The term "WBCI" shall refer to World Baseball Classic, Inc. and such designees, including its Technical Committee and the members thereof, as WBCI may delegate its duties to such designees from time to time.
The term "Team" shall refer to a national or territorial team participating in the World Baseball Classic tournament.
The term "Tournament" shall refer to the games of the World Baseball Classic, as scheduled by WBCI.
All questions arising out of the playing of the Tournament not provided for herein, nor covered by the Official Baseball Rules, shall be dealt with and decided by WBCI.
Each player on an approved Provisional Roster, as announced by WBCI on January 19, 2009, shall make himself available for pre-competition anti-doping testing, as directed by WBCI or a testing authority designated by WBCI.
Each player on a proposed or approved Provisional Roster shall, on or before January 16, 2009, have signed and filed with WBCI a Player Participation Agreement ("PPA") in a form approved by WBCI, unless WBCI grants an exception in regard to a player who has indicated his willingness to participate in the Tournament but has not yet returned a PPA to WBCI. If such an exception is granted, such player's PPA shall be submitted to WBCI as soon as practicable after January 16, 2006, but in no event later than the date for submission of a Team's Tournament Roster, as described below.
On or before February 22, 2009, each Team shall submit to WBCI a proposed Tournament Roster of no more than 28 players, each of whom must have been on that Team's approved Provisional Roster, plus one manager and at least five coaches. An approved Tournament Roster shall include at least 13 pitchers and at least two catchers. A Team may elect to have six uniformed coaches instead of five, if it so chooses, in which case the sixth uniformed coach shall be included within the maximum number of persons in the Team's delegation, as established by WBCI. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Team may name to its Tournament Roster a player who had not appeared on its approved Provisional Roster so long as such Team has first received written permission of WBCI. WBCI shall confirm its approval of a proposed Tournament Roster as soon as practicable after the submission of proposed Tournament Rosters. Adjustments to a proposed Tournament Roster may be made by a Team in consultation with WBCI if WBCI determines that other restrictions necessitate adjustment to a proposed Tournament Roster. (See, for example, Player Restrictions Per MLB Club, described below.)
In the event that a player is not permitted to be placed on a Tournament Roster because of a "Chronic Condition," or a Major League Club's objection to a player's participation in the Tournament is upheld by the WBC Disability Review Committee (see Medical Ineligibility and Medical Objections, below), such player shall be removed from the WBC Team's Provisional Roster and WBCI may permit such WBC Team to name a replacement to its Provisional Roster, by such dates and under such conditions as WBCI may require in each instance.
Each Team may add, with the prior approval of WBCI, up to a maximum of five players to its Tournament Roster on or before March 3, 2009, whether or not such players are on the Team's Provisional Roster at the time of the proposed addition, provided that if the Team's Tournament Roster already includes the maximum of 28 players at the time of a proposed addition, any proposed addition must be accompanied by the designation of a player who shall be removed from the Team's Tournament Roster in the event that the requested substitution is approved by WBCI.
Each manager or coach shall, on or before February 22, 2009, have signed and filed with WBCI a Manager/Coach Participation Agreement ("M/CPA") in a form approved by WBCI.
WBCI shall have the sole right to approve the players, manager, coaches, instructors and trainers for each Team. No player, manager or coach may appear on an approved Tournament Roster unless such person's participation in the tournament has been approved by WBCI.
No player, manager or coach shall participate for a Team in any World Baseball Classic tournament game unless such player, manager or coach is on such Team's approved Tournament Roster and has signed and submitted to WBCI a PPA, in the case of a player, or a M/CPA, in the case of a manager or coach.
A player, manager or coach may be replaced on a Tournament Roster only if the player, manager or coach is Disabled or on Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave, or dismissed from the Tournament for violation of anti-doping policies, as set forth below.
If a player is qualified for citizenship or to hold a passport under the laws of a nation represented by a Team, but has not been granted citizenship or been issued a passport, then the player may be made eligible by WBCI upon petition by the player or Team. Such petition must include documentary evidence showing to the satisfaction of WBCI that the player would be granted citizenship or a passport in due course under the laws of the nation represented by that Team, had the player applied for such citizenship or passport.
Each Team shall submit to WBCI on or before the time it submits its proposed Provisional Roster the evidence supporting the eligibility of each of the players on its proposed Provisional Roster, unless WBCI grants an extension in regard to a player. If such an extension is granted, evidence supporting the eligibility of such player shall be submitted to WBCI as soon as practicable after January 16, 2009, but in no event later than a date to be set by WBCI with respect to such player.
In the event a player is eligible to play on more than one Team, the Player may select the Team for which he wishes to play, provided that nothing shall prohibit such a player from declaring his willingness to play for any Team for which he is eligible to play.
If a player on a Team's approved Provisional Roster or approved Tournament Roster is subsequently determined, in the sole discretion of WBCI, not to have been eligible to participate for that Team, the player shall be removed from the Tournament Roster and shall not be eligible to play in the remainder of the Tournament. Such ineligible player may not be replaced on the Team's Tournament Roster. WBCI may, in its discretion, impose sanctions upon any Team that WBCI determines has used one or more ineligible players.
If a Major League Club objects, for a medical or other extraordinary reason, to the participation in the Tournament of a player under reserve to it, the WBCI Disability Review Committee shall rule on the objection. Any such objection must be made in writing, with any supporting materials, on or before January 30, 2009. The WBCI Disability Review Committee shall make best efforts to review and rule upon all such objections on or before February 13, 2009. WBCI may permit written objections after January 30, 2009, only if the objection is based on an injury or other circumstance that is not reasonably known to the objecting Club before such date. If an objection is upheld, then the player shall not be permitted to remain on a Provisional Roster or appear on an approved Tournament Roster.
