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The following definitions shall apply to the following terms as they are used in these Rules.
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 "Federation Team" shall refer to a national or territorial Federation 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.
Each Tournament game shall be played under the overall supervision, control and direction of WBCI. WBCI shall assign to each Tournament game a Game Operations Technical Committee. Before each of the four First Round pools, before each of the Second Round pools and before the semi-final games, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall conduct a meeting with the umpires, each opposing manager, each opposing Federation Team's pitching coach (if invited by the Federation Team's manager) and, if necessary, any interpreters, to discuss such issues as tournament rules, ground rules and any further issues specific to the conduct of the Tournament. In addition, at the request of a manager of a Federation Team participating in a game or at the initiative of the Game Operations Technical Committee, the Game Operations Technical Committee may conduct before any particular game a meeting in the umpires' dressing room with the umpires and each Federation Team's manager to discuss any issues pertaining to the playing of that game, such as clarification of pitchers eligible and pitcher rest status, if such clarification is needed.
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 Federation Team shall submit a proposed Interest List of up to 50 players on or before August 23, 2012 who will be given serious consideration for selection to a Federation's final roster. In its proposed Interest List submission, a Federation Team shall indicate the position(s) of each player, the organization (if the player is under reserve to a Major League Baseball ("MLB") Club), club or school, if any, for which the player currently plays, eligibility criteria and any other information that WBCI may request. Players under contract to an MLB Club who also play in Winter Leagues should be listed with their respective MLB Club, rather than with their respective Winter League clubs. Each proposed Federation Interest List shall be subject to the approval of WBCI, which may require adjustments and revisions.
Upon receipt of the Federation Interest List WBCI will continually provide updates to each Federation Team to acknowledge the Available Player List. The List will identify to the Federation Team the Players on the Federation Interest List who have been deemed eligible and available for selection on the to be submitted Provisional Roster.
Each Federation Team shall submit a proposed Provisional Roster of up to 28 players on or before January 16, 2013. Each Federation Team's approved Provisional Roster shall contain no more than 28 players, include at least 13 pitchers and two catchers and consist of players who have been placed on the Available Player List, if completed. On its Provisional Roster a Federation Team shall also include one manager and six coaches. The Provisional Roster should represent a Federation Team's intended Final Roster.
WBCI shall have the sole right to approve the players, manager, coaches, instructors, certified athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coach for each Federation Team. No player, manager or coach may appear on an approved Final Roster unless such person's participation in the Tournament has been approved by WBCI.
Each player on a proposed Provisional Roster, as announced by WBCI soon thereafter, shall be subject to the pre-competition Anti-Doping Agreement, as directed by WBCI or a testing authority designated by WBCI.
Each player on a proposed Provisional Roster shall on or before January 16, 2013 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.
Each manager or coach shall, on or before January 16, 2013 have signed and filed with WBCI a Non-Player Participation Agreement ("NPPA") in a form approved by WBCI.
Any Player who has a "Chronic Condition" (as defined on page five) shall not be included on a Provisional Roster.
On or before February 20, 2013, each Federation Team shall submit to WBCI a proposed Final Roster of no more than 28 players, each of whom must have been on that Federation Team's Available Player List, plus one manager and six coaches. An approved Final Roster shall include at least 13 pitchers and at least two catchers.
As part of its delegation, if necessary to accommodate travel restrictions, the Federation Team shall also include an experienced catcher to catch in the bullpen whose name appears on the Available Player List, to accompany the Federation Team. The designated bullpen catcher will be available as an eligible substitution in the event an injury occurs to the catcher. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Federation Team may name to its Final Roster a player who had not appeared on its approved Interest List so long as such Federation Team has first received written permission of WBCI. WBCI shall confirm its approval of a proposed Final Roster as soon as practicable.
No player, manager or coach shall participate for a Federation Team in any World Baseball Classic Tournament game unless such player, manager or coach is on such Federation Team's approved Final Roster and has signed and submitted to WBCI a PPA, in the case of a player, or a NPPA, in the case of a manager or coach.
A player, manager or coach may be replaced on a Final Roster for the following reasons:
If between the Provisional and Final Roster due dates an injury occurs that prevents a player from participating in the Tournament, notice must be given immediately to WBCI with the name of the disabled player and his replacement.
