NFHS Interpretations

SITUATION 1: The visiting team is wearing a vest-style jersey top over a white shirt with sleeves that end at the elbow. The coach of the home team complains that the pitcher's uniform is illegal since the shirt under the vest is white. RULING: The pitcher's uniform is legal. The shirt under the vest is considered to be part of the uniform and not an undergarment. If the shirt worn with the vest top is white, it is legal provided the sleeves do not extend below the elbow.  (1-4-2)

SITUATION 2: The pitcher is wearing a vest top over (a) a long-sleeve black shirt or, (b) a long-sleeve white shirt. RULING: The pitcher's uniform in (a) is legal. In (b), the long-sleeve white shirt is not legal and must be replaced with either a long-sleeve shirt that is not white or gray, or a short-sleeve shirt, white or any non-distracting color, before the next pitch.  (1-4-2)

SITUATION 3: The home team is wearing a vest-style top over a long-sleeve white shirt. The visiting coach complains that this is not legal for the pitcher, but the home team's coach says the pitcher is simply dressed like the rest of his team. RULING: The pitcher may not wear a long-sleeve shirt with the vest top that is white or gray. He may wear a short-sleeve white shirt or a long-sleeve shirt that is not white, gray or distracting. It is permissible, if his team is wearing a long-sleeve white shirt with the vest, for the pitcher to wear a short-sleeve white shirt or a long-sleeve shirt that is a different color from the rest of the team. (1-4-2)

SITUATION 4: The pitcher is wearing a white compression type-sleeve on his pitching arm. The opposing coach states that he cannot wear it and, therefore, must remove it. RULING: A compression or medical-type sleeve may be worn by any player, including the pitcher. If it is white and worn on the pitching arm, it cannot extend below the elbow.  (1-4-2)

SITUATION 5: The pitcher is wearing a white compression sleeve on his pitching arm that extends below the elbow. RULING: This is not allowed. While a pitcher may wear a compression sleeve, if it is white and worn on his pitching arm, it may not extend below his elbow. A compression sleeve of any length that is neither white nor gray, or deemed to be distracting, may be worn by the pitcher on either arm.  (1-4-2)

SITUATION 6: The pitcher is wearing (a) a white compression sleeve that extends from his bicep to his wrist on his non-throwing arm or (b) a compression sleeve that has a light-blue spider-web design. RULING: In (a), provided this is not deemed to be distracting, it is allowed. In (b), provided it is not distracting, it may be worn on either arm.  (1-4-2)

SITUATION 7: With a count of 3-2, the batter permits a pitch that is a ball to hit him. RULING: Although the batter did permit the pitch to hit him, he will be awarded first base since it was ball four.  (7-3-4 Penalty)

SITUATION 8: With runners on first base and third base and one out, the runner from first base attempts to steal second base. The catcher, despite batter interference, throws out the runner from first at second as the runner from third scores. The defensive coach states he wants the penalty for batter interference and not the result of the play. RULING: The defensive coach does not have the option to take the penalty for the batter interference or the result of the play. Since the runner was tagged out, the ball remains live and the interference is ignored.  The run scores.  (7-3-5 Penalty)

SITUATION 9: The home team is using a DH for its pitcher. The DH is listed to hit in the No. four spot in the lineup. On the lineup card posted in the dugout, the coach places the DH in the No. four spot and the pitcher in the No. 10 spot. The pitcher misunderstands the lineup and comes to bat after the ninth player. With the pitcher at bat and a 2-2 count, the opposing team brings the infraction to the attention of the umpire. RULING: This is illegal substitution, not batting out of order. The pitcher is declared out and restricted to the bench for the remainder of the game. The role of the DH is terminated and the player who batted in the No. 1 spot is considered to have been substituted for in the game and may return only if he has re-entry eligibility.  (2-36-3d, 3-1-1, 3-1-3, 3-1-4a)

SITUATION 10: The batter squares to bunt with both feet in the batter's box, but his knee is touching home plate when he bunts the pitch foul. RULING: The batter is out because he was touching home plate when he hit the ball.  (7-3-2)

SITUATION 11: With runners on first base and second base, the batter hits a clean single to left center field. As the runner from second is rounding third base, the catcher picks up the bat and places it in front of home plate in the base line from third base. The runner must alter his stride to avoid the bat. RULING: This is obstruction by the catcher. If the runner does not score on the play, he will be awarded home. The catcher could additionally be warned or ejected for his behavior that is not in accordance with the spirit of fair play.  (2-22-1, 8-3-2, 3-3-1g-4 penalty)

