touch first base after receiving a base on balls, after being hit by a pitch or after a catcher’s interference; or

(8)  runner is called out for refusing to advance from third base to home plate.

(c) The official scorer shall credit automatic putouts as follows (and shall credit no assists on these plays except as specified):

(1) When the batter is called out on an Infield Fly that is not caught, the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder who the scorer believes could have made the catch;

(2) When a runner is called out for being touched by a fair ball (including an Infield Fly), the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder nearest the ball;

(3) When a runner is called out for running out of line to avoid being tagged, the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder whom the runner avoided;

(4) When a runner is called out for passing another runner, the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder nearest the point of passing;

(5) When a runner is called out for running the bases in reverse order, the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder covering the base the runner left in starting his reverse run;

(6) When a runner is called out for having interfered with a fielder, the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder with whom the runner interfered, unless the fielder was in the act of throwing the ball when the interference occurred, in which case the official scorer shall credit the putout to the fielder for whom the throw was intended and shall credit an assist to the fielder whose throw was interfered with; or

(7) When the batter-runner is called out because of interference by a preceding runner, as provided in Rule 6.01(a)(5) (Rule 6.08(m)), the official scorer shall credit the putout to the first baseman. If the fielder interfered with was in the act of throwing the ball, the official scorer shall credit such fielder with an assist but shall credit only one assist on any one play under the provisions of Rules 9.09(c)(6) and 9.09(c)(7) (Rules 10.09(c)(6) and 10.09(c)(7)).

 

9.10 Assists

An assist is a statistic credited to a fielder whose action contributes to a batter-runner or runner being put out, as set forth in this Rule 9.10 (Rule 10.10).

a) The official scorer shall credit an assist to each fielder who

(1) throws or deflects a batted or thrown ball in such a way that a putout results, or would have resulted except for a subsequent error by any fielder. Only one assist and no more shall be credited to each fielder who throws or deflects the ball in a run-down play that results in a putout, or would have resulted in a putout, except for a subsequent error; or

Rule 9.10(a)(1) Comment: Mere ineffective contact with the ball shall not be considered an assist. “Deflect” shall mean to slow down or change the direction of the ball and thereby effectively assist in putting out a batter or runner. If a putout results from an appeal play within the natural course of play, the official scorer shall give assists to each fielder, except the fielder making the putout, whose action led to the putout. If a putout results from an appeal play initiated by the pitcher throwing to a fielder after the previous play has ended, the official scorer shall credit the pitcher, and only the pitcher, with an assist.

(2) throws or deflects the ball during a play that results in a runner being called out for interference or for running out of line.

(b) The official scorer shall not credit an assist to

(1)  the pitcher on a strikeout, unless the pitcher fields an uncaught third strike and makes a throw that results in a putout;

(2)  the pitcher when, as the result of a legal pitch received by the catcher, a runner is put out, as when the catcher picks a runner off base, throws out a runner trying to steal or tags a runner trying to score; or

(3)  a fielder whose wild throw permits a runner to advance, even though the runner subsequently is put out as a result of continuous play. A play that follows a misplay (whether or not the misplay is an error) is a new play, and the fielder making any misplay shall not be credited with an assist unless such fielder takes part in the new play.

9.11 Double and Triple Plays

9.11 Double and Triple Plays

The official scorer shall credit participation in a double play or triple play to each fielder who earns a putout or an assist when two or three players are put out between the time a pitch is delivered and the time the ball next becomes dead or is next in possession of the pitcher in a pitching position, unless an error or misplay intervenes between putouts.

Rule 9.11 Comment: The official scorer shall credit a double play or triple play also if an appeal play after the ball is in possession of the pitcher results in an additional putout.

9.12 Errors

9.12 Errors

An error is a statistic charged against a fielder whose action has assisted the team on offense, as set forth in this Rule 9.12 (Rule 10.12).

(a) The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:

(1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases, unless, in the judgment of the official scorer, such fielder deliberately permits a foul fly to fall safe with a runner on third base before two are out in order that the runner on third shall not score after the catch;

Rule 9.12(a)(1) Comment: Slow handling of the ball that does not involve mechanical misplay shall not be construed as an error. For example, the official scorer shall not charge a fielder with an error if such fielder fields a ground ball cleanly but does not throw to first base in time to retire the batter. It is not necessary that the fielder touch the ball to be charged with an error. If a ground ball goes through a fielder’s legs or a fly ball falls untouched and, in the scorer’s judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the official scorer shall charge such fielder with an error. For example, the official scorer shall charge an infielder with an error when a ground ball passes to either side of such infielder if, in the official scorer’s judgment, a fielder at that position making ordinary effort would have fielded such ground ball and retired a runner. The official scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorer’s judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball. If a throw is low, wide or high, or strikes the ground, and a runner reaches base who otherwise would have been put out by such throw, the official scorer shall charge the player making the throw with an error.