Each player on a Federation Team's approved Available Player List must be eligible to participate for that Federation Team. A player will be so eligible only if:
Each Federation Team shall submit to WBCI on or before the time it submits its proposed Interest List the evidence supporting the eligibility of each of the players, 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 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 Federation Team, the Player may select the Federation Team for which he wishes to play, provided that nothing shall prohibit such a player from declaring his willingness to play for any Federation Team for which he is eligible to play. A player who represented one Federation Team in the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier will be ineligible to change his Federation Team designation for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Tournament.
If a player on a Federation Team's approved Provisional Roster or approved Final Roster is subsequently determined, in the sole discretion of WBCI, not to have been eligible to participate for that Federation Team, the player shall be removed from the Final Roster and shall not be eligible to play in the remainder of the Tournament. Such ineligible player may not be replaced on the Federation Team's Final Roster. WBCI may, in its discretion, impose sanctions upon any Federation Team that WBCI determines has used one or more ineligible players.
No player under reserve to an MLB Club shall be permitted to be placed on a Final Roster if such player has a "Chronic Condition," as defined by WBCI, unless WBCI consents to such placement.
With respect to a 40-man roster player, a "chronic condition" means any injury, disease or condition which caused him to:
With respect to a non-40-man roster player, a "chronic condition" means any injury, disease or condition which caused him to:
An injury, disease or condition will not be considered "chronic" if the player under reserve can pass an independent medical exam and, after the last date he was injured and unable to play, has a combined total of fifty (50) plate appearances or ten (10) innings pitched during the 2012 Championship Season, the 2012 Postseason and any 2012 off-season leagues. Any Player who meets this exception by passing an independent physical exam between the Provisional and Final Roster submission dates of January 16, 2013 and February 20, 2013, may be placed on a Federation Team's Provisional Roster and/or appear on an approved Final Roster.
If a Major League Club objects, for a medical or other extraordinary reason, to the participation in the Tournament of a player under reserve, the five-member 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 9, 2013. The WBCI Disability Review Committee shall make best efforts to review and rule upon all such objections on or before January 9, 2013. WBCI may permit written objections after January 9, 2013, 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 Federation Team's Provisional Roster or appear on an approved Final Roster.
WBCI will not approve a player's participation in the Tournament if such participation would cause an MLB Club to have more than 14 players from its organization, or more than 10 of its players who were on any MLB Club's Major League Active or Disabled List as of August 31, 2012, participate in the Tournament, unless the MLB Club informs WBCI in writing that it has no objection to allowing additional players to participate. WBCI also may deny participation to players whose participation would, in the sole judgment of WBCI, otherwise impose an undue hardship on an MLB Club (e.g., too many of a Club's starting pitchers, too many catchers, etc., participating in the Tournament). If limits of player participation from an MLB Club are reached, WBCI will choose which players will participate, guided by the principle that Federation Teams' rosters that have fewer available Major League players will be given priority.
Once the Tournament has commenced, a Federation Team may replace a player, manager or coach on its Final Roster if the player, manager or coach is disabled and WBCI confirms that the player, manager or coach has a specific injury or ailment that renders the player, manager or coach unable to continue to participate in all or part of the Tournament. A Federation Team wishing to replace a player, manager or coach on the grounds of disability shall so inform a member of the Game Operations Technical Committee at the site at which the Federation Team is playing (or, if a round has concluded, at the next site at which such Federation Team is scheduled to play), who shall arrange for a physician appointed by WBCI to interview and/or examine the player, manager or coach and/or examine other medical evidence. The physician appointed by WBCI shall report to the Game Operations Technical Committee on site whether the physician concurs that the player, manager or coach has a specific injury or ailment that renders him unable to continue to participate in all or part of the Tournament. If the physician concludes that the proposed Disabled designation is allowable, the Game Operations Technical Committee shall communicate to WBCI its recommendation that a Disabled replacement be allowed. WBCI shall confirm the Disabled designation to the Game Operations Technical Committee on site.
A player so designated as Disabled shall be ineligible to participate in any further Tournament games. A Federation Team may replace on its Final Roster a player designated as Disabled with another player who had appeared on that Federation Team's Available Player List. 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 Federation Team to have fewer than two catchers. A Federation 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 the First Round of the Tournament, no replacement for such player shall play until the beginning of the Second Round of the Tournament. If a player other than a catcher is injured in the Second Round of the Tournament, no replacement for such player shall play until the semi-finals of the Tournament. If a player is injured in the semi-finals 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 Federation 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 Federation Team may name to its Final Roster a replacement who had not appeared on its Available Player List, provided such Federation Team has first received written permission to do so from WBCI.
