Rules Plainspoken

   Rules Plainspoken

Somewhere north of 80% of baseball is played with fewer than 20% of the rules. If my numbers are off on this point, they're not off by much. So the average person stepping onto the field for the first time (likely to umpire his or her seven-year-old's Little League game) already brings a lot of baseball knowledge to the field. There's comfort in that ... but there's peril, too.

The point is, while you're probably pretty solid with safe/out, fair/foul, and ball/strike, umpiring anything older than about nine-year-olds is going to take a lot more experience with that not-often-called, other 80% of the rules.

And here's a really good place to start …


    The Batter
    Batter Interference
    Batter Touched by Pitched Ball
    Designated Hitter / Extra Hitter
    Batting Out of Order
    Foul Ball / Foul Tip

    Pitching 1: The Pitcher
    Pitching 2: Pitching Positions
    Pitching 3: Balls & Strikes
    Pitching 4: Working the Plate
    Pitching 5: Balks & Illegal Pitches

Base Running
    The Base Runner
    Runner Touched by Live Ball
    Awarding Bases
    Force-play Slide Rule / Illegal Slides
    The Base Path & Running Lane
    Time Play

    Getting Outs
    The Catch
    Infield Fly Rule

    Offensive Interference
    Defensive (catcher's) Interference
    Batter Interference
    Umpire Interference
    Spectator Interference

Game Management
    Proper Appeals
    Batting Out of Order