The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise. A fielder’s mental mistake that leads to a physical misplay— such as throwing the ball into the stands or rolling the ball to the pitcher’s mound, mistakenly believing there to be three outs, and thereby allowing a runner or runners to advance— shall not be considered a mental mistake for purposes of this rule and the official scorer shall charge a fielder committing such a mistake with an error. The official scorer shall not charge an error if the pitcher fails to cover first base on a play, thereby allowing a batter-runner to reach first base safely. The official scorer shall not charge an error to a fielder who incorrectly throws to the wrong base on a play.

The official scorer shall charge an error to a fielder who causes another fielder to misplay a ball—for example, by knocking the ball out of the other fielder’s glove. On such a play, when the official scorer charges an error to the interfering fielder, the official scorer shall not charge an error to the fielder with whom the other fielder interfered.

(2)  when such fielder muffs a foul fly to prolong the time at bat of a batter, whether the batter subsequently reaches first base or is put out;

(3)  when such fielder catches a thrown ball or a ground ball in time to put out the batter-runner and fails to tag first base or the batter-runner;

(4)  when such fielder catches a thrown ball or a ground ball in time to put out any runner on a force play and fails to tag the base or the runner;

(5)  whose wild throw permits a runner to reach a base safely, when in the scorer’s judgment a good throw would have put out the runner, unless such wild throw is made attempting to prevent a stolen base;

(6)  whose wild throw in attempting to prevent a runner’s advance permits that runner or any other runner to advance one or more bases beyond the base such runner would have reached had the throw not been wild;

(7)  whose throw takes an unnatural bounce, touches a base or the pitcher’s plate, or touches a runner, a fielder or an umpire, thereby permitting any runner to advance; or

Rule 9.12(a)(7) Comment: The official scorer shall apply this rule even when it appears to be an injustice to a fielder whose throw was accurate. For example, the official scorer shall charge an error to an outfielder whose accurate throw to second base hits the base and caroms back into the outfield, thereby permitting a runner or runners to advance, because every base advanced by a runner must be accounted for.

(8) whose failure to stop, or try to stop, an accurately thrown ball permits a runner to advance, so long as there was occasion for the throw. If such throw was made to second base, the official scorer shall determine whether it was the duty of the second baseman or the shortstop to stop the ball and shall charge an error to the negligent fielder.

Rule 9.12(a)(8) Comment: If, in the official scorer’s judgment, there was no occasion for the throw, the official scorer shall charge an error to the fielder who threw the ball.

(b)  The official scorer shall charge only one error on any wild throw, regardless of the number of bases advanced by one or more runners.

(c)  When an umpire awards the batter or any runner or runners one or more bases because of interference or obstruction, the official scorer shall charge the fielder who committed the interference or obstruction with one error, no matter how many bases the batter, or runner or runners, may advance.

Rule 9.12(c) Comment: The official scorer shall not charge an error if obstruction does not change the play, in the opinion of the scorer.

(d)  The official scorer shall not charge an error against:

(1)  the catcher when the catcher, after receiving the pitch, makes a wild throw attempting to prevent a stolen base, unless the wild throw permits the stealing runner to advance one or more extra bases or permits any other runner to advance one or more bases;

(2)  any fielder who makes a wild throw if in the scorer’s judgment the runner would not have been put out with ordinary effort by a good throw, unless such wild throw permits any runner to advance beyond the base he would have reached had the throw not been wild;

(3)  any fielder who makes a wild throw in attempting to complete a double play or triple play, unless such wild throw enables any runner to advance beyond the base such runner would have reached had the throw not been wild;

Rule 9.12(d) Comment: When a fielder muffs a thrown ball that, if held, would have completed a double play or triple play, the official scorer shall charge an error to the fielder who drops the ball and credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw.

(4)  any fielder when, after a ground ball or dropping a batted ball that is in flight or a thrown ball, the fielder recovers the ball in time to force out a runner at any base; or

(5)  any fielder when a wild pitch or passed ball is scored.

(e)  The official scorer shall not charge an error when the batter is awarded first base on four called balls, when the batter is awarded first base when touched by a pitched ball, or when the batter reaches first base as the result of a wild pitch or passed ball.

