No Gloves No Steroids

A Summary of 1864 Rules
View the complete rules adopted by the National Association of Base-Ball Players in Dec 1863

  • The ball is slightly larger than a modern base ball. The center is made of rubber. It is hand-made.
  • Bats are made of wood, and may be of any length.
  • The bases are 90 feet apart.
  • Home base is a flat circular white plate.
  • The pitching distance is 45 feet, marked by two 12 foot lines, 3 feet apart, which the pitcher must stay between while delivering the ball.
  • Pitching is underhand.
  • All runners advance on a baulk.
  • Three balls constitute a walk. Balls are called after a warning is given to the pitcher for not delivering fair balls. All runners advance one base on a walk.
  • Three strikes constitute an out. Strikes are called on good pitches after a warning is given to the striker.
  • A foul ball is not counted as a strike.
  • Not all pitches need be called.
  • The striker must stand on a 6 foot line drawn through the center of the home base.
  • A fair or foul ball is determined by where the ball first touches the ground.
  • The striker is out if the ball is caught on the fly or on the first bound. Runners may run at their own risk on a bound catch, but must tag up on a fly catch.
Photos by Brian Sullivan
  • A foul ball is considered a dead ball until it is returned in the hands of the pitcher. Runners must return to their bases on a foul ball, and may be put out, as in a force.
  • The striker is not permitted to overrun first base, as he risks being put out.
  • Each inning after the first, the striker following the player who made the last out will strike first.
  • Bunting is permitted.
  • Leading off bases is permitted.
  • Stealing bases is permitted.
  • Sliding is permitted.
  • There is no infield fly rule.
  • Choice of innings shall be determined by captains.
  • There are no time-outs permitted between pitches.
  • The striker is not awarded a base if hit by the pitch.
  • If a pitched ball, not swung at, hits the bat, it is a dead ball.
  • A runner hit by a batted ball is not out, unless the umpire deems it intentional.
  • Possession of the ball after a catch, or after a tag, is not necessary.
Rules Compilation by Ed Elmore and Jim Dragonetti

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