Official Rules(view all)

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.