Official Rules: 6.00 The Batter
(a) Each player of the offensive team shall bat in the order that his
name appears in his teams batting order.
(b) The first batter in each inning after the first inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last player who legally completed his time at bat in the preceding inning.
The batter shall take his position in the batters box promptly
when it is his time at bat.
(b) The batter shall not leave his position in the batters box after the
pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup.
PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call
Ball or Strike, as the case may be.
Rule 6.02(b) Comment: The batter leaves the batters box at the risk of having
a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call Time. The batter
is not at liberty to step in and out of the batters box at will.
Once a batter has taken his position in the batters box, he shall not be permitted
to step out of the batters box in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless
there is a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires, weather conditions
warrant an exception.
Umpires will not call Time at the request of the batter or any member of his
team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even
though the batter claims dust in his eyes, steamed glasses, didnt get the sign
or for any other cause.
Umpires may grant a hitters request for Time once he is in the batters box,
but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batters box without reason.
If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batters
box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched.
If pitcher delays once the batter is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay
is not justified he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily.
If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a set position with a runner
on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has stepped out of the
box, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule
and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from
(c) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batters box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out.
Rule 6.02(c) Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batters box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c) and before the umpire calls a successive
strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c).
(d) The following rule shall be in effect for all National Association Leagues:
(1) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batters box throughout the batters time at bat,
unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batters box
but not the dirt area surrounding home plate:
(i) The batter swings at a pitch;
(ii) The batter is forced out of the batter's box by a pitch;
(iii) A member of either team requests and is granted Time;
(iv) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;
(v) The batter feints a bunt;
(vi) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;
(vii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or
(viii) The catcher leaves the catcher's box to give defensive signals.
Notwithstanding Rule 6.02(c), if the batter intentionally leaves the batters box and delays play, and
none of the exceptions listed in Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i) through (viii) applies, the umpire shall award a
strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance.
The umpire shall award additional strikes, without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch, if the batter
remains outside the batters box and further delays play.
Rule 6.02(d)(1) Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position
in the batters box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(d)(1) and before the umpire calls a
successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(d)(1).
(2) The batter may leave the batters box and the dirt area surrounding home plate when Time is
called for the purpose of
(i) making a substitution; or
(ii) a conference by either team.
Rule 6.02(d) Comment: Umpires shall encourage the on-deck batter to take a position in the batters box
quickly after the previous batter reaches base or is put out.
The batter's legal position shall be with both feet within the batter's box.
APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter's box.
A batter has legally completed his time at bat when he is put out or becomes a runner.
A batter is out when --
(a) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder;
Rule 6.05(a) Comment: A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to
make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order
to make a catch on a foul ball nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as
the stands), must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface (including
the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any
other out-of-play area. Ball is in play, unless the fielder, after making a legal catch,
falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead. Status
of runners shall be as described in Rule 7.04(c) Comment.
(b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher;
Rule 6.05(b) Comment: Legally caught means in the catchers glove before the
ball touches the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing or paraphernalia;
or if it touches the umpire and is caught by the catcher on the rebound.
If a foul-tip first strikes the catchers glove and then goes on through and is
caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the
ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body
or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catchers glove or hand first.
(c) A third strike is not caught by the catcher when first base is occupied
before two are out;
(d) He bunts foul on third strike;
(e) An Infield Fly is declared;
(f) He attempts to hit a third strike and the ball touches him;
(g) His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder;
(h) After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second
time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may
advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls
against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpires judgment,
there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the
ball is alive and in play;
Rule 6.05(h) Comment: If a bat breaks and part of it is in fair territory and is
hit by a batted ball or part of it hits a runner or fielder, play shall continue and no
interference be called. If batted ball hits part of broken bat in foul territory, it is a
If a whole bat is thrown into fair territory and interferes with a defensive player
attempting to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional or
In cases where the batting helmet is accidentally hit with a batted or thrown ball,
the ball remains in play the same as if it has not hit the helmet.