A player so designated as Disabled shall be ineligible to participate in any further Tournament games. A Team may replace on its Tournament Roster a player designated as Disabled with another player who had appeared on that Team's approved Provisional Roster. A pitcher designated as Disabled may be replaced only by a pitcher and a player designated as Disabled who is other than a pitcher may be replaced only by a player other than a pitcher. A catcher who is designated as Disabled may be replaced only by a catcher, if the Disabled catcher would otherwise cause the Team to have fewer than two catchers. A Team must provide a written request for replacement to a person designated by WBCI and receive the approval of WBCI before such replacement appears in a Tournament game. If a player other than a catcher is injured in Round One of the Tournament, no replacement for such player shall play until the beginning of Round Two of the Tournament. If a player other than a catcher is injured in Round Two of the Tournament, no replacement for such player shall play until the semifinals of the Tournament. If a player is injured in the semifinals of the Tournament, no replacement for such player shall be permitted. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this paragraph, if the injured player is a catcher who would otherwise cause the Team to have fewer than two catchers, then the replacement catcher may play beginning with the next game in all circumstances. Replacements are subject to the player restrictions per MLB Club, set forth above. If the player designated as Disabled is a pitcher who must fulfill a mandatory rest period pursuant to these Rules, the replacement player shall be subject to the same requirement. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Team may name to its Tournament Roster a replacement who had not appeared on its approved Provisional Roster, provided such Team has first received written permission to do so from WBCI.
A player who is injured but not declared Disabled may, with the permission of his Team, return to his Major League Club during the Tournament for purposes of injury rehabilitation. A player who is so absent may not be replaced by another player during such absence.
The minimum period of Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave shall be three consecutive days and the maximum period of Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave shall be seven consecutive days, during which time the player is not permitted to be with the Team.
A player given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave shall not be counted on a Team's Tournament Roster for the duration of such leave. A player given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave may be replaced on the Tournament Roster by another player who had appeared on that Team's approved Provisional Roster. A pitcher given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave may be replaced only by a pitcher and a player other than a pitcher may be replaced only by a player other than a pitcher. A Team must provide notice to WBCI of such replacement and receive the approval of WBCI before such replacement appears in a Tournament game. Such replacement shall be subject to the same game and tournament Roster restrictions above to which the player he is replacing was subject. Upon expiration of a player's Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave, such player shall be reinstated to the Tournament Roster, the player who replaced the player given leave shall be removed from the Tournament Roster and the returning player shall likewise be subject to the same game and Tournament Roster restrictions to which the player who replaced him would otherwise have been subject. If replacement of a player on Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave would otherwise cause a Team's Tournament Roster to have fewer than two catchers, then any replacement shall be a catcher. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Team may name to its Tournament Roster a replacement who had not appeared on its approved Provisional Roster so long as such Team has first received written permission of WBCI.
A pitcher must:
For purposes of the pitcher use limitation rules, both semifinal games shall be deemed to have been played on the day of the latest semifinal game. If a pitcher reaches the maximum limit of pitches in a game during a batter's plate appearance, the pitcher may continue in the game until such plate appearance or the inning ends (e.g., by a third out made by catching a runner stealing), whichever comes first.
For purposes of the Rules described in the first four bullet points set forth above, days on which a pitcher pitches shall not count toward the rest periods mandated and described. By way of example, a pitcher who throws 51 pitches on March 5 shall not be eligible to pitch again until March 10, a pitcher who throws who throws 31 pitches on March 5 shall not be eligible to pitch again until March 7 and a pitcher who pitches on March 5 and March 6 shall not be eligible to pitch again until March 8. For purposes of applying these Rules, a game that extends past midnight shall be deemed to be the same "day" as the day the game began, but a suspended game resumed the next day shall be considered to be a new "day."
All of the foregoing pitching restrictions shall also apply in any exhibition game a Team may play to any player who is on the Reserve List of a Major League Baseball Club (within the meaning of the Major League Rules).
No position player (i.e., a player other than a pitcher) who is on the Reserve List of a Major League Baseball Club (within the meaning of the Major League Rules) shall be permitted to pitch for a WBC Team in (1) an exhibition game, under any circumstances, or (2) a Tournament game, unless the Game Operations Technical Committee has first given such WBC Team permission to do so in such Tournament game. Other than the foregoing, there shall be no restrictions on the use of position players.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall supervise the recording of the number of pitches thrown by each pitcher in a Tournament or exhibition game. There shall be a display or displays visible to both dugouts of the pitch count of the current pitcher. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall verify the accuracy of the pitch count displayed at the beginning of each half-inning. If a pitcher is within 20 pitches of a prescribed limit at the beginning of an inning, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall so inform an umpire, who shall cause both managers to be so informed. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall immediately notify the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has reached a limit set forth in the Rule (which includes finishing a batter's plate appearance, if necessary), whereupon the umpire-in-chief shall inform the pitcher's manager to remove the pitcher from the game immediately. WBCI shall ensure that appropriate communication links are established for the Game Operations Technical Committee to communicate with the Official Scorer and ballpark public address announcer.
If at the beginning of a game there are pitchers who need rest under these Rules and are not eligible to pitch in the game, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall so inform the umpires and such ineligibility shall be noted on the lineup card for that game. Overuse of a pitcher in a game, in violation of these Rules, or use of an ineligible pitcher in a Tournament game who should be resting, pursuant to these Rules, shall constitute grounds for a forfeit of that game and shall constitute grounds for sanctions against such Team by WBCI, which may include, without limitation, a declaration of a player's or players' ineligibility to participate for some or all remaining Tournament games.
