4.00 Starting and Endinga Game

4.01 Unless the home club shallhave given previous notice that the game has been postponed or will be delayed instarting, the umpire, or umpires, shall enter the playing field five minutes beforethe hour set for the game to begin and proceed directly to home base where they shallbe met by the managers of the opposing teams. In sequence_
       (a) First, the home manager shall give his battingorder to the umpire in chief, in duplicate.
       (b) Next, the visiting manager shall give hisbatting order to the umpire in chief, in duplicate.
       (c) The umpire in chief shall make certain thatthe original and copies of the respective batting orders are identical, and thentender a copy of each batting order to the opposing manager. The copy retained bythe umpire shall be the official batting order. The tender of the batting order bythe umpire shall establish the batting orders. Thereafter, no substitutions shallbe made by either manager, except as provided in the rules.
       (d) As soon as the home team's batting orderis handed to the umpire in chief the umpires are in charge of the playing field andfrom that moment they shall have sole authority to determine when a game shall becalled, suspended or resumed on account of weather or the condition of the playingfield. Obvious errors in the batting order, which are noticed by the umpire in chiefbefore he calls "Play" for the start of the game, should be called to theattention of the manager or captain of the team in error, so the correction can bemade before the game starts. For example, if a manager has inadvertently listed onlyeight men in the batting order, or has listed two players with the same last namebut without an identifying initial and the errors are noticed by the umpire beforehe calls "play," he shall cause such error or errors to be corrected beforehe calls "play" to start the game. Teams should not be "trapped"later by some mistake that obviously was inadvertent and which can be corrected beforethe game starts.

4.02 The players of the home teamshall take their defensive positions, the first batter of the visiting team shalltake his position in the batter's box, the umpire shall call "Play" andthe game shall start.

4.03 When the ball is put in playat the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be onfair territory.
       (a) The catcher shall station himself directlyback of the plate. He may leave his position at any time to catch a pitch or makea play except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, thecatcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catcher's box until theball leaves the pitcher's hand.
       (b) The pitcher, while in the act of deliveringthe ball to the batter, shall take his legal position;
       (c) Except the pitcher and the catcher, anyfielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory;
       (d) Except the batter, or a runner attemptingto score, no offensive player shall cross the catcher's lines when the ball is inplay.

4.04 The batting order shall befollowed throughout the game unless a player is substituted for another. In thatcase the substitute shall take the place of the replaced player in the batting order.

4.05 (a) The offensive team shallstation two base coaches on the field during its term at bat, one near first baseand one near third base.
       (b) Base coaches shall be limited to two innumber and shall (1) be in team uniform, and (2) remain within the coach's box atall times.
PENALTY: The offending base coach shall be removed from the game, and shall leavethe playing field. It has been common practice for many years for some coaches toput one foot outside the coach's box or stand astride or otherwise be slightly outsidethe coaching box lines. The coach shall not be considered out of the box unless theopposing manager complains, and then, the umpire shall strictly enforce the ruleand require all coaches (on both teams) to remain in the coach's box at all times.It is also common practice for a coach who has a play at his base to leave the coach'sbox to signal the player to slide, advance or return to a base. This may be allowedif the coach does not interfere with the play in any manner.

4.06 (a) No manager, player, substitute,coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach's boxor on the playing field, or elsewhere_
             (1) Incite,or try to incite, by word or sign a demonstration by spectators;
             (2) Uselanguage which will in any manner refer to or reflect upon opposing players, an umpire,or any spectator;
             (3) Call"Time," or employ any other word or phrase or commit any act while theball is alive and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher commita balk.
             (4) Makeintentional contact with the umpire in any manner.
       (b) No fielder shall take a position in thebatter's line of vision, and with deliberate unsportsmanlike intent, act in a mannerto distract the batter.
PENALTY: The offender shall be removed from the game and shall leave the playingfield, and, if a balk is made, it shall be nullified.

4.07 When a manager, player, coachor trainer is ejected from a game, he shall leave the field immediately and takeno further part in that game. He shall remain in the club house or change to streetclothes and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand well removed fromthe vicinity of his team's bench or bullpen. If a manager, coach or player is undersuspension he may not be in the dugout or press box during the course of a game.

