Official International Rules

International Edition 2003

A game of pesis is a contest between two teams. The game is played in accordance with the following set of rules, on a field that complies with the regulations and drawings detailed in this booklet. The game is played under the supervision and judgement of the umpire-in-chief assisted by other umpires.

CHAPTER I : EQUIPMENT, FIELD AND TEAMS; DURATION AND SCORE OF A GAME; ARRANGING A GAME; DELAYED ARRIVAL TO A GAME

THE EQUIPMENT

1 § The ball

Only balls approved by the PPL may be used in official games.

All official balls have a circumference between 215 and 225 mm.

The weight of a men's ball is between 155 and 165 g.

The weight of a women's ball is between 130 and 140 g.

The weight of a children's ball is between 90 and 100 g.

2 § The bat

A bat used in an official game must be approved by the PPL.

The bat may be covered with reinforcing material, such as plastic or textile tape or comparable product.

3 § The glove

A glove approved by the PPL may be used by the fielding players to help catching and controlling the ball.

Using any other kind of equipment to catch the ball is not allowed.

4 § The helmet

A protective helmet approved by the PPL must be used in official games played with the men's ball. The pitcher and the outfielders of the defensive team need not use the helmet. All other fielders, the batter and the runners must wear the helmet. In official games played with the women's ball all infielders, the batter and the runners must wear the helmet.

When a player is not wearing a helmet when so required, he shall be penalized.

In case of a defensive player: a notice is given against him on the first occasion, and on subsequent violations he shall be given a warning.

In case of an offensive player: his actions on the play shall be nullified, and a technical out is called against his team.

An offensive player must wear his helmet properly placed before settling at bat (before the pitcher has acquired the right-to-pitch). If the helmet comes off inadvertently, the runner may continue play until he has reached final decision.

5 § General rule concerning equipment

The umpire-in-chief is required to forbid the use of any equipment which violates these rules, which has been substantially altered or which he considers potentially dangerous.

6 § The field

The lay-out and dimensions of the playing field for men, women, boys or children are shown in the attached diagrams, as are the names of various elements of the field.

The plate is a hard circular plate with a thickness between 3 and 5 cm and a diameter of 60 cm. The top surface of the plate shall be evenly horizontal and raised between 3 and 5 cm above the field surface. The plate shall be firmly fixed to the ground.

The front arc of the home base can be equipped with an arc-shaped plate made of plywood as shown on the home base diagram. The arc plate must be sunk in the ground, on level with the surface.

The home base boundary on the field side is a straight line. The safety of the offensive player as well as the location of the defensive player on home base is decided by the straight base line. The front arc only applies to determining the fairness of a hit: a hit that first touches the front arc or field between the arc and the home base line is foul.

The immediate field consists of the home base and the area bounded by and including the sidelines and the backline. The immediate field shall be surrounded on all sides with an open area of at least 10 meters width.

Every field base has its own safe zone.

The boundary lines shall be drawn with slaked lime, chalk or other clearly visible (white) material. The width of the boundary line is 10 cm.

The umpire zone is the safe zone of the first base.

7 § The team

A team consists of at most two managers and at most 12 players, 9 of whom can be active during one defensive half. During one offensive half, 9 players and additional batters (jokers) can be active. A team can use three different jokers at bat during each offensive half. The use of a joker does not cause any other player in the batting order to lose his turn at bat.

A joker can be used in all series and all age groups.

If a team does not have at least 7 players ready to start the game at the pre-announced time, the game is considered forfeited by that team. A shorthanded team can be completed as soon as the new player has been announced to the umpire-in-chief and entered on the official scoresheet.

A team member dressed in the team jersey or other sportswear can stay inside the spectator boundaries only if he has been entered on the official scoresheet. No more than 6 additional and named team assistants can stay in the team bench area. Warnings due to team assistants' violations are counted on the team speaker.

During the defensive half of his team a non-active team members can stay either in the team bench area, at the places shown by umpires or outside the spectator boundaries. The defensive team play can be directed by one of the non-active team members from the field side. He cannot stay inside the immediate field or in the immediate vicinity of bases or umpires.

During the offensive half team members are not allowed to go outside the spectator boundaries. Non-active team members that have been entered on the official scoresheet can stay on the home circle or at the bench. One team assistant can visit the home circle when necessary. One of the team managers of the offensive team may lead and direct his team standing on the home circle and acting in a restrained and sportsmanlike manner.

One of the players on the team is the captain.

Only the team speaker, who is either the manager or the captain of the team, has the right to address the umpire-in-chief during the game.

The manager must be present in the pre-game talk with the umpires at least 30 minutes before the announced start of the game.

At this time he must give the list of players' names and the batting order of his team and determine the team speaker for the game.

The defensive players may freely exchange their positions on the field.

A player must wear a clearly visible batting order number on his sleeve during the game.

If a player is not wearing a batting order number when he comes up in the batting order for the first time, a technical out is called, but the player still has his turn at bat. Such technical outs cannot be called against a team more than three times during a game.

A joker taking a turn at bat wears on his sleeve the player number under which he has been entered on the official scoresheet.

8 § Duration and score of a game

The duration of an official game for men, women (and juniors A, B and C) is 4+4+1 innings. In all games, the period ends immediately when the team with the lower score has no more offensive half-innings available. If the teams are tied with one period won by each, or if both periods end with a tied score, an extra period will be played to break the tie. The extra period consists of one extra inning ("super-inning") and, if necessary, the scoring contest. The scoring contest will only be held to decide the winning team, if the score is still tied after the extra inning.

In either period, the end half of the 4th inning is not played if the team coming in has already won the period. If a team playing the end half of 4th scores a winning run, the period ends. Other runs scored on the same play are valid.

