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Baseball  
NATIONAL FEDERATION SAFETY RULES

This list contains safety rules not in effect under the OBR unless amended by local League rules. Thus, for example, it does not include the requirement that cracked helmets may not be worn, for that is also the interpretation in the OBR.

Note: If the penalty is a "team warning," the umpire will eject the next person from that team who violates the rule.

Bats only used for warm-up: A player warming up at any location may use bats only, but the bats may be weighted, either permanently or by adding bat rings.

Carelessly thrown bats: No game participant may carelessly throw a bat. Penalty: Team warning.

Casts, splints, braces: All casts, splints, or braces must be padded. The pitcher may not wear a cast on his pitching arm.

Catcher warming up pitcher: Any non-adult using a crouch position while warming up a pitcher at any location must wear a mask and a cup (male only).

Catcher's mitt: The catcher's mitt may be of any size.

Catcher's safety equipment: The catcher must wear a helmet, a mask with a built-in or attached throat guard, a body protector, protective cup (if male), and protective shin guards.

Coach in box:
A coach may not have any object in the coaching box, other than a score book for keeping score.

Communicable disease procedures: When an athlete's injury results in bleeding: The bleeding must be stopped, the wound covered, and the uniform changed if it is excessively strained with blood.

Deliberately thrown bats or helmet: No player may deliberately throw a bat or helmet to register disgust, either with himself, another player, or the umpire. Penalty: Ejection without warning.

Designated media area: Media personnel may not be in live-ball area. Before the game the home team may designate a lined area for the media.

Ejected players: Ejected players must remain on the bench or under the direct supervision of a coach.

Face mask: A face-mask attached to a helmet at the time of manufacture, or attached afterwards according to specifications of the manufacturer, may be used.

Fake tag: A fielder without the ball may not simulate a tag. Penalty: (a) Obstruction. The affected runner is awarded the base he would have made without the fake tag. (b) Team warning.

Helmet seal of approval: All helmets worn by the batter, on-deck batter, runner, retired runner, student in the coaching box, or non-adult bat/ball shagger must bear the NOCSAE (National Operating Committee for Safety of Athletic Equipment) seal of approval. Penalty: The umpire will disallow the equipment.

Infield/outfield practice: No one may hit balls to the infield or outfield after the game has started.

Jewelry prohibited: Participating players may not wear jewelry. A medical alert bracelet is not jewelry and may be worn if it is taped to the body and clearly visible. Penalty: Team warning.

Limit of innings pitched:
Each state must adopt a rule that limits the number of innings any player may pitch within some arbitrary time period.

Magnetic base:
A magnetic base, designed to disengage its anchor on contact, is legal.

Malicious contact: A runner may not make malicious contact with a fielder, whether the fielder is in or out of the base path, or whether he has or doesn't have the ball. Penalty: Interference: The ball is dead, the runner is out, and other runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference. If the interference prevented a double play, the umpire will award the second out.

Metal bats: Metal bats are legal. They must have a safety grip of cork, tape, or composition material extending from 10 to 18 inches measured from the knob end. Slippery, electrician's tape is not legal. The knob must be securely fastened.

On-deck batter:
The on-deck batter must remain in the area of his on-deck circle while the pitcher is warming up.

On-deck circle:
The on-deck circle must be located a safe distance from home plate. The recommended distance is 37 feet.

Players occupy bench:
All players, unless in the coaching box, bullpen, on-deck circle, in the field, at bat, or on base must remain on their bench or in their dugout. No player may enter the area behind the catcher if the opposing pitcher and catcher have reached their positions. Penalty: Warning to the offender. Note: This is not a team warning.

Prostheses:
Players may wear artificial limbs.

Runner dives over fielder: A runner may not dive over a fielder. Penalty: The runner is out, but the ball remains alive unless the umpire calls interference.

Runner hurdles fielder:
A runner may not hurdle, jump over, or leap over a fielder unless the fielder is lying prone on the ground. Penalty: The runner is out, but the ball remains alive unless the umpire calls interference. Note: Jumping over a kneeling fielder is illegal.

Runner removes helmet: During a live ball a runner or retired runner may not remove his helmet while he is in live ball territory unless the ball goes dead without touching a defensive player or, after touching a defensive player, goes immediately to dead-ball territory. Penalty: Team warning.

Runner slides or avoids: A runner is out if the defense is playing on him and (1) he does not slide legally, causing illegal contact or thus altering the actions of a fielder in the act of making a play; or (2) on a force play does not slide in a direct line between the bases. Penalty: Interference. Ball is dead. Both the runner and the batter-runner are out.

Note 1: A runner on a force play may slide away from the fielder to avoid interference.

Note 2:
The runner establishes his base path as a direct line between his position and the base to which he must go.

Note 3: The runner is never required to slide. If he does slide, it must be legal. If he does not slide, he must avoid interfering with the play.

Legal slide: A legal slide may be either head first or foot first. In a foot-first slide one leg and buttock must be on the ground. The runner must be able to reach the base with either a hand or a foot.

Illegal slide: The runner may not use a rolling, cross-body, pop-up, or leg thrashing slide if he makes contact or alters the play. A raised leg must be no higher than the fielder's knee when he is standing. The runner may not slide beyond the base and make contact or alter the play. The runner may not attempt to injure the fielder.

Representative plays:


Play 1: R1. B1 hits to the second baseman, who shovels the ball to F6, crossing the bag. R1 swings to the outfield, and the throw to first is wild. Ruling: The runner slid toward the fielder and not in a direct line between bases. R1 and B1 are out.

Play 2: R1. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4, standing in front of the bag. R1 slides directly into the base, with one leg raised as high as the fielder's knee. The fielder cannot make a throw. Ruling: Legal slide, not interference.

Play 3: R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who tries -- not in time -- for the out at second. The second baseman throws the ball to first, and R1 pops-up on the base, jostling the fielder. Ruling: The contact occurred after the throw and did not alter the fielder's play. Not interference.

Play 4: R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4. F4 throws to first, and the ball hits R1 in the helmet. At the time R1 was: (a) six to eight feet from the bag; or (b) twenty to twenty five feet from the bag. Ruling: Interference in (a) but not in (b).

Play 5:
R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4. F4 throws to first, whereupon R1, standing up, crashes into him. The umpire judges the contact was malicious. Ruling: R1 is out and ejected. B1 is out. Though the contact occurred after the play, malicious contact is always defined as an attempt to injure the fielder, which made the runner's action illegal.

Safe base: The "safe base," a base with a colored extension into foul territory, is legal for use at first base.

Shoes: Shoes are required. They may have metal cleats, but track spikes are prohibited.

Tobacco: All team personnel are prohibited from using tobacco or tobacco-like products within the confines of the field. Umpires may not use tobacco or tobacco-like products in the vicinity of the field.

Unconscious player: A player rendered unconscious may not return to play that day without written permission from a physician.

Uniforms: A uniform may not have dangerous or reflective buttons or ornaments.

Wheelchairs: Umpires may not use canes, crutches, or wheelchairs on the field.

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