Major League Baseball: You’re the umpire. How well do you know the rules?

With the start of the new season, fans everywhere will begin to howl about umpiring calls they disagree with. But beyond making split-second judgment calls, major league umpires must know the rule book cold. See if you would know the rules in a variety of situations by taking this multiple-choice quiz.

Where on a batter’s body is the bottom of the strike zone?

Mid thigh


Just above the knee


Hollow beneath the knee cap


Mid shin


A batted ball that hits either first or third base is:

A foul ball


A fair ball if it then bounces into fair territory


A fair even if it bounces into foul territory


A fair ball only if it stays in the infield


The tallest glove, with an overall height of 15.5 inches, may worn by a player at which position?



First base






True or false? A batter may get on base by safely hitting a pitch that bounces before it reaches home plate.







True or false? A batter’s feet may not touch the batter’s box.







What is the call when two runners end up on the same base?

Both are automatically out.


The lead runner must try to advance to the next base.


The lead runner is entitled to the base; the trailing runner must try to go back to the previous base.


Play is dead and the trailing run is permitted to return to the previous base.


True or false? A batter who is hit by a pitch without making an effort to get out of the way will not be awarded first base.







True or false? A player who bats out of order is automatically out.







What happens if a manager makes a trip to the mound twice during the same player’s at-bat?

The batter is awarded first base.


The manager is warned that a third trip will lead to ejection.


The manager is ejected if he is warned on his way to the mound.


The offensive team is awarded a run for delay of game.


True or false? A runner who fails to tag up on a caught fly ball is automatically out.







True or false? The catcher may block the plate any time a runner is attempting to score.







True or false? If in trying to make a catch in front of the outfield wall, the ball bounces off the fielder’s glove over the wall, it is a home run.







True or false? A runner who overruns first base can be tagged out if he doesn’t immediately return to the base.







What happens when a batter bunts the ball foul with two strikes against him?

The batter stays alive and continues to have two strikes.


The batter is out unless the ball leaves the playing field on the fly.


The batter is out.


Whether he’s safe or out depends on whether there are runners on base


If two umpires should simultaneously make conflicting calls, how is the situation settled?

The decision of the umpire closest to the play stands.


The two umpires involved confer and come to an agreement.


The umpiring crew chief huddles with his fellow umpires and makes the final call.


The umpires flip a coin to see which call is official.


True or false: If a thrown ball hits an umpire, play continues.







A first baseman attempting to catch a popup in foul territory fails to make the catch after running into the first base coach. What is the umpire’s call?

The batter is assessed a strike.


The coach is under no obligation to get out of the way, so there is no call.


If the coach made no attempt to get out of the way, interference is called and the batter is out.


The coach must spend the rest of the game in the dugout.


What rule applies to the use of pine tar on bats to improve a batter’s grip?

There are no restrictions on its use.


A player who uses it more than 18 inches from the bat handle will have his bat removed from the game.


A player who uses it anywhere on the bat will be ejected from the game.


A player caught using it more than 18 inches from the bat handle will be ejected.


Which one of the following is the pitcher allowed to do?

Rub the ball on his uniform


Spit on the ball


Rub the ball on his glove


Touch his pitching hand to his mouth while on the mound