If a batted ball strikes a batting helmet or any other object foreign to the natural ground while on foul territory, it is a foul ball and the ball is dead.
If, in the umpires judgment, there is intent on the part of a baserunner to interfere
with a batted or thrown ball by dropping the helmet or throwing it at the ball,
then the runner would be out, the ball dead and runners would return to last base
(i) After hitting or bunting a foul ball, he intentionally deflects the
course of the ball in any manner while running to first base. The
ball is dead and no runners may advance;
(j) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is
tagged before he touches first base;
(k) In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul
line, and in the umpires judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead; except that he may run outside (to the right of) the threefoot line or inside (to the left of) the foul line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball;
Rule 6.05(k) Comment: The lines marking the three-foot lane are a part of that lane and a batter-
runner is required to have both feet within the three-foot lane or on the lines marking the lane.
The batter-runner is permitted to exit the three-foot lane by means of a step, stride, reach or slide
in the immediate vicinity of first base for the sole purpose of touching first base.
(l) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with
first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third
base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or
runners shall return to their original base or bases;
APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the
infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except
when the Infield Fly rule applies.
(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpires judgment, intentionally
interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or
to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:
Rule 6.05(m) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive
team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving
the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play,
rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpires judgment play.
(n) With two out, a runner on third base, and two strikes on the batter,
the runner attempts to steal home base on a legal pitch and
the ball touches the runner in the batters strike zone. The umpire
shall call Strike Three, the batter is out and the run shall not
count; before two are out, the umpire shall call Strike Three, the
ball is dead, and the run counts.
A batter is out for illegal action when --
(a) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside
the batters box.
Rule 6.06(a) Comment: If a batter hits a ball fair or foul while out of the batters
box, he shall be called out. Umpires should pay particular attention to the
position of the batters feet if he attempts to hit the ball while he is being intentionally
passed. A batter cannot jump or step out of the batters box and hit the ball.
(b) He steps from one batters box to the other while the pitcher is in
position ready to pitch;
(c) He interferes with the catchers fielding or throwing by stepping
out of the batters box or making any other movement that hinders
the catchers play at home base. EXCEPTION: Batter is not
out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying
to score is called out for batters interference.
Rule 6.06(c) Comment: If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate
umpire shall call interference. The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may
advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return
to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time
of the interference.
If, however, the catcher makes a play and the runner attempting to advance is
put out, it is to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner is
outnot the batter. Any other runners on the base at the time may advance as the
ruling is that there is no actual interference if a runner is retired. In that case play
proceeds just as if no violation had been called.
If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all
the way around and, in the umpires judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or
the ball in back of him on the backswing before the catcher has securely held the
ball, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however,
and no runner shall advance on the play.
(d) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpires judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes, bats that are filled, flat-surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc.
No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play shall stand.
In addition to being called out, the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject to additional penalties as determined by his League President.
Rule 6.06(d) Comment: A batter shall be deemed to have used or attempted to
use an illegal bat if he brings such a bat into the batters box.
BATTING OUT OF TURN.
(a) A batter shall be called out, on appeal, when he fails to bat in his
proper turn, and another batter completes a time at bat in his
(1) The proper batter may take his place in the batters box at
any time before the improper batter becomes a runner or is
put out, and any balls and strikes shall be counted in the
proper batters time at bat.
(b) When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and the
defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch to the
next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted play,
the umpire shall (1) declare the proper batter out; and (2) nullify
any advance or score made because of a ball batted by the
improper batter or because of the improper batters advance to
first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.
NOTE: If a runner advances, while the improper batter is at bat,
on a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance is
(c) When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and a
pitch is made to the next batter of either team before an appeal is
made, the improper batter thereby becomes the proper batter,
and the results of his time at bat become legal.
