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SITUATION 1: With two
outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and runners on second and third
base, the batter hits a fair ball to the fence in right center field.
The runner at second base, knowing he will score easily, removes his
helmet as he rounds third base. Both runs score as the batter stops at
second base. RULING: This is a delayed ball situation, and both runs
will count. At the end of playing action, the umpire will issue a
warning to the team on offense and a subsequent violation shall result
in ejection. Had the team been issued a prior warning, the runner, whose
run would score, would be ejected from the game at the end of playing
action. (1-5-1 Penalty)
SITUATION 2: S1 comes in to pitch for the starting pitcher. As S1 begins his warm-up pitches, the opposing coach complains that his red and blue glove is illegal and must be removed. RULING: The glove is legal as long as it does not contain the colors white and/or gray. If the plate umpire determines that the glove is distracting, the pitcher would be required to change it. (1-3-6, 6-2-1h)
SITUATION 3: With a runner on third, the defensive coach waits until the substitute pitcher has delivered a pitch for ball one to complain that the pitcher’s black and tan glove is illegal and wants a balk declared, thereby scoring his runner. The glove has a small amount of white thread in the manufacturer’s logo. RULING: The glove is illegal, not because it is multi-colored, but because of the white contained in the manufacturer’s logo. The pitcher must either replace the glove or darken the white threads in the logo with a dark pen that is not distracting. There is no additional penalty. (1-3-6, 6-2-1f,h Penalty)
SITUATION 4: As the umpires gather at home plate for the pre-game conference, the head coach of the visiting team is present, but the head coach of the home team refuses to attend, stating he is busy with last minute preparations. He sends his assistant coach and a team captain to represent his team at the conference. RULING: The pre-game conference will not take place until both head coaches are in attendance. Only if the head coach is absent or ill may the assistant coach attend on his behalf. Team captains, while not required, may attend the pre-game conference. (4-1-3)
SITUATION 5: With two outs and R1 on second base and R2 on first base, the pitcher delivers a wild pitch that goes to the backstop and rebounds quickly back toward home plate. The catcher scoops the ball into his glove using his mask held by his throwing hand. At the time the catcher scooped up the ball with his mask, R1 had rounded third, but R2 had not yet reached second base. RULING: This is a delayed dead ball. At the end of playing action, each runner will be awarded two bases from the base occupied at the time of the infraction; therefore, R1 will be awarded home and R2 will be awarded third base. (8-3-3c-1, 8-3-5a)
SITUATION 6: With runners on first and third and one out, the pitcher delivers a called strike that becomes lodged under the catcher’s chest protector. RULING: The ball is immediately dead. A strike is added to the batter’s count. The runner on third is awarded home and the runner on first is awarded second base. (8-3-3d, 8-3-5b, 5-1-1g-4)
SITUATION 7: R1 is on second base with two outs. B4 is at bat with a 1-2 count. The pitch is a low curve that B4 attempts to check his swing, but the plate umpire properly declares, “Yes, he went.” As the catcher picks up the blocked pitch, which rolled a few feet away from him, he sees R1 advancing to third base and throws there in time to retire R1 for the third out. Will B4 bat first in his team’s next half-inning or will the player who follows him in the lineup be the one to bat? RULING: When the plate umpire declared the third strike, B4 became a batter-runner with the right to attempt to reach first base. The first batter in the team’s next half-inning will be the player whose name follows that of B4, who completed his turn at bat in the preceding inning. (8-1-1b, 7-1-2)
SITUATION 8: The first batter of the game gets a single and ends up on first base. The next batter, B2, comes to bat and is wearing a different jersey number than the number listed on the lineup card. Following B2’s single, and before the next pitch, the opposing team’s coach appeals batting-out-of-order. RULING: While B2 is in technical violation of the rule that requires a player’s name, shirt number and position to be on the lineup card, there is no penalty, since the batting-out-of-order rule requires that the name be in the proper order. The umpire should revise his lineup card accordingly and deny the batting-out-of-order appeal. (1-1-2, 7-1-1)
SITUATION 9: Following the first batter of the game, B2 comes to bat. After he singles to get on base, the opposing team’s coach appeals batting-out-of-order, stating that while he has the correct jersey number as the lineup, it is not Smith who was listed, but a different player, Jones. RULING: The umpire-in-chief shall determine if B2 is Smith who was listed in the line-up or is indeed Jones as claimed by the opposing team’s coach. If B2 is truly Jones, the batting-out-of-order appeal will be upheld and Smith will be declared out, with the next batter being the player who followed Smith in the lineup. Although the jersey number was correct, it was not the player listed by name, and hence there is batting-out-of-order. (7-1-1, 1-1-2)
SITUATION 10: Coach of Team A requests and is granted time for a defensive charged conference. As he goes to the mound to talk with his pitcher, he tosses a ball to his third baseman and tells him to begin warming up with his shortstop in case he is needed to pitch. The coach leaves the mound without removing the pitcher. RULING: This is not allowed. A charged conference permits a coach or his non-playing representative to confer with a defensive player or players but does not permit any warm-up pitches by a player who is not the pitcher. (3-4-1)
SITUATION 11: The batter, attempting to sacrifice a runner to second base, bunts the ball that subsequently strikes home plate and rolls out into fair territory. The batted ball, having a lot of backspin, then rolls back and comes to rest on top of home plate untouched. RULING: This is a fair ball as it settled or came to rest while upon fair territory. Home plate is located in fair territory. (2-5-1a, 1-2-6)
SITUATION 12: With R1 on third and R2 on second base and one out, B4 hits a line drive into the gap in right center field. R1 scores easily. R2 misses third base as he advances, but does touch home plate. B4 makes it to second base on an apparent double, but missed first base on his advance. After playing action is over, the defensive head coach is granted time and first appeals B4 missing first base and then appeals R2 missing third base. RULING: This is a legal appeal by the defense as the coach may verbally appeal a base running infraction when the ball is dead and may make multiple appeals. B4 would be declared out for the second out and R2 would be the third out. R1’s run would count. (8-2-6c,f; 9-1-1)
SITUATION 13: With R1 on third and R2 on second base and one out, B4 hits a line drive into the gap in right center field. R1 scores easily. R2 misses third base as he advances, but does touch home plate. B4 makes it to second base on an apparent double, but missed first base on his advance. After playing action is over, the defensive head coach is granted time and first appeals R2 missing third base and then appeals B4 missing first base. RULING: This is a legal appeal by the defense as the coach may verbally appeal a base running infraction when the ball is dead and may make multiple appeals. R2 would be declared out for out number two and B4 would be the third out. No runs would score as B4’s out is out number three and was made before he touched first base. The order in which appeals are made can be important in determining if runs will score. (8-2-6c,f, 9-1-1a)
SITUATION 14: In the bottom of the seventh inning, the visiting team leads 6-4. With the bases loaded and two outs, the batter hits a grand slam home run over the left field fence. B6, in his excitement, passes R3, who started the play on first base. At the time B6 passed R3, only R1 had touched home plate. RULING: When a batter hits a home run, each runner on base is awarded four bases, or home. While B6 is out for passing an unobstructed preceding runner, his third out is not a force out since he had touched first base. Therefore, three runs will score and the home team will win, 7-6. (8-3-3a, 9-1-1)
SITUATION 15: With a runner on third attempting to steal home, the pitch bounces off the plate, hits the catcher’s chest protector and rebounds back in front of the plate in a nice soft arc. The batter, seeing the ball back in front of the plate, hits the ball for a soft fly ball that falls over the second baseman. The defensive coach argues that this is batter interference while the offensive coach counters that since the ball was still technically a pitch, the batter has the right to hit it. RULING: This is batter interference. If the play started with one out, the runner from third would be declared out. If the play started with two outs, the batter would be declared out. The batter has the legal right to strike the pitch as it comes across the home plate area. He no longer has the right to bat the ball once it has passed home plate and subsequently bounces or caroms off someone or something. (7-3-5c Penalty)
SITUATION 16: R1 on first attempts to advance on a fly ball hit to right field by B2. Seeing F9 catch the fly ball, R1 attempts to return to first and is obstructed by F4 who is standing in the base path. RULING: This is obstruction by F4. The base umpire properly declares “That is obstruction,” and signals a delayed dead ball. When making an obstruction award, two conditions must be met. First, the obstructed runner will be awarded the base or bases he would have made, in the umpire’s judgment, had the obstruction not occurred. Secondly, the award must be a minimum of one base beyond his position on base when the obstruction occurred. Although R1 would have only acquired first base had the obstruction not occurred, that award does not meet the additional condition of a minimum of one base beyond the base occupied at the time of the obstruction. Since R1 occupied first base at the time of obstruction, he will be awarded second base. (8-3-2)
SITUATION 17: R1, moving from first base on a hit and run, is obstructed by F4 as he nears second base. The base umpire properly declares “That is obstruction,” and signals a delayed dead ball. He judges at that moment that R1 would have made third base had the obstruction not occurred. R1, despite the obstruction, makes third and attempts to score where he is thrown out at home. The third base coach argues that because of the obstruction, R1 should be allowed to go back to third and have his out nullified. RULING: Obstruction of a runner is ignored if the obstructed runner acquires the base he would have made had the obstruction not occurred and that award satisfies the condition of a minimum of one base beyond his position on base at the time of the obstruction. Since R1 did acquire third base, the base the umpire judged he would have made had there been no obstruction, and that award satisfies the one base minimum requirement, the obstruction is ignored. R1’s out at home stands. (8-3-2)
SITUATION 18: With a runner on first and the pitcher struggling in the top of the fifth inning, S1 comes to the mound and begins to throw his warm-up pitches. His coach announces to the plate umpire the change, who marks it on his lineup card and announces to the home scorekeeper. After only four warm-up pitches, the defensive coach decides he wants a different player to pitch. The visiting coach argues that since the ball had not yet been made live, the substitution had not been made and he can change his mind. RULING: Once the umpire-in-chief has accepted the change, marked it on his lineup and announced the change, the substitution is in effect. The substitute pitcher must pitch until the batter then at bat, or any substitute for that batter, is put out or reaches first base, or until a third out has been made. Therefore, the coach cannot change his substitute pitcher until the pitching conditions have been met. The only exception to this requirement would be if the substitute pitcher became incapacitated or guilty of flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct. If there had been no announcement of the substitution, the unreported substitution would be considered to have been made when the pitcher took his place on the pitcher’s plate and the ball was made live. (3-1-1, 3-1-2)
SITUATION 19: R1 is on first base with no outs. B2 smashes a one-hopper to F6, who flips the ball to F4 to quickly retire R1. F4 then relays the ball to first in an attempt for a double play, but the ball strikes R1, who is in the baseline and less than halfway to second. The ball ricochets into short right field and B2 reaches first safely. RULING: The play stands. This is not a violation of the force-play slide rule by R1. Unless R1 intentionally made a move to interfere with the thrown ball, the ball stays live and in play. (8-4-2b, 8-4-2g)
SITUATION 20: With a comfortable lead in the fifth inning, the home coach takes his starting pitcher out of the game and rests him. In the seventh inning, with the game now on the line, the coach wants to bring the starting pitcher back into the game to pitch. The visiting coach argues that, while the player may re-enter the game, he cannot come back to pitch since he has been removed as a pitcher. RULING: Any of the starting players may be withdrawn and re-entered once. As long as the starting pitcher faced one batter, was not removed because his team had more than three defensive charged conferences, and his replacement did not take more than eight warm-up pitches, he may return as a pitcher. (3-1-2 Note, 3-1-3)
1-3-4: Clarified the diameter of a wood
1-3-5: Deleted rule due to its duplication in Rule 1-3-2.
