Printable Ground Rules and Gentleman’s Agreement Checklist
The purpose of ground rules will be to clarify issues not specifically covered by the
official rules or to allow gentlemen’s agreements regarding situations encountered
by our modern players and teams. However, care must be taken when considering
many of these options as they might not reflect the game as it was played in 1860.
___Will we allow overrunning of first base?
___Balls bounding from building, tree or other object: Will this count as one bound?
___Balls struck out of bounds, upon rooftops, lodging in tree, etc: Will this count as a
home run or a ground rule single, double, etc.?
___Balls overthrown into inaccessible areas: What advance will runners be allowed?
___If a backstop prevents a passed ball, will runners be allowed one or more extra
bases (or to score a run)?
___Fly balls dropped by fielders and then recovered before bounding twice: Will this
count as a "one bound fly" or viewed as an error with the ball still in play?
___If a ball is knocked out of the hand of a defender by a base runner, will the tag still
___Leading off: How far is allowable?
___Defenders distances from bases: How far is allowable?
___Stealing: Is unlimited stealing allowed, or is advancing allowed once the ball is in
hands of pitcher, after the ball is pitched, after ball passes home plate, after a passed
ball or error or only after the ball is struck?
___Deliberate sliding: Is this permitted, discouraged, fineable or will runner be
___After a no-bound fly ball is caught, must runners tag up (and then be allowed to
advance at risk) or will the ball be considered dead and runners allowed to return to
___When a ball is struck foul, does it become live again once in the hands of the
pitcher (wherever he is), making base runners who have not returned subject to put-
out or will it simply be considered dead and runners allowed to return to bases safely?
___Will we play nine innings or agree to a shorter game?
___If home team is ahead in the bottom of the last inning, should an equal number of
innings still be played or should we allow a walk-off win?
___Will we use a tally bell? Will the scoring runner be required to ring it?
___Will a runner crossing home plate be required to request that a run be tallied by
___If a team does not have enough players to replace one who is injured or has trouble
running, will a "pinch runner" be allowed?
___Will substitutions be allowed and will we allow unlimited substitutions?
___Will we substitute the modern batting order for the 1860 rotation?
___What shall be the policy on player-called time outs?
___Is there an order in which runners can be put out when forced?
___Shall we have the option of using a second ball to avoid delays while waiting for
the return of some foul or home run balls and will the replacement ball be swapped
when the original is returned?
___Do we agree to forego or overlook many of the administratively oriented portions
of Sections 27 through 36?