SITUATION 12: No outs, runners on first base and third base. A ground ball is hit to the second baseman, who throws home in an attempt to put out the runner advancing from third. The throw is late and wide of the plate and the runner easily slides across the plate. The catcher receives the throw and is preparing to throw to first when he is contacted (not maliciously) by the runner after he has slid across home. The throw to first is wild. The batter-runner had not yet made it to first base. RULING: This is interference by the runner from third.  The ball is dead at the time of the interference. Since this is not a force-play slide situation, the run will count, the batter will be declared out for the interference, and the runner from first base will be placed at the base he occupied at the time of the interference.  (2-21-1a, 2-32-2c, 8-4-2f)

SITUATION 13: Runner on third with two outs. The batter swings at a pitch in the dirt for strike three and begins to advance to first base. The runner from third scores before the catcher, in an attempt to record the out at first, throws and hits the batter-runner who is out of the running lane.  The offensive team's coach says the run should count since the runner scored prior to the interference. RULING: The run does not count. A run is not scored if the runner advances to home plate during action in which the third out is made by the batter-runner before he touches first base.  (9-1-1a)

SITUATION 14: One out with runners at second base and third base. The batter hits a fly ball deep to center field. The runner at second base goes halfway, but the runner at third begins to advance to home. The coach grabs him and pushes him back to tag third base. The ball bounces and goes over the fence for a ground-rule double. RULING: The ball is dead when it bounces over the fence. The runner at third is declared out due to the coach's interference. The runner at second is returned to second due to the interference. The batter-runner will be awarded second base for the ground-rule double, which will advance the runner from second base to third base.  (3-2-2 Penalty, 8-3-3c)

SITUATION 15: With runners at first and second and one out, the batter hits a bounding ball to left field. The runner from second touches third and is obstructed advancing to home. The obstructed runner then interferes with the catcher attempting to make a play on the runner from first advancing to third base. RULING: The penalties are enforced in the order in which the infractions occurred. The runner advancing from second is awarded home. Following the enforcement for the obstruction, the interference is penalized. The runner from first is declared out and the batter-runner is returned to the base he legally occupied at the time of the interference. Had the interference been malicious in nature, the obstructed runner would be declared out in addition to the out on the runner from first.  (2-22-1, 2-21-1a, 3-3-1n Penalty, 8-4-2e, 8-4-2g)

SITUATION 16: The batter-runner hits a ground ball to the shortstop who goes deep into the hole to field the ball. As the shortstop makes the throw, the batter veers into the first baseman in an attempt to disrupt the play. RULING: While this is not a violation of the runner's lane, the batter is out for intentionally interfering with the throw. The ball is dead when the interference occurs.  (8-4-2g, 8-4-1g)

SITUATION 17: As the batter-runner nears first base, attempting to beat out a ground ball to third, he intentionally steps on the first baseman's foot to disrupt the play. RULING: The batter is out and ejected for malicious contact. Other runners on base would be returned to the base occupied at the time of the interference.  (2-21-1b, 3-3-1n Penalty)

SITUATION 18: On a batted ball down the right-field line, the ball bounces over the right fielder's head, and ricochets off the foul pole above the fence and back onto the field. The right fielder retrieves the ball and throws out the batter-runner at second base. The defensive coach says the play should stand since the ball never left the field, while the offensive coach says the out should not stand.  RULING: The out will not stand. The hit is considered to be a ground-rule double, since the ball would have bounced over the fence. The ball is dead when it struck the foul pole over the fence.  (8-3-3c, 5-1-1f-4)

SITUATION 19: Having scouted the opposing team, the defensive coach brings the left fielder in to assume an infield position between the second baseman and the first baseman. The batter hits a ground ball to the "additional" infielder who throws the ball into the dugout on the first play. RULING: Two bases will be awarded to runners on base from the time of the pitch. The left fielder is considered at the time of the play to be an infielder. (8-3-5, 2-13-3)

SITUATION 20: Having scouted the player coming to bat, the defensive coach moves the second baseman to the outfield, thereby having four fielders equally spaced in the outfield. The second baseman, now playing in the outfield, takes a batted ball on the bounce and throws it into a dead-ball area. RULING: Two bases will be awarded to the runners from the time of the throw. The second baseman is considered at the time of this play to be an outfielder.  (8-3-5, 2-13-3