Rules Area

This is the 5th in a series of the 9 major rules that are treated differently in all 3 rulebooks.


A.      FED - No game participant may charge an umpire.  3-3-1k Penalty: warning or ejection.  3-3-1k PenaltyAlso: No game participant may leave his position or bench to engage in “fighting or physical confrontation.” 3-3-1q Penalty: Ejection.  3-3-1q Penalty – A coach who attempts to stop a fight is not in violation.  3-3-1 q; 3.3.1jj, kk and ll.B.      NCAA – No player, coach, or team representative may physically abuse or fight with an umpire or opposing player.  5-16PHYSICAL ABUSE OF: OFFICIAL: Physical abuse is defined as “any THREAT of physical intimidation or harm to include pushing, shoving, kicking, intentionally spitting, throwing at or ATTEMPTING TO MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT.” 5-16bAlso: For a violent attack on (“punching or kicking”) or fight with an umpire or opposing coach, the suspension PENALTY: Next 5 games, even for 1st offense. 5-16b Ex.Also: Umpires should immediately consult video evidence, if available, to identify players involved in a fight. 5-16c-4Also:  If multiple suspension would create a “difficulty in fielding a team for its next game or games,” the institution may request staggered suspensions from its conference.  Independent teams should work with the secretary-rules editor.  5-16 AR2PHYSICAL ABUSE OF PLAYERS:  Physical abuse is defined as an attempt to “strike with the arms, hands, legs, feet or equipment in a combative manner or intentionally spitting at an opponent.” 5-16aAlso:  The penalties are in effect for fall ball and carry over into spring competition. 5-16Also:  Conferences may adopt more stringent penalties.  5-16a/b Penalty 4g Penalty:  The offender(s) is immediately ejected.  He must leave the field, he may not communicate with any team personnel, and he must change out of his uniform if he remains at the site.  5-16a/b Penalty 4a and 4b.  Additionally: 1) for 1st offense: 3-game suspension; 5-16a/b Penalty 1; 2) for 2nd offense in the same season: 5-game suspension.  5-16a/b Penalty 2; 3) for 3rd offense in the same season: suspension for the remainder of the season, including post-season play.  If the ejection comes in the last game of the season, a one-game penalty is assessed for the 1st contest in the following spring season.  5-16a/b Penalty 3Exception:  The suspensions meted out under the fight rule do not apply to participants ejected for verbal abuse or arguing (5-17 Penalty AR) though any participant ejected for a violation of the Code of Ethics is suspended for one game. (3-6d Penalty)Also:  Suspensions served for the “team’s next previously scheduled and completed contest(s.  Halted or suspended games “against the originally scheduled opponent” shall count as “regularly scheduled contests.”  Games may not be added after the incident to satisfy the penalty.  (5-16 AR 1)Also:  Suspended participants must serve their suspensions at once:  “There shall be no appeal of the penalty.” (5-16a/b Penalty 4h)PLAY – NCAA only.  Players from Baylor and Texas A & M duke it out in the final game of a series, and umpires suspend two players from each team.  The University of Texas is coming to College Station, and the 1st game will be completion of a previous game halted in the top of the 9th inning with A & M leading 9-0.  The 2 suspended Aggies are withheld from the game (inning).  Ruling:  The players have NOT served their suspensions:  Although the game was “previously scheduled,” it was not “completed.”Also:  Players suspended for infractions of the Fight Rule “shall be restricted to the designated spectator areas and prohibited from any communication or contact, direct or indirect, with the team, coaches and/or bench personnel from the start of the contest to its completion – including extra innings.” 5-16PARTICIPANTS LEAVE POSITIONS: Team personnel (players, coaches, trainers, managers) shall not leave their positions to participate in a fight, which is defined as a confrontation marked by “pushing, shoving or bumping.” (5-16c)  An individual’s “position” is determined by where he is at the time a confrontation occurs.  (5-16c) PENALTY: 1) All team members who participate in a fight for leaving their positions shall receive a 3-game penalty for a 1st offense.  2) A batter or runner who starts a fight by charging the pitcher is suspended for 3 games.  3) A pitcher who leaves the mound to start a fight is suspended for 3 games.  4) If players involved in action join a fight, they are ejected and suspended for 3 days.  5) Second offenders are suspended for the remainder of the season, including postseason competition.  (5-16c Penalty 1 through 5)PENALTY FOR STOPPING FIGHTS:  1) Any player involved in a fight who has remained at his position and is judges to be merely defending himself shall not be ejected or suspended (5-16c Penalty AR1.  2) A player or coach who makes physical contact with another player “in an obvious attempt to prevent a fight or confrontation shall not be ejected or suspended.”  (5-16c Penalty AR2).UMPIRES JURISDICTION:  Umpires will enforce the penalty for infractions occurring any time from the start of the contest until the umpires leave the stadium after the last game of the day.  (5-16a/b Penalty 4e).  Also:  The “ejecting” umpire must file a “suspension report” with the athletic director of the offending tea, the secretary-editor of the NCAA rulebook, and  - if appropriate – a conference administrator.  (5-16a/b Penalty 4f)ENFORCEMENT:  The institution’s head baseball coach and athletic director are responsible for enforcing the penalties.  (5-16a/b Penalty 4c)C.      OBR – No game participant may make intentional contact with an umpire.  PENALTY – ejection. (4.06a-4; 9.01d)  Also – Official Interpretation from the PBUC Manual:  Any member of the offensive team who charges the pitcher will be automatically ejected if he “moves a reasonable distance toward the pitcher with the intention of fighting.” [1.6]