In the event a player is injured during the game with concussion-like symptoms the game will be stopped and the player will be evaluated by the Certified Athletic Trainer ("ATC"). If the ATC detects any sign and/or symptoms of a concussion during an on-field evaluation, the player will be removed from the game and brought to the clubhouse for further evaluation. If the ATC does not detect any sign and/or symptom of a concussion during the on-field evaluation, the player may remain in the game, but examination should be performed between innings for the remainder of the game. Any change in the player's neurological status will result in immediate removal from the game and further evaluation in the clubhouse. Replacements are subject to the player restrictions per MLB Club, set forth above. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Federation Team may name to its Final Roster a replacement who had not appeared on its approved Available Player List, provided such Federation 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 Federation Team, return to his MLB 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.
Upon written application to WBCI, a Federation Team may request that a player be given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave. No player may be given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave unless such leave is to enable the player to attend to the serious or severe illness or death of a member of such player's immediate family (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild), of such player's spouse's immediate family (parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild) or such other family member as WBCI determines is in keeping with the spirit of this Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency Leave policy. No player may be given Paternity Leave unless that player is the father of a child whose delivery or adoption is imminent or has occurred within the prior 48 hours.
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 Federation Team. The minimum period of Paternity Leave shall be one day and the maximum period of placement shall be three consecutive days, during which time the player is not permitted to be with the Federation Team.
A player given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave shall not be counted on a Federation Team's Final Roster for the duration of such leave. A player given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave may be replaced on the Final Roster by another player who had appeared on that Federation Team's approved Available Player List. A pitcher given Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity 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 Federation 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 Final Roster restrictions above to which the player he is replacing was subject. Upon expiration of a player's Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave, such player shall be reinstated to the Final Roster, the player who replaced the player given leave shall be removed from the Final Roster and the returning player shall likewise be subject to the same game and Final Roster restrictions to which the player who replaced him would otherwise have been subject. If replacement of a player on Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency / Paternity Leave would otherwise cause a Federation Team's Final Roster to have fewer than two catchers, then any replacement shall be a catcher. If extraordinary circumstances exist, a Federation Team may name to its Final Roster a replacement that had not appeared on its approved Available Player List so long as such Federation Team has first received written permission of WBCI that the player is eligible to play.
All Tournament games shall be played according to the provisions of the Official Baseball Rules as Recodified, Amended and Adopted at New York City, December 21, 1949, and thereafter amended by the Playing Rules Committee, as supplemented by these Rules. The role of the "League President" in the Official Baseball Rules, with respect to the Tournament, shall be performed by the designees of WBCI.
Official Baseball Rule 6.10, in regard to the use of the designated hitter, is adopted for Tournament games.
A pitcher must:
The aggregate number of pitches thrown in two successive games over two days is not used to determine pitcher rest restrictions.
For purposes of the pitcher use limitation rules, both semi-final games shall be deemed to have been played on the day of the latest semi-final 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 50 or more pitches on March 5 shall not be eligible to pitch again until March 10, a pitcher who throws between 30 and 49 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 Federation Team may play to any player who is on the Reserve List of an MLB 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 an MLB Club (within the meaning of the Major League Rules) shall be permitted to pitch for a Federation 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 Federation 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 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-inchief 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 Federation 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 Federation 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||30 pitches||Must rest||March 10||Must rest 1 day for 30+ pitches on March 8|
|20 pitches||30 pitchs||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|
The umpire-in-chief shall call a regulation game in the First and Second Rounds of the Tournament and award the victory to the Federation Team that is ahead whenever
For purposes of this rule, if the home Federation 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.
Any exhibition game played by a Federation Team shall be a completed, tied game if the score is tied after 10 innings.
For any inning beginning with the 13th inning, the Federation 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 extrainnings 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 pinchrunner 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 Federation Team or to any player.
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.
Official Baseball Rules 4.10, 4.11 and 4.12 shall remain in effect to the extent that they are not superseded by these Rules.Any game begun and then called before becoming a regulation game with a winning Federation 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. Any game begun and called will be considered with a winning Federation Team pursuant to the criteria of Official Baseball Rule 4.10 are met, with the exception of the championship game which shall be played until its completion.
A semi-final 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 Federation 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 Federation Teams advancing to the next round.
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 not be resumed and prize money due for the winner of such round shall be split equally between the two Federation Teams advancing to the next round. The championship game shall be re-scheduled at a time and location determined by WBCI.
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 Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation 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. 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.
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."
The rules pertaining to the visit of the manager or coach to the pitcher, as described in Official Baseball Rule 8.06, are adopted for Tournament games. In addition,
A manager or coach on a first visit to the mound to any one pitcher is not permitted to return to the mound after leaving the mound.