(d) (1) When the proper batter is called out because he has failed to
bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows
that of the proper batter thus called out; (2) When an improper
batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is made before
the next pitch, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows
that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an
improper batters actions are legalized, the batting order picks up
with the name following that of the legalized improper batter.
Rule 6.07 Comment: The umpire shall not direct the attention of any person to
the presence in the batters box of an improper batter. This rule is designed to
require constant vigilance by the players and managers of both teams.
There are two fundamentals to keep in mind: When a player bats out of turn,
the proper batter is the player called out. If an improper batter bats and reaches
base or is out and no appeal is made before a pitch to the next batter, or before any
play or attempted play, that improper batter is considered to have batted in proper
turn and establishes the order that is to follow.
To illustrate various situations arising from batting out of turn, assume a firstinning
batting order as follows:
PLAY (1). Baker bats. With the count 2 balls and 1 strike, (a) the offensive
team discovers the error or (b) the defensive team appeals. RULING: In either
case, Abel replaces Baker, with the count on him 2 balls and 1 strike.
PLAY (2). Baker bats and doubles. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately
or (b) after a pitch to Charles. RULING: (a) Abel is called out and Baker is
the proper batter; (b) Baker stays on second and Charles is the proper batter.
PLAY (3). Abel walks. Baker walks. Charles forces Baker. Edward bats in
Daniels turn. While Edward is at bat, Abel scores and Charles goes to second on
a wild pitch. Edward grounds out, sending Charles to third. The defensive team
appeals (a) immediately or (b) after a pitch to Daniel. RULING: (a) Abels run
counts and Charles is entitled to second base since these advances were not made
because of the improper batter batting a ball or advancing to first base. Charles
must return to second base because his advance to third resulted from the improper
batter batting a ball. Daniel is called out, and Edward is the proper batter; (b)
Abels run counts and Charles stays on third. The proper batter is Frank.
PLAY (4). With the bases full and two out. Hooker bats in Franks turn, and
triples, scoring three runs. The defensive team appeals (a) immediately, or (b)
after a pitch to George. RULING: (a) Frank is called out and no runs score.
George is the proper batter to lead off the second inning; (b) Hooker stays on third
and three runs score. Irwin is the proper batter.
PLAY (5). After Play (4) (b) above, George continues at bat. (a) Hooker is
picked off third base for the third out, or (b) George flies out, and no appeal is
made. Who is the proper leadoff batter in the second inning? RULING: (a) Irwin.
He became the proper batter as soon as the first pitch to George legalized Hookers
triple; (b) Hooker. When no appeal was made, the first pitch to the leadoff batter
of the opposing team legalized Georges time at bat.
PLAY (6). Daniel walks and Abel comes to bat. Daniel was an improper batter,
and if an appeal is made before the first pitch to Abel, Abel is out, Daniel is
removed from base, and Baker is the proper batter. There is no appeal, and a pitch
is made to Abel. Daniels walk is now legalized, and Edward thereby becomes the
proper batter. Edward can replace Abel at any time before Abel is put out or
becomes a runner. He does not do so. Abel flies out, and Baker comes to bat. Abel
was an improper batter, and if an appeal is made before the first pitch to Baker,
Edward is out, and the proper batter is Frank. There is no appeal, and a pitch is
made to Baker. Abels out is now legalized, and the proper batter is Baker. Baker
walks. Charles is the proper batter. Charles flies out. Now Daniel is the proper batter,
but he is on second base. Who is the proper batter? RULING: The proper batter
is Edward. When the proper batter is on base, he is passed over, and the following
batter becomes the proper batter.
The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability
to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base)
(a) Four balls have been called by the umpire;
Rule 6.08(a) Comment: A batter who is entitled to first base because of a base
on balls must go to first base and touch the base before other base runners are
forced to advance. This applies when bases are full and applies when a substitute
runner is put into the game.
If, in advancing, the base runner thinks there is a play and he slides past the
base before or after touching it he may be put out by the fielder tagging him. If he
fails to touch the base to which he is entitled and attempts to advance beyond that
base he may be put out by tagging him or the base he missed.