 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – DEFINITION – A charged conference is a meeting between the coach or his non-playing representative and a player or players. (2-10-1; 3-4-1)

B.      NCAA – DEFINITION – Same definition as High School.  (6-5e AR) Also, It is an “Offensive trip” when 2 offensive coaches delay the game to confer. (6-5f)

C.      PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL (OBR) – Not applicable.  Note: In FED and NCAA, a defensive conference is not charged when the pitcher is removed.  OBR is similar:  A skipper who removes his pitcher still has a free trip that inning to the new pitcher.  The “removal” visit, then, is not a trip.  Moreover, if the manager goes to the mound, removes his pitcher – and remains to talk to the reliever, that is not considered a trip to the new pitcher.  (MLBUM 7.12) 


 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – Conferences do not accumulate for use in extra innings. (3-4-1; 3.4.1)

B.      NCAA – Conferences, whether defensive (9-4a AR2) or offensive, (6-5f-3) accumulate.

C.      OBR – Not applicable. 


 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – The coach may stand with his pitcher at the mound between ½ innings.  If his presence creates a delay – PENALTY: The umpire “may” charge a conference. (3-4-1h)

B.      NCAA – No provision.

C.      OBR – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation by Barney Deary in 1985.  Same as high school 3.4.1h.  “If such a ‘conference’ delays the game:  Following the first delay, the umpire should warn the coach that on the next delay he will be charged with a trip to the mound.  A team must be warned once per game before the penalty is invoked. 


 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – Coaches or their non-playing representatives may confer with a defensive player or players during a charged conference. (2-10-1; 3-4-1)  Website 2007, #4 – Also, if a defensive coach attends an injured player on the field, the other defensive coach ‘is free to have a conference’ with the pitcher. (3.4.1 e & f).  Note:  The casebook ruling indicates that if the umpire believes a player is faking an injury so that confidential information can be given to anyone on the field, the umpire may prohibit additional conferences from “taking place at that time.”

B.      NCAA – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation by Rich Fetchiet in 2001:  If 2 coaches go onto the field during the same conference, each is charged with a conference.  Official interpretation from Jim Paronto 2009 – I would tend to follow the pro interpretation of not allowing the 2nd coach on the field.  E-mail from Paronto to Larry Gallagher.