1-4-6: Added the new NOCSAE standard requirement to face mask/guard products.
3-1-1: Clarifies a player is ejected per the substitution rule.
3-2-1: Clarifies when a coach is restricted to the bench/dugout area because of an improper uniform.
6-1-1: Modifies the balk rule with allowing the “turning of the shoulders” under certain situations.
Suggested Speed-Up Rules, Courtesy Runners
Clarifies the intent and ensures that the rule is consistently applied.
Diagram 2: Provided the correct
dimensions of the diagonal sides of home plate.
1-4-4: Added the point that a manufacturer’s logo should be visible.
4-4-3: Corrected a minor grammatical error.
Dead Ball And Delayed Dead Ball Table: Corrected a minor grammatical error.
7-3-2 through 6: Repositioned the Penalty section behind each of the articles.
8-1-1 Exc.: Added the rule reference for clarity.
10-2-3: Added that the player may also be restricted to the bench under certain circumstances.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 22, 2004) — At its annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana,
on June 18-19, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Baseball Rules Committee defined what is a balk and what is not for a high
school baseball pitcher.
Rule 6-1-1 was revised to specify when a baseball pitcher can turn his shoulders toward base runners while on the mound. It is now legal for a pitcher to turn his shoulders to check a runner if he is in the set position and in contact with the pitcher’s plate. However, if the pitcher turns his shoulders in the windup position to check a runner, it is a balk. Turning the shoulders after bringing the hands together during or after the stretch is also a balk.
“The use of the shoulder turn while in the set position does not afford the pitcher an advantage, ” said B. Elliot Hopkins, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee. “The prohibition of such actually creates a disadvantage.”
In other changes, Rule 1-4-6 states that players now have the option of wearing batting helmets equipped with attached facemasks or guards. Regardless of whether the mask is produced with the helmet or attached after the helmet is manufactured, all attached facemasks or guards must meet NOCSAE standards at the time of the mask’s attachment.
“NOCSAE recently developed a standard for facemasks and guards, and the committee felt it would be prudent to incorporate that new standard into our existing rule,” said NFHS Baseball Rules Committee Chairman Greg Brewer.
The committee also modified rules pertaining to coaches uniforms. Rule 3-2-1 was changed to state that a coach who is not in his or her team’s uniform shall be restricted to the bench or dugout and cannot enter the field unless one of his or her players is ill or injured. Along the same lines, any coach occupying the coach’s box must be dressed in his or her team’s uniform.
Also, Rule 3-1-1 was clarified so that if an illegal player on either offense or defense is discovered by an umpire, that player shall be restricted to the bench or dugout for the rest of the game. If an illegal offensive player re-enters the game, he will be called out immediately and ejected; an illegal defensive player will simply be ejected.
Baseball is the fourth-most popular sport among boys at the high school level with 453,792 participants during the 2002-03 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. It also ranks third in school sponsorship with 14,988 schools offering the sport.
1-4-4 (old rule) Add to the rule…Loose
equipment such as gloves, bats, helmets or catcher’s equipment may not be on
or near the field.
3-1-1 For discovery of an illegal player (2-36-3) by an umpire or either team, that player shall be restricted to the dugout for the duration of the game.
3-3-1g5 Add to the rule…be in live ball territory (excluding team’s bullpen area) during the opponent’s infield practice prior to the start of the game.
3-3-1i Add to the rule: “have any object in his possession in the coach’s box other than a stop watch, rule book, scorebook, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or comparable electronic score-recording device which shall be used for scorekeeping purposes only.
5-1-1h Change “h” to read:…the umpire handles a live ball or calls “time” for inspecting the ball or for any other reason, including items in Section 2 or gives the “Do Not Pitch Signal” or verbally announces “Foul Ball.”
8-4-2j Add to the end of the rule: There shall be no accidental appeals on a force play.
Signal Chart: Add the proper mechanic for signaling the batter’s ball-strike count. Extended fingers above the head, in front of the body with the left hand indicating the number of balls that have been pitched and the right hand indicating the number of strikes that have been pitched.
Major Editorial Revisions
Rule 1: Rule 1 was entirely rewritten to
improve the ease of finding pertinent sections and articles and to make the
baseball rules book easier to use.
Minor Editorial Revisions
6-1-2 6-1-2 Add …During delivery, he
may lift his non-pivot foot in a step forward, a step sideways, or in a step
backward and a step forward, but he shall not otherwise lift either foot… to
10-2-3 Add (9-2-2) after the phrase “official scorer” in the rule.
Index Correct “2-28-5” feint reference instead of 2-8-5.
Index Correct “2-24-2” force out reference instead of 2-41-1.
SITUATION 1: With R1 on first base,
B2 singles to right field. As R1 touches second base, B2 touches first and moves
one-third of the way to second. F9 picks up the ball and throws it back to first
as F3 obstructs B2 returning to first. The ball gets away from F3, and R1
attempts to get to third while B2 stays at first. F2, backing up the play, gets
the ball and throws out R1 at third. RULING: At the end of playing action, B2
will be awarded second base because of F3’s obstruction. R1’s out will
stand. Non-obstructed runners may advance at their own risk. (2-22-1, 8-3-2)
SITUATION 2: As U1 inspects the home team’s bats and helmets prior to the start of the game, he notices that several of the batting helmets’ NOSCAE stamps are not legible and cannot be read. RULING: The helmets are not legal. Each batting helmet must display a legible NOCSAE stamp and the exterior warning statement. If the helmet had been reconditioned to meet the NOCSAE standard, an approved legible NOCSAE sticker should be applied to the helmet if the embossed stamp is not legible. (1-4-5)
SITUATION 3: During the pre-game inspection of the visiting team’s bats, U2 notices that a composite bat is present and has no “BESR certified” statement embossed, stickered, labeled or decaled on the bat. The coach states that the BESR certification mark is not required on a composite bat. RULING: A composite bat is a non-wood bat and must meet all non-wood bat specifications and requirements. Since the bat does not have a BESR certification, it is not legal and may not be used. (1-3-2, 1-3-5)
SITUATION 4: After delivering a pitch, the offensive team’s coach notices the pitcher has a band-aid on the index finger of his throwing hand. He complains to U1 that a balk should be called. RULING: F1 may not wear a bandage, tape or other foreign material on the fingers or palm of his pitching hand that comes in contact with the ball. U1 will instruct F1 to remove the bandage. There is no additional penalty. (6-2-1g Penalty)
SITUATION 5: The pitcher is using a fielding glove that is light brown outside and dark brown inside on the pocket of the glove. RULING: This is legal. Only if in U1’s judgment that this is distracting to the batter would F1 not be allowed to play with the glove. (1-3-7, 6-2-1h)
SITUATION 6: The pitcher is using a black fielding glove that has white lettering on it. RULING: If the umpire judges the white lettering on the glove to be distracting, he would instruct the pitcher to replace the glove. (1-3-7, 6-2-1h)
SITUATION 7: The pitcher is using a dark glove that has a white imprint of a baseball on the outside of the glove. RULING: This glove is illegal for use by a pitcher. (1-3-7, 6-2-1h)
SITUATION 8: With R1 at first, B2 singles to right field. R1 misses second base as he advances safely to third. The throw from the outfield goes to F4, who catches the ball and stumbles on second base, not aware that R1 did not touch the bag. RULING: Until the defense makes a proper intentional appeal, R1 would not be out. Accidental appeals by the defense are not valid. (8-4-2j)
SITUATION 9: The starting pitcher has been wearing a batting glove under his fielding glove. In the fifth inning, the offensive coach complains that this is not legal and the pitcher must remove the batting glove. RULING: If U1 feels that the batting glove is distracting, he would instruct F1 to remove it. If U1 feels it is not distracting, F1 would continue to be able to wear it. The umpire has sole authority to judge whether or not an item is distracting. (6-2-1f Penalty)
SITUATION 10: With 1 out and R1 on first and a count of 2-1, B2 hits a bouncing ball along the first base foul line. U1 mistakenly declares “Foul!” as F1 picks up the ball in fair territory. RULING: The ball is dead immediately. R1 returns to first. B2 continues at bat with a count of 2-2. (5-1-1h)
SITUATION 11: Is a player who is not in the game allowed to warm up an outfielder between innings without wearing a batting helmet? RULING: While the ball is dead, the player is allowed to warm up an outfielder without wearing a batting helmet. By definition, the player is not considered to be a non-adult ball/bat shagger. However, a state association may mandate that any non-adult must wear a helmet while warming up a teammate. (1-4-5, 1-4-6 Penalty)
SITUATION 12: With R1 on third, B2 hits a fly ball to the outfield. As the runner on third tags, the defensive coach (in the third-base dugout) yells, “Go, go, go,” to the runner tagging. R1, as a consequence, leaves the base before the catch and must return to tag the base. RULING: This is verbal obstruction. At the end of playing action, U1 will award R1 home due to the obstruction. U1 will also warn the coach that his actions are not in accordance with fair play. (2-22-1, 3-3-1g-4, 8-3-2)
SITUATION 13: R1, who is on second base with no outs, is running on the pitch. As B2 flies out to left field, R1 continues running, touches third base and advances home. The throw goes to the third baseman, who steps on third to append the infraction. RULING: This is not a valid appeal concerning R1 leaving second base too soon. (8-2-5 Penalty)
SITUATION 14: With R1 on first and one out, B2 hits a fly ball down the third-base line. U1 errs and announces “Foul ball,” but F5 catches the ball several feet in fair territory. RULING: B2 is out. R1 may tag and advance at his own risk. (Rule 5-1-1h does not apply on a caught fly ball.)