If a manager or coach makes an obvious attempt to delay the game on a trip to the mound, the umpire shall order the pitcher to remain in the game until the batter is retired or becomes a base-runner or the side is retired, subject to the Pitcher Use Limitations.
A manager or coach who starts toward the mound may turn back to the bench without penalty so long as the manager or coach does not cross the foul line. Umpires may warn a manager or coach if the manager or coach starts for the mound the second time in an inning.
The catcher or any other player may not go to the dugout and then proceed immediately to the mound. Such a visit will be considered a visit to the mound by the manager.
If a pitcher is removed and the manager or coach remains to talk to the new pitcher, this action shall not be charged as a visit with the new pitcher.
A manager may request permission from an umpire to visit the mound in case of injury to the pitcher and, if the umpire grants permission, the trip will not be counted as a visit to the mound and the umpire-in-chief shall so inform the opposing manager.
Subject to the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, any visit to the mound by a playermanager shall be considered a trip to the mound by the manager. The umpire-in-chief shall notify the player-manager and the opposing manager each time a trip is charged.
A player-coach shall be treated as a player until such time as the player-coach is considered to have abused the privilege. If, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, the privilege is abused, the player-coach and the Federation Team's manager will be advised that any future visits to the mound will be charged as trips.
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 Federation Team apparel suitable for an appearance on-field, such as a shirt or jacket with a Federation Team or World Baseball Classic logo.
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.
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, bracelet, 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.
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 Federation 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 Federation 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.
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.
The umpires may be guided by procedures and interpretations contained in the Major League Baseball Umpire Manual.
The First Round of the Tournament shall be conducted in a round-robin format.
In the First Round, the Federation Teams in each pool shall be ranked according to the winning percentage of games in the First Round. The two Federation Teams with the highest such winning percentages in each pool shall advance to the Second Round as the Pool Winner and the Pool Runner-Up.
If at the end of pool play in the First Round of the Tournament two or more Federation Teams within a pool are tied with an identical winning percentage, the tie shall be broken based on head-to-head records or by ranking each team's "Team Quality Balance" (TQB), as set forth below:
Two Federation Teams with the highest winning percentage tied for Pool Winner designation.
The Federation Team that won the game played between the two Federation Teams in the First Round shall be declared the Pool Winner, and the loser of that game shall be declared the Pool Runner-Up.
Three Federation Teams with the highest winning percentage tied for Pool Winner designation.
To determine the Pool Winner and Pool Runner-Up, the three Federation Teams shall be ranked in order of TQB (i.e., the sum of runs scored divided by the number of innings played on offense, minus the number of runs allowed, divided by the number of innings played on defense (RS/IPO)-(RA/IPD)=TQB)). For purposes of determining TQB only the scores from the games between the tied teams are to be used in the calculation. In the event two or three Federation Teams remain tied after determining TQB, such tie(s) shall be broken as follows:
Three Federation Teams with the lowest winning percentage tied for Pool Runner-Up designation.
The three Federation Teams shall be ranked in order of TQB to determine the Pool Runner-Up. In the event two or three Federation Teams remain tied for Pool Runner-Up after determining TQB, such tie(s) shall be broken as follows:
The Second Round of the Tournament shall be conducted in a modified double elimination format.
For the Second Round, 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 First Round pool against the runner-up of another First Round pool. The winning Federation Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play, and the winner of that game shall advance to the Semi-finals and shall play in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Second Round pool. The losing Federation Teams in Games 1 and 2 shall play. The losing Federation Team in the game between the two Federation Teams that had won their respective first games in the Second Round and the winning Federation Team in the game between the two Federation Teams that had lost their respective first games in the Second Round shall play in Game 5. The winning Federation Team in Game 5 shall advance also to the Semi-finals and shall play also in Game 6 to determine the winner of that Second Round pool.
The Semi-final game and Final game of the Tournament shall be conducted in a single elimination format.
Each Semi-final game shall match a winner of a Second Round pool against a runner-up of the other Second Round pool. The winners of each Semi-final game shall meet in the Championship game of the Tournament.
All disputes between and among players and Federation Teams (other than anti-doping disputes whose resolution is provided for in other agreements among Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the International Baseball Federation) shall be referred to WBCI for decision. WBCI's decisions shall be accepted by all parties as final. Any claim or complaint (other than a game protest or a matter concerning anti-doping whose resolution is provided for in other agreements among Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the International Baseball Federation) that any Federation Team may desire to submit for consideration, action or decision by WBCI must be presented in writing, in the English language, within 24 hours from the time the facts giving rise to the claim arose. If the claim is against another Federation Team, the claimant shall submit a copy of its claim or complaint to such other Federation Team on or about the same time it submits the claim or complaint to WBCI. WBCI shall endeavor to decide such claim or complaint as soon as practicable.