C.      OBR – Point not covered.  Official interpretation from Mike Fitzpatrick in 2001.  Allow one coach inside the diamond per trip.  Do not permit a 2nd conference while the same batter is at bat.  Also, if a pitching change is made, the coach may not huddle with his defensive players after leaving the mound as that is prohibited by 8.06c.               

Play:  A pitching coach makes a pitching change.  After he leaves the mound, the head coach calls his defense to the foul line to chat while the new pitcher is warming up.  Ruling: 

In FED, the conference is legal. 

In NCAA, charge the defense with 2 conferences. 

In OBR, warn the coach he must not engage in that discussion.  If he insists on the conference, eject him.  When the hitter finishes his at-bat, eject the pitcher as well.

Note:  Umpires at all levels should make sure that a visit to an “injured” player is not simply a ploy to get confidential information to the mound or infield.  If the skipper does begin to “coach” (disregarding the ‘injury’), charge the defense with a conference or a trip.



 A.      HIGH SCHOOL (FED) – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation – Brad Rumble in 1989 in the newsletter #41 stated, “A coach may request time for a conference, confer with one player in one part of the field and then move to meet another player as part of the same charged conference.

B.      NCAA – No provision.

C.      OBR – One coach or manager is permitted during each trip.  (8.06) 


 A.      FED – Point not covered.  Official interpretation by Brad Rumble in the newsletter #32 in 1986 stated, “An umpire may charge a conference when the coach approaches the foul line to shout instructions to the defense if the umpire believes the coach is ‘conferring’ with his players.  Also, a coach who yells defensive instructions from the dugout is not charged with a conference. (3.4.1i)

B.      NCAA – A coach may not circumvent the charged conference rules, such as but not limited to going near the foul line to confer with the pitcher or a defensive player. (9.4a-2)  If a coach talks to a defensive player, that shall be ‘considered a trip whether the player goes to the mound or not.’ (9-4a-2 AR1)

C.      OBR – When a coach confers with a defensive player, a trip is charged only when – before a pitch or intervening play – the player goes to the mound or the pitcher comes to the player.  (8.06 Comment) 


 A.      1) A defensive conference held in fair territory ends when the coach crosses the foul line on his way back to the bench; a defensive conference held in foul territory ends when the coach first starts back to his bench (3-4-3; 3.4.3); 2) An offensive conference ends when the coach first starts back to his position (3-4-4; 3.4.4); 3) A conference between a restricted coach and a player or players ends when any player starts back to his position.  The umpire shall allow a ‘reasonable’ amount of time for any conference (3-4-4), but he may inform a coach that his ‘time is up.’ (3.4.3)

B.      NCAA – A conference, which may include a meeting with infielders, begins when the coach crosses the foul line.  It ends when the coach leaves the dirt circle or the pitcher begins his eight warm-up pitches. (9-4d)  Note:  The book gives no guidelines for what action ends an offensive conference.  BRD recommends:  Use of the FED regulation.

C.      OBR – A trip to the mound ends when the coach leaves the circle at the mound. (8.06)  Also, Official Interpretation from the PBUC Manual:  When the manager or coach leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher’s plate, ‘he must keep going and not return to the mound.’ (6.10)  Also, Official interpretation from MLBUM:  If the trip occurs ‘on the grass’ and then moves to the dirt of the mound, the conference ends when the coach or manager ‘breaks’ from the meeting. (7.12) 


 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – 1) After 3 charged conferences during regulation play, the pitcher must be replaced as pitcher for the remainder of regulation play each time the coach confers with any defensive player.  2) On the 2nd (and each successive charged conference in any extra inning, the pitcher must be replaced as pitcher for the remainder of the game.  3) In either case, the pitcher may remain in the game; if he leaves, he may reenter later at a non-pitching position if he has not previously left the game.  (3-4-1; 3-4-1 Penalty; 3.4.1c)