Rule 9.12(e) Comment: See Rule 9.13 (Rule 10.13) for additional scoring rules relating to wild pitches and passed balls.

(f) The official scorer shall not charge an error when a runner or runners advance as the result of a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk.

(1)  When the fourth called ball is a wild pitch or a passed ball and as a result

(A)  the batter-runner advances to a base beyond first base;

(B)  any runner forced to advance by the base on balls advances more than one base; or

(C)  any runner, not forced to advance, advances one or more bases, the official scorer shall score the base on balls and also the wild pitch or passed ball, as the case may be.

(2)  When the catcher recovers the ball after a wild pitch or passed ball on the third strike, and throws out the batter-runner at first base, or tags out the batter-runner, but another runner or runners advance, the official scorer shall score the strikeout, the putout and assists, if any, and credit the advance of the other runner or runners on the play as a fielder’s choice.

Rule 9.12 (f) Comment: See Rule 9.13 (Rule 10.13) for additional scoring rules relating to wild pitches and passed balls.

9.13 Wild Pitches and Passed Balls

9.13 Wild Pitches and Passed Balls

A wild pitch is defined in the Definition of Terms (Wild Pitch). A passed ball is a statistic charged against a catcher whose action has caused a runner or runners to advance, as set forth in this Rule 9.13 (Rule 10.13).

(a) The official scorer shall charge a pitcher with a wild pitch when a legally delivered ball is so high, so wide or so low that the catcher does not stop and control the ball by ordinary effort, thereby permitting a runner or runners to advance. The official scorer shall charge a pitcher with a wild pitch when a legally delivered ball touches the ground or home plate before reaching the catcher and is not handled by the catcher, thereby permitting a runner or runners to advance. When the third strike is a wild pitch, permitting the batter to reach first base, the official scorer shall score a strikeout and a wild pitch.

(b) The official scorer shall charge a catcher with a passed ball when the catcher fails to hold or to control a legally pitched ball that should have been held or controlled with ordinary effort, thereby permitting a runner or runners to advance. When the third strike is a passed ball, permitting the batter to reach first base, the official scorer shall score a strikeout and a passed ball.

Rule 9.13 Comment: The official scorer shall not charge a wild pitch or passed ball if the defensive team makes an out before any runners advance. For example, if a pitch touches the ground and eludes the catcher with a runner on first base, but the catcher recovers the ball and throws to second base in time to retire the runner, the official scorer shall not charge the pitcher with a wild pitch. The official scorer shall credit the advancement of any other runner on the play as a fielder’s choice. If a catcher drops a pitch, for example, with a runner on first base, but the catcher recovers the ball and throws to second base in time to retire the runner, the official scorer shall not charge the catcher with a passed ball. The official scorer shall credit the advancement of any other runner on the play as a fielder’s choice.

See Rules 9.07(a), 9.12(e) and 9.12(f) (Rules 10.07(a), 10.12(e) and 10.12(f)) for additional scoring rules relating to wild pitches and passed balls.

9.14 Base on Balls

9.14 Base on Balls

A base on balls is defined in the Definition of Terms (Base on Balls).

(a) The official scorer shall score a base on balls whenever a batter is awarded first base because of four balls having been pitched outside the strike zone, but when the fourth such ball touches the batter it shall be scored as a “hit batter.”

Rule 9.14(a) Comment: See Rule 9.16(h) (Rule 10.16(h)) for the procedure when more than one pitcher is involved in giving a base on balls. See also Rule 9.15 (Rule 10.15), which addresses situations in which a substitute batter receives a base on balls.

(b)  The official scorer shall score an intentional base on balls when the pitcher makes no attempt to throw the last pitch to the batter into the strike zone, but purposely throws the ball wide to the catcher outside the catcher’s box.

(c)  If a batter awarded a base on balls is called out for refusing to advance to first base, the official scorer shall not credit the base on balls and shall charge a time at bat.

9.15 Strikeouts

9.15 Strikeouts

A strikeout is a statistic credited to a pitcher and charged to a batter when the umpire calls three strikes on a batter, as set forth in this Rule 9.15 (Rule 10.15).

(a)  The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter:

(1)  is put out by a third strike caught by the catcher;

(2)  is put out by a third strike not caught when there is a runner on first before two are out;

(3)  becomes a runner because a third strike is not caught; or

(4)  bunts foul on third strike, unless such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strikeout and shall credit the fielder who catches such foul fly with a putout.