Any Federation Team wanting to protest the eligibility of another Federation Team's player must do so by submitting its protest and the specific basis thereof, in writing, to WBCI by no later than three (3) days after having been notified of the Federation Teams' final rosters. WBCI will render a decision as soon as practicable. Any Federation Team objection to player eligibility that is not protested as set forth herein shall be deemed waived.
In order to protest a game, the manager of the protesting Federation Team must give notice to the umpire-in-chief that the game is being played under protest. Such notice shall be given immediately at the time of the disputed decision and before the next pitch, play or attempted play. The umpire crew chief shall ascertain the manager's exact reason or grounds for the protest. This must be done before the protest can be accepted. The umpires may confer at that point and decide whether to revise the umpire's decision. If the umpires do not revise the decision, the umpire crew chief shall inform the manager of the opposing Federation Team and the Game Operations Technical Committee. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall cause an announcement to be made immediately over the public address system stating which Federation Team is playing the game under protest and stating the grounds for the protest.
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 umpire supervisor, the manager of each competing Federation 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 Federation Team shall state all of the facts of the protest and cite the Official Baseball Rule or Rules, or other bases, upon which the Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation 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.
WBCI shall set a schedule for the Tournament and any exhibition games played by a Federation Team. No Federation Team may play an exhibition game after having reported to the official World Baseball Classic training camp unless authorized by WBCI. WBCI shall determine the schedule and venue for any postponed or suspended game.
In each pool in the First Round, home team designations, for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules, shall be as follows, without any regard to the sequence of games played:
Prior to the start of play in the First Round, WBCI shall conduct a draw for each pool in which each Federation Team is designated as "Federation Team 1," "Federation Team 2," "Federation Team 3" or "Federation Team 4" for purposes of determining the home team in the pool schedule. (Two Federation Teams in each pool shall be the home team twice and visiting team once and the other two Federation Teams shall be home team once and visiting team twice.)
In each pool in the Second Round, home team designations for purposes of the Official Baseball Rules shall be as follows:
In each of the Semi-final games, the Federation Team that finishes in first place in its Second Round pool shall be the home team (but in the event that a Game 6 of a Second Round pool is cancelled, called, not resumed or remains a tie game, then the Federation Team from that pool without a loss shall be deemed to be the Federation Team that won its Second Round pool, for purposes of being the home team in a Semi-final game). In the championship game, the Federation Team with the higher winning percentage of games in the Tournament shall be the home team. If the Federation 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 Federation 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.
No Federation Team shall be permitted to have the Federation Team names or similar inscriptions on bats or other equipment without the express written permission of the WBCI.
Any bat supplier approved for MLB play in 2013 shall be approved for WBC Tournament play. In addition to the requirements of Official Baseball Rule 1.10, any bat model approved for MLB play shall be approved for Tournament play. Any bat supplier not approved for MLB play shall be submitted to WBCI for approval before it is used in a Tournament game. WBCI shall impose criteria on the size and placement of manufacturers' trademarks on bats, color of bats, wood species and other characteristics that are substantially similar to the criteria used for MLB play, which in part includes:
Suppliers' names, marks and rings are permitted to appear in only one area of the bat. The name and mark appearing on the bat must be of the company that manufacturers or markets the bat and may not be the name or mark of another company or product. This area is not to exceed four inches in length or two inches in height, and must not start closer than 18 inches from the knob end of the bat. A two-color bat must be divided into two sections, each one solid color. The dividing point between each of the color sections must be 18 inches from the knob end of the bat.
The wood grain of a bat must be clearly visible, in order to determine compliance with Official Baseball Rule 1.10(a).
Ring and semi-ring-porous woods (such as, ash, the oaks, hickory and elm) must have the supplier's name and mark placed on the face-grain surface of the bat. Diffuse-porous woods (such as sugar maple and yellow birch) must have the supplier's name and mark placed on the edge-grain surface of the bat. The wood species used shall be clearly defined on the bat. It is recommended that a letter prefix to identify the wood species be placed at the end of the model number.
The only permitted wood species include the following; True hickory, white ash, sugar (hard) maple, yellow birch, red oak, tamo (Japanese ash) and aodamo (Japanese ash).
