Baseball rules governing the Ohio High School Athletic Association, (OHSAA) can be broken down into a few basic sections. There are General Regulations, rules regarding Out of State Travel, Ejections, Penalties and Non-Interscholastic Participation, as well as specific regulations regarding seventh- and eighth-graders. Anyone wishing to obtain an official copy of the rules can do so by addressing OHSAA at 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, Ohio 43214.
General Regulations: Games
The General Regulations of the 2008-2009 OHSAA rules forbid individual players, as well as teams, from playing in more than two games on any given day, regardless of whether or not said games are in a varsity setting or not. In other words, you may play a reserve game and a varsity game in one single day, but may not count each game as one game in two separate settings. Two games are two games regardless of the nature of the game. Doubleheaders may only be played on non-school days and only if the following day is an off day from school. Games not started due to a team's failure to show are considered 'No Contest' games and are not to be recorded as a win or, loss. Games cannot end in a tie. If a game has gone beyond five innings and cannot be finished, it will be suspended if the visiting team is ahead and the home team has not had an opportunity to change the outcome of the game in the bottom half of said inning. Suspended games will be resumed from the point of suspension at a later date. The 10-run rule applies, this rule stating that any team taking a lead of 10 runs or more will no longer be in a position to add runs and therefore must take the field. A 10-run lead after five innings will translate into a win if the home team fails to reduce said lead in the bottom half of the inning
General Regulations: Pitching
There is a 10-inning limit per pitcher over the course of three days. If a pitcher comes into an inning and records a single out to end the inning, the pitcher will have recorded one of his 10 innings, leaving him with only nine remaining innings as opposed to 9 2/3 of an inning.
Travel out of state is permitted in several states and Canada if the state shares a common border with the State of Ohio. Ontario, a province of Canada, is so included. Travel to states not sharing a border with Ohio may be done once in a scholastic year, but only on the condition there is no loss in class time. Teams may not miss school to engage in travel.
Ejections and Penalties
Ejections can occur in cases of unsportsmanlike behavior. Organized sports are an opportune time for youngsters to learn discipline, respect and how to work as a part of a team. There will be no tolerance for physical contact with umpires, coaches or players from one's own team or opposing teams. Violating the basic rules of mutual respect will lead to ejection and possible suspension. Non-interscholastic participation by members of a scholastic team is forbidden for the duration of the school year. You may not participate in scrimmage games, pick-up games in any other league, or team, while a member of a Board of Education sponsored baseball league. Failure to comply will lead to severe penalties. Such penalties will translate into suspension for the remainder of the season and possibly the following season for those who are not in their senior year of high school.
Seventh- and Eighth-Graders
Rules regarding seventh- and eighth-graders pertain to amount of games played, which may not exceed 17, and championship games, which are limited to no more than four games. Grades nine through 12 can play up to a 27-game season over a period of 23 playing dates. This allows for two doubleheaders which may not be played on school days or on a day followed by a school day, as was earlier pointed out.
Organized baseball is a truly rewarding experience, full of a roller-coaster range of emotions. A child drops back to catch an easy pop fly, only to have it hit the heel of the glove and bounce mercilessly onto the field. The crack of the bat and the flight of the ball as it soars into home run-hitting ecstasy. The rules and regulations are all a part of the game and must be taught and learned with the same importance as laying down the sac bunt. After all, isn't it all a part of staying on top of the game?