B.      NCAA – 1) After 3 charged conferences during regulation play.  Same as FED in regulation. (9-4a) Exception: 2) After the 2nd charged conference in any ½ inning:  Same as OBR. (9-4b)  Also, if extra innings are played, a team is entitled to one additional charged conference for the remainder of the game, regardless of how many innings (9-4a), but unused conferences from the regulation portion of the game accumulate. (9-4a
AR 2) Note: BRD recommends:  Warn a coach before he uses his “excessive” conference.  After all, by rule the umpire is required to warn the coach when he has uses his last offensive conference. (6-5f-2)

Play – Part one:  FED and NCAA only.  In 2 simultaneous games played on adjoining fields: 

At the end of regulation play Coach Vasquez (FED) has used 3 conferences and Coach Neeley (NCAA) has used 2. 

In the first extra inning each coach visits Bubba, the pitcher.  Bubba stays in the game.  In that same inning each coach visits the mound a second time.  Ruling: 

In FED, Coach Vasquez must remove Bubba; he already used his free trip that inning.  So Vasquez puts Scott on the mound. 

In NCAA, Bubba is also finished (because of the 2nd trip in one inning), but it is only the 3rd conference in the game for Coach Neeley, who also sends in Scott.

Play – Part two:  FED and NCAA only.  In the same inning, both coaches visit the mound a 3rd time.  Ruling: 

Vasquez must remove Scott even though it is his first visit to that pitcher.  (Vasquez has already used his free trip.  He gets another free trip in the next inning.) 

In NCAA, Scott may stay.  But every time Neeley visits the mound for the remainder of the game, his pitcher must be removed. 

Note: If Vasquez or Neeley was coaching in an OBR game, Scott would get to stay, for it would be the coach’s first trip to that pitcher in that inning.

C.      OBR – The pitcher must leave the mound when the manager makes a second trip in the same ½ inning.  (8.06b)  Also, Official Interpretation from the PBUC Manual:  On the 2nd trip in a ½ inning, the pitcher must be removed “FROM THE GAME.” [original emphasis] [6.10]  Also, Official Interpretation from the PBUC Manual: The pitcher may remain in the game only when he is removed from the mound on the manager’s first visit of the inning. [6.10]  Note: Amateur coaches and players using OBR rules are sometimes unaware of the Official Interpretation and though the interpretations should be standard for all games played under OBR rules.  BRD strongly recommends:  Discuss the provision at the pregame meeting unless you are certain both teams understand the rule.

Play – The coach sprints to the mound and – because of some rule – is required to remove his pitcher. 

Ruling:  At all levels the pitcher is barred from returning to pitch. 

In FED and NCAA, he may remain as a fielder (or in NCAA as the DH). 

In OBR, the pitcher must leave the game.

Play – FED and NCAA only.  After the first pitch in the top of the seventh inning, the coach goes to the mound.  It is discovered he is taking his fourth charged conference.  Ruling: 

The pitcher is finished as a pitcher in that game. 



A.      FED – Not applicable.  The FED coach can make all 3 free trips during the same at bat if he so chooses to do so.

B.      NCAA – A coach may not make a second trip to the mound in the same ½ inning with the same player at bat.  However, if a pinch-hitter enters the game after the coach’s “free” trip, the coach may make a second trip but he must remove the pitcher form the mound.  (9-4c) Exception:  If the pitcher has not faced on batter:  When the offense pinch bats, the coach may go to the mound if he has a “free” trip available and if it is not his second trip to that pitcher.  (9-4c)

Play:  NCAA only.  Having been charged with no conferences, Coach Vasquez brings Parker in to pitch in the 6th.  Parker immediately walks the 1st batter he faces.  Long-suffering Vasquez returns to the mound to discuss the falling NASDAQ.  Bubba steps up to hit and promptly swings at 2 pitches over his head.  The offensive coach next sends Scott to pinch hit – with 2 strikes.  Coach Vasquez now wants to go back to the mound to replace Parker.  Ruling:  Vasquez may return because of the pinch hitter for Bubba.  Parker may not return to pitch in that contest.