The only Authorized colors are: natural finish of either clear or no finish that does not resemble a white finish; brown-based wood stain; black wood stain; and half stain with natural or clear finish that does not resemble a white finish, combined with either brown-based or black stain.
WBCI shall prepare and send to the Federation 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.
If a manager suspects an opposing player of using a corked or improperly treated bat or altered 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 just 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 Federation Team personnel and a Federation Team shall be subject to discipline by WBCI, if it is determined that a bat has been altered.
No Player is permitted to wear white wristbands or bandages during a game, because of the difficulty in distinguishing the baseball the wristband or bandage. This prohibition extends to white wristbands with a stripe insufficient to permit the distinction
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.
No field personnel may wear distracting jewelry of any kind. Distracting jewelry includes any item worn or used by a Player which, in the opinion of the umpire, could interfere with the play of the game or umpires' ability to make calls, or endanger the health or safety of a Player, including the Player wearing the jewelry. No Player may have any visible corporate markings or logos tattooed on his body. In addition, no pitcher shall have markings on his body that are potentially distracting to the umpire or batter. Markings that are potentially distracting include tattoo(s) or other marking(s) which, in the opinion of the umpire, could interfere with the umpires' ability to make calls, endanger the health or safety of a batter or otherwise interfere with the play of the game.
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. No player shall attach anything to the heel or toe of his shoe other than the ordinary shoe plate or toe plate. Shoes with pointed spikes similar to golf or track shoes shall not be worn. Players will not be allowed to change shoes upon becoming a base runner. See Official Baseball Rule 1.11(g).
Any pitcher starting or entering a game wearing a colored glove must wear a glove of the same color for the pitcher's entire participation in that game. No pitcher shall attach to his glove any foreign material of a color different from the glove. 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 string or other distracting material. 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.
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.
No player is permitted to wear a protective elbow 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 Federation 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 Federation 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.
The only baseballs that are permitted to be used in Tournament games shall be the official baseball of the Tournament, as authorized by WBCI. The baseballs shall be rubbed before a game in accordance with Major League Baseball custom, under the supervision of the umpires.
WBCI shall engage a staff of umpires to officiate Tournament games. Each such Umpire shall sign and submit to WBCI an Umpire Participation Agreement. WBCI shall provide each umpire with a uniform, all parts of which the umpires shall wear while officiating as umpires. Each ballpark shall provide a separate dressing room for the umpires. No visitors except WBCI personnel or the immediate family of an umpire are permitted in the umpires' dressing room. Any immediate family not of the same sex as the umpire or umpires using the umpires' dressing room shall leave the room at the request of any umpire if any umpire is dressing or undressing. All persons except official personnel shall leave the umpires' dressing room no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time of a game. At the completion of a game, the umpire crew chief may impose, in the discretion of the crew chief, a 15-minute period during which no visitors except official WBCI personnel are to be allowed in the umpires' dressing room. All umpires shall adhere to any WBCI policies in regard to security. "Immediate family" is defined as spouses, grandparents, parents, siblings and children.
No umpire may, directly or indirectly, ask any player, manager, coach, locker room attendant or other Federation Team personnel for any autographs. Similarly, Federation 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 Federation Team or WBCI property, such as baseballs, bats, uniforms, lineup cards and the like. No umpire may, directly or indirectly, validate or certify any baseball, bat, uniform or other object as genuine or as actually used in a game.
WBCI shall appoint one official scorer for each Tournament games. The official scorer for each Tournament game shall observe the game from a position in the press box. Subject to the Official Baseball Rules, the official scorer shall have sole authority to make all decisions involving judgment, such as whether a batter's advance to first base is the result of a hit or an error. The official scorer shall communicate such decisions to the press box and broadcasting booths and shall advise the ballpark public address announcer of such decisions, if requested. Federation Team officials and players are prohibited from communicating with the official scorer regarding any such decisions.
In addition, the official scorer shall keep count of the number of pitches thrown by each pitcher in each Tournament game as a backup to the official count kept by the Game Operations Technical Committee. The official scorer, upon request at any time, shall provide such counts to the Game Operations Technical Committee.
Any Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation Team personnel. Under no circumstances should official scorers be influenced or pressured regarding their calls. No Federation 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.
A Federation Team shall not travel, except as authorized by WBCI.
WBCI shall furnish the uniforms for all on-field Federation Team personnel participating with a Federation Team.