In the extra period, the game ends when the team playing the end half of the super-inning or the scoring contest scores a winning run. Other runs scored on the same play are valid.

The scoring contest will only be held to decide the winning team, if the score is still tied after the extra inning. The team that started the super-inning batting will also start batting in the scoring contest, and the order remains the same until the end of the game.

Both teams shall list five batters and five runners. A batter and a runner will act as a pair, and they try to score a run. The runner starts on the third base, and the batter has three strikes available. When the runner has reached the final decision, the pair has completed its turn and the next pair is up.

The runners waiting for their turn shall place themselves near the third base, but far enough to not interfere with the play in any way. The batters and other team members shall stay on the home circle.

A player cannot be listed both as a batter and as a runner, unless the team doesn't have ten players. In such cases, a player can only act once as a batter and once as a runner.

The plate umpire determines the readiness of the batter and the runner before handing the ball to the pitcher, who automatically receives the right-to-pitch. The play is then conducted as during the regular game until the pair has completed its turn. After that the ball is handed to the plate umpire, the next pair takes its positions and play continues.

If the score is tied after both teams have completed five pairs, the contest shall then continue in groups of three pairs from both teams until a decision has been reached. The three pairs can be renamed under same restrictions that applied to the original selection.

Substitutions on an offensive half can be done when pairs are renamed.

The scoring contest ends immediately when the winner of the game has been decided. If the team batting the end half of the contest either scores a winning run or no longer has a chance to tie the score, the game has been decided and ends immediately.

The batter may attempt to score a home run, which will count as a run scored in the contest, but he may not stay on third to attempt a double run.

The fielders must stand within the field boundaries at the moment the pitcher delivers the pitch; otherwise the umpire can grant the walk to the runner. If the runner declines to accept the walk, the pitch shall be nullified. If the violation reoccurs during the same turn at bat, the offensive team shall be granted two runs.

If the pitcher delivers three bad pitches to the same batter in the scoring contest, both the runner and the batter shall score a free run on walks. The runner can choose to accept a walk on two bad pitches, which completes the pair's turn.

On a wild throw the runner may attempt to score, but the batter cannot advance.

The half-time between the regular periods is 10 minutes long. The break before the extra period is 5 minutes long. The teams may freely make changes to their batting order during both breaks. After a break both teams start batting at number one in the batting order. During the break before the extra period the teams hand a list of named players for the possible scoring contest to the umpire-in-chief.

There is no separate break between the super-inning and the scoring contest. The scoring contest is started immediately when the pairs of both teams have been entered on the scoresheet.

The teams have one time-out available per each regular period. The length of a time-out is one minute. There are no time-outs available in the extra period.

The time-out can be applied for when the batter has become a committed runner and before the pitcher has acquired the right-to-pitch for the next batter. The time-out is applied for by addressing the umpire-in-chief or the plate umpire. During a time-out the offensive team assembles in its team bench area, and the defensive team assembles on the field near the crossline. At the change of inning the time-out must be applied for immediately, during 30 seconds from the whistle signal "change of inning".

If the umpire-in-chief considers the playing conditions unfit or dangerous due to darkness, rain or other external circumstances, the game shall be suspended.

If playing can be continued on the same day, the game will be picked up at the point of suspension. If the game cannot be finished on the same day, the suspended game will be nullified and a complete new game will be played at a re-scheduled date.

If the game has to be suspended due to external conditions during the scoring contest, the game results in a tie and will not be replayed.

9 § Arrangements for a game

The arrangers of a game (the home team) are responsible for the following :

  1. that qualified umpires and scorers are officiating the game
  2. that they have all the necessary equipment at hand
  3. that a sufficient number of game balls in good condition, same coloring and made by the same manufacturer are available
  4. that the field has been correctly drawn and prepared at least 30 minutes before the pre-announced starting time
  5. that general order is preserved in the spectator and the playing area during and after the game.

The umpires shall use as a signal marker a white plate, which has been equipped with a handle and marked on one side with a clearly visible black cross. 

An official scoresheet must be kept in all official games.

The use of trained ballboys is recommended, and it is mandatory at higher levels of play.

10 § Announced delayed arrival to a game

If the visiting team announces its failure to arrive in time to start the game at the pre-announced time, the start of the game should be delayed and the game played, unless this is not possible due to circumstances other than the preference of the home team.

A warm-up time of 15 minutes before the start of the game will be granted to the team arriving late.

11 § Delayed arrival with no announcement

If no announcement of delayed arrival has been received from the visiting team and made known to the umpire-in-chief, the umpires and the home team are required to wait for 30 minutes after the pre-announced starting time before the game can be ruled off.

The umpire-in-chief will report the decision on the scoresheet and send it to the controlling body of the league, which shall then decide on the consequences.

CHAPTER II : BASIC DEFINITIONS; DRAW OF CHOICE; CHANGE OF INNING; SUBSTITUTING A PLAYER; INTERFERENCE

BASIC DEFINITIONS

12 § When the offensive player is on base (safety)

The runner arrives on base when he touches the base with a part of his body. He leaves the base when he loses contact with the base and then touches another area of the field.

If the offensive player, while on base, jumps in the air and lands back in the base, he has not left the base. The base and its safe zone are equal areas to the offensive player.

The boundary line of the base area is part of the base.

13 § When the defensive player is on base

The defensive player is on base when he is in contact with the base area.

If the defensive player jumps up while in the base, he is not considered to be on base, before he then lands back in the base and regains contact with the base area. The safe zone of a base does not apply to the defensive player in any way.

14 § When the ball is controlled by a defensive player

The ball is controlled by the defensive player when it is held in his hand (glove).

If the defensive player picks up a ball on the ground, it is controlled by him when it has clearly lost contact with the surface.

