February 06, 2003

NATIONAL PLAYING RULES OF Professional Base Ball Clubs. 28



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RULE 1. The Ground must be an enclosed field, sufficient in size to
enable each player to play in his position as required by these Rules.

RULE 2. The Infield must be a space of ground thirty yards square.


RULE 3. The Bases must be

SEC. 1. Four in number, and designated as First Base, Second Base, Third
Base and Home Base.

SEC. 2. The Home Base must be of whitened rubber twelve inches square, so
fixed in the ground as to be even with the surface, and so placed in the
corner of the infield that two of its sides will form part of the
boundaries of said infield.

SEC. 3. The First, Second and Third Bases must be canvas bags, fifteen
inches square, painted white, and filled with some soft material, and so
placed that the center of the second base shall be upon its corner of the
infield, and the center of the first and third bases shall be on the lines
running to and from second base and seven and one-half inches from the
foul lines, providing that each base shall be entirely within the foul

SEC. 4. All the bases must be securely fastened in their positions, and
so placed as to be distinctly seen by the Umpire.


RULE 4. The Foul Lines must be drawn in straight lines from the outer
corner of the Home Base, along the outer edge of the First and Third
Bases, to the boundaries of the Ground.


RULE 5. The Pitcher's Lines must be straight lines forming the boundaries
of a space of ground, in the infield, five and one-half feet long by four
feet wide, distant fifty feet from the center of the Home Base, and so
placed that the five and one half feet lines would each be two feet
distant from and parallel with a straight line passing through the center
of the Home and Second Bases. Each corner of this space must be marked by
a flat iron plate or stone six inches square, fixed in the ground even
with the surface.

RULE 6. The Catcher's Lines must be drawn from the outer corner of the
Home Base, in continuation of the Foul Lines, straight to the limits of
the Ground back of Home Base.

RULE 7. The Captain's or Coacher's Lines must be a line fifteen feet from
and parallel with the Foul Lines, said lines commencing at a line parallel
with and seventy-five feet distant from the catcher's lines, and running
thence to the limits of the grounds.

RULE 8. The Players' Lines must be drawn from the Catcher's Lines to the
limits of the Ground, fifty feet distant from and parallel with, the foul

RULE 9. The Batsman's Lines must be straight lines forming the boundaries
of a space on the right, and of a similar space on the left of the Home
Base, six feet long by four feet wide, extending three feet in front of
and three feet behind the center of the Home Base, and with its nearest
line distant six inches from the Home Base.

RULE 10. The Three Feet Lines must be drawn as follows: From a point on
the Foul Line from Home Base to First Base, and equally distant from such
bases, shall be drawn a line on Foul Ground, at a right angle to said Foul
Line, and to a point three feet distant from it; thence running parallel
with said Foul Line, to a point three feet distant from the First Base;
thence in a straight line to the Foul Line, and thence upon the Foul Line
to point of beginning.

RULE 11. The lines designated in Rules 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 must be
marked with chalk or other suitable material, so as to be distinctly seen
by the Umpire. They must all be so marked their entire length, except the
Captain's and Player's Lines, which must be so marked for a distance of at
least thirty-five yards from the Catcher's Lines.


RULE 12. The Ball.

SEC. 1. Must not weigh less than five or more than five and one-quarter
ounces avoirdupois, and measure not less than nine nor more than nine and
one-quarter inches in circumference. The Spalding League Ball, or the
Reach American Association Ball must be used in all games played under
these rules.

SEC. 2. For each championship game two balls shall be furnished by the
Home Club to the Umpire for use. When the ball in play is batted over the
fence or stands, on to foul ground out of sight of the players, the other
ball shall be immediately put into play by the Umpire. As often as one of
the two in use shall be lost, a new one must be substituted, so that the
Umpire may at all times, after the game begins, have two for use. The
moment the Umpire delivers the alternate ball to the catcher or pitcher it
comes into play, and shall not be exchanged until it, in turn, passes out
of sight on to foul ground.