For purposes of applying the pitcher use limitations in the event a Team plays twice on a single day (because a prior game was either postponed or suspended), the following rules apply:
Examples (by way of illustration, and not an exhaustive list):
(resumed suspended game)
|31 pitches||Must rest||Must rest||March 9||Must rest 1 day for 30+ pitches on March 7|
|25 pitches||55 pitches||Must rest||March 13||No rest for <30 pitches on March 7, then 4 days' rest for 50+ pitches on March 8|
|Does not pitch||20 pitches||30 pitches||March 13||Must rest 4 days for 50+ pitches on March 8|
|Does not pitch||30 pitches||Must rest||March 10||Must rest 1 day for 30+ pitches on March 8|
|Does not pitch||29 pitches||1 pitch||March 10||Must rest 1 day for 30+ pitches on March 8|
|20 pitches||30 pitches||Must rest||March 10||No rest for <30 on March 7, then must rest 1 day for 30+ pitches on March 8 and for consecutive days pitching|
|20 pitches||1 pitch||Must rest||March 10||No rest for <30 on March 7, then must rest 1 day for consecutive days pitching|
|20 pitches||Does not pitch||29 pitches||March 10||No rest for <30 on March 7, then must rest 1 day for consecutive days pitching|
|Does not pitch||15 pitches||14 pitches||March 9||No rest for <30 pitches on March 8|
For purposes of this rule, if the home Team reaches the 10-run differential in the seventh inning or later, or reaches the 15-run differential in the fifth inning or later, as the case may be, the game shall end immediately when the run accounting for the necessary run differential is scored, unless the last batter hits a home run out of the playing field, in which case the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate. If the batter hits a home run out of the playing field to win the game under this rule, but is called out for passing a preceding runner, the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored.
Extra innings. For any inning beginning with the 13th inning, the Team at bat shall begin the inning with runners on first and second base. The batter who leads off an inning shall continue to be the batter who would lead off the inning in the absence of this extra-innings rule. The runner on first base shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding the batter who leads off the inning. The runner on second base shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding the runner on first base. By way of example, if the #5 hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the 13th inning, the #3 player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base and the #4 player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on first base. Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the Official Baseball Rules. For purposes of calculating earned runs under the Official Baseball Rule 10.16(b), the runners who begin an inning on first and second base pursuant to this rule each shall be deemed to be runners who have reached first base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing Team or to any player.
Winning pitcher. Official Baseball Rules 10.17(a)(1) and 10.17(b) shall not apply to Tournament games. Instead, Official Baseball Rule 10.17(e) shall apply to the determination of the winning pitcher of each Tournament game.
Any game begun and then called before becoming a regulation game with a winning team shall become a suspended game (whether or not is has progressed through four and one-half or five innings), subject to the rules below.
A semifinal game in the Tournament that is tied after 14 complete innings of play may become a suspended game at any time thereafter if, in the judgment of the Game Operations Technical Committee, pitcher availability for both Teams would be substantially jeopardized by not suspending the game and pitcher availability would be substantially enhanced by resuming the game as a suspended game on the next day.
Any suspended game shall be resumed at a time and location determined by WBCI. WBCI will try to schedule the resumption of the game the next day, whenever practicable. If the final game of a round (i.e., Game 6 of that round's schedule) is called and would otherwise become a suspended game, then the game shall become a called tie game, shall not be resumed and prize money due for the winner of such round shall be split equally between the two Teams advancing to the next round.
Postponed games. Any game that is postponed before it has begun shall be rescheduled by WBCI, unless the final game of a round (i.e., Game 6 of that round's schedule) is postponed, in which case the game shall rescheduled only if WBCI determines that it is reasonable to do so. If a Game 6 is not rescheduled, prize money due for the winner of such round shall be split equally between the two Teams advancing to the next round.
Video replay review. Video replay review by the umpires shall be available to assist the umpires only in regard to plays involving home runs or potential home runs and, then, only in two circumstances:
The decision to use video replay review shall be in the sole discretion of the umpire crew chief. Neither Team shall have the right to insist on video replay review.
If the umpire crew chief determines that video replay review is appropriate, the umpire crew chief shall conduct the review himself with participation from at least one other member of the umpire crew. The umpire crew chief shall have discretion to select which other members of the crew participate in the review, provided that the umpires engaging in the video replay review shall include at least one MLB umpire and at least one non-MLB umpire and provided that at least one member of the umpire crew does not participate in the video replay review and instead remains on the field at all times during the video replay review process.
A video monitor shall be installed at each Tournament venue and shall be used solely for conducting video replay review by the umpire crew. A telephone with a direct link to the location from which the replay will originate shall be located next to the video monitor. No player, manager or coach from either Team shall be permitted to review the play using this video monitor.
The standard used by the umpire crew chief when reviewing a play with video replay shall be whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the umpire's decision on the field was incorrect and should be reversed. The decision regarding whether to reverse a call shall be in the sole discretion of the umpire crew chief. After the umpire crew chief has invoked video replay review, neither team shall be permitted to further argue the call. A player, manager or coach who continues to argue shall be treated in the same manner as one who argues balls and strikes.
Any decisions regarding the placement of base runners resulting from a call that is reversed shall be made by the umpire crew chief. Analogous to the remedies in cases of obstruction or spectator interference, the umpire crew chief shall place the base runners where he believes they would have been had the call been made properly. See Official Baseball Rules 3.16 Comment (placement of runners after spectator interference) and 7.06(a) (placement of runners after obstruction).
Umpires conducting video replay review shall be escorted on and off the field by security personnel. If the designated video monitor is located in an area of the ballpark accessible to the public, security personnel shall provide a secure environment for the umpires to conduct replay reviews.
Before each game, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall ensure that a technician or security officer tests the video replay review equipment and accompanying telephone link. In addition, before each game one of the umpires shall verify that both the video monitor and telephone links are working. If, for technical reasons occurring either before or during a game, no video replay is available, the umpire crew chief shall inform both managers and shall call the press box, so that a public address announcement can be made to that effect.
After an umpire crew chief conducts a video replay review, he shall immediately indicate to both benches and to the official scorer whether the call is reversed. If the call is reversed, the umpire crew chief shall then make any resulting award, including placement of base runners.
