Major League Baseball official rules When you reach this page scroll down to near the bottom left of the page and click on "Official Rules." Now you will find rules baseball.
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By the rules of baseball a game is played between two teams, each composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense (batting or hitting) and defense (fielding or pitching).
A pair of turns, one at bat and one in the field, by each team constitutes an inning; there are nine innings in a game by rules baseball . One team—customarily the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning; the other team—customarily the home team—bats in the bottom, or second half, of every inning.
The goal of a game or rules baseball is to score more points (runs) than the other team. The players on the team at bat attempt to score runs by circling, or completing a tour of, the four bases set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond.
A player bats at home plate and must proceed counter clockwise to first base, second base, third base, and back home in order to score a run. The team by rules baseball in the field attempts both to prevent runs from scoring and to record outs, which remove opposing players from offensive action until their turn in their team's batting order comes up again.
When three outs are recorded, the teams switch roles for the next half-inning. If the score of the game is tied after nine innings, rules baseball requires extra innings are played to resolve the contest.
Children's games within rules baseball are often scheduled for fewer than nine innings. Little league rules are dedicated to the rules baseball of only six innings of regulation play.
Diagram of a baseball field (the term diamond may be used to refer to the square area defined by the four bases or to the entire infield playing area of the field) and in the larger context the entire ball field by rules baseball is referred to as the ball diamond.
The dimensions given are for professional and professional-style games; children often play on smaller fields. The game by the rules of baseball playing is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles.
The 90-degree area within the foul lines is referred to as fair territory; the 270-degree area outside them is foul territory.
The part of the field enclosed by the bases and several yards beyond them in accordance with rules of baseball is the infield; the area farther beyond the infield is the outfield.
In the middle of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound, with a rectangular rubber plate (the rubber) at its center. The outer boundary of the outfield is typically demarcated by a raised fence, which may be of any material and height (many amateur games are played on fields without a fence).
Fair territory between home plate and the outfield boundary is baseball's field of play by rules to baseball, though significant events can take place in foul territory, as well.
There are three primary or basic tools used for playing of baseball as per the baseball rules: the ball, the bat, and the glove or mitt:
The baseball is about the size of an adult's fist, around 9 inches (23 centimeters) in circumference. It has a rubber or cork center, wound in yarn and covered in white cowhide, with red stitching. Baseball rules even get right down to the fine nitty gritty of some parts of our game.
The bat is a hitting tool, traditionally made of a single, solid piece of wood; other materials are now commonly used by baseball rules for nonprofessional games. It is a hard round stick, about 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) in diameter at the hitting end, tapering to a narrower handle and culminating in a knob. Bats used by adults are typically around 34 inches (86 centimeters) long, and not longer than 42 inches (106 centimeters).
The glove or mitt is a fielding tool, made of padded leather with webbing between the fingers. As an aid in catching and holding onto the ball, it takes various shapes to meet the specific needs of different fielding positions all staying within the baseball rules.
Protective helmets are now made a part of baseball rules and is required standard equipment for all batters.
At the beginning of each half-inning, the nine players on the fielding team arrange themselves around the field. One of them, the pitcher, stands on the pitcher's mound; the pitcher begins the pitching delivery with one foot on the rubber, pushing off it to gain velocity when throwing toward home plate.
Another player, the catcher, squats on the far side of home plate, facing the pitcher. The rest of the team faces home plate, typically arranged as four infielders—who set up along or within a few yards outside the imaginary lines between first, second, and third base—and three outfielders.
Looking From Home Plate To the Infielders Positions.
In the standard arrangement, there is a first baseman positioned several steps to the left or inbound of first base, a second baseman to the right of second base, a shortstop to the left of second base, and a third baseman to the right of third base. The basic outfield positions are left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder.
A neutral umpire sets up behind the catcher. By baseball rules the umpire for neighborhood games is allowed to stand at and behind the pitcher. This is often needed because on the lack of protective equipment such as a mask or breast protector.
Awaiting a pitch: batter, catcher, and umpire get ready as play starts with a batter standing at home plate, holding a bat. The batter waits for the pitcher to throw a pitch (the ball) toward home plate, and attempts to hit the ball with the bat.
The catcher catches pitches that the batter does not hit—as a result of either electing not to swing or failing to connect—and returns the received ball to the pitcher.
