Rule 1 Baseball – Section 3 – Bats, Balls & Gloves

Bats, Balls & Gloves

Rule 1 Baseball – Section 3 – Bats, Balls & Gloves

1-3-1    The ball shall meet the current NOCSAE standard for baseballs at the time of manufacture and is required on balls that will be used in high school competition. Please see the mark below. The SEI/NOCSAE mark is required on all balls that meet the NOCSAE standard that will be used in high school competition. A minimum of three umpire-approved baseballs shall be provided to start the game. Unless otherwise mutually agreed upon, the home team has this responsibility. No less than two baseballs shall be used to complete the game.

The NFHS Authenticating Mark is required on all balls that will be used in high school competition.


A current list of NFHS authenticated products can be found on the Web site:


1-3-2   The bat shall have the following characteristics and components.

  1. Each legal wood, aluminum or composite bat shall:
    1. Be one piece, multi-pieces and permanently assembled, or two pieces with interchangeable barrel construction.
    2. Non-wood bats shall not have exposed rivets, pins, rough or sharp edges or any form of exterior fastener or attachment(s) that would present a potential hazard.
    3. Be free of rattles, dents, burrs, cracks and sharp edges. Bats that are broken, altered or that deface the ball are illegal. Materials inside the bat or treatments/devices used to alter the bat specifications and/or enhance performance are prohibited and render the bat illegal.
  2. Each legal wood, aluminum or composite bat shall have the following components:
    1. Knob. The bat knob shall protrude from the handle. The knob may be molded, lathed, welded or permanently fastened. Devices, attachments or wrappings are permitted except those that cause the knob to become flush with the handle. A one-piece rubber knob and bat grip combination is illegal.
    2. Handle. The bat handle is the area of the bat that begins at, but does not include, the knob and ends where the taper begins.
    3. Barrel. The barrel is the area intended for contact with the pitch. The barrel shall be round, cylindrically symmetric and smooth. The barrel may be aluminum, wood or composite (made of two or more materials). The type of bat (wood, aluminum or composite) shall be determined by the composition of the barrel.
    4. Taper. The taper is an optional transition area which connects the narrower handle to the wider barrel portion of the bat. Its length and material may vary but may not extend more than 18 inches from the base of the knob.
    5. End Cap. The end cap is made of rubber, vinyl, plastic or other approved material. It shall be firmly secured and permanently affixed to the end of the bat so that it cannot be removed by anyone other than the manufacturer, without damaging or destroying it. By definition, a one-piece construction bat does not have an end cap.
  3. Each bat not made of a single piece of wood shall:
    1. Have a safety grip made of cork, tape (no smooth, plastic tape) or commercially manufactured composition material. The grip must extend a minimum of 10 inches, but not more than 18 inches, from the base of the knob. Slippery tape or similar material shall be prohibited. Resin, pine tar or any drying agent to enhance the hold are permitted only on the grip. Molded grips are illegal.
    2. Be 2-5/8” or less in diameter at thickest part and 36 inches or less in length.
    3. Not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot be less than 30 ounces).
  4. Bats that are not made of a single piece of wood shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. No BBCOR label, sticker or decal will be accepted on any non-wood bat. The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of one inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color to read: “BBCOR .50.”NOTE: The NFHS has been advised that certain manufacturers consider alteration, modification and “doctoring” of their bats to be unlawful and subject to civil and, under certain circumstances, criminal action.

1-3-3   A bat made of a single piece of wood may be roughened or wound with tape not more than 18 inches from the handle end of the bat. No foreign substance may be added to the surface of the bat beyond 18 inches from the end of the handle. Each bat made of a single piece of wood shall be:

  1. 2-3/4 inches or less in diameter at the thickest part
  2. 36 inches or less in length

1-3-4   Only bats may be used in warming up (including weighted bats used for this purpose) at any location. Only bats and items designed to remain part of the bat, such as weighted bats, batting donuts, and wind-resistant devices are legal at any location.

1-3-5   Bats that are altered from the manufacturer’s original design and production, or that do not meet the rule specifications, are illegal (See 7-4-1a). No foreign substance may be inserted into the bat. Bats that are broken, cracked or dented or that deface the ball, i.e., tear the ball, shall be removed without penalty. A bat that continually discolors the ball may be removed from the game with no penalty at the discretion of the umpire.

1-3-6   Gloves/mitts made of leather shall be worn by all fielders and not be altered to create an adhesive, sticky, and/or tacky surface. The glove/mitt worn by the catcher may be any size. The glove/mitt worn by the pitcher that includes the colors white and/or gray shall be removed from the game upon discovery by either team and/or umpire. The glove/mitt worn by all fielders except the catcher shall conform to the following maximum specifications (found in Diagram 4):

  1. Height (measured from the bottom edge or heel straight up across the center of the palm to a line even with the highest point of the glove/mitt): 14 inches
  2. Width of palm (measured from the bottom edge of the webbing farthest from the thumb in a horizontal line to the outside of the little finger edge of the glove/mitt): 8 inches
  3. Webbing (measured across the top end or along any line parallel to the top): 5-3/4 inches

1-3-7   Loose equipment, such as gloves, bats, helmets or catcher’s gear, of either team may not be on or near the field.

PENALTY: If loose equipment interferes with play, the umpire may call an out(s), award bases or return runners, based on his judgment and the circumstances concerning the play.



Download ebook Here: 2023 nfhs – baseball – rules book

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Jamest Philan

My name is Jamest Philan and I have been a part of the sports world for the majority of my life. I am an experienced professional athlete, having competed independently for over 15 years, and an All-American from a Division II college program.

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