SITUATION 15: With the bases empty, B1 hits a home run over the fence. While running the bases, he misses second base. RULING: Unless the defense properly appeals the missed base, the run will count. If the defense makes a proper appeal, B1 is declared out and the run will not count. (8-2-5 Penalty)
SITUATION 16: With R1 on third and R2 on second and one out, B4 hits a fly ball to right field. While R1 legally tags, R2 leaves second base early. After both runners advance, the defense properly appeals. RULING: R2 is declared out for the third out of the half-inning. R1’s run will count. (8-2-5 Penalty, Appeal Guideline #8)
SITUATION 17: With one out and R2 at third, B3 hits a sharp line drive into the gap. As R2 breaks for home, the third-base coach grabs R2’s arm and tells him to tag up. The ball is (a) caught or (b) not caught. RULING: This is interference by the third-base coach and the ball is a delayed dead ball, remaining live until playing action is over. In (a) both R2 and B3 are out. In (b) R2 is out and B3 is awarded first or returns to the base occupied at the time of the infraction. (3-2-2, 5-1-2f)
SITUATION 18: With two outs, R3 on third and a full count on B4, F1 delivers from the wind-up position. R3 steals on the pitch and safely touches home before F2 catches the pitch for the third strike. RULING: The run does not count. In order to score, R3 would need to touch home before the time of the pitch. (2-28-3, 9-1-1 Exception a)
SITUATION 19: B1 bunts and F2 fields the ball in fair territory in front of home plate. B1 is running in foul territory when F2, in fair territory, throws errantly and hits B1 in the back. B1 continues running and touches first base. RULING: The play stands. F2 made an errant throw. Although B1 was not in the running lane, his position did not interfere with F2’s throw. (8-4-1g Exception)
SITUATION 20: As B1 bunts, F2 fields the ball in front of home plate in fair ground. B1 is running in fair ground as he nears first base. F2 realizes he does not have a line of sight to F3 and tries to lob the ball over B1. F3 leaps but cannot catch the ball. RULING: B1 is out for interference. Although F2 made an errant throw, B1 is guilty of interference by being out of the 3-foot running lane. (8-4-1g)
SITUATION 21: With the home team leading 7-5, the game enters the top of the sixth inning. As the visiting team scores on a grand slam home run to take the lead, 9-7, the game is delayed and later called due to inclement weather. RULING: Unless the state association has adopted specific game-ending procedures, the score will revert to the score at the end of the fifth inning since the teams have not had an equal number of complete turns at bat. Home team wins the game. (4-2-3)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 25, 2003) — Clarification of bat standards was at the top of the agenda during the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee meeting June 20-22 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In Rule 1-3-5, the Baseball Rules Committee addressed the altering of bats and incorporated the Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) performance standard language into the body of the rule.
The requirement of the BESR certification mark on all non-wood bats, which originally was approved by the committee in 2001, took effect in high school baseball January 1, 2003. The BESR mark denotes that non-wood bats have a maximum exit speed of 97 miles per hour (under a set of laboratory conditions) and they have met moment-of-inertia requirements, as well as a maximum diameter of the bat and a minus-3 differential between the length and weight of the bat. The rule now states that bats may either be wood or non-wood, rather than listing various compositions of non-wood bats.
Although the rule requires non-wood bats to be labeled with a silk screen or other permanent certification mark, in some cases manufacturers have used a label, sticker or decal to denote BESR certification. However, effective January 1, 2006, no BESR label, sticker or decal will be permitted on any non-wood bat.
The committee also addressed altering of bats and added language to state that no foreign substance may be inserted into the bat.
Rule 5-1-1h was changed to state that if an umpire inadvertently calls a foul ball, the ball is ruled a dead ball. The previous rule specified that, if a foul was inadvertently called, it was left to the discretion of the umpire whether the batter-runner could or could not have been thrown out before reaching first base or other base runners could have advanced on the bases.
Rule 1-4-4 currently specifies that loose equipment, such as gloves and bats, may not be on or near the field. This rule change adds helmets and catcher’s equipment to the list of loose equipment not allowed on or near the field. This equipment was added to reduce the risk of injury to players or coaches.
Rule 3-3-1g5 was changed to state that during a team’s infield practice prior to the start of a game, the opposing team may not be in live-ball territory. This has become a more common practice, as teams are using such techniques as glaring and making inappropriate remarks to opponents as a form of intimidation. If this occurs, the team at fault may be charged with unsporting conduct.
“This rule will keep non-players off the field, and deals with players and coaches before the game,” Hopkins said.
Rule 1-1-6 leaves it to the discretion of individual state associations to authorize the use of prostheses which, in the respective state association’s opinion, are no more dangerous to players than the corresponding human body part(s) and do not place an opponent at a disadvantage. The rule currently states that all casts, splints and braces must be padded with at least a half-inch of closed-cell, slow-recovery rubber or other material of the same minimum thickness and having similar physical properties.
Rule 3-1-1 was revised to lessen the penalty for accidental illegal substitution to restriction to the dugout. When an illegal player is discovered by an umpire or either team, that player will be restricted to the dugout for the duration of the game. An illegal player on offense, whether as a batter or runner, must be called out immediately and restricted to the dugout for the duration of the game, rather than being immediately ejected from the game. Ejection remains the penalty for an intentional illegal substitution.
Other rules changes include:
• Rule 3-3-1i adds a stopwatch to the list of objects a coach may possess in the coach’s box, to allow flexibility in coaching strategy.
• With regard to base running, Rule 8-4-2j is an extension of Rule 8-4-2. This rule change stipulates that there shall not be any accidental appeals on a force play, in order to be definitive in all aspects of the appeal process.
• A signal change was added to define the proper mechanics for signaling the batter’s ball-strike count. There is not currently a recommended mechanic for signaling the count, and, according to Hopkins, this has caused confusion for players and coaches.
Editorial changes made by the rules committee include the reorganization of Rule 1.
An editorial change to Rule 6-1-2 clarifies the delivery of a pitch by a pitcher. This change states that, during delivery, a pitcher may lift his non-pivot foot in a step forward, a step sideways, or in a step backward and a step forward, but he shall not otherwise lift either foot.
Baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 451,674 participants during the 2001-02 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. It also ranks third in school sponsorship with 14,924 schools offering the sport.
It is recommended that when the dugout area is extended, for any reason, it shall be extended toward the outfield on a line parallel to the foul line. The extension of the dugout area shall be equally applied for both teams.|
Rationale: Dugout areas are being extended closer to the foul lines and home plate causing concern over liability issues. Also, this is providing greater opportunities for unsportsmanlike actions to occur.
A defensive appeal of a runner failing to touch a base or tag up is not a play.|
Rationale: To make the distinction that an appeal is not a play.
Add to the rule: have any object in his possession in the coach's box other than a rule book, scorebook, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or comparable electronic score-recording device which shall be used for scorekeeping purposes only;|
Rationale: To allow a coach the flexibility to use a traditional scorebook or a comparable electronic device.
Revise last line: He may return when requested by an umpire to attend to an ill or injured player.|
Rationale: The committee felt it was not appropriate for an ejected coach to arbitrarily return to the playing area unless specifically requested by an umpire.
Exception Change rule to: A runner who is on or beyond a succeeding base when the ball became dead, or advances and touches a succeeding base after the ball became dead, may not return and shall be called out upon proper and successful appeal.
