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The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: Dos and Don’ts for Players Fielders and Fans

The Unwritten Rules in Baseball: Guidelines, Manners, and Etiquette

Baseball is known as America’s favorite pastime, and it’s easy to understand why. The game has a rich history and a culture all of its own.

From the crack of the bat to the smell of the grass, baseball is more than just a sport. It’s an experience.

Part of that experience includes the unwritten rules of baseball.

The Unwritten Rules of Baseball

Unwritten rules are guidelines, practices, and manners that are not mentioned in the official rulebook but are expected by players. These unwritten rules in baseball have evolved over time, and they are deeply ingrained in the culture of the game.

For example, one unwritten rule is that you should never show up the other team. This means that after hitting a home run, players should not linger around the plate, admiring their shot or taunting the opposing team.

Instead, they should run the bases, touch home plate, and return to the dugout. Another unwritten rule states that pitchers should not throw at a batter unless it is in retaliation for a previous incident.

This unwritten rule has existed for many years, and players believe it to be a necessary part of maintaining the balance and respect within the game.

The Development of Unwritten Rules

Unwritten rules have developed over time due to the many unwritten skirmishes and historic battles over baseball culture. They are often a result of the way the game has been played and what is seen as respectful and disrespectful behavior on the field.

For instance, one unwritten rule in baseball is that a hitter, after hitting a home run, should not show up the opposing team by standing and admiring the shot. This rule was created to avoid situations where the opposing team or pitcher would feel disrespected, which could lead to a potential fight or conflict.

Criticism and Evolution of Unwritten Rules

As baseball culture has evolved, there has been increasing scrutiny of the unwritten rules of the game. Many believe these rules to be outdated and harmful to aspects of the game such as player creativity and innovation.

In 2019, the “Let the Kids Play” campaign was launched, arguing that baseball should encourage players to express themselves on the field rather than adhere to outdated norms and traditions. This campaign called on players to be creative and innovative with their celebrations and expressions, without fear of retaliation or criticism.

General Unwritten Rules in Baseball

Besides specific unwritten rules, there are also general dos and don’ts of behavior for all players and coaches on the field. One such rule is always to respect the umpire’s decision.

Umpires have a challenging job and can make mistakes, but arguing with their calls publicly is not considered respectful behavior and can lead to the player or coach being ejected from the field. Another unwritten rule is that pitchers and catchers should have a good understanding and working relationship.

They should regularly communicate effectively, discussing different signals and strategies to throw off opposing batters. Conduct, Etiquette, and Behavior

Overall, unwritten rules on the baseball field are vital to maintaining a respectful atmosphere on the diamond.

These codes of conduct are an essential aspect of baseball’s culture and tradition, and they provide a necessary sense of stability and structure within the game. As the game and its culture continue to evolve, so too will these unwritten rules, but their importance and significance will remain just as integral to the spirit of baseball.

Unwritten Rules for Batters and Pitchers

In baseball, there are unwritten rules that both batters and pitchers should follow. These unwritten rules are based on good sportsmanship, respect, and the unwavering tradition of the game.

Here is a closer look at the unwritten rules for batters and pitchers.

Unwritten Rules for Batters

The unwritten rules of baseball for batters have developed over time to ensure that the game remains a fair and respectful competition. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts for batters.


1. Try not to bunt to break up a no-hitter or perfect game.

Many players consider bunting a cheap way to end a pitcher’s impressive performance. 2.

Respect the home run. After hitting a home run, players should not show up the pitcher or opposing team.

They should round the bases, touch home plate, and return to the dugout. 3.

Pay attention to the pitch count. Batters should not swing at every pitch, as this can tire out a pitcher and lead to a higher pitch count.

It is smart batting to take pitches, work the count and make the pitcher throw more pitches. 4.

Maintain proper base running etiquette. When running the bases, batters should not show up the opposing fielders by showboating or trying to steamroll them.

This could cause altercations and further issues on the field. Don’ts:


Don’t bunt for a hit when the shift is on. Shifting players to one side of the field is a legitimate defensive tactic.

Bunting against the shift is seen as an attempt to cheat and is thus frowned upon. 2.

Don’t admire your hit. Similar to home runs, batters should run to first base after hitting the ball and not stare at the ball or show off.

Such behavior can be seen as discourteous and disrespectful, potentially leading to tensions on the field. 3.

Don’t run on your own accord. Coaches have their base-running signals that help to organize a team.

A runner’s urgency to steal a base or advance movements off their own intuition and not the coach’s instructions is unwelcomed behavior.

Unwritten Rules for Pitchers

The unwritten rules for pitchers are just as important as those for batters. Pitchers must respect the game’s traditions and ensure that the game remains a fair and friendly competition.


1. Respect the manager’s decision.

If a manager decides to remove a pitcher from the game, they should accept the call and leave the game, even if they don’t agree with the decision. 2.

Encourage fielders. Encourage your teammates, and cheer them on when they make good plays.

