Administrative Rules



Proper Appeals: Live ball/Dead ball

5.09(c) A proper appeal must be made while the ball is live and may only be made by defensive players on the field.

8-2-6 Appealing the failure of a runner to touch a base advancing or retreating, and/or failure to tag up, can both be either a live-ball or dead-ball appeal.  A coach may make the appeal when the ball is dead.

Substitutions: Re-entering starters

OBR has no provision for re-entering starters. Once a player is removed from the game, they are done for the day.


3-1-3 A starter may re-enter one time but must re-enter in same position in batting order where he started. On the other hand, a substitute, after entering and then being replaced, may not re-enter.

Substitutions: Illegal substitute

5.10(d) No penalty. Remove illegal substitute from the game. Any action by the illegal substitute stands.

3-1-1 Illegal substituted is restricted to the bench for duration of game. If same player re-enters, he is ejected.

Game ended by darkness or weather: Suspended vs. ended game

7.02 A game that is halted prior to its completion by darkness or weather becomes a suspended game.

4-2-3 Once it becomes an “official” game (five full), a game terminated by darkness or weather, and if inequal turns at bat, score reverts to last completed inning unless home team at bat achieves winning score.

Shortened game: Mercy rule

OBR: No mercy rule.

4-2-2, CB: 4-2-2

Game ends on 10-run advantage after five full innings, or 4-1/2 if home team leads (that is, “official” game). The game may end after three full innings if both coaches and UIC concur.

Umpire touches or handles live ball

5.12(b)(5) If the umpire wishes to inspect the ball, he shall call time. If the umpire otherwise handles a live ball, but the umpire releases the ball immediately, the ball remains live; otherwise, the ball is dead.

5-1-1-h The ball is dead immediately any time the umpire handles a live ball or calls “Time” for inspecting the ball or for any other reason or gives the “Do Not Pitch Signal.”

The umpire’s jurisdiction begins when …

4.03 Umpire jurisdiction begins when lineups are exchanged at the plate meeting. There is no rule on when jurisdiction ends. Post-game ejections are not valid, although such ejections have happened, largely “for show.”


10-1-2 Umpire jurisdiction begins when they arrive in the confines of the field for purpose of officiating game; jurisdiction ends when umpires leave the playing field. Post-game ejections are valid.


Guidelines on correcting umpire errors

8.0 If in doubt of a call, consult your partner. “The first requisite is to make decisions correctly.”

10-2-3-l “Rectify any situation in which an umpire’s decision that was reversed has placed either team at a disadvantage.”

Batting Rules

6.06(a)(3) Comment When the momentum of a batter’s swing carries the bat around and contacts the catcher or his equipment, this is backswing interference. The ball is dead, and runners, if moving, must return. There is no penalty so long as deemed by umpire to be not intentional.

5-1-1-n, 5-1-2-a1, 2-21-4, 2-21-5

Ball immediately dead; runners return; batter is out if impeding play on runner. If no play on runner, dead ball and runners return. Two types:

Follow-through interference: bat hits catcher after batter has swung at pitch and hinders catcher’s play on a runner.

Backswing interference: batter contacts the catcher or his equipment prior to the pitch.

Designated hitter (DH)

5.11 Designated hitter allowed for pitcher only; double-switch is allowed but doing so kills the DH.

3-1-4 DH may bat for any player; both retain same position in batting order. May not do multiple subs to change player’s position in the batting order. If DH enters game defensively, this kills DH.  2020 introduced Player/DH where player can DH for himself.

When does runner abandon effort to advance on 3rd strike not caught

5.05(a)(2) Comment Runner abandons effort to advance when he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

8-4-1-i Runner abandons effort to advance when he enters the dugout, or (with two outs) before all fielders leave the diamond.

Fielding Rules



Type 1 (A) obstruction: Immediate dead ball; award base beyond last legally touched.

Type 2 (B) obstruction: delayed dead ball; award bases, if any, to nullify the effect of the obstruction.

2-22-1, 8-3-2

Obstruction is always a delayed dead ball. On conclusion of action, kill ball and award bases to nullify obstruction, but minimum one base beyond the point of the obstruction.