(b)  When a batter leaves the game with two strikes against him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, the official scorer shall charge the strikeout and the time at bat to the first batter. If the substitute batter completes the turn at bat in any other manner, including a base on balls, the official scorer shall score the action as having been that of the substitute batter.

9.16 Earned Runs and Runs Allowed

9.16 Earned Runs and Runs Allowed

An earned run is a run for which a pitcher is held accountable. In determining earned runs, the official scorer shall reconstruct the inning without the errors (which exclude catcher’s interference) and passed balls, giving the benefit of the doubt always to the pitcher in determining which bases would have been reached by runners had there been errorless play. For the purpose of determining earned runs, an intentional base on balls, regardless of the circumstances, shall be construed in exactly the same manner as any other base on balls.

(a) The official scorer shall charge an earned run against a pitcher every time a runner reaches home base by the aid of safe hits, sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly, stolen bases, putouts, fielder’s choices, bases on balls, hit batters, balks or wild pitches (including a wild pitch on third strike that permits a batter to reach first base) before fielding chances have been offered to put out the offensive team. For the purpose of this rule, a defensive interference penalty shall be construed as a fielding chance. A wild pitch is solely the pitcher’s fault and shall contribute to an earned run just as a base on balls or a balk.

Rule 9.16(a) Comment: The following are examples of earned runs charged to a pitcher:

(1)  Peter pitches and retires Abel and Baker, the first two batters of an inning. Charlie reaches first base on an error charged to a fielder. Daniel hits a home run. Edward hits a home run. Peter retires Frank to end the inning. Three runs have scored, but no earned runs are charged to Peter, because Charlie should have been the third out of the inning, as reconstructed without the error.

(2)  Peter pitches and retires Abel. Baker hits a triple. While pitching to Charlie, Peter throws a wild pitch, allowing Baker to score. Peter retires Daniel and Edward. One run has scored, charged as an earned run to Peter, because the wild pitch contributes to an earned run.

In an inning in which a batter-runner reaches first base on a catcher’s interference, such batter-runner shall not count as an earned run should he subsequently score. The official scorer shall not assume, however, that such batter would have made an out absent the catcher’s interference (unlike, for example, situations in which a batter-runner reaches first base safely because of a fielder’s misplay of a ball for an error). Because such batter never had a chance to complete his time at bat, it is unknown how such batter would have fared absent the catcher’s interference. Compare the following examples:

(3) With two out, Abel reaches first on an error by the short-stop in misplaying a ground ball. Baker hits a home run. Charlie strikes out. Two runs have scored, but none is earned, because Abel’s at-bat should have been the third out of the inning, as reconstructed without the error.

(4) With two out, Abel reaches first on a catcher’s interference. Baker hits a home run. Charlie strikes out. Two runs have scored, but one (Baker’s) is earned, because the official scorer cannot assume that Abel would have made an out to end the inning, absent the catcher’s interference.

(b) No run shall be earned when scored by a runner who reaches first base

(1) on a hit or otherwise after his time at bat is prolonged by a muffed foul fly;

(2) because of interference or obstruction; or

(3) because of any fielding error.

(c) No run shall be earned when scored by a runner whose presence on the bases is prolonged by an error, if such runner would have been put out by errorless play.

(d) No run shall be earned when the scoring runner’s advance has been aided by an error, a passed ball or defensive interference or obstruction, if in the official scorer’s judgment the run would not have scored without the aid of such misplay.

(e) An error by a pitcher is treated exactly the same as an error by any other fielder in computing earned runs.

(f) Whenever a fielding error occurs, the pitcher shall be given the benefit of the doubt in determining to which bases any runners would have advanced had the fielding of the defensive team been errorless.

(g) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the official scorer shall not charge the relief pitcher with any run (earned or unearned) scored by a runner who was on base at the time such relief pitcher entered the game, nor for runs scored by any runner who reaches base on a fielder’s choice that puts out a runner left on base by any preceding pitcher.

Rule 9.16(g) Comment: It is the intent of Rule 9.16(g) (Rule 10.16(g)) to charge each pitcher with the number of runners he put on base, rather than with the individual runners. When a pitcher puts runners on base and is relieved, such pitcher shall be charged with all runs subsequently scored up to and including the number of runners such pitcher left on base when such pitcher left the game, unless such runners are put out without action by the batter (i.e., caught stealing, picked off base or called out for interference when a batter-runner does not reach first base on the play). For example:

(1)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker grounds out, advancing Abel to second base. Charlie flies out. Daniel singles, scoring Abel. Abel’s run is charged to Peter.