15 § Offensive player - batter - runner

An active offensive player is either a batter or a runner. The batter becomes a runner when he leaves the home base or loses safety on home base. 

The batter can return to the home base to bat after leaving the home base, unless he has become a committed runner.

16 § When the batter becomes a committed runner

The batter becomes a committed runner when he

  1. has used his three strikes
  2. reaches safety on the first base
  3. accepts a walk to the first base
  4. is off the home base at the moment a fielder makes a catch
  5. is off the home base at the moment the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base
  6. is put out

A batter who has become a committed runner has ended his turn at bat, and he no longer has safety on the home base. The fielders can put the batter out at first base immediately after the third strike, even if he hasn't left the home base.

17 § When the runner reaches a base legally

The runner reaches a base legally by touching the base area for the first time unless he

1. advanced on a foul hit
2. advanced too early

"Advancing too early" refers to situations when the runner has no right to advance, for instance after a catch or a foul hit.

3. committed a base violation

Base violation refers to a runner failing to touch the previous base when advancing.

4. passed the home path flagpole on the inside

If a player short-cuts the flagpole when running towards home base, he is put out and also penalized with a one-point warning.

5. has been put out 

18 § When the offensive player has safety on a base

The runner has safety on a base after he has legally reached the base. He can without restrictions leave the base in order to advance and then return to it and not lose his safety unless

  1. the next runner legally reaches the base in question
  2. the ball is controlled by a fielder on the base in question
  3. a fielder makes a catch of a hit ball while the runner is off the base

Only the last runner to reach a base legally can have safety on that base. At his arrival on the base he removes the safety of the previous runner on that base.

The batting order numbers of the runners have no effect on safety; a runner can pass by (take over) another runner with a preceding number between bases.

The player who has lost his safety is put out when the ball gets to the next base. If the runner won't advance, he can be put out by tagging with the ball. If the runner has lost his safety according to cases 2 or 3, and he has not been put out, he regains safety with the next pitch. 

19 § When the offensive player has reached the final decision

The offensive player has reached the final decision when he

  1. scores a run
  2. is caught
  3. is put out or
  4. his advancing has been nullified.

20 § The draw of choice

At the start of the game and before the extra inning the captains of both teams conduct the draw of choice managed by the umpire-in-chief. 

The draw is conducted as follows: the umpire-in-chief calls both team captains to approach. The captain of the home team then tosses a bat for the umpire-in-chief to catch so that his one-handed grip is at least four hand-widths below the shaft end of the bat. If his grip isn't correct, the toss is done again.

The captains then take turns, the visiting captain first, in taking grips on the bat so that the little finger comes in contact with the thumb and forefinger of the hand with previous grip on the shaft. The last captain to get a firm hold of the bat wins the draw and may choose to start the game either in or out. Each handhold must be similar to the previous grips. A captain attempting to cheat is ruled to lose the draw.

Winner of the draw chooses to start either batting or fielding. The team which starts the first period fielding will start the second period batting.

If the extra period is played, a new draw of choice is conducted. The draw shall be conducted by the team captains and the umpire-in-chief immediately after the end of second period. The extra period shall start three minutes after the conclusion and announcing of the draw. The chosen order of fielding and batting shall be the same for both the super-inning and the scoring contest.

After the draw the teams take their positions on the field, the umpire-in-chief hands in the game ball and starts the game with a whistle signal.

21 § Change of inning

A change of inning occurs when one of the following criteria is met with :

  1. three offensive players have been put out
  2. less than two runs have been scored during a half, and the batter who started the half at bat comes up for the second time, and the ball is controlled on home base
  3. after two runs scored, less than two additional runs have been scored during a half, and the last available batter has taken a new turn at bat and become a committed runner, and there are no more jokers available, and the ball is controlled on home base.

After two runs scored and after each two additional runs, the last available batter is the offensive player who, at the moment the run is scored, last had the right to advance from the home base. When a joker hits a run, the last available batter is the preceding player in the batting order.

If the last available player hits a home run or receives three bad pitches when the field is empty, no change of inning occurs, even if criteria 2 or 3 don't get met. The player who gets the score becomes the last available batter.

The team coming in shall deliver the ball to the plate umpire at the change of inning.

At the change of inning, both teams shall take their positions without delay. The plate umpire gives the ball to be played when the teams are ready to continue, but no later than one minute after change of inning. The defensive team can then immidiately acquire the right-to-pitch for the first batter. If teams are delaying the game unnecessarily, the plate umpire raises his hand and annonces the game to continue. After about 10 seconds the game has to continue. If the defensive team delays the game, the plate umpire can grant a walk for the batter who is on the home base.

22 § Substituting a player

A player can be brought into active play as a substitute at any change of inning excluding the first change of inning of the game.

The team shall announce the substitution to the umpire-in-chief before the pitcher has acquired the right-to-pitch for the first batter. The team must also notify the scorer.

The substitute will take the replaced player´s number in the batting order.

A player brought in as a substitute must play a complete inning, both the next offensive and defensive half, before he can be substituted off.

A player brought in to play in the last half before a break can be taken off at the break.

A player taken off can be substituted on for another player at the next change of inning.

No substitutions are allowed in the super-inning, except in case of injury.

If a team commits a substitution violation, it will be penalized as follows:

Illegal substitution on a defensive half:

The substitution will be repealed and the team speaker will receive a one-point warning. On subsequent violations, the player brought in shall be ejected from the game.

Illegal substitution on an offensive half:

If the violation is noted before the next batter has received the right-to-advance, the substitution will be repealed, all play actions of the substitute will be nullified and a technical out called. The player illegally substituted off will then take his turn at bat. On subsequent violations, the player brought in shall be ejected from the game.

