Baseball Rule Five

Baseball rule five deals with putting the ball in play, awarding of bases and how “time” is given and why. 

5.01  To put the ball in play call “PLAY” – We usually call “PLAY BALL” at the beginning of a game and in innings after the first inning call “PLAY”.

Remember if a game is scheduled for 6PM for example, again the “PLAY BALL” should be said at 6PM for the first pitch of the game to be thrown.

5.02  Once you call “PLAY” the ball is alive until an umpire calls “TIME”. If the ball comes apart it is a live ball until the play is completed.

5.06  A runner cannot nullify a legally scored run. The ump must make a judgment on an appeal.

Example:  If a runner believes he did not tag up on a fly or he missed a base. If he legally touched or tagged up properly, he does not have to correct it.

5.08  If an umpire is accidentally touched by a thrown or pitched ball, the ball remains alive and in play. If a coach interferes with a thrown ball, the runner is out (the runner that is advancing to or returning to “that” base is out). If a coach is accidentally hit by a thrown ball, the ball remains alive and in play and there is no interference.

5.09  One Base Awards – Read page

5.10  The ball is dead when the umpire calls “TIME” and the following

  (a) Weather or darkness

  (b) Light failure

  (c) When a player is hurt (when play is complete)

“In amateur ball if a player is seriously injured call time for his safety immediately”

I had an American Legion game back in the 80’s. A line drive hit the pitcher squarely in the face. It scared me more than anything. I didn’t even call time. I first consulted the pitcher, then told the home team to get ice to put on his face and then to call 911 ASAP. The well-being and SAFETY of the players in an amateur game is more important than the game. He was taken to the hospital in a timely manner. You never know how severe an injury is!!

(1)  If a runner has an accident to stop him from going to a subsequent base, a sub can be permitted.

Examples:  For a home run or batter is hit by a pitch, is injured and cannot go to first base, a substitute can be used. (If the ball has become dead on the play)

  (d) When a manager asks for “time”

  (e) Umpire needs to examine the ball

  (f) When a player catches a ball and goes out of play

(If a fielder steps into a bench and does not fall, the ball is in play. The runner cannot advance)

  (g) When a player(s) are removed from the game

  (h) For exception see (b) and (c)(1)

5.11  According to baseball rule five the ball becomes live again when the pitcher touches the rubber if he has the ball and the umpire calls “PLAY”

Please note the catcher and batter should be in their proper positions also. 

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