All players, managers and coaches are required to be in uniform and are to wear only WBCIissued apparel, outerwear and equipment during games (on the field, in the dugout and in the bullpen). All players, managers and coaches are required to wear only WBCI-issued apparel, outerwear, and equipment while in any in-stadium 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.
All players, managers and coaches are required to wear only WBCI-issued apparel when batting practice begins. The batting practice uniform consists of top, uniform number and uniform pants. A player's top must be the Federation Team's uniform jersey or its authorized outerwear. All other non-authorized apparel must be worn underneath the uniform with no visible logos showing.
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 Federation Team designated as the "home team" for a game shall wear its "home" uniforms for that game, and the Federation Team designated as the "visiting team" shall wear its "road" uniforms for that game.
All players, managers and coaches are to wear the same color undershirt or tshirt, as decided by WBCI. The only logos allowed on the neck of any authorized undershirts are the Federation Team logo and the World Baseball Classic 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.
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.
The uniform of every player, manager and coach shall contain a large, legible number on the back of the uniform jersey. Each Federation Team shall assign each of its uniformed personnel an individual number, so that there are no duplicate numbers on one Federation Team. Each player, manager and coach shall wear the uniform number assigned to that person by the Federation Team. Names on the back of uniforms are optional.
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 Federation 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.
WBCI shall establish ground rules for each ballpark in which a Tournament game is to be played, which shall be printed and distributed to Federation Teams competing in that park. Such ground rules may be printed on the reverse side of the batting order cards for Tournament games in that ballpark.
The Game Operations Technical Committee shall be in charge of game operations at each game. Stadium operations and other personnel shall follow the instructions of the Game Operations Technical Committee in any matter related to the preparation for, or conduct of, a Tournament game.
The Game Operations Technical Committee will schedule a meeting prior to each Federation's first Tournament game with the two Federation Team managers, pitching coaches, umpire crew, umpire supervisor and any other authorized individual of WBCI, as described in the Supervision section of these rules. The Game Operations Technical Committee may also conduct a pre-game meeting before any other 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.
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.
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 Final 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 Federation 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.
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 Federation 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 leadoff 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 ondeck circle while the preceding hitter is at bat. Each Federation 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 warmup. Batboys must have a second bat readily available; the bat must be dressed and ready for game use in the event a hitter breaks a bat during play.
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.
Players shall not lie down or sit on the bases when time is called on the field.
Any player, manager or coach who, in the judgment of an umpire, engages in conduct intended to stall or delay the progress of a game shall be subject to discipline by WBCI.
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:
The use of electronic equipment during a game is restricted. No Federation Team shall use electronic equipment, including but not limited to walkie-talkies, cellular telephones and laptop computers , to communicate to or with any on-field personnel, including those in the dugout, bullpen, field and, during the game, the clubhouse. The only exception to this prohibition is the use of a mobile phone for communication between the dugout and bullpen, so long as the device has been approved by WBCI. Such equipment may not be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Federation 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 or viewing screen should ever be turned toward the dugout, nor may a television camera operator relay information to Federation Team personnel in regard to a pitch or play.
No microphones or cameras are permitted in the dugout, bullpens or on the field of play without approval of 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 Federation Team must seek approval of WBCI before using any other or new electronic equipment during a game.
The prohibition on the use of electronic equipment to convey information designed to give a Club an advantage includes a prohibition on a Federation Team relaying radar device readings to players or staff through hand signals or otherwise. Furthermore, Federation Teams and host venues are prohibited from manipulating pitch speed readings that are displayed on a ballpark scoreboard, or from displaying such data selectively to offer a potential advantage to only one of the competing Federation Teams.
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.
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 Federation 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.
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.
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.
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. Federation 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.
Use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited by Players, managers and coaches during televised interviews or appearances on behalf of WBCI. At any time when fans are permitted into the ballpark, Players, managers, coaches and other on-field personnel will conceal tobacco products (including tobacco tins or packages) and may not carry tobacco products (including tobacco tins or packages) in their uniform or on their body.
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.
When the condition of the field and scheduling permits, the competing Federation Teams may take batting and fielding practice. Batting and fielding practice shall be allocated equally to both competing Federation Teams according to schedules that WBCI shall issue to Federation Teams from time to time.
Players of the Federation Team that has completed its practice shall leave the field to avoid interfering with the practice of the other Federation Team and endangering its players. If there is an occasion when it is necessary for both Federation Teams to be on the field at the same time, stretching exercises shall be taken at the fence area, in foul territory, on opposite sides of the field. At no time should members of both Federation Teams be in fair territory at the same time.
