New rules on collisions

New rules on collisions were a direct result of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey’s leg injury, suffered in a violent collision when Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins slammed into him at home plate, May 2011.

Intentional collisions are a strategy by the offense – meant to either prevent a catch or to knock the ball out of a fielder's hand. But they are not just unsportsmanlike – they can be dangerous, the reason for the rules. Even with the new rules in place, calls on collisions can be a judgement call by the umpire. For everything you need to know about the rules, we created an all-new chapter in the Baseball Field Guide explaining MLB's rules on interference, obstruction, and collisions.

Within the coach's box?

The coaches boxes can be seen alongside the first and third base lines. The field is marked to, presumably, keep the base coaches in their place within the boxes. But what exactly is meant by “within the coach's box”? It could mean many things. See our chapter titled “The Manager and Coaches.”

Mountain View

What about the rules before the game starts?

Lots happens before the first pitch is made. Umpires have a number of pre-game responsibilities, all covered in the rules – including making the decision as to whether a game should be played that day.

Statistics clearly explained before the game starts?

Baseball is a game of statistics – some of which can be difficult to understand. We clarify the meaning and the math behind them.

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Mountain View

From the size of a baseball....

When you think about the rules of baseball you probably think about the rules of play. But MLB’s Official Baseball Rules cover a lot of topics – like what happens before the game starts. And after the game is over. Rules also regulate equipment – for example, with tightly controlled specifications on the size, weight and construction of each baseball. Construction is controlled right down to the size and number of stitches used to sew its two pieces of leather together. Variations would significantly alter its aerodynamic properties– high stitches would increase its ability to curve, while low stitches would reduce it.

Faster than a gaggle of umpires?

Unlike Major League Baseball's official rule book, the Baseball Field Guide organizes all the information in a logical sequence, easily accessed through a comprehensive table of contents and index.

Mountain View

What happens when weather delays a game, or causes it to be rescheduled

An umpire's job is to make sure a game is completed on its scheduled day. Weather delays, therefore, can sometimes be measured in hours. But what happens when weather or some other problem prevents a game from reaching completion? It depends on whether or not the game has reached "regulation status." That happens sometime in the fifth inning. The Baseball Field Guide explains exactly when.

How to get a fourth out

I bet you already know that each team gets three outs per inning. But is a "fourth out" possible? It is in cases where a play is appealed. If a third out is made but at the same time a violation by another runner takes place that results in an appeal, the out called as a result of the appeal counts as a fourth out.

Close to home

Unlike Major League Baseball's official rule book, the Baseball Field Guide organizes all the information in a logical sequence, easily accessed through a comprehensive table of contents and index.

Mountain View

The Official Scorer

A significant portion of MLB's Official Baseball Rules is dedicated to the responsibilities of the Official Scorer. Watching he game from afar, he (or she) has no say affecting the plays in the game. But he is in charge of assigning credits and errors to players. We cover the Official Scorer's rules in easy-to-read detail.

Rules for spectators?

Yep, spectators have rules too. Unfortunately many fans don't know what they are – which has created havoc on more than one occasion. We devote an entire chapter to the rules governing spectators at a game. Want to be a well-behaved fan? See Chapter 14.