No substitutions of players shall take place while the umpires conduct a video replay review.
Light failure. If ballpark lights fail while a ball is in flight or a play is in progress, the plate umpire shall immediately call "Time." When play is resumed, either when the lights are turned on again or at a later date in a continued suspended game, each runner shall return to the last base the runner had touched at the moment the umpire called "Time." Should the batter be compelled to return to the batter's box, the batter shall assume the count of balls and strikes, if any, that prevailed at the moment the umpire called "Time."
Interpreters on field. An interpreter may accompany any manager or coach on a trip to the mound, in a discussion with an umpire on the field or on a trip to the field to tend to an injured player. Any such interpreter shall wear Team apparel suitable for an appearance on-field, such as a shirt or jacket with a Team or World Baseball Classic logo. Relief pitcher. When a pitcher warming up in the bullpen has been designated to the umpire-in-chief as a relief pitcher, at the call of the umpire, the pitcher must take a position on the pitching plate promptly. Any extra pitches thrown in the bullpen may be subtracted from the eight permissible from the mound.
Relief pitcher. When a pitcher warming up in the bullpen has been designated to the umpire-in-chief as a relief pitcher, at the call of the umpire, the pitcher must take a position on the pitching plate promptly. Any extra pitches thrown in the bullpen may be subtracted from the eight permissible from the mound.
Use of foreign substance. An umpire may ask a player for any equipment the umpire wishes to inspect for a foreign substance. If a player refuses to give the equipment to the umpire on request, the player should be warned that the player's refusal will subject the player to ejection from the game, and if the player continues to refuse, the umpire should eject the player. At no time should an umpire place hands on a player or use physical force to obtain the player's equipment. A pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Official Baseball Rule 8.02(b), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.
Substitutions. When notifying the umpire-in-chief of a substitution, pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 3.06, the manager should give the name of the substitute, the player's position in the batting order and the player's position on the field. When two or more substitute players of the defensive team enter the game at the same time, the manager shall, immediately before they take their positions as fielders, designate to the umpire-in-chief such players' positions in the team's batting order, and the umpire-in-chief shall so notify the Official Scorer. If this information is not immediately given to the umpire-in-chief, the umpire-in-chief shall have authority to designate the substitutes' places in the batting order.
It is not permissible for the manager to go to the mound, call for a new pitcher, and then inform the umpire of multiple substitutions with the intention of interchanging the batting order. The umpire-in-chief must be informed of the multiple substitutions before the manager calls for a new pitcher (if the manager wishes to interchange the batting order).
If a designated hitter is removed from a game, the substitute designated hitter need not be announced until it becomes such designated hitter's turn to bat.
Ball striking helmet. If a helmet comes off unintentionally and a batted ball subsequently hits the helmet in fair territory, the ball shall be considered in play and ruled fair or foul according to its position when it is touched by a defensive player or comes to rest. If a helmet comes off unintentionally and a batted ball subsequently hits the helmet in foul territory, the ball shall be a foul ball.
If a thrown ball hits a helmet that has come off unintentionally, the ball shall be in play.
For Round One, WBCI shall set forth a schedule for Games 1 and 2 of each pool, as follows: The winning Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play, and the winner of that game shall advance to Round Two and shall play in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Round One pool. The losing Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play. The losing Team in the game between the two Teams that had won their respective first games and the winning Team in the game between the two Teams that had lost their respective first games shall play in Game 5. The winning Team in Game 5 shall advance also to Round Two and shall play also in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Round One pool.
For Round Two, WBCI shall set forth a schedule for Games 1 and 2 of each pool, as follows: Each of Game 1 and Game 2 shall match a winner of a Round One pool against the runner-up of another Round One pool. The winning Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play, and the winner of that game shall advance to the Semifinals and shall play in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Round Two pool. The losing Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play. The losing Team in the game between the two Teams that had won their respective first games in Round Two and the winning Team in the game between the two teams that had lost their respective first games in Round Two shall play in Game 5. The winning Team in Game 5 shall advance also to the Semifinals and shall play also in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Round Two pool.
Each Semifinal game shall match a winner of a Round Two pool against a runner-up of the other Round Two pool. The winners of each Semifinal game shall meet in the Championship game of the Tournament.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall convene immediately a hearing on the protest at a place outside public view. Present at such hearing shall be the umpire-in-chief, the umpire crew chief (if different from the umpire-in-chief), the manager of each competing Team, the Game Operations Technical Committee, and any other umpire or umpires whose attendance the Game Operations Technical Committee may request, as well as any necessary interpreters. The Game Operations Technical Committee may, in its discretion, invite other persons to be present at such hearing. At such hearing, the protesting Team shall state all of the facts of the protest and cite the Official Baseball Rule or Rules, or other bases, upon which the Team's protest relies. No consideration shall be given to a protest unless notice is served on the umpire-in-chief as provided in this Rule. See Official Baseball Rule 4.19.After hearing the manager of the protesting Team, the opposing manager and the umpire or umpires present, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall excuse from the room the managers, the umpires and any other persons invited to the hearing, with the exception of any interpreters whose presence may be necessary. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall consult with staff designated before each game by WBCI who are expert on the Official Baseball Rules and who shall be made available for such consultation by WBCI. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall then confer and reach a decision on the protest as soon as possible so as not to interfere with the flow of the game or the well-being of the participating players. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall communicate their decision to the umpire-in-chief, the managers of the two Teams and the ballpark public address announcer. If the protest is allowed, the umpires shall make such rulings to reverse the action protested and shall then resume the game. If the protest is denied, the game shall resume from the point at which it had been interrupted. The determination of the protest shall not be subject to any appeal or other challenge in any forum.
