The Official Playing Rules Committee made the following changes to the Official Baseball Rules that will be relevant to leagues umpired by the HBUA and in effect for the 2017 season. Below is a summary of those relevant changes:
- Re-titled Rule 3.10 and added Rule 3.10(b) to prohibit the use of certain field markers on the field.
- Amended Rules 4.04(a) and 4.04(b) to clarify that the umpire-in-chief shall be the sole judge as to whether the second game of a doubleheader (conventional or split) shall not be started.
- Amended Rule 4.08(b) to clarify that the first game of a conventional or split doubleheader must be completed before the second game of such doubleheader begins.
- Amended Rules 5.03(b), 5.03(c), and 5.03 PENALTY regarding positioning of base coaches within the coaching boxes.
- Amended Rule 5.05(b)(1) Comment regarding the responsibilities of the batter-runner when the defensive manager elects an intentional base on balls without the pitcher being required to pitch to the batter. (Also see the amended rule “Base on Balls” in the Definition of Terms section.)
- Amended Rule 5.07(a) Comment specifying that a pitcher may not take a second step towards home plate with either foot or reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch. Specified penalty for such violation.
- Amended Rule 5.07(a)(2) Comment regarding the positioning of the pitcher’s pivot and free foot and whether he will pitch from the Windup or Set Position. Specified that the pitcher shall notify the umpire if he (the pitcher) is going to pitch from the Windup Position when his pivot foot and free foot are in a particular position.
- Amended Definition of Terms (“Base on Balls”) so that the manager may elect to intentionally walk a batter without the pitcher being required to pitch to that batter. (Also see amended Rule 5.01(b)(1) Comment.)
A more detailed explanation of each change is available for download at the bottom of this post.
Additionally, please click here to see rule changes specific to Baseball Ontario for the 2017 season.
Please note that ALL leagues officiated by the HBUA use the Official Rules of Baseball, except as otherwise provided by specific league rules. While some leagues may elect not to adopt certain rule changes (i.e. no-pitch intentional walk), the Official Rules (and any relevant changes) are in effect unless (until) a specific provision stating otherwise is published.
If there are any questions regarding changes to the Official Baseball Rules, please do not hesitate to reach out.