Each manager shall be prepared to announce a probable batting order to the press, etc., at least 90 minutes prior to the advertised starting time of a game. Each manager must make their best effort to maintain the batting order as submitted to avoid any competitive maneuverings that may not be in the best interests of the game. In addition, each manager shall provide, no later than 30 minutes after the conclusion of the previous day's game or games (or, in the case of a Federation Team's first game of a pool, no later than 9 p.m. on the day preceding such first game in a pool), to a public relations official designated by WBCI the name of his Federation Team's probable starting pitcher for his Federation Team's next game. A Federation Team that changes its probable pitcher without demonstrating good cause to WBCI (e.g., an intervening injury to a previously announced starting pitcher) shall be subject to discipline by WBCI.
WBCI shall supply each Federation 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 Round game shall indicate which players are not eligible to participate in such game by virtue of Pitcher Use Limitations, Disability, Bereavement / Family Medical Emergency or Paternity 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 Federation Team's uniformed representative, the umpire shall enforce all of the Official Baseball Rules until the termination of the game, subject to these Rules.
Ballpark scoreboards and other video monitors shall not be used in a manner that show up the umpires, incite the crowd or distract players or denigrate a Federation Team or official scorers. The following plays may not be shown:
Double plays and forceouts originating at second base will be permitted to be shown, only once at full speed, so long as the replay displays indisputable evidence that the umpire made the correct call and the displaying of the replay will not incite a negative reaction from the crowd. Exciting plays, such as spectacular catches or players circling the bases after home runs, may be shown more than once. Close plays may be shown only once, and none of the close plays may be shown in slow motion or freeze frame. Replay screens must not 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, Federation Team member, Federation Team official or official scorer may be shown. No replay of a controversial play may be shown during an argument with an umpire. 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.
All music, chants or crowd-cuing messages should stop when the batter steps into the dirt cut-out area surrounding home plate. 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.
The Game Operations Technical Committee may recommend to WBCI that WBCI discipline a Federation Team, Federation Team official, player, manager, coach, umpire, official scorer or other personnel for misconduct on or off the field, for violations of these Rules or the Official Baseball Rules or for conduct detrimental to the World Baseball Classic or principles of good sportsmanship. Such discipline may include, without limitation, suspension for a specified number of games. The Game Operations Technical Committee shall report promptly to WBCI all of the relevant facts underlying its recommendation for discipline. All Federation Teams, Federation 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, manager or coach who is suspended by WBCI or by a Federation Team may not be replaced on a Final Roster during the period of the suspension.
A player, coach or certified athletic trainer who has been suspended by WBCI may take part in the Federation 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 Federation Team's bench or bullpen.
A manager who has been suspended by WBCI may take part in the Federation Team's activities prior to the start of a game, but shall not be permitted during the term of the suspension to wear the Federation Team uniform after a game starts, nor shall the manager take any part in the direction of the Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation Team's Final Roster, subject to the following conditions: a player other than a catcher dismissed in the First Round of the Tournament may not be replaced until the beginning of the Second Round of the Tournament, a player other than a catcher dismissed in the Second Round of the Tournament may not be replaced until the semi-finals of the Tournament and a player other than a catcher dismissed after the Second Round 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 Federation 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 Federation Team may name to its Final Roster a replacement who had not appeared on such Federation Team's approved Available Player List, provided such Federation Team has first received written permission to do so from WBCI.
Any player or person connected with a Federation Team who shall promise or agree to lose, or to attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which he is or may be in any way concerned, or who shall intentionally lose or attempt to lose, or intentionally fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any such baseball game, or who shall solicit or attempt to induce any player or person connected with a Federation Team to lose or attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which such other player or person is or may be in any way concerned, or who, being solicited by any person, shall fail to inform WBCI immediately of such solicitation, and of 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 or person connected with a Federation Team who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Federation Team for services rendered or supposed to be or to have been rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Federation Team, and any player or person connected with a Federation Team who shall solicit or accept from a player connected with another Federation 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 Federation 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 Federation 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 Tournaments, in addition to such other penalties that WBCI may impose in its discretion.
Any player, umpire, or Federation 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 Federation 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 Tournaments, 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 Federation Team official, player, manager or coach shall, directly or indirectly, loan money to or become surety or guarantor for a player of any other Federation 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.
These Rules, including without limitation the power of WBCI to suspend or otherwise discipline personnel, shall be in force for any exhibition game a Federation Team may play. No player on a Federation Team's Final Roster may participate in a game for any Federation Team during the Tournament other than such World Baseball Classic Federation Team.