This manual was designed to supplement the Official Baseball Rules, and the interpretations and common application included provide a clear and concise understanding of rules as they were most closely intended to be read. The Official Baseball Rules is one of the oldest codes in professional sports that have never been completely overhauled. As situations arose throughout the years which were not specifically covered in the rules, it fell upon the Rules Committees to come up with new rules that would fill these gaps. For fear of making drastic rules replacements, the code was only added to, never rewritten. After the 1976 season, the Rules Committee also agreed to include the casebook comments found in both the National and American League umpire notices and directives of interpretations. These additions to the rules have often caused for contradiction and confusion regarding how the rules are to be enforced. This supplemental material was intended to solve some of that confusion and misunderstanding.
This manual was compiled together by the staff of the Wendelstedt Umpire School, through many years of instruction and rules re-organization. This staff is composed of several full time Major League umpires, numerous Minor League umpires, and formerly consisted of five current Major League umpire supervisors. This manual is designed and assembled using several criteria including the common and clarified organization of the rules, the ordinary order in which most rulings will be made throughout a game, and the methods and teaching timeline used during the Wendelstedt Umpire School 5-Week Professional Course.
Whenever possible, the interpretations mentioned are officially recognized by the umpires and supervisors of both the Minor and Major Leagues. However, in cases where “official” interpretation
are not directly available, we have provided suggestions as to how the plays and situations should be ruled on using the practical and common applications of professional umpires today.
The Rules and Interpretations Manual provides a summary of areas of the rulebook that are complicated, offers OBR rulebook cross-references, adds historical contexts and useful hints in applying rules on the field to aid in the reasoning for such rulings, and is designed to comprehensively rewrite and reorganize the rules in an orderly an understandable fashion. It will include crossreferences
with the relevant amateur rules in NFHS, NCAA, and NAIA playing codes. Each area is clearly identified. It also provides a variety of reference plays and situations to greater clarify specific rulings.