(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit
unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter,
or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by
If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall
be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball.
If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it
shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being
APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched
ball which does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no
runner may advance.
(c) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference.
Rule 6.08(c) Comment: If catchers interference is called with a play in progress
the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take
the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he
shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 7.04(d).
Examples of plays the manager might elect to take:
1. Runner on third, one out, batter hits fly ball to the outfield on which the runner
scores but catchers interference was called. The offensive manager may elect
to take the run and have batter called out or have runner remain at third and batter
awarded first base.
2. Runner on second base. Catcher interferes with batter as he bunts ball fairly
sending runner to third base. The manager may rather have runner on third base
with an out on the play than have runners on second and first.
If a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base, note the additional
penalty set forth in Rule 7.07.
If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher delivers the ball, it shall
not be considered interference on the batter under Rule 6.08(c). In such cases, the
umpire shall call Time and the pitcher and batter start over from scratch.
(d) A fair ball touches an umpire or a runner on fair territory before
touching a fielder.
If a fair ball touches an umpire after having passed a fielder other
than the pitcher, or having touched a fielder, including the pitcher,
the ball is in play.
The batter becomes a runner when --
(a) He hits a fair ball;
(b) The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1)
first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out;
Rule 6.09(b) Comment: A batter who does not realize his situation on a third
strike not caught, and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be
declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.
(c) A fair ball, after having passed a fielder other than the pitcher, or
after having been touched by a fielder, including the pitcher, shall
touch an umpire or runner on fair territory;
(d) A fair ball passes over a fence or into the stands at a distance from
home base of 250 feet or more. Such hit entitles the batter to a
home run when he shall have touched all bases legally. A fair fly
ball that passes out of the playing field at a point less than 250 feet
from home base shall entitle the batter to advance to second base
(e) A fair ball, after touching the ground, bounds into the stands, or
passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under a
scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the
fence, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled
to advance two bases;
(f) Any fair ball which, either before or after touching the ground,
passes through or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard,
or through any opening in the fence or scoreboard, or
through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, or which
sticks in a fence or scoreboard, in which case the batter and the
runners shall be entitled to two bases;
(g) Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands,
or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the
batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases;
(h) Any fair fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over
the fence into foul territory, in which case the batter shall be entitled
to advance to second base; but if deflected into the stands or
over the fence in fair territory, the batter shall be entitled to a
home run. However, should such a fair fly be deflected at a point
less than 250 feet from home plate, the batter shall be entitled to
two bases only.
Any League may elect to use the Designated Hitter Rule.
(a) In the event of inter-league competition between clubs of Leagues
using the Designated Hitter Rule and clubs of Leagues not using
the Designated Hitter Rule, the rule will be used as follows:
1. In World Series or exhibition games, the rule will be used
or not used as is the practice of the home team.
2. In All-Star games, the rule will only be used if both teams
and both Leagues so agree.
(b) The Rule provides as follows:
A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and
allsubsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting
the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for
the pitcher must be selected prior to the game and must be
includedin the lineup cards presented to the Umpire in Chief.
The designated hitter named in the starting lineup must come
to bat at least one time, unless the opposing club changes pitchers.
It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher,
but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a
Designated Hitter for that game.
Pinch hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute
hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter.
A replaced Designated Hitter shall not re-enter the game in any
The Designated Hitter may be used defensively, continuing to
bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must
then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless
more than one substitution is made, and the manager then must
designate their spots in the batting order.
A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the
runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch run.
A Designated Hitter is locked into the batting order. No multiple
substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation
of the Designated Hitter.
Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive
position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role
for the remainder of the game.
Once a pinch hitter bats for any player in the batting order and
then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the
Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter this move
shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of
the game. (The game pitcher may only pinch-hit for the
Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this
move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder
of the game. A substitute for the Designated Hitter need not
be announced until it is the Designated Hitters turn to bat.