Add to the rule: If a runner who misses any base (including home plate) or leaves a base too early, desires to return to touch the base, he must do so immediately. If the ball becomes dead and the runner is on or beyond a succeeding base, he cannot return to the missed base and, therefore, is subject to being declared out upon proper and successful appeal.|
Rationale: Recommended in order to clean up affected rules from last year's rule change.
|8-2 Penalty (Art. 1-5)||
For failure to touch a base (advancing and returning), or failure to tag up as soon as the ball is touched on a caught fly ball, the runner may be called out if an appeal is made by the defensive team. The defense may appeal during a live ball immediately following the play and before a pitch (legal or illegal), granting an intentional base on balls, or before the next play or attempted play. If the offensive team initiates a play before the next pitch, the defensive team does not lose the right to appeal. A live ball appeal may be made by a defensive player with the ball in his possession by tagging the runner or touching the base that was missed or left too early. A dead ball appeal may be made by a coach or any defensive player with or without the ball by verbally stating that the runner missed the base or left the base too early. Appeals must be made (1) before the next legal or illegal pitch, (2) at the end of an inning, before the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory, (3) before an intentional base on balls is granted, or (4) on the last play of the game, an appeal can be made until the umpires leave the field of play. NOTE: When a play by its very nature is imminent and is obvious to the offense, defense and umpire(s), no verbal appeal is necessary, e.g. runner attempting to retouch a base that was missed, or a failure to tag up and a throw has been made to that base or plate while a play is in progress. Rationale: Prevents the defense from intentionally walking batters it does not want to face and then appealing a missed base. Preventing the defense from making pick-off plays and then appealing a missed base. Will allow defense to appeal if offense initiates a play (i.e. stealing a base). A defensive coach shall verbally appeal only during a dead ball situation. |
Add to the end of the rule: does not retouch his base before a fielder tags him out or holds the ball while touching such base after any situation (8-2-1,2,3 and 4). Umpire may also call him out at end of playing action upon proper and successful appeal. Also, it is not necessary for runner to retouch his base after a foul tip (2-16-2);|
Rationale: Recommended in order to clean up affected rules from last year's rule change.
Add to the end of the rule:
…is on or beyond a succeeding base when the ball is declared dead (5-2-2b exception) after having left a base too soon on a caught fly ball, or he failed to touch a preceding base, or he continues and touches a succeeding base after the ball has become dead, and the defense initiates a proper and successful appeal.|
Rationale: Clarification that the runner is not automatically out at the end of all playing action unless defense makes proper appeal.
Major Editorial Revisions
...as a runner or retired runner, fails to execute a legal slide, or does not attempt to avoid the fielder or the play on a force play at any base;|
Rationale: This is an editorial change in order to correct a previously omitted phrase.
Minor Editorial Revisions
Add to the rule: …(rule does not preclude outfielders from being allowed to attempt to make the catch)…|
Rationale: This is an editorial change to discern the outfielder’s ability to attempt to make a catch.
|3-1-2 Note||Delete “c” from rule reference 6-2-2c.Rationale: There is no 6-2-2c exception.|
SITUATION 1: With the bases loaded, B4 hits a home run. Before B4 reaches home plate, the catcher shows the umpire that the bat does not have any BESR certification markings on the bat. The Team B coach argues that the sticker came off during the hit and that the runs should count. RULING: The umpire(s) inspected all the bats prior to the start of the game. All four runs are permitted, but the bat is no longer permitted to be used in the game because it is not properly identified as meeting the BESR standard. (1-3-5)
SITUATION 2: B1's batting stance places his lead foot outside the front of the batter's box. He swings and foul tips the ball and the catcher catches the ball. RULING: The umpire immediately calls the ball dead and B1 is out. (5-1-1a, 7-3-2)
SITUATION 3: During a time-out, with runners on first and second bases, R2 switches places with R1 because he is faster and plans on stealing third base when the game resumes. RULING: When detected, the umpire will award two outs to the defense, warn the coach and eject R2 and R1. One out is assessed for passing a runner and another out is for running the bases in reverse order. This infraction may be corrected during a dead ball when detected by the umpire, defensive team or offensive team. (3-3-1g, 8-4-2m, n)
SITUATION 4: With one out and runners on first and second bases, on a fair hit to short right field, R1 scores from second base and R2 misses second base, and the batter-runner overruns and misses first base. The defense calls time and appeals R2 missing second base first and the batter-runner missing first base. The umpire honors the appeals which results in the third out. Does R1's run count? RULING: No, R1's run would not count because the first appeal at second base and the latter appeal at first base is the third out. Due to the force at first base, the run cannot count. (9-1-1a)
SITUATION 5: First and third bases are occupied with one out. The umpire-in-chief interferes with the catcher attempting to throw out the runner stealing second base, and the shortstop cuts off the throw and attempts to throw out the runner at the plate. Do the runners get sent back to their respective bases due to the umpire's interference? RULING: Since the shortstop cut off the throw, the umpire immediately makes the ball dead. The runners are sent back to their respective bases at the time of the pitch. (2-21-2, 5-1-2c,)
SITUATION 6: With a runner at second base and two outs, the batter hits a single to right field. The runner misses third base and scores. The defense does not immediately appeal, and the ball is made live. With a right-handed pitcher on the mound, in contact with the pitcher's plate, the pitcher illegally turns his shoulders to check the runner. A balk is called, and the runner is awarded second base. With the ball being dead, the defensive coach asks for an appeal of the runner missing third base. Is the defense allowed to appeal? RULING: No, the pitcher's balk constitutes an illegal pitch and the defense loses the right to appeal the base runner's error. (2-3-1, 8-2-5 Penalty)
SITUATION 7: With a runner on first base, the pitcher legally steps back off the pitching plate and walks toward the runner, driving him back to the base. The pitcher then is granted "Time" and verbally appeals that another runner, currently standing on third base, missed second base as he advanced to third. RULING: The appeal is not a legal appeal. The act of driving the runner at first base back to his base constitutes a play. The defense may not appeal a base-running error following a play not initiated by the offense. (8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 8: With a runner (R1) on first base, B2 hits a ball into left center field. The shortstop accidentally collides with R1, who is rounding second base. R1 sustains a bloody nose and falls to the ground between second and third. The umpire calls obstruction and determines that R1 would have reached home safely. While the center fielder is still retrieving the ball, B2 rounds second and stops because R1 is on the ground. When the ball is relayed to the infield, B2 retreats to second base. What bases should each runner have acquired? RULING: At the end of playing action, the player who is bleeding shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment has been administered. If it can be administered in a reasonable amount of time, the individual would not have to leave the game. If there is an excessive amount of blood on the uniform, it shall be changed before he can resume playing, after which the umpire awards R1 home and B2 third base. (2-22-1, 3-1-6, 5-1-3, 8-3-2)
SITUATION 9: A runner is on second base. Both the shortstop and second baseman are playing back and in a position to make a play. A line drive is hit back up the middle and before it can be caught, the ball hits the runner who is standing on the bag. It has only passed the pitcher and not any other fielder. Is the runner out or safe? How many bases is the batter-runner awarded? RULING: The ball be-comes dead immediately, the runner is out and the batter-runner is awarded first base. (5-1-1f, 6-1-5, 8-2-7, 8-4-2g and k)
SITUATION 10: With a runner on second base, the pitcher legally steps off the pitching plate and feints a throw to occupied second base. He then throws the ball to third base, appealing that the runner who just scored missed third on his advance. RULING: The appeal is not a legal appeal. Once the pitcher made a play (feinted a throw), the defense may no longer appeal a base-running infraction. (8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 11: With a runner on first base, the pitcher legally steps off the pitching plate with his pivot foot and turns abruptly to first as if he is making a throw to first base. Following this action at first base, the defense appeals a runner leaving another base earlier on a caught fly ball. RULING: The appeal is not legal. The action by the pitcher is a play and therefore the defense cannot make an appeal once a play or attempted play has occurred. (8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 12: The runner on first takes his lead almost halfway to second base. The pitcher attempts to pick off the runner. Following this action, the defense appeals another runner's base-running infraction. RULING: This would be a legal appeal. Taking such an inordinate lead constitutes an attempt by the offense to force the defense to make a play. Since this is an offense-initiated play, the defense may make multiple appeals. (8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 13: The batter hits a hard, low line drive that hits the front edge of the pitching plate, and without touching any defensive player, rebounds back towards home, hitting the batter who is still in the batter's box. RULING: This is a foul ball. To be fair, the ball must either contact a player on or over fair ground or contact fair ground on or beyond an imaginary line between first and third bases. (2-5-1b, f)
SITUATION 14: The pitcher is wearing a red, white and blue fielding glove. In the second inning, the batter hits a line drive that is caught by the pitcher. RULING: This is an illegal glove for the pitcher to use. The out is canceled and the batter is awarded third base. Had the pitcher been told prior to the catch, all he would have needed to do is replace the glove with a legal one. (1-3-5. 1-4-3, 6-2-1-h penalty, 8-3-3b)
SITUATION 15: The home plate umpire, during his pre-game equipment inspection, notices that one of the bats is a minus 5, length to weight differential, but does have a "BESR" sticker permanently attached. RULING: This is an illegal bat. All bats must meet size, length and weight specifications as well as the BESR performance standard. (1-3-5)
SITUATION 16: As the pitcher delivers his pitch, the batter squares to bunt, placing the bat in the strike zone. The pitch is high and the batter does not make any movement with the bat. RULING: This is a ball. In bunting, any movement of the bat toward the ball when the ball is over or near the plate area, is a strike. The mere holding of the bat in the strike zone is not an attempt to bunt. (7-2-1b, 10-1-4)
SITUATION 17: With the bases loaded and the runner on third breaking for home, the batter swings at a pitch, hitting it high in the air between the pitching mound and home plate. As the plate umpire declares "infield fly if fair," the ball lands on the ground and rolls back toward home. As the runner from third is sliding to the plate, the ball contacts him in fair ground. RULING: The ball is immediately declared dead. The batter is out for the infield fly and the runner is out as well. (2-19-1, 5-1-1-f1, 8-4-2-k note)
SITUATION 18: The batter-runner, while running to first base, contacts the first baseman in the three-foot running lane, as the first baseman is attempting to field the batted ball and make a throw to home to retire the runner from third. RULING: The batter is out for the interference and the ball is declared dead. If the umpire believes that the defense could have made a play on the runner at home, a double play could be declared. (8-1-1note, 8-4-2g)
SITUATION 19: With runners on first and second, the pitch rebounds off the catcher's shin guard and goes to the on-deck circle. An on-deck batter, not thinking, picks up the ball and throws it to the pitcher. The runners (a) were not moving at the time or (b) attempting to advance to the next base. RULING: In (a) the ball is declared dead. In (b) the ball is declared dead and the runner that the umpire believes a play would have been made on is declared out. If the umpire is uncertain, the runner nearest home would be called out. (2-21-1a, 8-4-2g)
F1 is an ambidextrous pitcher with an ambidextrous glove. After a runner reaches
first base, the field umpire moves to the B position. The pitcher standing just
behind the pitcher's plate, assumes a windup position and with his hands up and
in front of his body. He then slides his left hand into the glove while bringing
his right hand into the glove to grip the ball completing the switch from a
left-handed thrower to right-handed thrower to face a right-handed batter. The
pitcher then engages the pitcher's plate. The umpire in the B position did not
see the pitcher switch throwing hands. The pitcher, in the wind-up position as a
right-handed pitcher, steps off the pitcher's plate with the pivot (right) foot
first and then throws to first base in an attempt to pick off a runner. The
umpire in B calls a balk because he thought the pitcher was left-handed. Is this
a balk? How obvious does the pitcher have to be in making the switch from left
to right? RULING: This is a balk. An ambidextrous pitcher must face a batter
either as a left-handed or right-handed pitcher but not both. He may change to
the other hand to pitch on the next batter, but he must begin and complete his
pitching responsibility to an individual batter with the same hand through his
turn at bat. This is deceptive and not in the spirit of fair play. (2-28-3,
3-3-1g, 6-1-1 note, 6-2-5)
NFHS Publications © 2003
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 9, 2002) — Most of the rules changes made at the National Federation of State High School Associations Baseball Rules Committee meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 23-24 dealt with base running and the use of proper appeals.The most important change was made to Rule 8-2 Penalty Articles 1-5, which explains when a coach or player can make an appeal on a missed base. In addition to the set rules on appeals, the rule change added that an appeal must be made before an intentional base is granted.