Building camaraderie and trust on the team is essential for a pitcher’s success. 3.

work with the closer protocol. Pitchers understand that if they begin a game as the starter but struggle, the existing relief or closing staff may take over.

Pitchers need to honor this decision and work collaboratively with the closing staff. Don’ts:


Don’t hit batters on purpose. Doing so violates baseball’s unspoken etiquette and can lead to tensions on the field or future games.

2. Don’t yell at fielders.

It’s not uncommon for a pitcher to give instructions to their fielders during a game, but frequent screams and yelling at them is disrespectful and unnecessary. 3.

Don’t show off after a strikeout. Pitchers should not showboat or act disrespectfully when striking out players.

Instead, they should celebrate internally and continue to focus on the game at hand.

Final Thoughts

In baseball, the unwritten rules for batters and pitchers are important to maintaining the spirit of the game. They promote good sportsmanship, respect, and fair competition, essential components of baseball culture that must be respected.

Players should continue to follow these unwritten rules to ensure baseball’s continued evolution as a respected sport.

Unwritten Rules for Fielders and Fans

Baseball has a unique culture, and the game’s unwritten rules extend beyond the batter’s box and pitcher’s mound. In this article, we discuss the unwritten rules for fielders and fans and how they contribute to the sport’s culture.

Unwritten Rules for Fielders

Fielders play a crucial role in the game of baseball, and there are unwritten rules that all fielders should follow to maintain good sportsmanship and a harmonious culture. Here are some of the essential dos and don’ts for fielders.


1. Priority Calling – A fielder who can make an easy catch should call off fellow fielders, particularly outfielders.

Fielders should communicate and give priority to the best-positioned player for a catch to avoid potential confusion and errors. 2.

Make outs at third base. The third base is considered a crossroad when baserunners approach.

Infielders should try to throw the runner out at third base to eliminate the lead baserunner and improve their chances of making a double play. Don’ts:


Don’t push your teammates out of the way. Teamwork is crucial in baseball, and shoving teammates out of the way is seen as an act of selfishness and disrespect.

2. Don’t argue with umpires.

Situations may arise where a fielder disagrees with the umpire’s decision. Despite this, it’s important for the fielder to provide an opportunity for the next play to continue, hence arguing should be avoided.

Unwritten Rules for Fans

Baseball fans play an essential role in the sport, and there are unwritten rules they need to adhere to, to keep the game fair and enjoyable. Here are some of the essential dos and don’ts for baseball fans.


1. Observe ball-catching etiquette.

Fans need to follow the ball-catching etiquette, which entails ‘right of way’ rules, giving priority in catching the ball to young children and seated adults within an area. 2.

Stay seated during play – fans are expected to sit and stay out of players’ way during gameplay and limit their movement between pitches. 3.

Applaud but do not heckle – cheering for your team is a natural expression and adds to the game’s atmosphere. However, insulting the opposing team, team or players by name-calling and inappropriate gestures is discouraged.


1. Don’t disrupt play.

Fans should avoid creating distractions during gameplay that may interrupt play such as waving signs, bringing bright lights or putting lasers into play. 2.

Don’t discuss a no-hitter – talking about a no-hitter is believed to jinx the pitcher’s chances of completing one. 3.

Don’t overconsume alcohol. Over-drinking can lead to breaking laws, fans compromising their safety and potentially harm the field experience of others.

Wrap Up

The culture of baseball extends to all aspects of the game, including the players, fielders, and fans. These unwritten rules for fielders and fans contribute to the game’s respected etiquette, resulting in fair play and a good sportsmanship spirit.

By following these unwritten rules, players and fans acknowledge and respect the game’s traditions, making baseball more than a game. In conclusion, the unwritten rules of baseball are an essential part of the game’s culture and tradition.

These rules provide guidance on good sportsmanship, respect, and fair competition, ensuring that the game remains a beloved national pastime. The dos and don’ts for batters, pitchers, fielders, and fans should always be observed to maintain a harmonious atmosphere on and off the field.

By adhering to these unwritten rules, everyone who loves baseball can contribute to the sport’s continued evolution and success. FAQs:

Q: What is the purpose of unwritten rules in baseball?

A: Unwritten rules in baseball ensure that the game remains a fair and respectful competition, promoting good sportsmanship. Q: Why are unwritten rules important to the culture of baseball?

A: Unwritten rules are deeply ingrained in the culture of baseball and provide a necessary sense of stability and structure within the game. Q: What are some specific unwritten rules for batters?

A: Batters should not show up the opposing team or pitcher after hitting a home run, maintain proper base running etiquette, and work the pitch count by taking pitches to tire the pitcher. Q: What are some specific unwritten rules for fielders?

A: Fielders should give priority calls, communicate effectively, and make outs at third base to eliminate lead baserunners. Q: What are some common unwritten rules for baseball fans?

A: Fans should observe ball-catching etiquette, stay seated during play to avoid distracting players, and avoid overconsuming alcohol or disrupting gameplay.

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