Interpreting the Coaches Box

Interpreting the Coaches Box


To relieve any confusion for readers and to clarify schoolyard info or ‘Tim McCarverisms’ on the muddied waters of baseball rules here is the gospel.

Rule 4.05


The offensive team shall station two base coaches on the field during its term at bat, one near first base and one near third base.


Base coaches shall be limted to two in number and shall be in team uniform and remain within the coach’s box at all times.

Penalty The offending base coach shall be removed from the game and shall leave the playing field

There is the rule


It is common practice for some coaches to put one foot outside the coach’s box or stand astride or otherwise be slightly outside the coaching box lines. The coach shall not be considered out of the box unless the opposing manager complains, and then the umpire shall stricly enfore the rule and require all coaches to remain in the coach’s box at all times.

It is also common practice for a coach who has a play at his base to leave the coach’s box to signal the player to slide, advance or return to a base. This may be allowed if the coach does not interfere with the play in any manner.

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3 replies on “Interpreting the Coaches Box”
  1. says: Kman

    Although the rule is clear within the above text I think we have to take into account the “flexability” of certain rules. Such as the in the area double play or the strike zone. The coaching box hasn’t been an issue for as long as I’ve been watching baseball.

    To someone without an umpiring background (and the rule knowledge that comes with it) it seems to me like the MLB took it upon itself to publize the rule and make an example out of Bowa.

  2. says: Beth

    I would like to ask about leaving the coaches box to tell a player who is crossing home plate to come back and touch it, as in all the excitement, he misses it and heads for the dugout. This is little league baseball, and I am curious if it is allowed. Thank you!

  3. says: RC

    Interpreting the rule as quoted the umpire could eject the base coach, however the run would be absolutely allowed so long as the coach does not physically interfere with the play. Personally I could never see an ejection happening in that circumstance.

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