FED Rule 7-3-1 – Batter delays the game by failing to take his position in the box. Must keep one foot in the box throughout the at bat.

I have never thought about enforcing it, and I’m going to try to put it into my games this year. Why not, right?


ART. 1 . . . Delay the game by failing to take his position promptly in the ­batter’s box within 20 seconds. The batter must keep at least one foot in the ­batter’s box throughout the time at bat.

EXCEPTION: A batter may leave the batter’s box when:

a. the batter swings at a pitch,

b. the batter is forced out of the box by the pitch,

c. the batter attempts a “drag bunt,”

d. the pitcher or catcher feints or attempts a play at any base,

e. the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound or takes a position more than five feet from the pitcher’s plate after receiving the ball,

f. a member of either team requests and is granted “Time,”

g. the catcher leaves the catcher’s box to adjust his equipment or give defensive signals, or

h. the catcher does not catch the pitched ball.

PENALTY: For failure of the batter to be ready within 20 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the umpire shall call a strike. If the batter leaves the batter’s box, delays the game, and none of the above exceptions apply, the plate umpire shall charge a strike to the batter. The pitcher need not pitch, and the ball remains live.


One response

  1. The only time I’d consider adding a strike to the count is if the batter is intentionally holding up the game. This usually happens if he’s upset with a called strike. I would warn him once, and if he doesn’t get back in the box I would then add a strike. That’s the only situation where I would consider adding a strike to the count off the top of my head. There may be more, but I can’t think of it. Minor league umpire Ron Teague did this in a double A game in Corpus Christie.

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