SEC. 3. In all games the ball or balls played with shall be furnished by
the Home Club, and the last ball in play becomes the property of the
winning club. Each ball to be used in championship games shall be
examined, measured and weighed by the Secretary of the Association,
inclosed in a paper box and sealed with the seal of the Secretary, which
seal shall not be broken except by the Umpire in the presence of the
captains of the two contesting nines after play has been called.

SEC. 4. Should the ball become out of shape, or cut or ripped so as to
expose the yarn, or in any way so injured as to be--in the opinion of the
Umpire--unfit for fair use, the Umpire, on being appealed to by either
captain, shall at once put the alternate ball into play and call for a new


RULE 13. The Bat.

SEC. 1. Must be made wholly of wood, except that the handle may be wound
with twine or a granulated substance applied, not to exceed eighteen
inches from the end.

SEC. 2. It must be round, except that a portion of the surface may be
flat on one side, but it must not exceed two and one-half inches in
diameter in the thickest part, and must not exceed forty-two inches in


RULE 14. The players of each club in a game shall be nine in number, one
of whom shall act as Captain, and in no case shall less than nine men be
allowed to play on each side.

RULE 15. The players' positions shall be such as may be assigned them by
their Captain, except that the Pitcher must take his position within the
Pitcher's Lines, as defined in Rule 5. When in position on the field, all
players will be designated "Fielders" in these rules.

RULE 16. Players in uniform shall not be permitted to seat themselves
among the spectators.

RULE 17. Every Club shall be required to adopt uniforms for its players,
and each player shall be required to present himself upon the field during
said game in a neat and cleanly condition, but no player shall attach
anything to the sole or heel of his shoes other than the ordinary base
ball shoe plate.


RULE 18. The pitcher shall take his position facing the batsman with both
feet square on the ground, one foot on the rear line of the "box." He
shall not raise either foot, unless in the act of delivering the ball, nor
make more than one step in such delivery. He shall hold the ball, before
the delivery, fairly in front of his body, and in sight of the Umpire.
When the pitcher feigns to throw the ball to a base he must resume the
above position and pause momentarily before delivering the ball to the bat.


RULE 19. The batsmen must take their positions within the Batsmen's
Lines, as defined in Rule 9, in the order in which they are named on _the
score_, which must contain the batting order of both nines, and be
submitted by the Captains of the opposing teams to the Umpire before the
game, and when approved by him THIS SCORE must be followed except in the
case of a substitute player, in which case the substitute must take the
place of the original player in the batting order. After the first inning
the first striker in each inning shall be the batsman whose name follows
that of the last man who has completed his turn--time at bat--in the
preceding inning.

RULE 20. SEC. 1. When their side goes to the bat the players must
immediately return to and seat themselves upon the players' bench and
remain there until the side is put out, except when batsman or base
runner. All bats not in use must be kept in the bat racks, and the two
players next succeeding the batsman, in the order in which they are named
on the score, must be ready with bat in hand to promptly take position as
batsman; provided, that the Captain and one assistant only may occupy the
space between the players' lines and the Captain's lines to coach base

SEC. 2. No player of the side at bat, except when Batsman, shall occupy
any portion of the space within the Catcher's Lines, as defined in Rule 6.
The triangular space behind the Home Base is reserved for the exclusive
use of the Umpire, Catcher and Batsman, and the Umpire must prohibit any
player of the side "at bat" from crossing the same at any time while the
ball is in the hands of, or passing between, the Pitcher and Catcher,
while standing in their positions.

SEC. 3. The players of the side "at bat" must occupy the portion of the
field allotted them, but must speedily vacate any portion thereof that may
be in the way of the ball, or of any Fielder attempting to catch or field


RULE 21. The Players' Benches must be furnished by the home club, and
placed upon a portion of the ground outside the Players' Lines. They must
be twelve feet in length, and must be immovably fastened to the ground. At
the end of each bench must be immovably fixed a bat rack, with fixtures
for holding twenty bats; one such rack must be designated for the
exclusive use of the Visiting Club, and the other for the exclusive use of
the Home Club.