Rules of 1860

The Ohio Village Muffins play by the Base Ball rules of 1860. Learn more! 


Rules and Customs of 1860

From the Rules and Regulations of the Game of Base Ball Adopted by the National Association of Base-Ball Players March 14, 1860:

  • The ball is pitched underhanded from anywhere behind the pitcher's point.
  • The striker must stand on or straddle a line through home plate.
  • Pitches are not usually judged as balls or strikes, but the umpire may call a strike if the batter persists in not swinging at well-pitched balls.
  • The ball is judged fair or foul according to where it first touches the ground (people, structures, and trees don't count as the ground).
  • Articles of clothing such as a hat may not be used to catch a ball.
  • An out is declared if:
    • A hit ball is caught on the fly or on the first bound, including foul tips to the catcher.
    • A striker misses swinging at three pitched balls and the third strike is caught by the catcher on the fly or bound. If the catcher misses the pitch, the umpire will declare the ball to be fair and the batter must make his run to first base. Foul tips do not count as strikes.
    • A ball arrives in the hands of a baseman whose foot is upon the base prior to a base runner who is required to make that base.
    • A ball in the hands of an adversary touches a base runner not safely on his base.
    • A base runner does not return to his original base before a caught fly ball reaches the same base.
    • A base runner overruns any base (including first) and is touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary.
  • A base runner may not advance on any foul ball and must return to his original base. He may be tagged out if not there after the ball has been settled in the hands of the pitcher.
  • A base runner may advance at his own risk on a fair ball caught on the bound.
  • A base runner may advance after a fair fly ball is caught provided he has tagged his most recent base after the ball is in the hands of the fielder.
  • A base runner must run for the next base if the ball is hit, and the force remains on even if an out is made behind the advancing runner.

Muffin Conventions

  • The call "Striker to the Line" indicates that the next battter should appear at home plate.
  • A tally bell announces aces (runs) to the crowd.
  • A base runner may take a lead from his base but cannot advance until the ball passes the batter. The base runner must be motionless when the pitcher delivers the ball to the batter.