Baseball Rule One

(Note Rule 1.05) Home Plate is 17″ wide.

1.06 “Safety” bases (breakaway bases) are not legal in OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULES (OBR). Wisdom dictates that in amateur baseball we allow safety bases to be used.

1.11(a)-(2) Even though white undershirt sleeves are not prohibited by rule, most amateur players and coaches believe a pitcher cannot wear them. Short of professional play, decide that a pitcher’s white sleeves are “distracting” and have them removed.

Notice “distracting” would be in the Umpire’s Judgment. If in your judgment as an Umpire do not be afraid to tell the pitcher and/or the coach to remove something you believe is distracting. It is your judgment. If you need to explain the reason you should tell them “in my judgment it is distracting and must be removed.”

1.11 Managers and coaches will let you know when opponents are not in the proper uniform. Will you know so as to make a ruling or not? (2) A pitcher cannot have numbers or insignia etc. on his sleeve or undershirt. Should we interpret that to signify his pitching arm or non-pitching arm? It is both!! Common sense and fair play is an umpire’s best friend. It is also good for you to know 1.12, 1.13 and 1.14. Know the catcher and first baseman mitt sizes, etc. If the catcher or first baseman has unusual looking gloves, coaches will ask you about it.

Note: A catcher is not an infielder (see 7.05g comment) except when making a throw that goes out of play.

1.15 Self explanatory

1.16 It is common sense that all players must wear a helmet while batting or on the bases.

1.17 Self explanatory

Please note that 1.01,.02,.03, and .04 are self-explanatory.


According to Rule One of MLB rules, baseball is a game played according to the Rule Book. Therefore, the job of the umpire is to call every game according to the rules. Every umpire must have knowledge of the rules and the correct interpretation of the Rule Book. Just as a doctor practices medicine, meaning he continues to educate and learn from other doctors’ experiences and new methods, so should a baseball umpire be ever learning and able to practice umpiring. After all these years we are still learning from other umpires’ experiences and happenings on the field.


Read, learn and understand Rule One of MLB rules. Which includes the dimensions of the field of play!

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