If the violation is noted later, the substitution will be repealed as soon as the player in question has reached final decision. The team speaker will receive a one-point warning. On subsequent violations, the player brought in shall be ejected from the game. 

An injured player who is incapable of playing may be substituted off immediately.

If a batter or a runner, who has become incapable due to injury, has not reached final decision before being taken off, he will be put out. If the injury was caused by defensive interference, no out will be called and the player replacing the injured runner may be placed on the base, where the runner would by the judgement of the umpire-in-chief have reached safety if no interference had occurred.

A player taken off may be brought back in the game according to normal rules regarding substitution.

23 § Interference

A player may not interfere with or obstruct the opposing players to stop them from performing legal play actions.

Both offensive and defensive players shall yield when necessary to allow an opposing player to perform a play action. The defensive player shall yield to the offensive player, unless the fielder has control of the ball or a reasonable chance to get control of the ball by legal play actions before the moment of potential interference. In every case the offensive players trailing the advancing point runner shall yield to a fielder attempting to get control of the ball or to perform a play action with the ball.

If an offensive player intentionally interferes with a fielder's legal play action, either by remaining stationary or by moving into an obstructing position, he shall be put out. If the violation is ruled to benefit runners on the field, the umpire-in-chief can penalize any runner by having him

  1. returned to the base he had safety on before the play, or
  2. put out, or
  3. removed from the field without being put out (nullifying his play actions)

If a defensive player blocks the path of an advancing runner without making a fair attempt to get the ball, the runner shall be granted a walk.

Handling the ball in a contrived way, for example by kicking it, is not allowed 

A clear attempt to interfere with the play shall also be penalized.

Players may not obstruct the opponents by their positioning. The offensive players not active as batter or runners must stay on the home circle, and they may not distract the pitcher or the plate umpire with unnecessary shouting or yelling. A notice shall be given for a minor opponent's vision interfering positioning or moving, and a penalty ordered for interference shall be given when a violation is repeated or disrupting.

CHAPTER III : PITCHING

24 § General rule concerning pitching

A batter is allowed three strikes on his turn at bat. A pitch is either a strike, a bad pitch (ball) or nullified. The pitch is always a strike if the batter swings.

If the batter does not swing, the pitch is a strike if all of the following criteria are met with:

  1. the pitcher has the right-to-pitch
  2. the delivery of the pitch is technically correct
  3. the ball raises to a height of at least one meter above the pitcher's head and falls on the plate touching it clearly.

If any of the criteria mentioned above is not met with, the pitch is bad.

The pitch will be nullified, if

  1. the pitch is delivered before the plate umpire has announced his ruling on the previous pitch not swung at
  2. the pitcher has not moved to a pitching position on the left side of the plate, when the batter has announced in time his intention to bat from the right side of the plate
  3. the batter in the home base is not the next player up in the batting order (or a joker)
  4. the pitcher delivers a second consecutive pitch without the right-to-pitch
  5. the batter has been on home base without a required helmet
  6. a fielder is not within the field boundaries when the last batter hits when there are no runners on the field
  7. the pitcher delivers a pitch before the plate umpire has granted a permission
  8. shouts of the spectators disrupt the offensive players.

25 § The right-to-pitch 

At the start of a half, the pitcher can acquire the right-to-pitch for the first batter by getting the ball to fielders on all field bases.

The pitcher can acquire the right-to-pitch for the next batter in order by throwing the ball from the home base to a fielder in any field base. 

The umpire-in-chief can penalize the defensive team for intentionally delaying the game by granting a walk to the batter.

If the batter swings at a pitch delivered without the right-to-pitch, the pitch is a strike and the pitcher now has the right-to-pitch for the batter in question. 

If the batter does not swing, the pitch is bad. Only one bad pitch shall be called due to the lack of the right-to-pitch. The consecutive pitches delivered without the right-to-pitch and not swung at shall be nullified. The pitcher must acquire the right-to-pitch for the batter.

26 § The technical performance of delivering the pitch 

The technical performance of pitching consists of four phases: the pitcher's placement, position, delivery and yielding. 

  1. Placement : the pitcher shall place himself in the home base completely on the right side of the plate (as seen by the plate umpire). If the batter has announced his intention to bat from the other side (calling "left"), the pitcher shall move to the left side.
  2. Position : the pitcher shall hold the ball for a clearly distinguishable moment stationary over the plate between his palms before starting the delivery. The ball shall be held in the lower hand (the hand without the glove). After assuming the pitching position -even incorrectly- the pitcher shall either throw the ball or deliver the pitch. The pitcher may not take a step before delivering the pitch after he has assumed the pitching position.
  3. Delivery : the pitcher shall deliver the pitch with a single continuous movement of the lower hand and arm. The movement shall be executed without any jerk or twitch, and completely over the plate and below the upper (gloved) hand.
  4. Yielding : The pitcher shall yield away from the batter immediately after the delivery so that the batter can execute his swing to any direction allowed by the rules. The pitcher may not interfere with the batter's movements during the delivery or yielding. Failure to yield correctly will cause the pitch to be ruled bad. If the pitcher obstructs the batter from swinging freely to any direction he desires or otherwise interferes with the batter's play by his movement, the umpire-in-chief can penalize him by granting a walk to the batter and the runners even if the batter did take a swing at the pitch.

If the pitcher takes hold of the ball after delivering a pitch and before the batter has swung at it, or before it has fallen on the plate or on the ground, the batter and all runners on the field shall be granted a walk.

When the ball lands outside the plate on a bad pitch, the pitcher himself shall take hold of the ball, or the batter and all runners on the field shall be granted a walk.

For excessive throwing before the pitch (delay of game) the pitcher shall first be given notice, and upon further delay a walk shall be granted to the point runner.

