New 'Official Rules of Baseball

New!!!  "Official Rules of Baseball 2017" available under the LINKS menu or download here.

(There are 2 versions available  - with and without the rules duplicated in 2014 format.)

ORB_2017 (pdf file 725 Kb) -  without the duplication of rules in 2014 format

ORB_2017-2014 (pdf file 1 Mb)  -- presents rules in 2017  and  2014 format

Note that all Comments to Rules are now shaded. Previously, Rule Changes were shaded.

Changes to rules are summarized on page vi of the ORB document.

• Added Rule 9.14(d) regarding how the official scorer shall score an intentional walk when the defensive manager informs the umpire that a batter will be intentionally walked without the pitcher pitching four balls to the batter.

• Amended Definition of Terms (“Base on Balls”) to permit the manager to elect to intentionally walk a batter by notifying the umpire without the pitcher being required to pitch to the batter.  (See also amended Rule 5.05(b)(1) Comment.) 

Rule 5.05(b)(1) Comment (Rule 6.08(a ) Comment ):

A batter who is entitled to first base because of a base on balls, including an award of first base to a batter by an umpire following a signal from a manager, must go to first base and touch the base before other base runners are forced to advance. This applies when bases are full and applies when a substitute runner is put into the game.

9.14 (d) Base on Balls 

The official scorer shall score an intentional base on balls when a batter is awarded first base because the defensive team’s manager informs the umpire of the team’s intention to walk the batter.