In each pool in Round One, home team designations, for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules, shall be as follows:
In each pool in Round Two, home team designations, for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules, shall be as follows:
In each of the Semifinal games, the Team that finishes in first place in its Round Two pool shall be the home team (but in the event that a Game 6 of a Round Two pool is cancelled, called, not resumed or remains a tie game, then the Team from that pool without a loss shall be deemed to be the Team that won its Round Two pool, for purposes of being the home team in a Semifinal game). In the championship game, the Team with the higher winning percentage of games in the Tournament shall be the home team. If the Teams competing in the championship game have identical winning percentages in the tournament, then WBCI shall conduct a coin flip or draw to determine the home team.
The identity of the "home" Team for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules shall not affect the designation of pre-game practice times or assignments of dugouts or clubhouses. Such designations and assignments shall be made by WBCI without regard to which Team shall be the "home" Team for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall determine whether a game shall be postponed, suspended or terminated, in consultation with the umpire-in-chief after the game starts.
Approved Bats. In addition to the requirements of Official Baseball Rule 1.10, bat models must be reviewed and approved by WBCI in advance of the Tournament. Any bat model approved for Major League Baseball play shall be approved for Tournament play. Any bat model not approved for Major League Baseball play shall be submitted to WBCI for approval on or before a date to be determined by WBCI. WBCI shall impose criteria on the size and placement of manufacturers' trademarks on bats, color of bats and other characteristics that are substantially similar to the criteria used for Major League Baseball play.
Any bat made by any supplier that has not been approved for Major League Baseball play must be approved by WBCI before it is used in a Tournament game and must conform to the following rules:
WBCI shall prepare and send to the Teams a list of bat manufacturers that have submitted bats that conform to Official Playing Rule 1.10 and these Rules and that are approved for use in games.
Altered Bats. If a manager suspects an opposing player of using a corked or treated bat in violation of Official Baseball Rule 6.06(d), the manager may request the umpire crew chief to inspect and/or impound the bat for examination by WBCI. Each manager is limited to making such a request once per game and such request must be made either prior to or after the batter in question has batted. The actual process of batting shall not be interrupted. If the umpire's visual inspection reveals no irregularities, the bat will be further examined either in the city where the game is played or at a site determined by WBCI. Notwithstanding the manager's right to one challenge per game, the umpires may at any time during a game or before or after a game inspect and/or impound a bat or bats for testing. If exercised during a game, such action by an umpire may be in addition to the challenge rights of a manager. A player, manager, other Team personnel and a Team shall be subject to discipline by WBCI, if it is determined that a bat has been altered.Batting Gloves. No pitcher is permitted to wear a batting glove while pitching. Any player wearing a batting glove underneath a playing glove may not rub up balls for use by the pitcher.
Jewelry. No uniformed personnel may wear distracting jewelry of any kind during a game. This prohibition also applies to pins and other items being attached to any portion of the uniform (including the cap) or playing equipment.
Shoes. All players, coaches and managers must wear the same basic color of shoes, but the design of different manufacturers is allowed. The addition of tape to a shoe is not permitted and, if used, will mean the player, coach or manager is out of uniform. A player, and particularly a pitcher, shall not wear excessive or distracting flaps on shoes during a game. Time shall not be called during a game to allow a player to change shoes upon becoming a base runner. See Official Baseball Rule 1.11(g).
Pitcher's Gloves. Any pitcher starting or entering a game wearing a colored glove must wear the same colored glove for the pitcher's entire participation in that game. If, in an umpire's opinion, strings or other attachments to a pitcher's glove may cause a batter to be distracted, the umpire may order the pitcher to either remove or cut off the leather sting. A long leather string hanging from a pitcher's glove shall not be considered a foreign substance. See Official Baseball Rules 1.14 & 1.15.
Fielding Gloves. An umpire may measure questionable fielding gloves in the umpire's discretion or the opposing manager may request that a glove be measured. Measurements shall be made from the front, or receiving, side of the glove and the measuring tape shall be placed in contact with the glove and follow all contours. Each manager is limited to two such requests per game. All measurements shall be taken by the umpire between innings only. If a glove violates the Official Baseball Rules, the glove will be temporarily confiscated. A player refusing to obey an umpire's order in regard to a fielding glove may be ejected from the game. Play that has transpired prior to a fielding glove measurement will be allowed to stand. See Official Baseball Rules 1.12, 1.13, 1.14 & 1.15.
Elbow pads. No player is permitted to wear an elbow protection pad that exceeds 10 inches in length, as measured when the pad is lying flat. A nylon pad shall surround the shell of any elbow protection equipment. A manufacturer's logo on the protection pad may appear in one location and shall not exceed one square inch. Hand and wrist protective pads are permitted so long as the coverage of the hand and wrist areas is reasonable No player may wear a non-standard elbow protection pad, or any pad designed to protect the upper or lower arm, unless the player has an existing elbow or other arm injury and the Team has obtained the prior approval of the Game Operations Technical Committee to wear that particular non-standard equipment. To obtain such prior approval, the Team will be requested to provide the Game Operations Technical Committee with a description of the nature of the injury and the proposed elbow protection pad, along with any other information that the Game Operations Technical Committee may request.
No umpire may, directly or indirectly, ask any player, manager, coach, locker room attendant or other Team personnel for any autographs. Similarly, Team personnel, including any player, manager, coach or other field personnel (including locker room attendants), are prohibited from providing umpires with autographs except as may be approved by WBCI.
No umpire may ask for, take, sell or participate in or otherwise traffic in Team or WBCI property, such as baseballs, bats, uniforms, lineup cards and the like. No umpire may, directly or indirectly, validate, certify or authenticate as genuine or used in any game any baseball, bat, uniform or other object.