Minor technical infractions by the pitcher at placement and delivery while delivering a pole pitch (at least 5 meters high) should be ignored, unless they interfere with the batter's performance (failure to yield).

27 § Ruling on the pitch

If the batter does not swing at a pitch, the plate umpire shall immediately announce his ruling on the pitch by calling either a strike, a bad pitch or a nullified pitch.

When a pitch is ruled bad, the type of infraction shall be announced; primarily the lack of the right-to-pitch, secondarily the type of technical infraction.

For two bad pitches delivered for the same batter and for each subsequent bad pitch during his turn at bat a walk shall be granted to the point runner. If there are no runners on the field (the field is empty), the batter will be granted a walk for one bad pitch.

If a bad pitch lands outside the home base or the field boundaries, the point runner will be granted a walk (out-of-bounds pitch). The safe lane of home base and the front arc outside the boundaries are not regarded as part of the field.

If there is no batter on home base at the moment of delivery of the pitch, there are no runners on the field and the pitch is bad, the batter at bat can use a walk. A joker can come at bat, but he is not granted a walk. If the team has no regular batters available, only jokers, one of the jokers can use a walk. If a pitch is bad and there are runners on the field, the bad pitch is always targeted on the point runner.

If the field is empty and the batter receives three bad pitches, he is granted a walk to the second base and must advance via the first base. If the batter in question is the last available batter, he is granted a run scored on walks. A batter who is granted a run on walks does not need to advance through the bases. The next batter shall take his turn at bat immediately.

CHAPTER IV : BATTING

28 § Batting order

The batting order entered on the scoresheet shall be adhered to throughout the game.

The batting order can be changed at half-time and at the break before extra period by announcing the change to the umpire-in-chief.

An offensive player has his turn at bat, when the last player preceding him in the batting order has become a committed runner. A player settles at bat when he is on home base with a bat in his hand and with intention to hit, the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base and the pitcher has the right-to-pitch.

The use of a joker need not be announced beforehand. A joker can take a turn at bat, if the player in the batting order hasn't settled at bat. A joker cannot be taken away from batting if he has settled at bat.

If the offensive player who comes up in the batting order has not yet reached final decision as a runner, he shall be put out, when the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base. He can then take his turn at bat. If the team has an opportunity to use a joker, an out is not called if a joker takes his turn at bat.

The last player to come up in the batting order at the end of a half (=the first player in the batting order who has not become a committed runner at the change of inning) shall start the team's next offensive half at bat.

If the last player at bat was a joker, the starting batter of the next offensive half shall be the player who was to come up next after the joker.

When the third out is called and the batter becomes a committed runner on the same play, the starting batter of the next offensive half shall be the next player in the batting order.

For example: when the third out is called at home base and the batter is out of the home base, the starting batter shall be the next player.

29 § Batting

The batter is entitled to use three strikes on every turn at bat.

If the pitcher delivers a pitch for the batter after three strikes and the batter swings, the hit is foul and the batter is put out.

When taking his turn at bat the batter shall take his place on the left side of the plate (as seen by the plate umpire). If the batter intends to bat from the other side, he shall announce it by audibly calling "left" before the pitcher has delivered the pitch that is ruled his first strike. Failing to do so, he shall then bat from the left side of the plate.

At the moment of delivery by the pitcher, the batter shall stand on his own side of the plate, completely behind an imaginary line drawn through the center of the plate in the direction of the field.

If the batter crosses over the line to the pitcher's side, the hit is foul.

30 § Foul hit

A hit is either fair or foul. The batter shall be put out, if his third strike is a foul hit.

A hit is foul in the following cases :

  1. The ball lands out of bounds straight off the hit, without touching the field area within (and including) the boundary lines or being touched by a fielder. A hit is foul, if the ball lands in the home base after being distinctly touched by the bat.
  2. The ball first touches an offensive player after the hit. If the ball first touches a fielder the hit is not foul, even if it touches an offensive player after that. The location of the offensive player has no effect on the fairness of the hit, whether he is on the home circle, on a base or advancing on the field.
    If the ball hits an offensive player (or another member of the offensive team) after a missed swing, the play shall be ruled a foul hit. If the batter intentionally touches the ball after the hit to help the runners, an offensive interference shall be ruled.
    If the batter's hand touches the ball on the swing, the hit is foul. If the use of hand is ruled intentional, the batter shall be put out.
    If the ball hits the batter after a pitch not swung at, the play shall be ruled on as in the case of potential offensive interference.
  3. The hit is a double hit, e.g. the bat and ball make contact more than once.
  4. The bat is flung off the batter's hold, or breaks into separate pieces.
  5. The batter is taking another player's turn at bat in the batting order.
    If a player who is not next up in the batting order is in the home base with a bat and clearly intends to bat, and the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base, the player shall be put out. He shall also be put out, if he starts to advance on the field.
  6. The ball is hit from the fieldside back towards the home base and crosses the home base line or its extension.
  7. The batter swings before the ball has reached the highest point on the pitch, or swings at the ball after it has touched the plate or the ground.
    The batter shall be put out. If the runners benefit from this kind of foul hit, an offensive interference shall be ruled.
  8. The batter is placed on the pitcher's side of the home base (across the line drawn through the center of the plate in the direction of the field) at the moment of delivery by the pitcher (when the ball leaves his hand for the pitch).
  9. The swung ball touches the pitcher who has yielded correctly and hasn't try to catch the swung ball, if the hit would have been clearly foul without the touch. If a batter intentionally swings towards the correctly yielded pitcher, he shall be put out.

31 § A catch

If a fielder gets control of a hit ball straight off the hit before the ball touches the ground, he makes a legal catch.