A batter by baseball rules who hits the ball into the field of play must drop the bat and begin running toward first base, at which point the player is referred to as a runner (or, until the play is over, a batter-runner).
A batter-runner who reaches first base without being put out (see below) is said to be safe and is now on base. A batter-runner may choose to remain at first base or attempt to advance to second base or even beyond—however far the player believes can be reached safely.
A player who reaches base despite proper play by the fielders has recorded a hit. A player who reaches first base safely on a hit is credited with a single. If a player makes it to second base safely as a direct result of a hit, it is a double; third base, a triple.
If the ball is hit in the air within the foul lines over the entire outfield (and outfield fence, if there is one), it is a home run: the batter and any runners on base may all freely circle the bases, each scoring a run. This is the most desirable result for the batter.
A player who reaches base due to a fielding mistake is not credited with a hit—instead, the responsible fielder is charged with an error.
Any runners already on base may attempt to advance on batted balls that land, or contact the ground, in fair territory, before or after the ball lands; a runner on first base must attempt to advance if a ball lands in play.
If a ball hit into play rolls foul before passing through the infield, it becomes dead and any runners must return to the base they were at when the play began.
If the ball is hit in the air and caught before it lands, the batter has has a fly out and any runners on base may attempt to advance only if they tag up or touch the base they were at when the play began, as or after the ball is caught.
Runners may also attempt to advance to the next base while the pitcher is in the process of delivering the ball to home plate—a successful effort is a stolen base.
A pitch that is not hit into the field of play is called either a strike or a ball.
A batter against whom three strikes are recorded strikes out. A batter against whom four balls are recorded is awarded a base on balls or walk, a free advance to first base. (A batter may also freely advance to first base if any part of the batter's body or uniform is struck by a pitch before the batter either swings at it or it contacts the ground.)
Crucial to determining balls and strikes is the umpire's judgment as to whether a pitch has passed through the strike zone, a conceptual area above home plate extending from the midpoint between the batter's shoulders and belt down to the hollow of the knee.
Strike Zone and Other Rules Which Are Ever Changing
Major League Baseball has occasionally increased or reduced the size of the strike zone in an attempt to control the balance of power between pitchers and hitters. After the record home run year by Roger Maris in 1961, the major leagues increased the size of the strike zone from the top of the batter's shoulders to the bottom of his knees. In 1968, pitchers such as Denny McLain and Bob Gibson among others dominated hitters, producing 339 shutouts. Carl Yastrzemski would be the only American League hitter to finish the season with a batting average higher than .300. In the National League, Gibson posted a 1.12 earned run average, the lowest in 54 years while, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale threw a record 58 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings during the 1968 season. As a result of the dropping offensive statistics, Major League Baseball took steps to reduce the advantage held by pitchers by lowering the height of the pitchers mound from 15 inches to 10 inches, and by reducing the size of the strike zone for the 1969 season.
The de facto enforced strike zone can vary. An extreme interpretation that favors batters requires the entire diameter of the ball—including stitched seams— to pass inside the area formed by the strike zone boundaries as defined in the official rules. The opposite extreme—favoring pitchers—requires a pitch to be called a strike if even the smallest portion of the ball, seams included, has intersected or passed inside any strike zone boundary as defined in the official rules.
A batter who accumulates three strikes in a single batting appearance has struck out and is ruled out (with the exception of an uncaught third strike); a batter who accumulates four balls in a single appearance has drawn a base on balls (or walk) and is awarded advancement to first base. In very early iterations of the rules during the 19th century, it took up to 9 balls for a batter to earn a walk; however, to make up for this, the batter could request the ball to be pitched high, low, or medium.
Keep in mind when youngster are growing up playing their games in the open lots and cow pastures sometimes it is expediant and fun simply do some made up rules to play the game.
Another time where we might abide by some of the made up rules baseball is the playing by the street rules of baseball where young baseball players have grown up on the city streets playing made up rules baseball.
Before we define what constitutes a strike by rules baseball Tom Fields has put up a website which provides a good source for rules baseball he has dubbed hit pitch and catch.
"Baseball and softball source for rules, baseball news, and links to rules baseball and softball governing bodies (youth, high school, collegiate, amateur and professional) and rulebooks.
News and updates on the rules baseball changes affecting equipment - what is legal and what is illegal. Covers bats, balls, gloves, gear, uniforms, insignia. HitPitchCatch.com gives advice on baseball and softball equipment and how to maximize your baseball investment and softball investment.