Any Team wishing to dispute a decision by an official scorer shall so advise the Game Operations Technical Committee within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the game, identifying the particular decision it disputes. Such notice may be given by electronic mail or telephone call to a number or numbers designated by the Game Operations Technical Committee. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall then consider whatever evidence it deems appropriate and determine whether the decision of the official scorer was clearly erroneous. If the Game Operations Technical Committee so determines, it shall inform the official scorer and the managers of both Teams of its decision and, if necessary, the official scorer shall revise the official report of the game to reflect such decision.
After each Tournament game, including forfeited games, the official scorer shall prepare a report listing the date of the game, where it was played, the names of the competing Teams and the umpires, the full score of the games, and all records of individual players compiled according to the system specified in the Official Baseball Rules and, in addition, as WBCI may require. The official scorer shall forward this report to WBCI's statistician after the game ends within a time specified by WBCI's statistician. The official scorer shall deliver a report of the game status of any suspended game (including players in the game at the time of suspension, players already removed from the game and pitch counts) to the Game Operations Technical Committee before leaving the ballpark.
WBCI shall have authority to discipline or remove any official scorer.
Official scorers should be accorded courtesy and cooperation by all Team personnel. Under no circumstances should official scorers be influenced or pressured regarding their calls. No Team personnel in the press box or on the field should attempt to intimidate official scorers into changing calls. If there are questions regarding a call that arise during the game, official scorers may be asked for an explanation between innings. The official scorer should not be interrupted while play is in progress.
All players, managers and coaches are required to be in uniform and are to wear only WBCI-issued apparel and equipment while on the field, in the dugout, in the bullpen and in any interview room up to 30 minutes following any game. No alterations, writing or illustrations are to be made to any part of the uniform. Each player shall wear a clean uniform at the start of a game. See also Official Baseball Rule 1.11.
Batting Practice Uniform. All players, managers and coaches are required to be in full uniform when batting practice begins. The batting practice uniform consists of a top and uniform pants. A player's top must be the Team's batting practice jersey or its authorized outerwear. All other non-authorized apparel must be worn underneath the uniform with no visible logos showing.
Game Uniform. All players, managers and coaches are required to be in full uniform at the conclusion of pre-game infield practice and at all times during a game while on the field, in the dugout, in the bullpen and in any interview room up to 30 minutes following any game. The game uniform consists of:
The Team designated as the "home team" for a game shall wear its "home" uniforms for that game, and the Team designated as the "visiting team" shall wear its "road" uniforms for that game. Undershirts. All players, managers and coaches are to wear the same color undershirt or t-shirt, as decided by WBCI. The only logos allowed on the neck of any authorized undershirts are the Team logo and the World Baseball Classic logo.
Equipment Manufacturer's Logo. Items such as wristbands, batting gloves, catcher's equipment and protective equipment may have one placement of a traditional footwear or equipment manufacturer's logo that is not oversized and is tastefully displayed.
Violations. Examples of violations of these Uniforms rules include, but are not limited to: markings, writing or illustrations on the outside of the cap or batting helmet; pins or other adornments attached to the cap or batting helmet; corporate identification or unauthorized logo visible on any part of the undershirt; and unapproved or altered outerwear. See Official Baseball Rule 1.17.
Numbers and Names. The uniform of every player, manager and coach shall contain a large, legible number on the back of the uniform jersey. Each Team shall assign each of its uniformed personnel an individual number, so that there are no duplicate numbers on one team. Each player, manager and coach shall wear the uniform number assigned to that person by the Team. Names on the back of uniforms are optional.
Helmets. No batter shall be permitted to take a position in the batter's box unless the batter is wearing protective headgear furnished by the batter's Team. Base runners must wear protective headgear. Each first-base and third-base coach shall wear a protective helmet while on the field.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall enforce these Uniforms rules and make recommendations to WBCI for discipline of violators.
Pre-game meeting. The Game Operations Technical Committee may conduct a pre-game meeting before each Tournament game, as described in the Supervision section of these rules. The meeting, if any, shall be held as nearly as possible to one hour before the scheduled game time.
Field measurements. The Game Operations Technical Committee, before the first Tournament game at any ballpark, shall supervise the measurement of the layout and preparation of the field, including the mound on the playing field and the mounds in each bullpen, to ensure that such measurements comply with the requirements of the Official Baseball Rules.
Bench, bullpen and field. No visitors shall be authorized to be in the dugout, in the bullpen or on the field during a game. No one except the following may occupy a bench or bullpen area during a game: manager; six coaches; players and substitutes in uniform, including disabled players (each of whom must be on a Tournament Roster); two bat boys or girls in uniform; two bullpen catchers; two trainers; one member of conditioning staff (e.g., strength or conditioning coach, physical therapist, etc.); one equipment or property person and two interpreters. All other personnel must exit the bench or bullpen area before game time, including batting practice pitchers, honorary coaches, VIPs, Minor League coaches, counselors, family members, masseurs/masseuses and personal trainers.
The only players allowed to stay in the bullpen during a game are pitchers and catchers and players or other persons serving as catchers. Substitute players entering the game at the end of a half-inning and designated hitters entering the game as defensive replacements shall be allowed to warm up in the bullpen. Players shall not warm up in fair or foul territory, other than in a bullpen.
Players in the bench area may not sit in photographer stands adjacent to dugouts and must remain in the dugout.
Disabled players are permitted to sit on the bench in uniform. Disabled players shall not shout at or harass the umpires or members of the opposing team, nor enter the playing field at any time, to participate in any arguments or confrontations or otherwise. Failure to comply with this Rule shall result in immediate ejection and the player may be disciplined by WBCI.
No children shall be permitted on the playing field after the gates are opened. Children who are participating in any pre-game program or ceremony approved by WBCI may be on the field during such program or ceremony.
The Game Operations Technical Committee may order the removal or other remediation of any impediment (including signage) that might interfere with
Signage behind home plate must not be rotated while the ball is in play. Rotation may occur only between innings. There is to be no rotation of signs between batters.