If the fielder intentionally drops the ball with a continuous movement straight after the catch, it is ruled an intentional drop instead of a catch. If the fielder delays the drop or bounces the ball to distract the offensive players, the hit shall be ruled a catch.

If the fielder drops the ball after a catch and is judged to be in the act of throwing the ball, the hit shall be ruled a catch.

32 § The placement of defensive players

When the batter is at bat, all fielders shall stay within the field boundaries until the moment of delivery by the pitcher.

If some of the fielders is not within the immediate field at the moment of delivery by the pither, the umpire can grant a walk to the batter and the runners. If the violation occurs when the last batter is at bat, the umpire can rule the pitch nullified if necessary, and if the violation reoccurs during the same turn at bat, grant a run on walks. If there are no runners on the field, the batter does not need to advance through the bases. The next batter shall take his turn at bat immediately. The last batter is the player being granted a run.

CHAPTER V : ADVANCING

33 § The batter's right-to-advance

The batter in turn at bat may start advancing from the home base as soon as the pitcher has delivered the first pitch for him, regardless of the ruling on the pitch.

34 § A contested base

A runner is put out at a contested base, if he is not on a base he has safety and the ball is controlled by a fielder on the next base, unless a runner is not on his way to retouch or accepted a walk.

35 § A base violation

A runner commits a base violation, if he reaches a base without first legally reaching the previous base.

If a batter who has lost safety on home base (has become a committed runner) returns to the home base, he commits a base violation and shall be put out.

36 § Advancing on a foul hit

A runner cannot reach a base legally by advancing on a foul hit.

A player trying to advance on a foul hit must retouch the base he last had safety on to regain his right- to-advance.

A foul hit play starts at the moment of delivery and ends at the whistle signal "foul".

If the runner has advanced most of the distance between bases on the previous play, a following foul hit has no effect on his advancing.

After a foul hit the offensive players regain their right-to-advance when the ball has been controlled by a fielder on home base.

A player trying to advance on a foul hit shall be put out, if hasn't retouched the base he last had safety on before the base is reached legally by the next runner.

If a runner, attempting to distract the defensive team and help the other runners, fails to retouch, runs past a base or fakes advancing after a foul hit, an offensive interference shall be ruled and penalized accordingly.

37 § Advancing on a catch

A runner, who is off base at the moment a fielder makes a legal catch and reaches the next base legally, is caught.

The catch is called after all runners have reached their destination bases. Caught runners shall leave the base off the field and return to the home circle without delay.

A runner who advances on a catch play shall be ruled caught even if he reaches his destination base before the moment of the catch. If a runner was caught off base but does not try to advance, he can be put out at the destination base or by tagging. If the defensive team does not put him out either way, the situation falls through when the next pitch is delivered, and the runner regains safety on the base.

If the runner has advanced most of the distance between bases on the previous play, a catch on the following hit has no effect on his advancing.

The catch play begins at the moment of delivery.

An offensive player who was on a base at the moment of the catch regains his right-to-advance at moment the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base. A sneaking-off player can be put out.

After a catch made in the home base the right-to-advance is regained immediately.

If the runners advance after a catch before the right-to-advance is regained, the umpire-in-chief shall return them to the bases they last had safety on. If the attempt was intentional distraction, it shall be ruled offensive interference.

Caught double: If a player is off base at the moment of the catch and there is a runner on his destination base not trying to advance, they are both caught, if the player caught off base reaches the base in question without being put out. The caught double is not called, if the runner on base at the moment of the catch can legally reach safety on the next base, before the player caught off base reaches his destination base.

38 § Advancing on a wild throw

A wild throw does not limit advancing on a play.

Limitations on areas surrounding the field can limit advancing on a wild throw.

39 § Limited advancing

Limitations can be set on areas surrounding the field, if there are obstacles (spectator stands, advertisement signs etc.) hindering free play on these areas. No limits can be set on the area behind the backline. 

If the ball ends in a limited area on a wild throw, the offensive players may advance over one field base from the position they had at the moment the ball got in the limited area.

If the ball ends in a limited area on a fair hit, the offensive players may advance over one field base from the position they had at the moment the ball was hit. The umpires shall return players who advanced too far to the bases they had right to advance to.

The limitation ends when the ball is no longer in the limited area. The umpires shall signal the start and end of a limited play with hand signals.

40 § Accepting a walk

An offensive player who has been granted a walk shall accept it immediately or lose it. The player shows his acceptance by starting to advance to the next base.

A player accepting a walk shall touch the destination base even if he subsequently is granted another walk to the next base.

A player returning after a foul hit does not need to retouch before accepting a walk.

41 § Advancing on a full force play

A full force play takes effect, when there is a runner on every field base and the pitcher delivers the first pitch for the batter in turn.

Every runner is forced to advance and has to reach safety on the next base during the batter's turn at bat, or reach their final decision, to break the full force play.

A runner forced to advance has safety on base as long as the batter has strikes available to him. After the batter has become a committed runner, a runner has safety on his starting base until the ball is controlled by a fielder on that base.

If the batter's third strike is a foul hit, the full force play is suspended.

If the batter intentionally makes his hit foul after a missed swing, an offensive interference shall be ruled. If the runners don't advance, the full force play falls through. If runners have advanced, the forced advancing rule shall be applied to them. They can be put out, returned to bases they last had their safety on or their advancing can be nullified. If the situation occurs on the third strike, the forced advancing shall be applied.

42 § Scoring a run

A runner who, after legally reaching safety on all field bases in order, reaches safety on home base without being caught or put out, scores a run for his team.

43 § Scoring a home run

A player who legally reaches safety on the third base advancing on his own fair hit scores a home run, provided that the defensive team has not tried to put him out at previous bases on the play.