Ball lodged in clothing or equipment

5.06(c)(7) 5.06(b)(4)(I)

Fair batted ball: Immediate dead ball. Batter-runner awarded first; runners advance if forced.

Pitched ball: Immediate dead ball. One base all runners from time of pitch.

Thrown ball: Immediate dead ball. One base all runners from last legally touched base.

NOTE: OBR allows tossing glove or mitt in which ball is lodged for purpose of making a play.

5-1-1-f-5, 8-3-3-d, 8-3-3-f

Fair batted ball: Immediate dead ball. Batter-runner awarded first; runners advance if forced.

Pitched ball: Immediate dead ball. One base all runners from time of pitch.

Thrown ball: Immediate dead ball. One base all runners from last legally touched base.

Fake tag w/o ball

OBR: n/a

2-22-2 A fake tag without the ball is obstruction; delayed dead ball; base award.


5.06(b)(3)(C) and Comment

A rule change in 2014 eliminated catch-and-carry in OBR: “If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should step or fall into any out-of-play area, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out”


There is no catch-and-carry in NFHS. If a fielder steps into dead-ball territory with both feet, or falls in dead-ball territory, you have an immediate dead ball and base awards (one base).

Player positions on the field

5.02 Except for the catcher, all players must be in fair territory to put the ball in play. Do not enforce unless challenged by opposing coach. There is no rule governing position of players after the ball is put in play.

1-1-4 Minimum one foot in fair territory at time of pitch; penalty is illegal pitch.

Pitching Rules


6.02(a) Delayed dead ball. If all runners and batter-runner advance at least one base, ignore the balk. Otherwise, call time and advance all runners one base.

5-1-1-k Immediate dead ball. If the ball is put in play on the pitch, kill the play. Award all runners one base.

Illegal pitch (no runners on)

6.02(b) A ball to the batter (unless batter reaches base on the pitch). Live ball award. With runners on base, a balk. Exception: No runners, F1 pitching from the Set and fails to come to a complete stop.

6-1-3 Penalty Immediate dead ball. If runners on base, it’s a balk; otherwise, ball to the batter.

Pitch count limits and rest requirements

OBR: No Restrictions.

6-1-6 WIAA Handbook 29.5.0

Feint to third base / 3-1 move

6.02 Not allowed. Balk.

NFHS: No explicit rule

Time limit to deliver pitch


With no runners on base, must deliver the ball within 12 seconds of receiving it.

6-2-2-c With or w/o runners on base, must deliver the pitch, attempt a play, or feint within 20 seconds of receiving the ball.

Windup Position

5.07(a)(1) 3

Pitchers may assume a Windup position with both hands at their sides and then move both hands to a “set” position. This is not a balk unless movement of some other part of their body indicates that a pitch has been initiated.



Pitchers that assume a Windup position with both hands at their sides and then moves both hands to a “set” position have balked. (started and stopped)


Combined with 2-28-3, Time of Pitch, to define illegal pitch.

Actions allowed from windup position

6.02(a), 5.07(a)(1) The pitcher is allowed three actions from the windup:

  • Deliver pitch to batter

  • Step and throw to a base to attempt a P.O.

  • Disengage the rubber

6-1-2 The pitcher is allowed two actions from the windup:

  • Deliver pitch to batter

  • Disengage the rubber

Running Rules

Legal/Illegal slide; force-play slide rule

6.01(j) Begin slide before reaching base. Must attempt to reach base with hand or foot and remain on base (no slide through to contact). No alteration of pathway for the purpose of contacting fielder

2-32-1,2 Must slide within reach of base with hand or foot, but not in a path toward the defender (except straight in). No rolling or pop-up slides into fielder; no slide through the base to contact defender (except at home). No raised leg above defender’s knee; no slashing or kicking; no malicious contact with fielder. On force play, must slide in direct line between bases.

Must slide or attempt to avoid

6.01(j) No requirement to slide, but if sliding, must be a legal slide.

8-4-2-b through g

No requirement to slide, but runner must execute a legal slide, or otherwise attempt to avoid contact with a defender or otherwise altering the play of the defender. On force play, may be two outs on a violation.

Collisions with defender / malicious contact

6.01(i) Runner may not deviate from pathway to initiate contact; if malicious, runner out and may be ejected; ball dead at moment of contact, runners return.