According to Elliot Hopkins, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee, this rule was added to prevent the defense from intentionally walking batters it does not want to face and then appealing a missed base. The rule change also prevents the defense from attempting a pick-off play and then appealing a missed base, as well as allowing the defense to appeal if the offense initiates a play, such as stealing a base. The rule also stipulates that a defensive coach can appeal only during a dead-ball situation.
“This change keeps the coaches from disrupting the umpires during a live ball,” Hopkins said. “The umpires need to be intent on live-ball situations.”
Another important rule change is an addition to Rule 3-1-1i. The change states that coaches may have in their possession in the coach’s box, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or comparable electronic score-recording device, which shall be used for scorekeeping purposes only, in addition to a rules book and scorebook.
“The coaches now can keep track of how well their players and their opponents are doing, all in the palm of their hand,” Hopkins said.
Two new rules were also added during the meeting. Rule 1-2-5 recommends that when the dugout area is extended, for any reason, it should be extended toward the outfield on a line parallel to the foul line. The extension of the dugout area shall be equally applied for both teams. This rule was added because dugout areas were being extended closer to the foul lines and home plate, causing liability concerns, and a competitive advantage for one team over the other.
The second new rule was Rule 2-29-6, which states that a defensive appeal of a runner failing to touch a base or tag up is not considered a play. This rule was added to clarify that an appeal does not constitute a play.
Five other rules changes were made, including:
- The last line of Rule 3-3-2 was revised to state that a coach who has been ejected can return to the playing area only if specifically requested to by an umpire.
- Rule 5-2-2b Exception was changed to explain that if a runner is on or beyond a succeeding base when the ball becomes dead, or advances and touches a succeeding base, he cannot return and will be called out upon a proper and successful appeal.
- Rule 8-2-5 was amended to state that if a runner who misses any base or leaves a base too early desires to return to touch the base, he must do so immediately. If the ball becomes dead, he cannot return to the missed base, and therefore is subject to being declared out upon a proper and successful appeal.
- The following was added to the end of Rule 8-4-2i: “… does not retouch his base before a fielder tags him out or holds the ball while touching such base after any situation. Umpire may also call him out at the end of playing action upon proper and successful appeal. Also, it is not necessary for runner to retouch his base after a foul tip.”
- “… is on or beyond a succeeding base when the ball is declared dead after having left a base too soon on a caught fly ball, or he failed to touch a preceding base, or he continues and touches a succeeding base after the ball has become dead, and the defense initiates a proper and successful appeal,” was added to the end of Rule 8-4-2q.
Three editorial changes were also made, with Rule 8-4-2f having the only major editorial changes. The committee added the words “does not” to correct a previously-omitted phrase. The rule now states: “… as a runner or retired runner, fails to execute a legal slide, or does not attempt to avoid the fielder or the play on a force play at any base.”
The minor editorial changes dealt with Rule 2-19-1, which added the words “attempt to” to discern the outfielder’s ability to attempt to make a catch, and the deletion of “c” from rule reference 6-2-2c, because there is no 6-2-2c exception.
“This was not a year of significant changes,” Hopkins said. “We just did some cleaning up and some clarifying of the rules.”
Baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 450,513 participants during the 2000-01 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. It also ranks third in school sponsorship with 14,791 schools offering the sport.
|1-1-6 Note||Catcher's helmet must have flaps on both sides.|
|1-3-5||Effective 1/1/03 all non-wood bats must meet the Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) performance standard. This allows a maximum exit speed of 97 mph.|
Rationale: Ensure that bat performance mirrors the performance of wood bats to reduce the risk of injury.
Umpire may remove at his discretion and with no penalty, any bat that continually discolors the game ball.|
Rationale: Previous penalty of declaring the batter out felt to be too severe.
|1-1-6||All casts, splints and braces on coaches and players must be padded with a minimum of 1/2 inch of closed cell, slow recovery rubber or other similar material with similar properties.|
|1-1-6 Note||Umpire has the power to rule that any equipment judged to be unreasonably dangerous is illegal.|
Coaches and umpires may now wear prostheses and use mobility devices.
10-run rule is once again optional.|
Note added to state the if an over-the-fence homerun produces the winning runs, all runs score before the game is over.
|8-2||Penalty portion now compels the defense to see and appeal the infraction. must be requested immediately following the play and prior to the next legal or illegal pitch, at the end of an inning, before the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory or before the umpires leave the field at the conclusion of the game. May be a live or dead ball request.|
|Points of emphasis||Dugout decorum
- Reminder that only the batter, runners, on-deck batter, coaches or defensive players should be in live-ball territory when ball is live.|
Substitutions - Reported to umpire-in-chief by coach or player for purposes of courtesy and good sportsmanship. No new penalty.
Pregame conference - Meeting should take place with players off the field in the dugout or bullpen.
Restriction to dugout - Umpires encouraged to utilize dugout restriction instead of ejection where warranted.
Checking bats & helmets - Recommended to be done 10 minutes before game time.
The following play situations listed in the 2002 NFHS Baseball Casebook should be clarified and interpreted to read "upon proper appeal", Situations 8.2.1 A-E and 8.2.6 Situations C-D. In addition, Situation 8.2.2 B the play should contain the verbiage, "the defensive coach verbally states that the runner on second left too early or a defensive player with the ball in his possession touches the player or the missed bag". In Situation 8.2.2 D (c) the play should read, "the defensive coach verbally states that the runner missed second base".
SITUATION 1: With the bases loaded and one out, the batter hits a high pop fly that is properly declared to be an infield fly by the base umpire. The ball glances off the first baseman’s glove over fair territory, and bounces into the first-base dugout. RULING: The ball is dead and the batter is declared out. The runners from third base and second base are awarded home, and the runner from first base is awarded third base. (2-5-1f, 2-19-1, 5-1-1f, 8-3-3c, 8-4-1j)
SITUATION 2: The right fielder has recently had his ear pierced. So that the piercing does not close, the player’s doctor has provided written medical permission for the player to participate with a band-aid covering the earring. RULING: A player while participating in the game shall not wear jewelry. The earring must be removed. (1-16 note, 3-3-1c)
SITUATION 3: With the runner on first base stealing on the pitch, the batter steps back in the batter’s box as the pitch is released. His action interferes with the catcher’s ability to receive the pitch and prevents him from attempting to throw the runner out at second base. RULING: This is batter’s interference. The batter is declared out and the runner must return to first base. (7-3-5c)
SITUATION 4: With a runner on first base, the batter hits a pitch that bounces fair in the outfield and hits the left-field foul pole above the fence and bounces back into the outfield. As the left fielder chases the ball, the batter reaches third and heads for home.