The player may stay on third base and try to score a double run by advancing to the home base on another play. He gains the right-to-advance when the ball is controlled by a fielder on home base. Usually only a player who has advanced past the second base on his own hit can score a home run, even though he advances partially during a throw.

If a pitch is delivered for the next batter before the runner has reached third base, no home run is scored.

If the player scoring a home run has taken over another runner, and that runner reaches the third base without being put out, the player who scored the home run may not stay on third but is not put out either; he is instead removed from the field.

If the player scoring a home run is injured on the play and unable to stay in the game, he is removed from the field, but no out is called. If the injury was caused by the actions of a defensive player, the substitute may be placed on third base.

CHAPTER VI : SUPERVISING THE GAME; DUTIES OF THE OFFICIALS; PENALTIES; FILING A COMPLAINT

44 § General rule on the officials

The game is supervised by an umpire-in-chief assisted by a plate umpire, three other umpires and the official scorer.

Only registered umpires with a valid licence may officiate an official game.

The umpire-in-chief is responsible to announce to the teams the names, home places and possible hinders of all umpires in the pre-game talk or at last at the start of the game. The complaint concerning to the hinders of the umpires must be filed at last at the start of the game. The game shall be still be played.

45 § Duties of the officials

The umpire-in-chief is responsible for conducting the game in accordance with these rules and other regulations set by official controlling bodies.

The duties of the umpire-in-chief :

Before the game he shall

  1. arrive at the game venue at least half an hour before the pre-announced game time
  2. verify that the field has been drawn and prepared correctly
  3. set area limitations on the field in consensus with the team speakers
    If a consensus cannot be reached, the umpire-in-chief shall rule on the limitations
  4. make sure that the team lists are handed to the scorer at least half an hour before the pre-announced game time
  5. verify the licence lists of both teams
  6. give instructions to the ball-boys for the game and, if necessary, to the head of security and other organizing personnel.

During the game he shall

  1. supervise the game actions according to the official rules
  2. announce his rulings to the teams and the spectators with whistle and hand signals
  3. make sure that unapproved or dangerous equipment is not used in the game
  4. penalize unsportsmanlike violations accordingly, as defined in 50 §

After the game he shall

  1. verify and announce the result of the game
  2. verify the correctness of the official scoresheet and confirm it with his signature
  3. report on possible protests, complaints and incidents
  4. make sure that the scoresheet and possible reports are sent to the controlling body of the league.

General instructions to the umpire-in-chief 

The umpire-in-chief should call his whistle signal immediately when the play has reached a point of decision.

The umpires shall not announce their ruling on a play prematurely. For example, ruling on a runner losing safety on a base shall not be called before the ball is controlled by a fielder on the runner's destination base.

If the whistle signal is called too late, he must stop play for a moment, if either team could be at a disadvantage due to the late call. If the late call concerns the batter, he shall be allowed to return to the home base and get hold of his bat before play may continue.

The umpire-in-chief can use a "suspended play" to correct a late call: the ball is handed to the plate umpire and the runners are placed at the positions they would have reached (according to the judgement of the umpire-in-chief) if the call had not been made late. The ball is then handed to the pitcher and play may continue.

The team speaker is entitled to get the play to be stopped when he makes such an appeal.

The manager appeals to the umpire-in-chief for a stop play. After a stop play has been called, he may approach and address the umpire-in-chief. Entering the field during play shall always be penalized by a warning. Appealing for a stop play without a fair reason shall first be penalized with a notice and on subsequent violations with a warning.

When a stop play is called, the players shall hand the ball to the nearest umpire.

The umpire-in-chief must always correct a ruling which is in contradiction to these rules. If the incorrect ruling is noted before the first delivery of the next half inning, the situation shall be returned as if it would have been without incorrect ruling and the game continues in that situation. After the beginning of the next half inning the situation will no longer be returned.

The duties of the plate umpire include

  1. supervising the actions of the pitcher and the batter
  2. ruling on the pitching
  3. ruling and calling foul hits in or near the home base
    The plate umpire calls a whistle signal on foul hits immediately. The plate umpire also has the authority to call a stop play when necessary.
  4. signalling his ruling concerning a contested home base
  5. ensuring general order and compliance with the rules on the home circle (batting order, use of the joker, use of the protective helmet)
  6. informing the scorer of the number of the batter to start the next half at bat.

The duties of other umpires :

Other umpires, who are the 2nd base umpire, the 3rd base umpire and the backline umpire, shall in their duties

  1. make a ruling concerning a contested base at their own base
    The umpire-in-chief may overrule any other umpire's ruling to correct the decision.
  2. supervise the actions of the runners and the fielders, and inform the umpire-in-chief of any possible violations
  3. make a ruling on the fairness of hits targeted near the sidelines or the backline
    The 2nd base umpire may enforce his foul signal with a whistle call if necessary.
  4. observe the ball's movement and signal if it ends in a limited area
  5. show a made catch with a marker signal.

The duty of the official scorer is to keep the official scoresheet and to ensure that the teams conduct their batting in the order entered on the scoresheet.

If he notices an infraction, he shall immediately inform the umpire-in-chief.

The scorer shall also make sure that the umpire-in-chief verifies and signs the official scoresheet immediately after the game. 

46 § Ruling on indistinct situations

If the umpires cannot make a distinction necessary to rule on a play, a ruling shall be made to the benefit of the offensive player.

If a contested base cannot be distinctly ruled on, the runner shall not be put out.

If a hit cannot be distinctly ruled foul, it shall be ruled fair.

47 § Spectator interference

If the spectators intentionally interfere with the play, the umpire-in-chief shall make a ruling on the result of the play as it would by his judgement have continued if there had been no interference.

If the interference is not ruled to be intentional, no interference shall be called on the play, and the play will continue normally.