(2)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker forces Abel at second bases. Charlie grounds out, advancing Baker to second base. Daniel singles, scoring Baker. Baker’s run is charged to Peter.

(3)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker singles, advancing Abel to third base. Charlie grounds to short, with Abel out at home plate and Baker advancing to second base. Daniel flies out. Edward singles, scoring Baker. Baker’s run is charged to Peter.

(4)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker reaches on a base on balls. Charlie flies out. Abel is picked off second base. Daniel doubles, scoring Baker from first base. Baker’s run is charged to Roger.

(5)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker reaches first base on a base on balls. Sierra relieves Roger. Charlie forces Abel at third base. Daniel forces Baker at third base. Edward hits a home run, scoring three runs. The official scorer shall charge one run to Peter, one run to Roger and one run to Sierra.

(6)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker reaches first base on a base on balls. Charlie singles, filling the bases. Daniel forces Abel at home plate. Edward singles, scoring Baker and Charlie. The official scorer shall charge one run to Peter and one run to Roger.

(7)  Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Baker singles, but Abel is out trying to reach third base and Baker advances to second base on the throw. Charlie singles, scoring Baker. Baker’s run is charged to Roger.

(h) A relief pitcher shall not be held accountable when the first batter to whom he pitches reaches first base on four called balls if such batter has a decided advantage in the ball and strike count when pitchers are changed.

(1) If, when pitchers are changed, the count is 2 balls, no strike,

2 balls, 1 strike,
3 balls, no strike,
3 balls, 1 strike,
3 balls, 2 strikes,

and the batter gets a base on balls, the official scorer shall charge that batter and the base on balls to the preceding pitcher, not to the relief pitcher.

(2)  Any other action by such batter, such as reaching base on a hit, an error, a fielder’s choice, a force-out, or being touched by a pitched ball, shall cause such a batter to be charged to the relief pitcher.

Rule 9.16(h) Comment: The provisions of Rule 9.16(h)(2) (Rule 10.16(h)(2)) shall not be construed as affecting or conflicting with the provisions of Rule 9.16(g) (Rule 10.16(g)).

(3) If, when pitchers are changed, the count is

2 balls, 2 strikes,
1 ball, 2 strikes,
1 ball, 1 strike,
1 ball, no strike,
no ball, 2 strikes,
no ball, 1 strike,

the official scorer shall charge that batter and the actions of that batter to the relief pitcher.

(i) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not have the benefit of previous chances for outs not accepted in determining earned runs.

Rule 9.16(i) Comment: It is the intent of Rule 9.16(i) (Rule 10.16(i)) to charge a relief pitcher with earned runs for which such relief pitcher is solely responsible. In some instances, runs charged as earned against the relief pitcher can be charged as unearned against the team. For example:

(1)  With two out and Peter pitching, Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Baker reaches first base on an error. Roger relieves Peter. Charlie hits a home run, scoring three runs. The official scorer shall charge two unearned runs to Peter, one earned run to Roger and three unearned runs to the team (because the inning should have ended with the third out when Baker batted and an error was committed).

(2)  With two out, and Peter pitching, Abel and Baker each reach first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves Peter. Charlie reaches first base on an error. Daniel hits a home run, scoring four runs. The official scorer shall charge two unearned runs to Peter and two unearned runs to Roger (because the inning should have ended with the third out when Charlie batted and an error was committed).

(3) With none out and Peter pitching, Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Baker reaches first base on an error. Roger relieves Peter. Charlie hits a home run, scoring three runs. Daniel and Edward strike out. Frank reaches first base on an error. George hits a home run, scoring two runs. The official scorer shall charge two runs, one of them earned, to Peter, three runs, one of them earned, to Roger and five runs, two of them earned, to the team (because only Abel and Charlie would have scored in an inning reconstructed without the errors).

9.17 Winning and Losing Pitcher

9.17 Winning and Losing Pitcher

(a) The official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead, unless

(1) such pitcher is a starting pitcher and Rule 9.17(b) (Rule 10.17(b) applies; or (2) Rule 9.17(c) (Rule 10.17(c)) applies.

Rule 9.17(a) Comment: Whenever the score is tied, the game becomes a new contest insofar as the winning pitcher is concerned. Once the opposing team assumes the lead, all pitchers who have pitched up to that point and have been replaced are excluded from being credited with the victory. If the pitcher against whose pitching the opposing team gained the lead continues to pitch until his team regains the lead, which it holds to the finish of the game, that pitcher shall be the winning pitcher.