C.      Same as NCAA.  Exception:  The coach/manager has no “free” trips:  On the 2nd visit, the pitcher must leave the game.  (8.06d) 


A.      HIGH SCHOOL – The umpire will not allow a defensive conference if it causes the removal of a pitcher who has not complied with the pitching-substitution rule. (3-1-2) Note:  No penalty is listed for a coach who insists on illegally going to the mound.  The umpire’s only recourse would be restriction to the dugout or ejection.

B.      NCAA – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation on 11/89 by Thurston – Same as FED 3-1-2, with additions below. 

MISTAKEN ILLEGAL CONFERENCE:  If the coach is erroneously allowed to go to the mound for any conference that creates a conflict with pitcher-substitution restrictions, the pitcher must pitch until the current hitter completes his at bat or the ½ inning ends.  Then the pitcher will be removed from the mound for the remainder of the game.  The coach may remain.

INTENTIONAL ILLEGAL CONFERENCE:  If the coach insists on making an illegal trip, he is ejected.  When the current hitter completes his bat, F1 is also ejected.  Note:  NCAA 9-4c-3 provides an identical penalty, but it is reserved for those times when the coach insists on a conference while the same batter is at the plate.

C.      OBR – Same as FED.  (3.05c Comment)Play:  NCAA and OBR only.  Bubba gives up his 5th hit in a row, and his coach goes to the mound, later signaling for reliever Poe.  Hemingway is scheduled to bat, but Faulkner is announced as a pitch hitter.  Ruling: 

In NCAA, the coach may return unless he has already been charged with 3 conferences, when the umpire will not allow the trip.  If the skipper crosses the foul line in spite of a warning, he is ejected.  Poe also will be history as soon as Faulkner completes his at bat.  If all free trips have been used and the umpire erroneously allows the visit, Poe will pitch to Faulkner and then he is removed from the mound for the remainder of the game; the coach gets to stay.  In OBR, since that is the coach/manager’s first trip to Poe (the meeting when Bubba was relieved does not count as a trip) the visit is legal. 


A.      FEDERATION - If one team calls time, during that conference the opposing coach, whether on offense or defense, may confer with his players without being charged a conference as long as the meeting ends about the same time as the other team’s charged conference.  (3-4-5; 3.4.1b)  Also, Official Interpretation by Brad Rumble:  While the umpire is dusting the plate or the catcher is meeting with the pitcher, if the offensive coach visits a player without delaying the game, no conference is charged.  (Referee – 10/85)

B.      NCAA – If a defensive coach requests time and is charged with a conference, the opposing coach is not charged with an offensive conference unless they delay the game.  (6-5f-4)  Also, Official Interpretation by Thurston on 11/9/90  If the defense confers during a charged offensive conference, the defense is still charged with a conference on 11/9/90.  Also, during a ‘prolonged injury timeout,’ a meeting anywhere, even at the mound, between pitcher and coach is not a trip unless the meeting causes further delay.  (9-4a AR4)

C.      OBR:  Point not covered.  Official Interpretation from the PBUC STAFF – the same as the NCAA Official Interpretation on an email to Carl Childress on 12/15/00 and a phone call on 11/8/01.Play – The 3rd-base coach signals for time to talk to B1.  As they meet between home and third, the defensive coach hustles out to chat BRIEFLY with his pitcher.  The 2 conversations break up about the same time.  Ruling: 

In FED, do not charge the defense with a conference; rather, the conference is charged to the offense.  In NCAA and OBR, it is a charged defensive conference or trip to the mound.  In NCAA, it is also an offensive trip: 2 for the price of one. 


