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Appendix 1 - SPEED-UP RULES


By state association adoption any, all, or any part of the suggested speed-up rules may be used.

  1. At any time, the team at bat may use courtesy runners for the pitcher and/or the catcher. In the event that the offensive team bats around, the pitcher and/or catcher who had a courtesy runner inserted on their behalf may bat in their normal position in the batting order.
  2. The same individual runner may not be used for both positions (pitcher and catcher) during the game.
  3. Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.
  4. Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners
  5. A player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or the catcher and then be used as a substitute for another player in that half inning. If an injury, illness or ejection occurs and no other runners are available, the courtesy runner may be used as a substitute.
  6. The umpire-in-chief shall record courtesy runner participation and also announce it to the scorer.
  7. A player who violates the courtesy-runner rule is considered to be an illegal substitute.
    a.   Should an injury, illness or ejection occur to the courtesy runner, another courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher may run.


  1. After a putout in the outfield and with no runners on base, the ball shall be thrown to a cutoff man and, if desired, to one additional infielder before being returned to the pitcher for delivery to the next batter.
  2. After a putout in the infield and with no runners on base, the ball shall be returned directly to the pitcher.
  3. Following the final out in any inning, the ball shall be given to the nearest umpire. The plate umpire shall give the ball to the catcher. The base umpire shall place the ball on the pitcher’s plate.



  1. Runner should use colored base on initial play at first base, unless the fielder is drawn to the side of the colored base, in which case the runner would go to the white base and the fielder to the colored.
  2. On a dropped third strike, fielder and runner may touch white or colored base.
  3. A runner is never out for touching the white base rather than the colored base.
  4. Once the runner reaches first base, the runner shall then use the white base.



2017-1   Defining the legality and location of sliding (2-32-2c)

The act of sliding is optional. However, if a base runner decides to slide, then he is held to certain criteria to ensure that neither the offensive nor defensive player is intentionally injured. There are six criteria that constitute an illegal slide. Due to the physical design of home plate, it is not possible for a runner who chooses to slide to stop at or on top of home plate while running as fast as possible to score. In order to stop at or on home plate, the runner would have to run slower or begin his slide earlier, which would give the defense an advantage. This change allows the runner's momentum to carry him through home plate in a straight line (baseline extended). He is still held to the other elements of Rule 2-32-2 and malicious contact as it relates to interference with the catcher. The catcher is protected because he has choices of locations where he can postion himself to avoid contact.

2017-2   Determining when a coach-assisted runner is called out (3-2-2 Penalty)

Simple stated, the coach-assisted base runner is called out immediately without deference to other batter-runner or runners, and play continues.

2017-3   Clarifying the penalty administrtion to coaches and players (3-2-1 Penalty)

Coaches and officials are equally responsible to provide an ideal learning environment for the students who play baseball. That learning environment is severely disrupted if the adults show a lack of respect for each other’s position and role in the contest. The coach has the responsibility to coach and teach his players about basic and complicated skills of baseball and important life lessons. The game official has the obligation to administer the rules of the game and to judiciously address any coach’s or player’s behavior that is not consistent with those rules
As he (umpire) administers any penalty resulting in a warning, restriction to the bench/dugout or ejection, his decision should be in response to the actions of the offending coach and player. The coach needs to understand that his behavior will dictate which level of discipline is applied. Utilizing a three-step process, the umpire is given the opportunity to de-escalate any situation that might arise during the course of the game.
This clarification of last year's rule provides an additional "teachable moment" element to the current rule. Umpires are given clear procedures for dealing with minor unsportsmanlike behavior while at the same time promoting the practice of keeping coaches and players “in the game” and minimizing ejections. Officials are encouraged to clearly communicate their warnings and restrictions when possible to the coaches prior to ejection. The coaches also need to recognize when those warnings and restrictions are being issued so they can modify their behavior and continue to teach their players. When the adults are acting in a professional and respectful manner, the young people will be the ultimate winners regardless of the score of the game.

2017-4   Modification of the pitching restriction policy (6-2-6)

After years of research and thoughtful discussion on minimizing risk for the position of pitcher, it has been determined that modifying the pitching restriction rule to reflect that the policy should be based on the number of pitches thrown is a better indication of overuse and repetition than the current method of innings pitched during a contest.

2017-5   Baserunning awards for umpire hindering the catcher's ability to make a defensive play (8-3-6)

This rule changes provides rules support that was missing from the rules book.

2017-6   Subsequent rule supporting the coach-assisted runner (8-4-2s)

This rule supports the action taken in Rule 3-2-2 Penalty regarding coaches’ conduct with assisting a base runner



2020 NFHS Baseball Rules

Table of Contents

NFHS Rule Changes 2020

Rule 1 - Players, Field & Equipment

Rule 2 - Playing Terms & Definitions

Rule 3 - Substituting, Coaching, etc.

Rule 4 - Starting & Ending the Game

Rule 5 - Dead Ball – Suspension of Play

Rule 6 - Pitching

Rule 7 - Batting

Rule 8 - Base Running

Rule 9 - Scoring – Record Keeping

Rule 10 - Umpiring

Appendices to the Rules

INDEX to the NFHS/FED Rules

[ Version 5.0, February 2020 ]
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