(b) If the pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead, is a starting pitcher who has not completed

(1) five innings of a game that lasts six or more innings on defense, or

(2) four innings of a game that lasts five innings on defense, then the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the relief pitcher, if there is only one relief pitcher, or the relief pitcher who, in the official scorer’s judgment was the most effective, if there is more than one relief pitcher.

Rule 9.17(b) Comment: It is the intent of Rule 9.17(b) (Rule 10.17(b)) that a relief pitcher pitch at least one complete inning or pitch when a crucial out is made, within the context of the game (including the score), in order to be credited as the winning pitcher. If the first relief pitcher pitches effectively, the official scorer should not presumptively credit that pitcher with the win, because the rule requires that the win be credited to the pitcher who was the most effective, and a subsequent relief pitcher may have been most effective. The official scorer, in determining which relief pitcher was the most effective, should consider the number of runs, earned runs and base runners given up by each relief pitcher and the context of the game at the time of each relief pitcher’s appearance. If two or more relief pitchers were similarly effective, the official scorer should give the presumption to the earlier pitcher as the winning pitcher.

(c) The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.

Rule 9.17(c) Comment: The official scorer generally should, but is not required to, consider the appearance of a relief pitcher to be ineffective and brief if such relief pitcher pitches less than one inning and allows two or more earned runs to score (even if such runs are charged to a previous pitcher).

Rule 9.17(b) (Rule 10.17(b)) Comment provides guidance on choosing the winning pitcher from among several succeeding relief pitchers.

(d)  A losing pitcher is a pitcher who is responsible for the run that gives the winning team a lead that the winning team does not relinquish.

Rule 9.17(d) Comment: Whenever the score is tied, the game becomes a new contest insofar as the losing pitcher is concerned.

(e)  A league may designate a non-championship game (for example, the Major League All-Star Game) for which Rules 9.17(a)(1) and 9.17(b) (Rules 10.17(a)(1) and 10.17(b)) do not apply. In such games, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead, unless such pitcher is knocked out after the winning team has attained a commanding lead and the official scorer concludes that a subsequent pitcher is entitled to credit as the winning pitcher.

9.18 Shutouts

9.18 Shutouts

A shutout is a statistic credited to a pitcher who allows no runs in a game. No pitcher shall be credited with pitching a shutout unless he pitches the complete game, or unless he enters the game with none out before the opposing team has scored in the first inning, puts out the side without a run scoring and pitches the rest of the game without allowing a run. When two or more pitchers combine to pitch a shutout, the league statistician shall make a notation to that effect in the league’s official pitching records.

9.19 Saves for Relief Pitchers

9.19 Saves for Relief Pitchers

A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in this Rule 9.19 (Rule 10.19).

The official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

(a) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
(b) He is not the winning pitcher;
(c) He is credited with at least 1/3 of an inning pitched; and
(d) He satisfies one of the following conditions:

(1)  He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning;

(2)  He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces); or

(3)  He pitches for at least three innings.

9.20 Statistics

9.20 Statistics

The League President shall appoint an official statistician. The statistician shall maintain an accumulative record of all the batting, fielding, running and pitching records specified in Rule 9.02 (Rule 10.02) for every player who appears in a league championship game or post-season game.

The statistician shall prepare a tabulated report at the end of the season, including all individual and team records for every championship game, and shall submit this report to the League President. This report shall identify each player by his first name and surname and shall indicate as to each batter whether he bats right-handed, left-handed or both ways, and as to each fielder and pitcher, whether he throws right-handed or left-handed.

When a player listed in the starting lineup is substituted for before he plays on defense, he shall not receive credit in the defensive statistics (fielding) unless he actually plays that position during the game. All such players, however, shall be credited with one game played (in batting statistics) so long as they are announced into the game or listed on the official lineup card.

Rule 9.20 Comment: The official scorer shall credit a player with having played on defense if such player is on the field for at least one pitch or play. If a game is called (for example, because of rain) after a substitute player enters the field but before a pitch is thrown or a play is made, the official scorer shall credit such player with a game played in the batting statistics but shall not credit such player in any defensive statistics. If a game is called (for example, because of rain) after a relief pitcher enters the field but before a pitch is thrown or a play is made, the official scorer shall credit such pitcher with a game played in the batting statistics but shall not credit such pitcher in any defensive statistics or with a game pitched.

Any games played to break a divisional tie shall be included in the statistics for that championship season.

