Thursday, December 22, 2011

SEC Dixie-nary: R is for Rulebook

R is for Rulebook

The rules of play in the Southeastern Conference are generally the same as in any other conference, following the NCAA Division 1 Baseball rulebook.  

But there are a few add-ons and exceptions outlined in the SEC Baseball Bylaws

A few highlights of the rules, SEC-style:
  • The 10-Run Rule is not used in the SEC during the regular season, but is in force during the SEC Tournament after 7 innings.

  • Pace of Play:  Beginning with the 2010 SEC postseason tournament, the conference rules award a ball to the batter if the pitcher takes more than 20 seconds to deliver a pitch when the bases are empty. They also award a ball to the batter if the pitcher is not warmed up and ready to go within 108 seconds at the break between innings. The batter must be in the box at least five seconds before the 108 expire or he is given a strike. (

  • Roster limit: The home team may dress 35 student-athletes in uniform, but only 27 student-athletes shall be allowed to participate in a series. The 27 participating student-athletes for both the home and visiting team must be declared prior to the first game of a Conference series and may not be changed during the course of the series. (SEC Constitution)

  • Artificial Noisemakers [SEC Bylaw] :  The first time the home plate umpire detects the significant use of artificial noisemakers by those in the crowd, he shall call a timeout and request that the public address (PA) announcer make a verbal warning through the public address system.  On the second, and any subsequent incident involving the significant use of artificial noisemakers, a strike or ball shall be assessed against the offending institution, depending upon the team at bat.

  • Batting Practice [SEC Baseball Bylaws]: No team or any member of a team is permitted to take batting practice in any location while a game is in progress.

  • Dugouts [SEC Baseball Bylaws]: The visiting team shall have the right to utilize its choice of isotonic beverage (product and equipment) in the dugout area during SEC regular season competition. If the visiting team does not arrange to have its own product and equipment at a contest, the home team shall supply the isotonic beverage (product and equipment) of its choice in the visiting team dugout area.

    Equipment utilized in the visiting team dugout area must be standard size

  • Electronic Equipment  [SEC Baseball Bylaws]: The use of telephones, cellular telephones, walkie-talkies, etc., are permitted for two-way communication between a team’s dugout/bench or bullpen. Any other form or communication and any other communication between other areas shall not be allowed

  • Inclement Weather:  There are numerous and complicated rules about the scheduling and total innings of suspended games and postponed games, including the mandate that any suspended or postponed game that is played on Sunday be limited to 7 innings.  See the details at SEC Baseball Bylaws

  • Seating Behind Dugouts [SEC Baseball Bylaws]: The home institution shall not seat its students closer than four rows behind the visiting team’s dugout

  • Game Clock [SEC Baseball Bylaws]:  The SEC follows the NCAA Game Clock protocol, with the exception that the clock will be located on the outfield wall in each SEC stadium. In addition, thirty (30) minutes prior to the start of each game, the individual responsible for the operation of the game clock must meet with the umpiring crew to review the protocol. Emphasis should be placed on in-game communication (signals, etc.) from the field to the individual operating the clock

  • Game Clock []

    Pitchers will have 20 seconds between pitches when there is no one on base. The pitch time limit is not in effect if there are runners on base. The clock will start when the pitcher receives the ball on the mound and stops when the pitcher begins his pitching motion. If the time limit expires at the same time the pitcher begins his windup, there is no penalty. In certain game situations the clock will be paused, for example when the pitcher is returning to the mound after making or backing up a play or another player is returning to his position (e.g. after attempting to field a foul ball).

    Pitchers will get one warning if they violate the rule, after which a ball will be awarded for each violation. A pitcher stepping off the rubber does not stop the clock unless the umpire grants the pitcher time. Batters are also subject to the time limit and will be assigned a strike if they are not in the box ready to take the pitch with five seconds or less showing on the clock and time expires. A penalty is not automatic when the batter is not in the box with five seconds or less showing, as long as play continues without a signal or there is no violation. The clock will be paused if the batter is granted time by the umpire with five or more seconds showing on the clock. Unless unusual circumstances warrant, time will not be granted to the batter with less than five seconds remaining. If neither the pitcher nor batter is ready, the pitcher is responsible.

    Teams will have 90 seconds after the final out of each half-inning to take the field ready to pitch and have a batter in the box (extended to 108 seconds for televised games). Unusual circumstances (e.g. ceremonies, field maintenance, an injury) excepted, the clock starts with the last out of the inning and stops when the pitcher begins his windup for the first pitch to the first batter of the inning. If the offensive team isn't ready before the time limit, a strike will be called. If the defense is not ready, a ball will be awarded.

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