Historic Rules

A scorekeeper in authentic dress enters tallys at a historic base ball match.

1870s Rules

The rules used by our team are the same rules that guided the late 1860s and 1870s teams. See them in practice at our historic base ball games. These historic rules, using historic terminology, add a new — or rather old — dimension to the game.

The player is out if the ball is in the hands of a base tender before the runner steps on the base.

If two ballists are already out, no player running home at the time the ball is struck can make ace if the striker is put out.

The hurler must pitch, not jerk or throw to the bat.

The hurler must deliver the ball as near as possible over the center of home for the striker.

Foul balls do not count as strikes.

The striker is out after swinging and missing three balls if the behind catches the third strike on the fly or first bounce.

If the behind does not catch the third strike on the fly or the first bounce, the striker may try to make first base.

Any ball first touching the ground or touched by a player within the base lines is fair, even if it goes foul thereafter.

An ace shall be tallied when a base runner steps on the home base.

Outs are made when a foul ball is caught on the fly or first bounce or when a fair ball is caught on the fly only.

No person engaged in a match, either as umpire, scorer or player shall be, either directly or indirectly, interested in any bet upon the game.

Clubs may adopt rules respecting balls knocked beyond the bounds of the field as the circumstances of the ground may demand.

Source: Haney's Base Ball Book of Reference by Henry Chadwick, 1867.