Pace-of-game. The amount of time between innings shall be as set for each game by WBCI, which shall provide that information to the Game Operations Technical Committee. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall so inform the umpires and the participating Teams. Umpires shall keep between-inning timings on the field. The home plate umpire shall signal "one more pitch" 45 seconds before the conclusion of a between-inning break. After signaling "one more pitch," the home plate umpire shall actively call the lead-off batter to approach home plate. The goal is to have the first pitch delivered as the inning break concludes. Umpires should not be lenient in granting a batter "time" once the batter is in the batter's box. Umpires should break up conferences on the mound quickly. On a second trip to the mound, a manager should signal to the bullpen for the new pitcher as quickly as possible. If a double switch is being made, the manager should go directly to the home plate umpire. Whenever possible, pinch-hitters should warm up prior to going to the on-deck circle. Unless there is a reason not to do so, the pinch-hitter should be in the on-deck circle while the preceding hitter is at bat. Each Team should have a backup catcher available between half-innings to warm up the pitcher if the game catcher has not finished putting on the protective equipment when the pitcher is ready to begin his warm-up. Batboys must have a second bat readily available in the event a hitter breaks a bat during play.
On-deck circle. The succeeding batter must occupy and kneel in the spot designated as the on-deck circle. Prior to the time a pinch-hitter has been announced, the next batter in the batting order must occupy the on-deck circle. No other player of the side at bat shall be permitted on the field except the batter, base runners and coaches. A catcher shall not wear shin guards while in the on-deck circle.
Retractable roofs. In any Tournament game played in a ballpark with a retractable roof, the decision as to whether a game begins with the roof open or closed rests solely with the Game Operations Technical Committee.
If a game begins with the roof open, the roof shall be closed only in the event of impending rain or other adverse weather conditions. The decision to close the roof shall be made by the Game Operations Technical Committee, after consultation with the Umpire Crew Chief. Once the roof is closed during a game, it shall not be reopened.
If the game begins with the roof closed, the roof may be opened when, in the opinion of the Game Operations Technical Committee, the climatic environment has reached a level where fan comfort and enjoyment will be best served by opening the roof to the natural atmospheric conditions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following guidelines shall apply to opening the roof during a game:
Electronic equipment. The use of electronic equipment during a game is restricted. No Team shall use electronic equipment, including walkie-talkies, cellular telephones or laptop or hand-held computers, to communicate to or with any on-field personnel, including those in the dugout, bullpen, field and, during the game, the clubhouse. Such equipment may not be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Team an advantage.
Monitors for videotape of batters/pitchers should be in the clubhouse or, if in the tunnel, well away from the dugout and view of players/coaches on the bench. No television camera replay should ever be turned toward the dugout.
No microphones are permitted in the dugout or on the field without approval of the WBCI.
No electronic equipment shall be used to revise an umpire's decision or to assist an umpire in making a decision, except for the video replay procedures set forth in these Rules, above.
A Team must seek approval of WBCI before using any other or new electronic equipment during a game.
Groundskeeping. Between the end of the fifth inning and the start of the sixth inning of each game, the ballpark grounds crew shall smooth the skinned part of the infield by dragging it. Dragging the infield may be suspended on windy days with the approval of the umpire-in-chief. If, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, dragging the infield may jeopardize the completion of the game, the umpire-in-chief may forbid the dragging of the infield.
Bat boys/girls. A bat boy or girl shall not be permitted to occupy the on-deck circle with the batter, but should be kept on or near the Team's respective bench whenever the bat boy or girl has no duty to perform on the playing field. All bat or ball boys or girls shall wear a protective helmet while performing their duties. See Official Baseball Rule 1.16(e). All bat or ball boys or girls shall be at least 14 years old.
National anthems or territorial songs. All uniformed personnel, during the playing of National anthems or territorial songs, shall remove their caps and assume a respectful posture and demeanor and shall avoid spitting, chewing, laughing or talking during the playing of such songs.
Announcements. The public address announcer of each ballpark used for tournament games shall, during the progress of a game, make all announcements that are directed by the umpire Crew Chief or the Game Operations Technical Committee pertaining to lineups and the Official Baseball Rules, such as substitutions and game protests. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall inform the press box and the public address announcer if there is an unusual or technical play or incident during the playing of a game. The umpires shall communicate with the Game Operations Technical Committee about any information or circumstances that should be passed along to the public address announcer or the press box.
Smoking. Once ballpark gates are open to the public, players are not permitted to smoke in view of the public, including smoking that can be seen on television when cameras pan into the dugout during the anthem and/or during a game. Managers will be held responsible for eliminating smoking in dugouts, bullpens or any other locations in view of spectators or television viewers. Team personnel and umpires shall warn any uniformed personnel who are not complying with this Rule. After a warning, violators should be reported to the Game Operations Technical Committee for such disciplinary action as WBCI may deem appropriate. All personnel shall comply with all laws in regard to smoking that may apply to any WBC venue.
Mascots. Mascots are not permitted on the field once a game has started, except when the infield is being dragged in the 5th inning or if there is a rain delay. Mascots must leave the field no later than 1 minute and 40 seconds into the fifth inning break to permit the public address announcer to call the first batter of the next half-inning. Mascots must never become involved with the umpires, unless there is a special reason. In such a case, permission must be obtained from the umpire crew chief prior to the game.
WBCI shall supply each Team with official batting order cards, which managers shall use in giving their batting orders to the umpire-in-chief.
The official batting orders shall show all eligible players with their uniform numbers and note names of the players in the starting lineup, with those players' respective positions to be played. The cards for each Tournament game shall indicate which players are not eligible to participate in such game by virtue of Pitcher Use Limitations, Disability or Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave. A manager's failure to list an eligible player, however, does not prevent that player from entering the game, not is such failure grounds for protest, as the listing of eligible players is simply a courtesy.