RULING: This is a ground-rule double. The ball is dead when it contacted the foul pole above the fence. The runner from first base is awarded third base and the batter is awarded second base. (2-5-1d, 5-1-1f, 8-3-3c)
SITUATION 5: With a runner on first base, the batter hits a deep fly to center field. The runner from first touches second and is halfway to third base when the center fielder makes a leaping catch. As the runner attempts to return to first base, he misses second base. He safely arrives at first base. RULING: The batter is out. At the end of playing action, and before the next legal or illegal pitch, the shortstop with the ball in his hand touches second base and informs the umpire that he is appealing the runner missing second base. Upon proper appeal the umpire declares the runner out. (8-2-2,8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 6: At the pre-game conference, the home team coach is covering ground rules. He points out that in right field the light pole is a few feet in front of the fence. He mentions that a black tape is around the light pole, about 12 feet above the ground. He states that it is a home run if a fly ball hits the light pole above the tape since the ball would have easily cleared the fence if the light pole were not there. RULING: A ground rule cannot supersede the rules book. A fly ball hitting the light pole above the tape will remain in play and will not be ruled a home run. The batted fair ball must go over a fence in flight before a home run can be awarded. (4-1-2, 8-3-3a)
SITUATION 7: The scoreboard is flush with the fence and extends more than 60 feet above the ground in left center field. About two-thirds the way up the scoreboard, a horizontal line has been drawn the length of the scoreboard. The home team coach states that it is their ground rule that any fair batted ball that hits the scoreboard above the line is a home run. RULING: A ground rule cannot supersede the rules book. A fly ball hitting the scoreboard above the tape will remain in play and will not be ruled a home run. The batted fair ball must go over a fence in flight before a home run can be awarded. (4-1-2, 8-3-3a)
SITUATION 8: The center fielder returns to his team’s dugout and sits on the bench. He replaces his earring and stays in the dugout. As the half-inning ends, he removes his earring and returns to center field. RULING: This is acceptable. While he remains in the dugout, he is not considered to be participating and, therefore, would not place his team or himself in jeopardy for a warning or a subsequent ejection, if a team warning had previously been given. (1-1-6 note, 3-3-1c)
SITUATION 9: With runners on first and third bases, the pitcher is in the set position. The pitcher then attempts the third-to-first pick-off move by stepping towards third base, and turning around and throwing to first. The third-base coach claims this is a balk since the pitcher, in his feint to third, only stepped toward third with no arm movement. RULING: This pick-off move is legal. A feint is a movement that simulates the start of a pitch or a throw to a base. Arm movement by a pitcher during a feint is not mandatory. (2-28-5)
SITUATION 10: A home-team booster sits behind home plate with a radar gun recording the speed of pitches of the opposing team. In the fifth inning, players from the home team get the information from the booster and provide it to the coach. RULING: This is not allowed. While the booster may have a radar gun in the stands, this information cannot be provided to a team for coaching purposes. Following a warning to the coach, continued behavior would result in an ejection. (3-3-1e, 3-3-1g4, 10-2-3g)
SITUATION 11: With a ball bunted in front of home plate, the batter-runner is running inside of the foul line to first base. With the batter-runner outside of the running lane, the catcher is not able to make a throw to first base. RULING: Although the batter-runner is outside of the three-foot running lane, the catcher must attempt a throw for interference to be called. If a throw were made, the batter-runner could be called out by the plate umpire, and other runners would be returned to their base occupied at the time of the interference. (8-4-1g)
SITUATION 12: With a runner on first base, the batter hits a high pop up in the infield. Hoping to create a double play, the first baseman allows the ball to drop untouched. The ball lands behind a line between first and second and spins untouched in front of first base, where it crosses the foul line. RULING: This is a fair ball and the ball remains live. The batter-runner is not out since the first baseman allowed the ball to drop untouched. (2-5-1b, 8-4-1c)
SITUATION 13: With the shortstop playing behind second base and in a position to make a catch, the runner standing on second base is hit by a line drive. RULING: The ball is dead and the runner on second base is declared out. The batter-runner is awarded first base. If no infielder had been in a position to make a play, the ball would remain live, provided the runner did not intentionally allow himself to be hit by the batted ball. (5-1-1f1, 8-4-2k, 6-1-5)
SITUATION 14: With a runner on first base, the right-handed pitcher is in the set position. The pitcher legally steps behind the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot but then steps toward home as if he is delivering a pitch. He then pivots and throws to first base, picking off the runner. RULING: This is a balk. The ball is dead and the runner is awarded second base. The pitcher, while off the pitcher’s plate, is prohibited from making any movement naturally associated with his pitch. (2-3-1, 5-1-1k, 6-2-5)
SITUATION 15: With the winning run on third base, the defensive head coach instructs the umpire to award an intentional walk to the next two batters. The first batter goes directly to second base without touching first base. Before the next batter enters the batter’s box, the pitcher verbally appeals the runner on second missing first base. RULING: This is a proper appeal. The runner on second base will be declared out. (2-4-3, 5-1-3, 8-2-5 penalty, 8-2-8)
SITUATION 16: With one out and a runner on first base, the defense brings in a substitute pitcher. After one pitch to the batter, the pitcher successfully picks off the runner at first base. The coach now wants to make another pitching change. RULING: The home-plate umpire will not allow this pitching change. The substitute pitcher must pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute for that batter, until such batter is out or reaches first base, or until a third out has been made. (3-1-2)
SITUATION 17: May a pitcher be removed and return to pitch in the same inning? RULING: If a pitcher is removed from the game, his re-entry is governed by the substitution rule. A player may be removed as pitcher and return as pitcher once per inning, provided the return as pitcher does not violate either the pitching, substitution or charged-conference rule. If the starting pitcher and the first baseman switch defensive positions, the starting pitcher may return to pitch in the same inning provided the batter the first baseman faced is put out or reaches first base and also provided the first baseman did not require more than eight warm-up pitches. The original starting pitcher could then face the next batter until that batter is out or reaches first base and then again trade places with the first baseman. At that point, the starting pitcher could not return to pitch again until the next inning. If the first baseman were removed as a pitcher the second time in the inning, he could not return to pitch until the next inning as well. (3-1-1, 3-1-2, 3-1-2 note)
SITUATION 18: The batter doubles but misses first base. With the runner standing on second base, the defensive team throws the ball to first to make a live-ball appeal, but throws the ball into the dugout. Now, the defense verbally appeals the missed base while the ball is dead. Is this legal? RULING: This is a legal appeal. The batter will be declared out for missing first base. (8-2-5 penalty)
SITUATION 19: With a runner on first base, the batter doubles to left center. As the runner from first advances, he misses second base. With the ball still live, the third baseman tags the runner standing on third base, not knowing the runner missed second base. RULING: Since the missed base was a forced base for the runner, the runner will be declared out on a force play even though the defense did not knowingly appeal the missed base. (2-24-1, 2-29-3, 8-2-7)
SITUATION 20: While attempting to steal second base, the runner from first never touches second base and advances to third base when the catcher’s throw sails into center field. Not aware that the runner failed to touch second base, the third baseman takes the throw from center field and tags the runner while he is standing on third. RULING: Since this is not an intentional appeal, nor a force play, the runner is not declared out. If the defense were to subsequently legally appeal, an out then could be declared. (8-2-5 penalty).
To add to the end of the rule: ... And have full ear protection (dual ear flaps).|
Rationale: Require a catcher to wear head protection with double ear flaps. In order to qualify for the NOCSAE standard the testing procedures entails side of head impact test.
Replace first sentence with: All casts, splints and braces on coaches and players must be padded with at least ½" of closed cell, slow recovery rubber or other material of the same minimum thickness and having similar physical properties.|
Rationale: Being more specific in regards to casts, splints and braces.
|1-1-6 Note (New)||
Replace first sentence with: Any player equipment judged by the umpire to be unreasonably dangerous is illegal.|
Rationale: Being more specific in regards to player's equipment.
Add to end of the rule and before Note 1: All non-wood bats shall meet the Ball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) performance standard and such bats shall be labeled with a silk screen or other permanent certification mark. Effective January 1, 2003.|
Rationale: The baseball bat manufacturers have begun to promote new bats that, although they meet our current standards, may have enhanced performance values.
|1-3-5 Note 1 (New)|
Bats that are altered or that do not meet the rule specification are illegal (See 7-4-1a). Bats that are broken, cracked, dented or deface the ball (i.e. tear the ball) shall be removed without penalty. A bat that continually discolors the ball may be removed from the game with no penalty at the discretion of the umpire.
Add to end of the rule: Coaches may wear prostheses and use mobility devices.|
Rationale: These rule changes are recommended to require that baseball rules conform to ADA requirements and assist in limiting umpires liability as well as that of the schools, coaches, players, state associations and NFHS.
Add to the front of the rule: By state association adoption . . .|
Rationale: To allow states that have concerns to either use the "10 run Mercy Rule" or not.
|8-2 Penalty (New)|
Replace rule with:. . .For failure to touch a base (advancing or returning), or failure to tag up as soon as the ball is touched on a caught fly ball, the runner may be called out if an appeal is made by the defensive team. The defense may appeal during a live ball immediately following the play and before a pitch, legal or illegal. A live ball appeal may be made by a coach or any defensive player with the ball in his possession by tagging the runner or touching the base that was missed or left too early. A dead ball appeal may be made by a coach or any defensive player with or without the ball by verbally stating that the runner missed the base or left the base too soon. Appeals must be made (1) before the next legal or illegal pitch, (2) at the end of an inning, before the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory, or (3) on the last play of the game, an appeal can be made until the umpires leave the field of play. NOTE: When a play, by its very nature is imminent and is obvious to the offense, defense, and umpire(s), no verbal appeal is necessary (e.g. runner attempting to retouch a base that was missed, or a failure to tag up and a throw has been made to that base or plate while a play is in progress).
APPEAL PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES
2. Live Ball. In all games an appeal may be made during a live ball by any fielder in possession of the ball touching the base missed or left too soon on a caught fly ball, or by tagging the runner committing the violation if he is still on the playing field.
