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   Changing the Rules
   Chronology of Changes to Major League Baseball Official Rules

Table 9: Changes to Rule 9

Table 9. Changes to Rule 9 (The Umpire)
1845 Provisions are made for an umpire. 9.01A
1858 One umpire, chosen by the home team, is in charge of a game 9.03A
1860 The umpire of a game is selected by the captain of each team. He is given the authority to suspend play, and he must make a call when a ball is foul. 9.04
1861 At the end of a game an umpire must declare the winning club and record his decision in the scorebook of each team before he leaves the field. 9.04
1865 The umpire must also record the results of a game in the scorer's book. 9.04
1877 To choose an umpire the league selects "three gentlemen of repute" in each city where there is a team. At least three hours before a game the visiting team chooses the umpire from among them. 9.01
1879 The National League names twenty men living in or near cities where the league has teams as "fit" to be umpires, and each game is run by someone from the list. This rule remained in force until 1883. 9.01
1881 A spectator who "hisses or hoots" at or insults the umpire may be ejected from the grounds. 9.01E
1882 Umpires may not reverse decisions on matters of judgment. 9.02
1883 The first system of salaried umpires is introduced, under the same system that is in use today. The four men hired came from cities not represented in the league. 9.01
1897 The umpire has twelve hours to report a fine or an ejection to the league president, four hours for a "flagrant offense." [9.05A and 9.05B] 9.05A/B
1901 If an offense is "flagrant" enough, the league president may suspend a player or coach who has been fined and/or ejected by an umpire 9.05C
1903 If there is only one umpire in a game, he may stand anywhere on the field he likes. 9.03A
1906 The umpire gets authority over the groundskeeper. 9.01E
1910 The umpire organization chart is established. The plate umpire-the one who judges balls and strikes-is appointed the umpire-in-chief, and the others are field umpires. An umpire may not interfere with or criticize his colleagues' decisions. Only the umpire-in-chief may declare the game a forfeit. 9.04
1910 An umpire must warn players on the bench for excessive yelling before he can fine or otherwise punish them for it. 9.01D
1910 Before a game begins, the umpire must announce any special ground rules. 9.04
1914 In the case of fire, panic, or storm, the umpire does not have to wait until the pitcher has the ball on the mound to call a time-out. 9.04
1940 The umpire assumes authority over trainers. 9.01E

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JCBA Vol. 20. Rule 9 Changes
Published: December 15, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association