A.      FED – A coach, without penalty, may have three charged conferences per game, with one per inning in an extra-inning contest.  (3-4-1)  Also, Official Interpretation by Brad Rumble in the Newsletter #32 on 4/81 stated, “After having batted, if a team huddles together before taking the field, the umpire should warn the team that on any subsequent “huddle,” the coach will be charged with a conference.

B.      NCAA – The coach has 3 charged conferences, plus one for the entire extra-inning period. (9-4a)

C.      OBR – Not applicable.  Note:  In games played under a time limit such as USSSA youth games, BRD recommends using the FED Official Interpretation to hurry the defense onto the field. 


A.      FED – The offense may have one charged conference per inning.  The umpire will deny any subsequent request for a conference. (3-4-2)

B.      NCAA – The offense may have three free conferences per game.  With one additional conference for the duration of any extra innings.  Conferences accumulate.  An offensive “trip” is charged each time a coach delays the game or requests time to talk to offensive personnel, whether hitter, runner, on-deck batter, or another coach. (6-5f) Note Bravo for the college half of Indianapolis.  Defensive/offensive conferences are treated the same.  Bravo, I say again!  Also, the umpire will warn a coach when he has completed his maximum number of offensive trips (6-5f2)

Penalty: 1) If the coach persists in an illegal offensive conference, the player involved is ejected. 

2) When 2 offensive coaches confer during an “excess” offensive trip, the assistant coach must be removed from the game.  (6-5-2 Penalty)

Note: BRD recommends: Warn the defensive coach before he uses his last visit.  Also, Official Interpretation by Thurston at the NCAA Meeting on 11/8/92 stated, “If 2 players are involved in the same “excess” offensive trip, the coach will decide which one of the players must leave the game.  Also, when an offensive substitute enters the game, do not charge an offensive trip even if team members confer.     (6-5f-2 Penalty)

C.      OBR – No provision. 


A.      FED – Not applicable.

B.      NCAA – Not applicable.

C.      OBR – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation from the PBUC Manual – If a player-manager goes to the mound, the umpire shall always charge a trip to the mound. (6.11)

Also, an official interpretation from the PBUC Manual – If a player-coach makes a trip to the mound, it is a trip by a player unless the umpire judges the player-coach is abusing that privilege, when he will inform the player-coach that the next visit will be charged as a trip to the mound (6.12)



A.      FED – A coach with 3 charged conferences may remove his pitcher without going to the mound.  If no other rule impinges, such as a limitation of innings pitched or player being withdrawn a second time, the pitcher may return to the mound in that contest. (3.4.1g) 

Note:  The casebook ruling points out that “no conversation” between coach and players may occur during the switch.  The purpose of the limitation of conferences is to prevent a team from unduly delaying the game.  Whether the coach has his “fourth conference” on the mound or at home plate, it still results in delay.  The NCAA and OBR sensibly treat a “trip”, wherever it takes place.

B.      NCAA – After having been charged with a trip to the mound in an inning or having been charged with three trips in a non-extra-inning game, if the coach goes to the umpire to make a pitching change, that shall constitute an excessive trip, (change) which shall be charged when the umpire enters it on the official lineup card.  The pitcher, if he remains in the game, may not return to pitch in that contest. (9-4b AR 1)

Note: One can only surmise that the purpose of charging the conference only after it is recorded is to give the coach time to change his mind.

C.      OBR – Point not covered.  Official Interpretation by Mike Fitzpatrick and edited – The pitcher is removed from the game if the coach, conferring with the umpire, has already been once to the mound in that ½-inning. (phone call to Carl Childress on 11/9/00) 


A.      FED – The umpire is required to keep a record of all charged defensive and offensive conferences and notify the coach each time a conference is charged. (10-2-3)

B.      NCAA – The umpire is required to keep a record of “offensive” conferences and to notify the coach when each is charged. (6-5f-1) Also, the umpire will record each free trip (defensive conference) and the inning it occurred. (9-4a Note)