3. Dead Ball. The dead ball appeal may be made: 1) Once all runners have completed their advancement and time has been called, a coach or any defensive player, with or without the ball, may make a verbal appeal on a runner missing a base or leaving a base too soon on a caught fly ball. The administering umpire should then make a decision on the play. 2) If the ball has gone out of play, runners must be given the opportunity to complete their base running responsibilities before the dead ball appeal can be made.
4. May Not Return. A runner may not return to touch a missed base or one left too soon on a caught fly ball if:
5. Advance. Runners may advance during a live ball appeal play. If a time out is requested for an appeal, the umpire should grant it, and runners may not advance until the ball becomes live again.
6. More Than One Appeal. Multiple appeals are permitted as long as they do not become a travesty of the game.
7. Awards. An appeal must be honored even if the base missed was before or after an award.
8. Tag-Ups. If a runner leaves a base too soon on a caught fly ball and returns in an attempt to retag, this is considered a time play and not a force out. If the appeal is the third out, all runs scored by runners in advance of the appealed runner and scored ahead of the legal appeal would count.
9. Fourth Out Appeal. An appeal may be made after the third out as long as it is made properly and the resulting appeal is an apparent 4th out.
10. End of Game. If any situation arises which could lead to an appeal by the defense on the last play of the game, the appeal must be made while an umpire is still on the field of play. Rationale: The appeal play is a traditional play in baseball and has remained so in other rule codes.
Add to the end of the rule: Umpires may wear prostheses and use mobility devices.|
Rationale: To make the rule consistent for the officials, as well as the coaches.
Add to the end of the rule: (2-23-1).|
Rationale: To make proper reference to the other affected rule.
Change #26 in Dead Ball Table to read the same as 5-1-1L|
Rationale: To assist in consistency within the rule book and the dead ball table.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN ( July 31, 2000 ) — Several clarifications in pitching motions were approved by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee at its meeting here July 15-17.
The committee defined the “time of the pitch” in the windup position as occurring when the pitcher (a) first starts any movement of his arm(s) or leg(s) after stepping onto the pitcher’s plate with his hands already together in front of his body; (b) with both arms at his side, first starts any movement with both arms or leg(s) prior to the pitch; (c) with either hand in front of the body and the other hand at his side, after bringing his hands together, first starts any movement of his arm(s) or leg(s) prior to the pitch.
In the set position, the “time of the pitch” occurs the instant the pitcher, after coming to a complete and discernible stop, starts any movement with arm(s) and/or leg(s) that commits him to pitch.
In addition, the committee clarified Rule 6-1-4 regarding the position of the pitcher’s glove in the set position as follows: “He shall come to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body and his glove at or below his chin.”
Elliot Hopkins, director of educational services for the NFHS and staff liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee, said there was confusion as to how these rules were being applied. He said the change in language was meant to clarify the intent of these pitching rules.
Although the NFHS Board of Directors already had approved a new bat rule, which will take effect January 1, 2001, the Baseball Rules Committee approved this change as a part of its official rules changes for the 2001 season.
The new bat rule in effect for the 2001 season will state that the diameter at the thickest part of the bat should be no greater than 2 5/8 inches, and the bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat. For example, a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces. Previously, the maximum diameter was 2¾ inches and the unit differential was five.
Regarding bats, the committee noted that bats that are altered, that deface the ball or that do not meet the rule specifications are illegal. Bats that are broken, cracked or dented shall be removed upon discovery without penalty.
In Rule 1-1-5, the committee agreed to delay the implementation of the catcher’s helmet and mask combination meeting the NOCSAE standard from January 1, 2001, to January 1, 2003. Also, in Rule 1-1-5 the committee voted to give state high school associations the flexibility to allow commemorative or memorial patches (not to exceed 2¼ square inches) on jerseys in an appropriate and dignified manner without compromising the integrity of the uniform.
As is being done with rules in other high school sports, the Baseball Rules Committee adopted language in Rule 4-2-3a to address sportsmanship. The umpire-in-chief is to receive verification from both coaches that all participants are properly equipped and emphasize to the coaches and captains that all participants are expected to exhibit good sporting behavior throughout the game(s).Baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 455,305 participants during the 1998-99 season, according to the athletics participation survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations. In terms of school sponsorship it ranks third with 14,486 schools nationwide offering the sport. In addition, there are 1,331 girls in 136 schools across the country who participated in baseball during the 1998-99 season.
A manufacturer’s logo/trademark shall not exceed 2 ¼ square inches with no dimension exceeding 2 ¼ inches.|
Rationale: To coincide with the NCAA provision, which lessens the concern for manufacturers having to comply with two rules codes when making uniforms.
Beginning in 2000, the coefficient of restitution (COR) of baseballs shall not exceed .555.|
Rationale: To help ensure consistency concerning ball liveliness.
Beginning in 2000, baseballs shall have the NFHS authenticating mark.|
Rationale: To help ensure that balls meet NFHS specifications.
|1-3-5||Baseballs shall have the NFHS authenticating mark.|
1-3-5 Note 2
The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee intends to adopt a rule that will limit bat performance. The rule will be effective as of January 1, 2000. Beginning in 2000, bats shall be approved by the
|2-28-3||Time of the pitch in the windup position has been revised.|
|6-1-2||A pitcher may assume the windup position with his hands apart and then bring them together before taking his signal. After bringing his hands together, the time of the pitch would then be the moment he makes any motion with his arms or legs prior to delivering the pitch.|
|7-3-1||If the batter leaves the batter's box, delays the game, and none of the exceptions to the batter's box rule applies, the plate umpire shall charge a strike to the batter. Only if batters begin to delay the game and take advantage of the spirit of the rule will enforcement be necessary.|
By state association adoption, umpires shall wear the approved NFHS navy pullover style shirt.|
Rationale: The committee believes that the navy umpire’s pullover looks more professional. The collar and sleeve trim shall be red, white and blue.
SITUATION 1: The batter steps into the batter’s box. The catcher tells the plate umpire that the bat is cracked. Upon examination, the bat is determined to indeed be cracked. RULING: The umpire shall instruct the batter to obtain another bat. (1-3-5, note 1)
SITUATION 2: The batter steps into the batter’s box. The catcher asks the plate umpire to check the bat. Upon examination, it is determined that the bat has been cracked, and that an attempt has been made to disguise the crack. RULING: The batter is declared out. (1-3-5, note 1)
SITUATION 3: The batter hits a home run. The catcher picks up the bat and hands it to the plate umpire, claiming it is cracked. Upon examination, the bat is determined to be cracked. RULING: The home run counts. The bat shall be replaced and the batter’s coach informed. (1-3-5, note 1)
SITUATION 4: F1, with R1 on second base, does a spin move on the pitcher’s plate toward second. The runner breaks for third base and the pitcher walks off the pitcher’s plate and runs toward R1. RULING: This is legal.(6-2-4)
SITUATION 5: Team A has a courtesy runner on third base running for F1. F6, sliding into second base, twists his ankle and cannot continue to run. Team A’s coach wants to bring F1 back into run and then substitute the courtesy runner as a pinch runner for F6. RULING: The plate umpire will not allow this substitution to be made. Since the courtesy runner is still on base, he is not eligible to be replaced by the pitcher and become a pinch runner for the F6. The most recent batter not on base for Team A will be allowed to run for F6. (Speed-Up Rules, Courtesy Runner 3)
SITUATION 6: With R1 on first base, the left-handed F1 steps onto the pitcher’s plate. He moves the leg of his pivot foot in the same manner as he would move the leg of the non-pivot foot in coming to the set position. He then quickly steps back off the pitcher’s plate and throws to first base in an attempt to pick off R1. RULING: This is a balk.(6-1-3)
SITUATION 7: Team A has a courtesy runner on second base running for F1. As he slides into third base on a wild pitch, he twists his ankle and is not able to continue in the game. With no other substitutes available to pinch run, Team A’s coach wants to replace the injured courtesy runner with the courtesy runner who has run for the catcher. RULING: This is legal. (Speed-Up Rules, Courtesy Runner 3)
SITUATION 8: F1, while on the pitcher’s plate, brings the fingers of his throwing hand to his mouth and licks his fingers. He then wipes them off and looks to F2 for a sign. RULING: This is a balk. Once F1 has intentionally engaged the pitcher’s plate, he must comply with the pitching regulations. Had he licked his fingers and then wiped them off before he touched the pitcher’s plate, he would not have committed a violation.(6-1-1)
SITUATION 9: With the bases loaded and one out, B5 hits a ground ball to F4. F4’s throw to home pulls F2 off the plate. As F2 is preparing to throw to F3, R1 crosses the plate and maliciously collides with F2. RULING: The ball is declared dead immediately. Both R1 and B5 are out. No runs score. R2 and R3 return to their respective bases at the time of the pitch. R1 is ejected. (8-4-2b penalty, 3-3-1n penalty)
SITUATION 10: With R1 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R1. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2. RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1. (10-2-3i note)
SITUATION 11: R1, on first base, is moving on the pitch. B2 hits to F6, who tries for the out at second base. F6 cleanly throws to first base, after which R1 pops up on the base and jostles F6, having no effect on the play. RULING: R1 committed an illegal slide when he did a pop-up slide into F6. Since he committed an illegal slide and made contact with F6 during a force-play situation, the ball is declared dead, and both R1 and B2 are declared out.(8-4-2b penalty, 2-32-2a)
SITUATION 12: R1 attempts to steal second base. F2, seeing he has no chance to throw out R1, does not attempt a throw. F4, who is standing behind second base to cover in case of a throw, is contacted by R1, who slid over the bag and contacts F4. RULING: R1 committed an illegal slide when he slid past the back edge of the base. Because he contacted a player during an illegal slide, he is called out. (8-4-2b penalty, 2-32-2c)