4.08 When the occupants of a player'sbench show violent disapproval of an umpire's decision, the umpire shall first givewarning that such disapproval shall cease. If such action continues_
PENALTY: The umpire shall order the offenders from the bench to the club house. Ifhe is unable to detect the offender, or offenders, he may clear the bench of allsubstitute players. The manager of the offending team shall have the privilege ofrecalling to the playing field only those players needed for substitution in thegame.

       (a) One run shall be scored each time a runnerlegally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three menare put out to end the inning. EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advancesto home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter runnerbefore he touches first base; (2) by any runner being forced out; or (3) by a precedingrunner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.
       (b) When the winning run is scored in the lasthalf inning of a regulation game, or in the last half of an extra inning, as theresult of a base on balls, hit batter or any other play with the bases full whichforces the runner on third to advance, the umpire shall not declare the game endeduntil the runner forced to advance from third has touched home base and the batterrunner has touched first base. An exception will be if fans rush onto the field andphysically prevent the runner from touching home plate or the batter from touchingfirst base. In such cases, the umpires shall award the runner the base because ofthe obstruction by the fans.
PENALTY: If the runner on third refuses to advance to and touch home base in a reasonabletime, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out the offending player and orderthe game resumed. If, with two out, the batter runner refuses to advance to and touchfirst base, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out the offending player, andorder the game resumed. If, before two are out, the batter runner refuses to advanceto and touch first base, the run shall count, but the offending player shall be calledout. Approved Ruling: No run shall score during a play in which the third out ismade by the batter runner before he touches first base. Example: One out, Jones onsecond, Smith on first. The batter, Brown, hits safely. Jones scores. Smith is outon the throw to the plate. Two outs. But Brown missed first base. The ball is thrownto first, an appeal is made, and Brown is out. Three outs. Since Jones crossed theplate during a play in which the third out was made by the batter runner before hetouched first base, Jones' run does not count. Approved Ruling: Following runnersare not affected by an act of a preceding runner unless two are out. Example: Oneout, Jones on second, Smith on first, and batter, Brown, hits home run inside thepark. Jones fails to touch third on his way to the plate. Smith and Brown score.The defense holds the ball on third, appeals to umpire, and Jones is out. Smith'sand Brown's runs count. Approved Ruling: Two out, Jones on second, Smith on firstand batter, Brown, hits home run inside the park. All three runs cross the plate.But Jones missed third base, and on appeal is declared out. Three outs. Smith's andBrown's runs are voided. No score on the play. Approved Ruling: One out, Jones onthird, Smith on second. Batter Brown flies out to center. Two out. Jones scores aftercatch and Smith scores on bad throw to plate. But Jones, on appeal, is adjudged tohave left third before the catch and is out. Three outs. No runs. Approved Ruling:Two out, bases full, batter hits home run over fence. Batter, on appeal, is declaredout for missing first base. Three outs. No run counts. Here is a general statementthat covers: When a runner misses a base and a fielder holds the ball on a missedbase, or on the base originally occupied by the runner if a fly ball is caught, andappeals for the umpire's decision, the runner is out when the umpire sustains theappeal; all runners may score if possible, except that with two out the runner isout at the moment he misses the bag, if an appeal is sustained as applied to thefollowing runners. Approved Ruling: One out, Jones on third, Smith on first, andBrown flies out to right field. Two outs. Jones tags up and scores after the catch.Smith attempted to return to first but the right fielder's throw beat him to thebase. three outs. But Jones scored before the throw to catch Smith reached firstbase, hence Jones' run counts. It was not a force play.