C.      OBR – Not applicable.


A.      HIGH SCHOOL – A batter may not use an illegal bat (as opposed to defective).  PENALTY – If the infraction is discovered by the umpire or the defense before the next pitch to a batter of either team, the defense may elect the penalty (batter out, runners return to the Time of the Pitch (TOP)  [7-4-1a; 7.4.1d]B.      NCAA – If the batter uses an altered bat, he is out; runners return to the Time of the Pitch (TOP) [1-12a Penalty; 7-10b Penalty).  No out is called for a ‘pine-tar’ bat, or for any bat illegal for other cause, such as a loose knob, no safety grip, dented, bent, etc. (1-12c Penalty)C.      OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULES (OBR) – If the batter uses an altered bat, he is out, ejected, and in MLB possibly subject to additional penalties.  Runners must return TOP though any outs on the play will stand.  (5.09d; 6.06d)Note:  Neither NCAA nor OBR gives a time frame for the appeal.  NCAA says ‘after hitting’; OBR says, “He uses.”  BRD recommends: Do not allow an appeal after the next pitch to a batter of either team.Authoritative Opinion by Jaksa/Roder:  “An appeal that an altered bat has been used must be made before the identification of the bat that was actually used becomes questionable.  If a suspect bat has been removed to the vicinity of the dugout (usually by the batboy) and the umpires are not absolutely positive which bat was used, the appeal can no longer be considered.” 

Play – Bases loaded, 1 out:  B1 singles.  R3 and R2 score, but tremendous defensive work gets R1 out going for 3rd and B1 out for trying to sneak into 2nd.  3 outs, 2 runs in.  The sides  change, and the pitcher prepares to pitch when the team now at bat appeals that B1 used an illegal bat altered to increase the distance factor.  After inspecting the bat, the umpire agrees.

Ruling – In HIGH SCHOOL, the coach may accept the play (if he wants the inning over, or he may send the runners back and take his chances with 2 outs.  In NCAA, no runs are in:  The bases are loaded, now with 2 outs.  In OBR, B1 is out and ejected.  The out made by R1 also stands, so 3 outs and no runs in.Note: Several people emailed to ask why the runs didn’t count in OBR.  “It’s a time play,” Randy from Arizona wrote.  “If there’s no force play, runs that score before the 3rd out count.  We are so accustomed to the batter making a ‘real out’ that it’s hard to equate a technical out with the rules.  The runs don’t score because the batter-runner (B1) did not make 1st base safely. 

Play – B1 steps into the box with a bat altered to increase the distance factor and homers.  Next, B2, the on-deck batter who is holding the same bat, marches into the box.  At that moment the defense appeals the illegal bat.

Ruling – In NCAA, the defense has blundered: B1 simply gets a legal bat, while giving the opponents the raspberries.  In HIGH SCHOOL and OBR, the defense has obtained a double play:  B1 is out for using an altered bat; B2, for trying to use such a bat.



A.      If a fielder has one foot in dead-ball area, he may throw.  If he steps with both feet into that area the ball is dead.  5-1-1iB.      NCAA – The ball remains “in play” if a fielder with the ball steps into dead-ball territory unless he falls down or loses body control.  6-1d         If a fielder slides “intentionally, he has not lost body control.  6-1d AR 2                  Exception:  Unless ground rules dictate otherwise, a fielder may not throw from dead-ball territory.  Apparently some umpires believe the effect of 6-1d-1a/b is to allow a fielder to throw from DBT unless ground rules stipulate otherwise. Happily, that’s not an issue, as the BRD pointed out in 1996:  “Thurston ruled that the general procedure is:  A fielder may not throw from DBT.”  The ball is alive while the fielder is in DBT, and runners may advance at their own risk.  But the fielder, unless the ground rules allow it, must not throw until he steps with both feet into live-ball territory.  Also: Official Interpretation by Thurston:  Here is his proposed ground rule covering dead-ball areas:  “If a fielder makes a catch and then enters a dead-ball area with the ball, the ball is dead and runners DO NOT ADVANCE.  If the fielder INTENTIONALLY carries the ball into a dead-ball area, the ball is dead and runners advance one base from the time the ball becomes dead.  Also: PENALTY for an unauthorized throw from DBT:  The ball is dead, and the umpire awards all runners one base.  6-1d-1b Penalty.C.      OBR – Unless he falls down or loses body control, the fielder may throw from any dead-ball area.  5.10f; 7.04c Comment.  EVANS: “The critical factor in this ruling is the definition of falls.  A player may stumble, lean on a dugout wall, be supported by players from either team and teeter on a fence railing without actually falling.  This is a judgment call and the umpire must be alert and in position to judge the player’s status after catching a fly ball.” 5:35; 7:10

