Ask the Ump!


QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, when does the game officially begin? At the pre-game conference with coaches, captains and umpires; when the first pitch is thrown or when the plate umpire calls “Play or Play Ball.”

ANSWER: With players in proper position in the field and at bat, the game begins when the umpire calls “Play/Play Ball” (BB- Rule 4, Sec. 1, Art. 5) ( SB- Rule 4-1-5).

QUESTION: Who decides when conditions of the field are playable or unplayable prior to start of the game? Umpires only; home coach only or mutual agreement between both coaches and umpires?

ANSWER: Prior to the start of the game, only the home coach is responsible for deciding fitness of field conditions. Once the game starts with a pitch being thrown, umpires are now in charge of decision to continue to play or halt the game (BB- Rule 4, Sec. 1, Art. 1) ( SB- Rule 4-1-6).

Anyone who has a question about high school rules can submit it to Mike Lynch at (