4.10 (a) A regulation game consistsof nine innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened (1) becausethe home team needs none of its half of the ninth inning or only a fraction of it,or (2) because the umpire calls the game. EXCEPTION: National Association leaguesmay adopt a rule providing that one or both games of a doubleheader shall be seveninnings in length. In such games, any of these rules applying to the ninth inningshall apply to the seventh inning.
       (b) If the score is tied after nine completedinnings play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runsthan the home team at the end of a completed inning, or (2) the home team scoresthe winning run in an uncompleted inning.
       (c) If a game is called, it is a regulationgame:
             (1) If fiveinnings have been completed;
             (2) If thehome team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half innings than thevisiting team has scored in five completed half innings;
             (3) If thehome team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.
       (d) If each team has the same number of runswhen the game ends, the umpire shall declare it a "Tie Game."
       (e) If a game is called before it has becomea regulation game, the umpire shall declare it "No Game."
       (f) Rain checks will not be honored for anyregulation or suspended game which has progressed to or beyond a point of play describedin 4.10(c)

4.11 The score of a regulationgame is the total number of runs scored by each team at the moment the game ends.
       (a) The game ends when the visiting team completesits half of the ninth inning if the home team is ahead.
       (b) The game ends when the ninth inning is completed,if the visiting team is ahead.
       (c) If the home team scores the winning runin its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), thegame ends immediately when the winning run is scored. EXCEPTION: If the last batterin a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter runner and all runnerson base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base running rules, and thegame ends when the batter runner touches home plate. APPROVED RULING: The batterhits a home run out of the playing field to win the game in the last half of theninth or an extra inning, but is called out for passing a preceding runner. The gameends immediately when the winning run is scored.
       (d) A called game ends at the moment the umpireterminates play. EXCEPTION: If the game is called while an inning is in progressand before it is completed, the game becomes a SUSPENDED game in each of the followingsituations:
             (1) Thevisiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the score and the home team hasnot scored;
             (2) Thevisiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead and the home team hasnot tied the score or retaken the lead. National Association Leagues may also adoptthe following rules for suspended games in addition to 4.11 (d) (1) & (2) above.(If adopted by a National Association League, Rule 4.10 (c) (d) & (e) would notapply to their games.):
             (3) Thegame has not become a regulation game (4 1/2 innings with the home team ahead, or5 innings with the visiting club ahead or tied).
             (4) Anyregulation game tied at the point play is stopped because of weather, curfew or otherreason.
             (5) If agame is suspended before it becomes a regulation game, and is continued prior toanother regularly scheduled game, the regularly scheduled game will be limited toseven innings.
             (6) If agame is suspended after it is a regulation game, and is continued prior to anotherregularly scheduled game, the regularly scheduled game will be a nine inning game.EXCEPTION: The above sections (3), (4), (5) & (6) will not apply to the lastscheduled game between the two teams during the championship season, or League Playoffs.Any suspended game not completed prior to the last scheduled game between the twoteams during the championship season, will become a called game.

       (a) A league shall adopt the following rulesproviding for completion at a future date of games terminated for any of the followingreasons:
             (1) A curfewimposed by law;
             (2) A timelimit permissible under league rules;
             (3) Lightfailure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.(Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment).
             (4) Darkness,when a law prevents the lights from being turned on.
             (5) Weather,if the game is called while an inning is in progress and before it is completed,and one of the following situations prevails:
                  (i) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the score, and the hometeam has not scored.
                  (ii) The visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the hometeam has not tied the score or retaken the lead.
       (b) Such games shall be known as suspended games.No game called because of a curfew, weather, or a time limit shall be a suspendedgame unless it has progressed far enough to have been a regulation game under theprovisions of Rule 4.10. A game called under the provisions of 4.12(a), (3) or (4)shall be a suspended game at any time after it starts. NOTE: Weather and similarconditions_4.12 (a) (1 through 5)_shall take precedence in determining whether acalled game shall be a suspended game. A game can only be considered a suspendedgame if stopped for any of the five (5) reasons specified in Section (a). Any regulationgame called due to weather with the score tied (unless situation outlined in 4.12(a) (5) (i) prevails) is a tie game and must be replayed in its entirety.
       (c) A suspended game shall be resumed and completedas follows:
             (1) Immediatelypreceding the next scheduled single game between the two clubs on the same grounds;or
             (2) Immediatelypreceding the next scheduled doubleheader between the two clubs on the same grounds,if no single game remains on the schedule; or
             (3) If suspendedon the last scheduled date between the two clubs in that city, transferred and playedon the grounds of the opposing club, if possible;
                  (i) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game, or
                  (ii) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader, if no single game remainson the schedule.
             (4) If asuspended game has not been resumed and completed on the last date scheduled forthe two clubs, it shall be a called game.
       (d) A suspended game shall be resumed at theexact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended gameis a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teamsshall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension,subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a playerwho had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before thesuspension may be returned to the lineup. A player who was not with the club whenthe game was suspended may be used as a substitute, even if he has taken the placeof a player no longer with the club who would not have been eligible because he hadbeen removed from the lineup before the game was suspended. If immediately priorto the call of a suspended game, a substitute pitcher has been announced but hasnot retired the side or pitched until the batter becomes a baserunner, such pitcher,when the suspended game is later resumed may, but is not required to start the resumedportion of the game. However, if he does not start he will be considered as havingbeen substituted for and may not be used in that game.
       (e) Rain checks will not be honored for anyregulation or suspended game which has progressed to or beyond a point of play describedin 4.10 (c).