SITUATION 13: With R1 on third base, F1 steps onto the pitcher’s plate in the windup position with both hands at his side. He moves both arms to bring the hands together as R1 attempts to steal home. F1 stops as his hands come together, steps off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot and throws home for the out. RULING: This is a balk. R1 is awarded home.(6-1-2, 2-28-2)
SITUATION 14: F1, with R1 at third base, is in the windup position. With his glove hand in front of his body, and his pitching hand at his side, F1 moves his non-pivot foot behind the pitching plate as he brings his pitching hand to his glove hand and delivers a pitch in a continuous motion. RULING: This is a legal pitching move. (6-1-2)
SITUATION 15: F1, with both hands at his side in the windup position, is on the pitcher’s plate. He moves his glove hand to a position in front of his body and stops. He then moves his pitching hand to his glove hand, stops to re-grip the baseball and then delivers a pitch. RULING: This is legal.(6-1-2, 2-28-2)
SITUATION 16: The courtesy runner, running for F2, scores and sits down on the bench. F7, on the next play, twists his ankle and cannot continue in the game. With no other eligible substitutes available to pinch-run, the coach of the team at bat wants to substitute the courtesy runner as a pinch runner for F7. RULING: This is a legal substitution. (Speed-Up Rules, Courtesy Runner, exception)
SITUATION 17: With R1 on second base, B2 hits a deep fly ball to center field. R1 leaves on the crack of the bat, touches third and is headed for home. R1, looking back at F8, bumps into F5 who is standing in the base path. The ball is caught for the first out. R1 stops and retreats to third. F8 throws the ball back to a) second base or b) to F6 who then throws the ball to F1. RULING: a) R1 is out as he never retagged second base once the ball was touched on a caught fly. b) Obstruction would be called. R1 would be awarded home if he returned to touch second base. If he did not return to touch second base, he would be declared out. (8-3-2, 8-2-4, 2-22-1)
SITUATION 18: B1 steps into the batter’s box with a bat that is 33 inches long and weighs 26 ounces. F2 asks the plate umpire to check the bat. RULING: B1 is declared out for the illegal bat. (7-4-1a, 1-3-5)
SITUATION 19: With R1 on third base, R2 takes a lead off of first base and positions himself at the grass towards right center field. The coach of the defensive team complains to the base umpire that R2’s position is illegal. RULING: R2’s lead-off position is legal. (8-2)
SITUATION 20: With R1 on third base, R2 takes a lead off of first base and positions himself at the grass behind first base down the right field line. F1 throws to F3 in an attempt to pick off B2. R2 runs down the right field foul line toward the outfield fence. RULING: While R2’s position is legal, he is declared out when he ran toward the outfield fence when a play was attempted. In running down the foul line, he was out of the baseline he had between his position at the time of the pick off and second base.(8-4-2a)
Change in manufacturer's logo rule
Beginning in 2000, all balls shall have NFHS authentication marks
Beginning in 2000, all balls and bats will be subject to performance limitations
New standards for umpire's uniform
A manufacturer's logo/trademark shall not exceed 2-1/4 square inches with no dimension exceeding 2-1/4 inches. (1-1-5)
Comments: None. This rule change is less restrictive than the previous rule and is incumbent upon the manufacturers for compliance.
Implications for Coaches: None. Implications for Umpires: None Beginning in the year 2000, ball manufacturers shall put the NFHS authenticating mark on all balls that will be used in high school competition (1-3-4).
Comments: This is part of an effort by the Federation to assure that only balls that are in compliance with Fed standards are used in high school competition.
Implications for Coaches: Non-authenticated balls should be used by the end of the 1999 season. Plans should be made for incorporating in the purchase of authenticated balls after this season. Responsibility lies with coaches to maintain appropriate equipment. Implications for Umpires: It will be your responsibility to inspect balls provided to you prior to and during the course of a game to assure NFHS authentication. If a school does not provide you with authenticated balls and has none in supply, the game may be played with non-authenticated baseballs. The situation does, however, need to be reported to your Assignor for further action. Beginning with the 2000 season, the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) of a baseball shall not exceed .555. (1-3-4) The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee intends to adopt a rule that will limit bat performance. The rule will be effective as of January 1, 2000. Beginning in 2000, bats shall be approved by the NFHS. (1-3-5)
Comments: One of the strengths of baseball lie in the balance between offense and defense. The significant increases in offensive performance over the past few years have removed some of that balance, and many of these increases may be attributed to increases in the performance capabilities of bats and balls. Not only does this issue impact the balance of the game; it becomes a safety issue as pitchers have been subject to incredible velocities of balls off of the bats of the hitters. The rules are designed to, in concert: help restore some of the balance to the game, thereby reducing the wear on pitchers and length of the game; and reduce the risk of injury, especially to pitchers, from higher velocity batted balls. Implications for Coaches: It will not be necessary for you to determine ball COR when you purchase baseballs. The NFHS authentication mark will be sufficient to ensure that any ball purchased meets this standard, as no ball manufactured with a COR higher than .555 will be allowed the mark. The issue of bats is much trickier in that the actual standards have not yet been defined. It is suggested that schools resist purchasing a large number of higher performance bats going into the 1999 season. As an additional note - NCAA and many other youth organizations are also following this direction. The move is toward reducing the performance of bats to within no more than a percent or two above that of wood. Once this rule takes effect, you will be responsible for assuring the legality of your bats along with all other player equipment.
Implications to Umpires: With respect to balls, the implications are the same as those stated above. With respect to bats, this is now going to increase the responsibility of confirming with both coaches that all personal and game equipment, including bats, are legal. Umpires shall wear heather gray slacks, and by state adoption, the NFHS approved navy blue pullover shirt. (Collar and sleeve trim shall be red, white, and navy)
Comments: These uniforms have become the professional standards for umpires. The Federation is responding to the changes in these standards while at the same time giving states the flexibility to determine which shirt style they wish to officially adopt.
Implications to Coaches: None. Implications to Umpires: Adhering to uniform standards is a matter of professionalism. Coaches know the umpires uniform as well as you. Failing to wear the proper uniform compromises your credibility before you step on the field.
Editorial Revisions and Clarifications
The games shall end when the losing team is behind 10 or more runs after five innings and teams have had an equal number of turns at bat. (Note: Two seven inning games shall constitute a doubleheader) (4-2-2)
Reason for clarification: The matter of both teams having had an equal number of turns at bat before the 10 run rule takes place was implied, but not stated, in the rules change of 1998. This clarification is intended to indicate that if a team takes a 10 run lead in the top of the sixth inning, for instance, that the game is not ended at that point. The implications of Article 1 still apply that if a team needs none or only a fraction of its half of the fifth or subsequent inning in which it takes a 10 or more run lead in the bottom half, the game is ended immediately. The purpose of the note is to state that only seven-inning scheduled games are legal under Federation rule, and that 5-inning doubleheaders are not official games. If a designated media area is to be used, it shall be established before the game begins (1-2-3)
Reason for clarification: In the past there have been occasional problems of media individuals -- especially newspaper photographers-- being on the field of play. Their presence has caused problems both with impacting the game by being in strategic locations during live ball and by creating ruling problems for umpires as a result of their effect on play. The designated media area should be located in a position that has a minimal likelihood of impacting play. If the umpire deems the location as unsuitable, he may order it changed or removed altogether. Media personnel who go onto the field must stay within the designated area. The warning or ejection [for violations of bench or field conduct] shall be made at the end of playing action. (3-3-1 penalty)
Reason for clarification: A number of conduct issues call for a warning for the first offense, followed by an ejection for a second offense. This is primarily to allow the coach an opportunity to take corrective action after the first offense, thereby preventing a repeat. If any of these circumstances occurs twice within one live ball period, such that the warning for the first and the ejection for the second occur nearly simultaneously, there is no chance for correction by the coach. Multiple violations during play will result in one blanket warning, and any subsequent violations will result in ejection. A second issue is that of the status of an ejected player during live ball. If the ejection doesn't "take" until play ends, then all players remain players throughout the live ball period. A player who violates the courtesy runner rule is an illegal substitute. (2-36-3e)
Reason for clarification: The rules regarding courtesy runners had always long that a runner may not run for both the pitcher and the catcher, nor may a player who has already been in the game (other than as a courtesy runner) act as a courtesy runner. There has never been, however, a definition as to what the consequences of this activity are. It has been an unwritten rule that any person violating the courtesy runner rule is an illegal substitute. (Paraphrased) Any play or attempted play by the defense is treated the same as a legal or illegal pitch in removing the defense's right to appeal batting out of order. (7-1-2b)
Reason for clarification: This now draws the Federation closer to the NCAA and OBR (Pro) rules in terms of recognizing that an attempted play negates the appeal. The umpire-in-chief shall record any or all reported substitutions on the lineup card and then announce immediately any changes to the opposing team. (3-1-1)
Reason for clarification: The word "reported" was added to denote that, in any of the four unannounced substitutions scenarios listed at the end of 3-1-1, the umpire does not carry the responsibility of either recording or announcing such a substitution, although it is still a legal substitution. For any subsequent play by an infielder or for any throw by an outfielder and ball goes out of play or lodges in or under fence, all base runners are awarded two bases from base occupied at the time of the throw. (8-3 base running awards table)
Reason for clarification: There was some confusion surrounding the phrase "first throw by an infielder", in terms of whether to award from the time of the pitch or the time of the throw. Some were confused as to whether a ball thrown by an outfielder to an infielder then thrown out of play by the infielder constituted a "first throw by an infielder". This additional situation intends to clarify that circumstance.
NFHS Bat Rules
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