The umpire-in-chief shows spectator interference with a hand signal. While this signal is in effect, no whistle call shall be made until the runners have advanced as far as they desire. After that, a stop play is called and the runners are placed on the bases they would have reached (according to the judgement of the umpire-in-chief). In this situation the runners cannot be put out, neither can they be placed on base further than they actually had advanced.

48 § Incorrect call

If umpires make an incorrect whistle call which may have influenced the outcome of a play, the play shall be nullified and replayed. Exception: if a fair hit, which was incorrectly called foul, was not stopped by the fielders and (according to the judgement of the umpire-in-chief) could not have been stopped, the outcome of the play shall be ruled on as it would have been if no call had been made, and the runners shall be granted as many bases as they could have advanced on the hit without risk.

49 § The official signals

The whistle signals shall be made with a clearly audible whistle as follows :

Start of game/ end of game: Three long blows  _  _  _

Stop play/ continue play: One long blow  _

Foul hit: Short and long blows , _ , _ , _

Catch: Several short blows  , , , , , ,

Out: Two sharp blows  -  -

Change of inning: Long blow and several short blows  _ , , , ,

 

Official hand signals used by the umpire-in-chief. See the hand signals by clicking here.

50 § Penalties

The umpire-in-chief can penalize violations by following actions :

  1. giving a notice
  2. returning an offensive player to the base he last had safety on
  3. nullifying a runner's advancing and removing him from the field
  4. calling a player put ou
  5. granting a walk to offensive player(s)
  6. giving a warning (1 point, by showing a yellow card)
  7. suspending a player for the rest of the game (2 points, by showing a red card)
    If a player is suspended for the rest of the game, a substitute can replace him. The suspended player may not stay in the field area within the spectator boundaries. If an offensive player had not reached final decision when suspended, he shall also be put out.
  8. ejecting a player from the game (3 points, by showing both cards at the same time)
    A player or manager who is ejected may not stay in the field area within the spectator boundaries. No substitute may be brought in to replace the ejected player. The team whose player or manager has been ejected is penalized with a technical out called every time the team starts its offensive half. The umpire-in-chief shall always report the incident leading to an ejection to the controlling body of the league.

A notice shall usually be given for

  • minor interference violations
  • first distracting shouts
  • minor arguing or taunting not audible to the spectators

A warning shall usually be given for

  • visibly or audibly protesting against a ruling
  • a clear violation of sportsmanlike conduct
  • entering the field during play (manager)
  • leaving the field area (going outside the spectator boundaries) without permission
    If several players leave the field area, the first one to do so shall be penalized with a warning. If a whole team leaves the field area without permission, the warning shall be given to the team speaker.
  • short-cutting the flagpole
  • intentionally hitting the ball into the spectator area
  • repeating a violation penalized with a notice on the previous occasion

A suspension shall usually be ruled for

  • a physical violation against an umpire, a team member or a spectator
  • a physical insult against an umpire (shoving, pulling down his cap, throwing sand)
  • intentionally distracting play by introducing a second ball into the game
    The player who introduced the second ball into the game shall be penalized.
  • intentionally hitting the ball into the spectator area and causing an injury
  • repeating a violation previously penalized with a one-point warning
    Signalled with a red card. The player or manager receives 2 (1+1) penalty points.
  • third warning to the members of the same team
    Signalled with a red card. The player or manager receives only one penalty point.

An ejection shall only be ruled for a flagrant physical violation.

Penalties 6-8 are given in the umpire zone. The penalized player and his team speaker shall be present, and the umpire-in-chief shall announce the level of the warning and the type of violation which caused it. These facts shall also be entered on the scoresheet. The umpire-in-chief has the right to give a warning immediately to a player who protests audibly or visibly against ruling without calling his team speaker present.

If the manager is penalized with an action that cannot be applied to him, for example putting him out, or if no particular player cannot be found guilty of a team violation, the out shall be called on the player currently in turn at bat, but he will remain at bat.

The umpire-in-chief has the right to penalize violations which has been noted in the field area. The right to penalize begins at a moment the umpire enters the playing area to begin the game and continues without a break ending at a moment the umpire leaves the playing area after he has announced the result of the game. The umpire-in-chief has a duty to report other occurrences which don't comply with the rules and competition orders to the controlling body of the league.

A person, who has received two (2) penalty points in official games or been suspended fo the rest of the game, shall be put to one game suspension. If the criteria are met simultaneously, a person shall be put to two game suspension. The suspension is valid automately. Penalty points superseding two remain in force. If a person again receives two penalty points after a suspension, he shall be put in a suspension twice as long as his previous. A team which has used a player in suspension, shall be punished like a team which has used a non-valid player, undepending if the controlling body of the league has dealed with the issue beforehand. The suspension which has not been served shall be transferred in to the next season.

51 § Filing a complaint

A team can file a complaint, if it considers any ruling or action in the game to be in contradiction with these rules or league regulations. The team speaker shall announce the complaint to the umpire-in-chief immediately after the incident, before the next pitch.

A complaint concerning the field, equipment or other preparations for the game shall be entered on the scoresheet 10 minutes before the pre-announced game time. The umpire-in-chief shall confirm the complaint with his signature.

If the complaint concerns the actions of the umpires, the complaint shall be reinforced by the team after the game, or it will not be taken into consideration. If the team files a complaint on the actions of the umpires, the team speakers of both teams and each umpire shall write a report on the incident within an hour after the end of game. The reports shall be sent to the controlling body of the league together with the scoresheet.

A complaint that has not been filed according to these rules shall not be processed.

If a complaint concerns the players of the opposing team, the game must still be played.

A game may be nullified and replayed, if the game is found not to have been conducted in complete accordance with these rules and league regulations.