       (a) (1) Only two championship games shall beplayed on one date. Completion of a suspended game shall not violate this rule. (2)If two games are scheduled to be played for one admission on one date, the firstgame shall be the regularly scheduled game for that date.
       (b) After the start of the first game of a doubleheader,that game shall be completed before the second game of the doubleheader shall begin.
       (c) The second game of a doubleheader shallstart twenty minutes after the first game is completed, unless a longer interval(not to exceed thirty minutes) is declared by the umpire in chief and announced tothe opposing managers at the end of the first game. EXCEPTION: If the league presidenthas approved a request of the home club for a longer interval between games for somespecial event, the umpire in chief shall declare such longer interval and announceit to the opposing managers. The umpire in chief of the first game shall be the timekeepercontrolling the interval between games.
       (d) The umpire shall start the second game ofa doubleheader, if at all possible, and play shall continue as long as ground conditions,local time restrictions, or weather permit.
       (e) When a regularly scheduled doubleheaderis delayed in starting for any cause, any game that is started is the first gameof the doubleheader.
       (f) When a rescheduled game is part of a doubleheaderthe rescheduled game shall be the second game, and the first game shall be the regularlyscheduled game for that date.

4.14 The umpire in chief shallorder the playing field lights turned on whenever in his opinion darkness makes furtherplay in daylight hazardous.

4.15 A game may be forfeited tothe opposing team when a team_
       (a) Fails to appear upon the field, or beingupon the field, refuses to start play within five minutes after the umpire has called"Play" at the appointed hour for beginning the game, unless such delayedappearance is, in the umpire's judgment, unavoidable;
       (b) Employs tactics palpably designed to delayor shorten the game;
       (c) Refuses to continue play during a game unlessthe game has been suspended or terminated by the umpire;
       (d) Fails to resume play, after a suspension,within one minute after the umpire has called "Play;"
       (e) After warning by the umpire, willfully andpersistently violates any rules of the game;
       (f) Fails to obey within a reasonable time theumpire's order for removal of a player from the game;
       (g) Fails to appear for the second game of adoubleheader within twenty minutes after the close of the first game unless the umpirein chief of the first game shall have extended the time of the intermission.

4.16 A game shall be forfeitedto the visiting team if, after it has been suspended, the order of the umpire togroundskeepers respecting preparation of the field for resumption of play are notcomplied with.

4.17 A game shall be forfeitedto the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to place nine players on thefield.

4.18 If the umpire declares a gameforfeited he shall transmit a written report to the league president within twentyfour hours thereafter, but failure of such transmittal shall not effect the forfeiture.

4.19 PROTESTING GAMES. Each leagueshall adopt rules governing procedure for protesting a game, when a manager claimsthat an umpire's decision is in violation of these rules. No protest shall ever bepermitted on judgment decisions by the umpire. In all protested games, the decisionof the League President shall be final. Even if it is held that the protested decisionviolated the rules, no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion ofthe League President the violation adversely affected the protesting team's chancesof winning the game. Whenever a manager protests a game because of alleged misapplicationof the rules the protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified atthe time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch is made or a runneris retired. A protest arising on a game ending play may be filed until 12 noon thefollowing day with the League Office.

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