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The Official Rules of the Game.

By Chris Street, 10 October 2001.

  1. Newly-defined terms are printed in all CAPITALS.

The playing field is situated much as in baseball, with the following differences:

  1. Instead of base paths, there are three BASE TRACKS between each base.
  2. Each base track has its own bag at first, second and third base. However, there is only one home plate.
  3. A SAFE ZONE is indicated by a line through the base tracks 5 feet before and after each base.
  1. A HALF-INNING is the amount of time in which one team bats and the other fields. Each half-inning lasts until every player has come to the plate as a batter. Regardless of the number of outs incurred, all nine players will come to the plate in order.
  2. An INNING is made of two half-innings. Each game is made up of a number of innings agreed on beforehand by the team captains. One team is designated to hit in the first half-inning of each inning, and the other team hits in the second half-inning in each inning.
  3. A player who is OUT OF PLAY or simply OUT must leave the playing field and may not bat or run for the remainder of the half-inning.
  4. A BATTER is a player who has come to home plate to hit the ball.
  5. A BASERUNNER, or simply RUNNER, is a player who has reached the safe zone of a base or a batter who has hit a fair ball.
  1. A batter, while taking his turn at bat, must stand in the batter's box at all times.
  2. STRIKES and BALLS are called as in regular baseball. Four balls are a WALK, three strikes are a STRIKEOUT.
  3. A walk or HIT BATSMAN, occuring in the first through third batter, entitles all baserunners and the batsman to advance one base. A baserunner who ends on home plate scores and is out of play. If the walk or hit batsman occurs for the fourth through sixth batter, all runners and the batter advance two bases; runners formerly on third score and advance around to first base, runners formerly on second base score and are out of play. A walk or hit batsman, for the seventh, eighth, or ninth batter, results in all baserunners and the batter advancing around three bases.
  4. A batter who hits the ball fairly must take to one track legally and run. He becomes a baserunner.
  5. Runners must run forward at all times. Runners that run backwards are called out immediately.
  6. No runner within the lines of a safe zone may be tagged out.
  7. A batter or runner is in the safe zone if both of the heels of his feet are within the safe zone.
  8. Any two runners in the same safe zone may elect to exchange tracks. Once the exchange is made, runners must stop at the base and not continue running.
  9. Runners that exchange tracks must do so entirely within the safe zone. If either steps outside of the safe zone, he is out.
  10. A STATIONARY baserunner is any runner in the safe zone of first, second, or third base who either:
    • Is not advancing to the next base - i.e., is standing still in the safe zone.
    • Is exchanging tracks with another runner in the safe zone.
  11. A baserunner who is not stationary is ADVANCING.
  12. At no time may an advancing runner leave his track. If he does, he is called out of play and must leave the playing field.
  13. A track is OCCUPIED between two bases if any of the following are true:
    • There is a advancing runner (not in the safe zone) in that track between the two bases.
    • There is a stationary runner in that track, within the safe zone of the more advanced base.
  14. Any runner tagged by the ball who is not within a legally entered safe zone is out.
  15. Any runner advancing towards a base who fails to reach its safe zone before a fielder with the ball tags any of those bags within the safe zone of that base, is out.
  16. If the ball is hit fair and in play, a runner that enters the home plate safe zone from third base scores. He then has the option:
    • He may touch home plate and then continue running, in any legal track, towards first base.
    • If he elects (for some reason) not to continue to first base, he leaves the field of play and is out.
  17. A player that scores on a fairly hit ball in play, and then continues towards first base without first having touched the home plate, is out of play.
  18. If the ball is hit fair and out of play on the fly, it is a HOME RUN. All baserunners are entitled to advance legally to home plate. Each scores, and each then leaves the field out of play.
  19. Tracks can be DOUBLED UP, that is, be occupied between two bases by two players, only if all other tracks have at least one runner occupying them between the bases already.
  20. Any runner doubling up a track illegally is called out of play.
  21. In no case may a track be occupied between two bases by three players. If a third runner enters a track, he is called out. Hence, a runner who cannot advance without "tripling up" must stay stationary.
  22. Upon entering a safe zone, if a runner wishes to advance, but continuing in the same track would illegally double or triple up the track, the runner may switch tracks. Such a track switch must occur entirely within the safe zone, or the runner shall be called out. The base runner may continue advancing after such a track switch, if in his judgment he is able to advance another base.
  23. However, a runner switching tracks in any safe zone, at any time, when it is not necessary to do so, is out of play.
  24. In performing a track switch or track exchange, each player involved must first tag the bag in his former track, and then tag the bag in his new track. Failure to do so will result in the offender being called out.
  25. If, in performing a track switch or a track exchange, a runner interferes with the legal actions of another baserunner or any fielder, the interfering baserunner is called out of play.
  26. A runner scoring at home plate, who cannot advance legally, is out of play.
  27. Runners may, at risk of being put out, advance whenever the ball is alive and in play. Runners who advance a base without the benefit of the bat have STOLEN A BASE.
  28. Players who intend to advance once the track ahead is clear or a fielder has made a play must not stand stationary in the safe zone, but be poised to run, in order that preceding baserunners know their intent. Poised runners are considered advancing.
  29. If baserunner A in the safe zone is poised to advance, and a runner B from the preceding base, seeing this, begins to advance towards A's base in his track, and then A decides not to advance but remain stationary, the following happens:
    • If, by becoming stationary, the track is occupied by three players, A must take a stationary stance before B reaches the safe zone. If A does not do it, he must advance legally. If he does do it, B may return to his former base without liability to be put out.
    • If, by becoming stationary, the track is occupied by two or fewer players, B cannot return to his former base. He must continue advancing.
  30. A runner may not pass another runner in the same base track. If he does, the runner who passed the other is called out.
  31. Runners who jump in a base track are out.
  32. If any part of a runner's body touches the ground outside of his current base track by a voluntary action, he is out.
  33. Pinch runners are not allowed, unless to replace a runner removed from the field through no fault of his own (e.g., by injury.)
  34. A designated hitter may bat for any fielder, at the mutual agreement of the two teams.
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