A great rules baseball book source is Rules from Hit-Pitch-Catch
A strike is called when one of the following happens:
The hitter lets a well-pitched ball (one within the strike zone) go through to the catcher. The batter swings at any ball (even one outside the strike zone) and misses.
The hitter hits a foul ball when the ball that either initially lands in foul territory or initially lands within the diamond but moves into foul territory before passing first or third base.
If there are already two strikes on the batter, a foul ball is not counted as a third strike; thus, a foul ball cannot result in the immediate strikeout of the batter. (There is an exception to this exception: a two-strike foul bunt by rules baseball is recorded as a third strike.)
An umpires called ball is called by rules baseball when the pitcher throws a pitch that is outside the strike zone, provided the batter has not swung at it.
Among the various ways a member of the batting team may be put out, five are most common we find as rules baseball:
The strikeout: as described above, recorded against a batter who makes three strikes before putting the ball into play or being awarded a free advance to first base.
The flyout: as described above, recorded against a batter who hits a ball in the air that is caught by a fielder, whether in fair territory or foul territory, before it lands, whether or not the batter has run.
The ground out: recorded against a batter (in this case, batter-runner) who hits a ball that lands in fair territory which, before the batter-runner can reach first base, is retrieved by a fielder who touches first base while holding the ball or relays it to another fielder who touches first base while holding the ball.
The force out: recorded against a runner who is required to attempt to advance—either because the runner is on first base and a batted ball lands in fair territory, or because the runner immediately behind on the basepath is thus required to attempt to advance—but fails to reach the next base before a fielder touches the base while holding the ball. The ground out is technically a special case of the force out.
The tag out: recorded against a runner who is touched by a fielder with the ball or a glove holding the ball, while the runner is not touching a base.
It is possiblewith rules baseball to record two outs in the course of the same play—a double play; even three—a triple play—is possible, though this is very rare.
Players put out or retired must leave the field, returning to their team's dugout or bench.
A runner may be stranded on base when a third out is recorded against another player on the team. Stranded runners do not benefit the team in its next turn at bat—every half-inning begins with the bases empty of runners.
An individual player's turn batting or plate appearance is complete when the player reaches base (or hits a home run), makes an out, or hits a ball that results in the team's third out, even if it is recorded against a teammate.
On rare occasions, a batter may be at the plate when, without the batter's hitting the ball, a third out is recorded against a teammate—for instance, a runner getting caught stealing (tagged out attempting to steal a base).
A batter with this sort of incomplete plate appearance starts off the team's next turn batting; any balls or strikes recorded against the batter the previous inning are erased.
A runner may circle the bases only once per plate appearance and thus can score at most a single run per batting turn.
Some of the baseball trivia about baseball rules and facts are truly interesting and a fun thing asking questions and see who knows the answers. The baseball trivia game is great when in the dead of winter on a cold damp and windy day and youngsters are caught shut in the house and getting way too rambunctious.
Once a player has completed a plate appearance, that player may not bat again until the eight other members of his team have all taken their turn at bat.
The batting order strategy is set before the game begins, and the order of batting may not be altered except for substitutions. Once a player has been removed for a substitute, that player may not reenter the game.
Children's games often have more liberal substitution rules. Our young beginner baseball players and even the little ones hanging around the ball diamonds chasing errant hits going into the honeysuckle vines and tall weeds need their woe filled pleas included a Batter Up Rule. or "My Turn" rule of baseball.
In the case of substituting one hitter into the line up to replace a hitter due to come to bat is permitted. This is called the use of a "Baseball Pinch Hitter Rule."
The hitter whose has been replaced must now leave the game he has been replaced by the pinch hitter. Even though the new hitter replaces the due up hitter the new hitter normally would take that players position on the defence.
The pinch hitter rule has further meaning applied in that by rule the pinch hitter could if needed also be replaced with another player being substituted into the defensive playing position when the team goes on the defense.
If the designated hitter (DH) rule is in effect, each team has a tenth player whose sole responsibility is to bat (and run). The DH takes the place of another player—almost invariably the pitcher—in the batting order, but does not field.
Thus, even with the DH, each team still has a batting order of nine players and a fielding arrangement of nine players.
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Latest change to NCAA College rules via the latest change in rules by the NCAA Rulees Committee
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