2-21-1-b, 3-3-1-b

Interference, dead ball, runner out; if egregious, may eject player.

Courtesy Runner

OBR: n/a

2-23-1 Allowed at any time for pitcher or catcher. Runner is tied to player he runs for; a given runner may not run for both pitcher and catcher. Anyone who’s been in the game may not be a runner; runner may not be sub in same inning in which he courtesy runs.

Diving over defender

OBR: n/a

8-4-2-d Runner is out if he dives over a defender who is standing or kneeling, but ball remains live. However, if a defender is lying flat on the ground, runner may jump/leap/hurdle the defender.

Running lane interference

5.09(a)(11) Interference in the running lane requires a catchable throw, such that he “interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base.”

8-3-3-d Interference in the running lane invoked with any throw to retire runner who violates running lane, regardless of the quality of the throw. In effect, runner is interfering with fielder’s opportunity to make the play.

Walk-off scoring

5.08 Game ends when runner advancing from third has touched home, and the batter-runner has touched first base.

9-1-1 Note 2 All runners, including batter-runner, must touch the base to which they are advancing, or to which they are forced to advance.

Equipment Rules

Legal bats / bat regulations


The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.

The bat handle, for not more than 18 inches from its end, may be covered or treated with any material or substance. Any such material or substance that extends past the 18-inch limitation shall cause the bat to be removed from the game.


1-3-2, 3, 4, 5

Non-wood bats:

  • Not more than 2-5/8″ in diameter at thickest point

  • Not more than 36″ in length

  • Not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (i.e., “drop 3”)

  • Be certified and labeled as meeting the BBCOR standard (permanently imprinted or silk-screened by the manufacturer)

  • Have a safety grip that extends a minimum of 10″, but not more than 18″, from the handle end of the bat

Wood bats:

  • Must be not more than 2-3/4″ in diameter

  • Maximum 36″ in length

  • No foreign substance beyond 18″ from the end of the handle 

  • May have tape or other substance not more than 18″ from the handle end of the bat


Catcher’s mitt

3.04 Maximum 38″ circumference; maximum 15-1/2″ top-to-bottom measurement


Any size catcher’s mitt is allowed.

First baseman’s mitt (no difference)

3.05 Maximum 14″ height; maximum 8″ wide; webbing no greater than 5-3/4″

1-3-6 Maximum 14″ height; maximum 8″ wide; webbing no greater than 5-3/4″

Fielding gloves

3.05, 3.07 Maximum height: 13″; maximum width: 7-3/4″; webbing maximum 4-1/2 at top and 5-3/4 deep.

Pitcher’s glove may not include white or grey, nor, in umpire’s judgment, be distracting in any way.

1-3-6 Maximum height: 14″; maximum width: 8″; webbing maximum 5-3/4″

Pitcher’s glove may not include white or grey


Coaching Rules

Defensive conferences (visits)


One visit per pitcher per inning. Second visit in an inning requires removing pitcher. A visit to remove a pitcher or attend to injured player is not a charged visit.

3-4-1 Three conferences per regulation game (no limit per pitcher); on forth visit, pitcher must be removed. One visit per inning in extra innings, but no roll-over.

Visit to replace a pitcher is not a charged visit. Time out to attend to injured player is not a charged visit.

When is a defensive visit concluded?


A defensive conference ends when the manager or coach has left the 18′ circle (pitching mound).

3-4-3 A defensive conference ends when the coach crosses the foul line returning to the dugout; if conference is held in foul territory, it concludes when the coach first starts back toward dugout.

Offensive conferences

OBR: No rule.

3-4-2 One offensive conference per inning.

Base Coaches


Two base coaches; must be in uniform; must remain in coach’s box; may not argue with umpire.


Either a player or coach may occupy each coach’s box; must be in uniform; anyone on the team in uniform (and not ejected) may be a base coach.

Disciplinary actions against coaches


No provision for warnings; ejection for egregious action on part of coach, player, etc.

3-3-1 Penalty

Three-tier system: verbal warning, written warning (coach restricted to bench) and then ejection.

Teams may be subject to bench warning; players subject to immediate ejection