9.21 Determining Percentage Records

9.21 Determining Percentage Records

To compute:

(a)  Percentage of games won and lost, divide the number of games won by the sum of games won and games lost;

(b)  Batting average, divide the total number of safe hits (not the total bases on hits) by the total times at bat, as defined in Rule 9.02(a) (Rule 10.02(a));

(c) Slugging percentage, divide the total bases of all safe hits by the total times at bat, as defined in Rule 9.02(a) (Rule 10.02(a));

(d) Fielding average, divide the sum of putouts and assists by the sum of putouts, assists and errors (which shall be called chances);

(e) Pitcher’s earned-run average, multiply the total earned runs charged against such pitcher by 9, and divide the result by the total number of innings he pitched, including fractions of an inning; and

Rule 9.21(e) Comment: For example, 9 1⁄3 innings pitched and 3 earned runs is an earned-run average of 2.89 (3 earned runs times 9 divided by 9 1⁄3 equals 2.89).

(f ) On-base percentage, divide the sum of hits, bases on balls and times hit by pitch by the sum of at-bats, bases on balls, times hit by pitch and sacrifice flies.

Rule 9.21(f) Comment: For the purpose of computing on-base percentage, ignore instances of a batter being awarded first base on interference or obstruction.

9.22 Minimum Standards for Individual Championships

9.22 Minimum Standards for Individual Championships

To assure uniformity in establishing the batting, pitching and fielding championships of professional leagues, such champions shall meet the following minimum performance standards:

(a) The individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion shall be the player with the highest batting average, slugging percentage or on-base percentage, as the case may be, provided the player is credited with as many or more total appearances at the plate in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club’s league that season, multiplied by 3.1 in the case of a Major League player and by 2.7 in the case of a National Association player. Total appearances at the plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases on balls, times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times awarded first base because of interference or obstruction. Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement of minimum appearances at the plate, any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship, as the case may be.

Rule 9.22(a) Comment: For example, if a Major League schedules 162 games for each club, 502 plate appearances qualify (162 times 3.1 equals 502) a player for a batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship. If a National Association league schedules 140 games for each club, 378 plate appearances qualify (140 times 2.7 equals 378) a player for a batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship. Fractions of a plate appearance are to be rounded up or down to the closest whole number. For example, 162 times 3.1 equals 502.2, which is rounded down to a requirement of 502.

If, for example, Abel has the highest batting average among those with 502 plate appearance in a Major League with a .362 batting average (181 hits in 500 at-bats), and Baker has 490 plate appearances, 440 at-bats and 165 hits for a .375 batting average, Baker shall be the batting champion, because adding 12 more at-bats to Baker’s record would still give Baker a higher batting average than Abel: .365 (165 hits in 452 at-bats) to Abel’s .362.

(b) The individual pitching champion in a Major League shall be the pitcher with the lowest earned-run average, provided that the pitcher has pitched at least as many innings in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club’s league that season. The individual pitching champion in a National Association league shall be the pitcher with the lowest earned-run average provided that the pitcher has pitched at least as many innings in league championship season games as 80% of the number of games scheduled for each club in the pitcher’s league.

Rule 9.22 (b) Comment: For example, if a Major League schedules 162 games for each club, 162 innings qualify a pitcher for a pitching championship. A pitcher with 161 2⁄3 innings would not qualify. If a National Association league schedules 140 games for each club, 112 innings qualify a pitcher for a pitching championship. Fractions of an inning for the required number of innings are to be rounded to the closest third of an inning. For example, 80% of 144 games is 115.2, so 115 1⁄3 innings would be the minimum required for a pitching championship in a National Association league with 144 games scheduled and 80% of 76 games is 60.8, so 60 2⁄3 innings would be the minimum required for a pitching championship in a National Association league with 76 games scheduled.

(c) The individual fielding champions shall be the fielders with the highest fielding average at each position, provided:

(1)  A catcher must have participated as a catcher in at least one-half the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season;

(2)  An infielder or outfielder must have participated at his position in at least two-thirds of the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season; and

(3)  A pitcher must have pitched at least as many innings as the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season, unless another pitcher has a fielding average as high or higher and has handled more total chances in fewer innings, in which case such other pitcher shall be the fielding champion.

9.23 Guidelines for Cumulative Performance Records

9.23 Guidelines for Cumulative Performance Records

(a) Consecutive Hitting Streaks

A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if a batter’s plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate the streak.