Each manager or uniformed representative shall provide the umpire-in-chief with a batting order card for the official scorer, in addition to the duplicate copies of the batting order described in Official Baseball Rule 4.01. Upon receipt of the batting order cards for the official scorer, the umpire-in-chief shall immediately cause such cards to be delivered to the official scorer in the press box.
From the moment the umpire-in-chief receives the batting order from the manager of the home Team or the Team's uniformed representative, the umpire shall enforce all of the Official Baseball Rules until the termination of the game, subject to these Rules.
The following plays may not be shown:
Exciting plays, such as spectacular catches or players circling the bases after home runs, may be shown more than once, but close plays may be shown only once, and none of the close plays may be shown in slow motion. Replay screens are not permitted to be used while a batter is in the batter's box.
Replays may not delay the game. The next batter is expected to immediately step into the batter's box. Fights or disputes between or among uniformed personnel on the field must not be shown. No episode or event that would embarrass or denigrate an umpire, Team member, Team official or official scorer may be shown. The likeness of an umpire may not be shown nor may an umpire's name be used in a way to embarrass an umpire. Fans or other unauthorized persons running onto the field may not be shown.
No live game action may be displayed. Close-ups of the batter in the on-deck circle are permitted, but once a player steps into the batter's box all live action must stop. A still shot, statistics or other non-moving picture must remain on the screen until the batter finishes the plate appearance. Players may be shown circling the bases after a home run.
Arguments or disputes between umpires and players or managers may not be shown.
Live shots of fans are permitted so long as good judgment is used. Unacceptable behavior should never be shown.
Audio. All music, chants or crowd-cuing messages should stop when the batter steps into the batter's box. Music, noise and cheers may be used during the following times:
Good judgment shall be used when using messages that encourage fans to cheer or make noise.
All Teams, Team officials, players, managers and coaches shall submit themselves to the discipline of WBCI and accept WBCI's decisions in accordance with these Rules.
A player, coach or trainer who has been suspended by WBCI may take part in the Team's activities prior to the start of a game. During the term of the suspension, the suspended person shall leave the field before the game starts, change into street clothes, and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand away from the vicinity of the Team's bench or bullpen.
A manager who has been suspended by WBCI may take part in the Team's activities prior to the start of a game, but shall not be permitted during the term of the suspension to wear the Team uniform after a game starts, nor shall the manager take any part in the direction of the team, directly or indirectly, during any game. The manager shall leave the field before the game starts, change into street clothes, and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand away from the vicinity of the Team's bench or bullpen.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall report any violations of this Rule to WBCI, which may impose upon the offending person further penalties at the discretion of WBCI, including an extension of the term of suspension.
A player dismissed from the Tournament for violation of anti-doping policies may be replaced on a Team's Tournament Roster, subject to the following conditions: a player other than a catcher dismissed in Round One of the Tournament may not be replaced until the beginning of Round Two of the Tournament, a player other than a catcher dismissed in Round Two of the Tournament may not be replaced until the semifinals of the Tournament and a player other than a catcher dismissed after Round Two of the Tournament may not be replaced. In addition, a pitcher may be replaced only by a pitcher and a non-pitcher may be replaced only by a non-pitcher. A catcher dismissed may be replaced by a catcher during the same round of the Tournament, notwithstanding the general rule, above, if the dismissal would otherwise cause the Team to have fewer than two catchers. Replacements are subject to player restrictions per MLB Club, set forth above. If the dismissed player is a pitcher who must fulfill a mandatory rest period pursuant to these Rules, the replacement player shall be subject to the same requirement. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Team may name to its Tournament Roster a replacement who had not appeared on such Team's approved Provisional Roster, provided such Team has first received written permission to do so from WBCI.
Any player or person connected with a Team who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Team for services rendered or supposed to be or to have been rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Team, and any player or person connected with a Team who shall solicit or accept from a player connected with another Team any gift or reward for any such services rendered, or supposed to have been rendered, or who, having been offered any such gift or reward, shall fail to inform WBCI immediately of such offer, and of all facts and circumstances connected therewith, shall be suspended for the remainder of the Tournament and also declared ineligible for future World Baseball Classic Tournaments for a period of time determined by WBCI, in addition to such other penalties that WBCI may impose in its discretion.
Any player or person connected with a Team who shall give, or offer to give, any gift or reward to an umpire for services rendered, or supposed to be or to have been rendered, in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Team, or for the umpire's decision on anything connected with the playing of a baseball game, and any umpire who shall render, or promise or agree to render, any such decision otherwise than on its merits, or who shall solicit or accept such gift or reward for any such service or decision, or who, having been offered any such gift or reward, or, having been solicited to render any such decision otherwise than on its merits, shall fail to inform WBCI immediately of such offer or solicitation, and all facts and circumstances connected therewith, shall be suspended for the remainder of the Tournament and also declared permanently ineligible from any future World Baseball Classic Tournament, in addition to such other penalties that WBCI may impose in its discretion.
Any player, umpire, or Team official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be suspended for the remainder of the Tournament and also declared ineligible for future World Baseball Classic Tournaments for a period of time determined by WBCI, in addition to such other penalties that WBCI may impose in its discretion.
Any player, umpire, or Team official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible from any future World Baseball Classic Tournament, in addition to such other penalties that WBCI may impose in its discretion.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed as exclusively defining or otherwise limiting acts, transactions, practices or conduct not to be in the best interests of the World Baseball Classic; and any and all other acts, transactions, practices or conduct not to be in the best interests of the World Baseball Classic, as determined by WBCI, are prohibited and shall be subject to such penalties, including permanent ineligibility, as the facts in the particular case may warrant.
No Team official, player, manager or coach shall, directly or indirectly, loan money to or become surety or guarantor for a player of any other Team. A printed copy of these misconduct disciplinary rules in English shall be kept posted in each clubhouse during the Tournament. WBCI may, in addition, provide copies in other languages, in the discretion of WBCI.