                PLAY – Near shallow right field a marked line curves around the unprotected bullpen.  A fielder in the                    DBT has a clear view of the field and would throw across the bullpen when trying to prevent a 

                runner’s advance.  In the 4th inning with no outs, R2 retouches 2nd as F9 catches B1’s can of corn.  The

                fielder’s momentum carries him across the line, where he: a) throws to F4, his cutoff man; or b) runs

                into live-ball area before throwing; or c) falls down attempting to throw.

                Ruling:  In FED, the ball is dead in all cases; award R2 third.  In NCAA, the result depends on the pre-

                game conference.  If an exception was not adopted:  In a) and c) the ball is dead and R2 is awarded

                3rd.  In b) the ball remains alive:  R2 advances at his own risk.  OR during the pregame conference, the 

                coaches may have agreed that dead-ball areas would be treated as in 6-1d.  In that instance, NCAA is 

                exactly like OBR, which is:  In a) and b) the ball remains alive.  In c) the ball is dead; The umpire  

                awards R2 3rd.


                PLAY -   NCAA only.  The dead-ball area described in the play above has been discussed at the pre-

                game meeting and Thurston’s ground rule adopted.  In the 4th inning with no outs, R2 retouches at 2nd

                as F9 makes the catch and then: a) runs several steps to cross into the dead-ball area; or b) is carried

                by his momentum completely across the line, where he 1) throws to his cutoff man; or 2) runs back to

                live-ball territory before throwing; or 3) stops and walks slowly back toward the diamond with the ball.

                Ruling:  In all cases, the ball is dead.  Then: In a) and b-1) R2 gets 3rd.  In b-2) and b-3) R2 remains on



                Note:  Thurston’s ground rule specifies that the ball becomes immediately dead when F9 steps into DBT;

                the fielder is prevented from making a play, as in b-2) above.  In the absence of Thurston’s or some 

                similar ground rule, though, unless the fielder falls down or loses body control, he may always return to 

                 live-ball territory before throwing. 




 A.      HIGH SCHOOL – The DH and the player for whom he bats (or has batted) are ‘locked’ into a single position in the batting order.  The DH and that player (or players) may not play defense at the same time since they occupy the same spot in the lineup.  The DH may bat for any defensive player and all subsequent substitutes for that player.  If no DH is listed, there cannot be any DH in the game.  The DH is terminated when he plays defense.  The DH is not terminated if the pitcher moves to another defensive position because the DH may bat for anyone and not just the pitcher.B.      NCAA – The DH bats only for the pitcher.  If no DH is listed, the pitcher is automatically the DH or more precisely, the P/DH.  If the DH plays defense, the pitcher bats for the replaced defensive player, unless multiple substitutions are made, when the coach may designate their spots in the lineup.  In NCAA, the DH may pitch without terminating the DH and that is not true in the other codes.C.      OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULES – The DH bats only for the pitcher.  If no DH is listed, there is no DH for the rest of the game.  If the DH plays defense, the pitcher bats for the replaced defensive player, unless multiple substitutions are made, when the coach may designate their spots in the lineup.  The DH is terminated when he plays defense.           




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