2019 Official Baseball Rule Changes

The Official Playing Rules Committee made the following changes that will be in effect for the 2019 season:

  • Amended Rule 4.03(e) to clarify Clubs’ rights regarding weather conditions.
  • Amended Rule 4.04(a) to be consistent with Rule 4.03(e) concerning Clubs’ rights during weather situations.
  • Added Rule 5.05(b)(2) Comment regarding a pitched ball touching jewelry worn by a batter.
  • Amended Rule 5.06(c)(7) to clarify situations when a pitched ball lodges in or against the umpire’s body, mask, or paraphernalia.
  • Amended Rule 5.06(c)(7) Comment regarding a player who intentionally places the baseball inside his uniform for the purpose of deceiving the runner(s).
  • Amended Rule 5.09(b)(7) regarding a runner who is struck by a batted ball before it has gone through or by an infielder.
  • Amended Rule 5.09(b)(7) (second paragraph) to clarify situations when a runner is struck by an Infield Fly.
  • Amended Rule 5.10(l) Comment regarding trips to the mound (the final paragraph is new).
  • Amended Rule 6.01(i)(1) regarding collisions with the catcher at home plate.
  • Added a sentence at the end of Rule 6.01(i) stating that reference to “the catcher” in Rule 6.01(i) also applies to other players covering home plate.
  • Amended Rule 7.03(a)(7) regarding forfeits when the team “fails to appear…” following the first game of a doubleheader to thirty minutes in order to agree with Rule 4.08(c).
  • Amended Definitions of Terms (“TAG”) with a new sentence at the end of the definition regarding jewelry worn by a player.
  • Amended Definitions of Terms (“TOUCH”) regarding jewelry worn by a player or umpire.

There were several other changes to the Official Rules that are relevant only to Major League and National Association (MiLB) play. Please note these rules do not apply to amateur baseball. As a reminder, Baseball Ontario / Baseball Canada use the Official Baseball Rules unless modified by the governing body. Therefore, all 2019 OBR changes are in effect immediately, unless otherwise stated by Baseball Ontario / Canada

2019 OBR Changes

Video examples of 2019 rule changes, as well as rule changes from Baseball Ontario, will be discussed in the coming days.