(b)  Consecutive-Game Hitting Streaks

A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all of a batter’s plate appearances (one or more) in a game result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit.

A player’s individual consecutive-game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive games in which such player appears and is not determined by his club’s games.

(c)  Consecutive-Game Playing Streak

A consecutive-game playing streak shall be extended if a player plays one half-inning on defense or if the player completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out. A pinch-running appearance only shall not extend the streak. If a player is ejected from a game by an umpire before such player can comply with the requirements of this Rule 9.23(c) (Rule 10.23(c)), such player’s streak shall continue.

(d) Suspended Games

For the purpose of this Rule 9.23 (Rule 10.23), all performances in the completion of a suspended game shall be considered as occurring on the original date of the game.

Conduct and Responsibilities of Umpires

STANDARDS FOR REMOVAL FROM THE GAME

  • MLB Umpires are entrusted with the authority to remove any participant from a game. This responsibility should never be taken lightly. Major League Baseball recognizes that every situation is unique and that umpire discretion is essential to proper rule enforcement. While there are unique and extraordinary circumstances, players and Clubs look to the MLB umpiring staff for uniformity in applying consistent standards for ejection. The following general principles should be considered when deciding whether to eject a player, coach, manager, or other person from a game:
  • Use of profanity specifically directed at an umpire or vulgar personal insults of an umpire are grounds for ejection.
  • Physical contact with an umpire is a ground for ejection.
  • Refusal to stop arguing, and further delaying the game after the umpire has provided a player or manager adequate opportunity to make a point, is a ground for ejection. The umpire should warn the player or manager that he has been heard and that he should return his position or be ejected.
  • If a player, coach, or manager leaves his position to argue balls and strikes (including half swings), he should be warned to immediately return or he will be automatically ejected.
  • If a Replay Review is initiated, no uniformed personnel from either Club shall be permitted to further argue the contested calls or the decision of the Replay Official. On-field personnel who violate this provision shall be ejected. In circumstances in which Replay Review is not available (e.g., the call is not reviewable, no Manager Challenge or Crew Chief review is available or, after the eighth inning, the Crew Chief has communicated that he has declined to initiate Replay Review), if a manager, coach, or player makes reference to having observed a video replay that purportedly contradicts the call under dispute, such person is subject to immediate ejection from the game.
  • Use of histrionic gestures (e.g., jumping up and down, violently waving arms, or demonstrations) while arguing with an umpire, or stepping out of the dugout and making gestures toward an umpire, are grounds for ejection. Throwing anything out of a dugout (towels, cups, equipment, etc.) is a ground for automatic ejection.
  • Actions by players specifically intended to ridicule an umpire are grounds for ejection. Examples include drawing a line in the dirt to demonstrate location of a pitch or leaving equipment at the plate after striking out with less than two outs.
  • Throwing equipment in disgust of an umpire’s call may be a ground for ejection. Umpires are encouraged to utilize equipment violations as an intermediary step to warn and discipline a player while attempting to keep the player in the game. If the violation is deemed extremely severe, the umpire may eject the offender immediately.
  • Any player, manager, or coach who fails to comply with an order from an umpire to do or to refrain from doing anything that affects administering the rules and regulations governing play is subject to ejection in accordance with

Official Baseball Rule 8.01 [former OBR 9.01]. Examples of this include failure to stay within the lines of the batter’s box after warning from the umpire, refusal to submit a piece of equipment for the umpire’s inspection, etc.

  • Team personnel may not come onto the playing surface to argue or dispute a warning issued under Official Baseball Rule 6.02(c)(9) [former OBR 8.02(d)]. If a manager, coach, or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop; if he continues, he is subject to removal from the game.
  • Arguing after a replay review.

While the standards listed here may justify an ejection, Official Baseball Rule 8.01(d) [former OBR 9.01(d)] grants umpires the discretion to eject any participant “for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language.” In addition, there are situations listed in the Official Baseball Rules and the Rule Interpretations portion of this manual that result in immediate ejection. These situations include violations such as arguing a “step balk,” pitcher in possession of a foreign substance, batter charging the pitcher with the intention of fighting the pitcher, pitcher intentionally throwing at a batter after a warning, etc.

Infield Fly

If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
(Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder-not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire’s judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 5.09(a)(12) (Rule 6.05(l)). The infield fly rule takes precedence.
If interference is called during an Infield Fly, the ball remains alive until it is determined whether the ball is fair or foul. If fair, both the runner who interfered with the fielder and the batter are out. If foul, even if caught, the runner is out and the batter returns to bat.