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Baseball Rules Lawyer Quiz

Can you answer these multiple choice questions about the rules of Major League baseball?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: August 10, 2022
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First submittedAugust 10, 2022
Times taken6,831
Average score73.3%
Rating3.89
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1. A batted ball hits the outfield fence but is caught before it hits the ground. What's the call?
The batter is out
The ball is in play
It's an automatic double
2. Is it possible to reach first base after striking out?
Yes
No
If the catcher doesn't cleanly catch the pitch, the batter can run to first base. If he reaches first base before the ball does, he is safe.
3. What happens if the pitcher is called for a "balk"?
The batter goes to first base
All runners currently on base advance one base
The pitcher is ejected (after one warning)
4. A batter tries to bunt but fouls it off. What's the call?
It is treated like a regular foul ball
The batter is out
The batter is out if there are two strikes
5. A batted ball bounces over the outfield fence in fair territory. What's the call?
Single
Double
Home run
6. What happens if a batter "tips" a foul ball into the catcher's mitt?
The batter is out
It is treated as if the batter swung and missed
7. What happens if a fielder throws his glove at a ball in play and touches it?
Nothing. The ball is still in play.
The ball is still in play but the fielder is ejected
Each runner gets to advance three bases
8. A batted ball goes over the outfield fence in fair territory but curves foul afterwards. What's the call?
Foul ball
Home run
This rule was changed in 1931
9. A batted ball strikes the foul pole above the line of the fence. What's the call?
Foul ball
Home run
The ball is in play
10. It's the beginning of the 6th inning in a regular season game. The score is 2-1. A rain storm forces the game to stop for the day. What happens?
The game is replayed in its entirety
The game is resumed at a later date
The team currently ahead is declared the winner
11. If one player is substituted for another, can the removed player ever re-enter the game?
Yes
No
12. What happens if two runners occupy the same base and they are both tagged?
Both runners are safe
The lead runner is safe, the other is out
Both runners are out
13. What happens if a runner fails to touch one of the bases after hitting a home run?
The home run counts. Running the bases is merely ceremonial.
The batter is out
14. A batter hits into a ground out for the third out of the inning. But before the ball reaches first base, a runner scores. Does the run count?
Yes
No
15. Can a player tag up and advance on a caught foul ball?
Yes
No
52 Comments
+4
Level 80
Aug 11, 2022
Recommend you modify Questions #4 and #6 or the respective answers for clarity.

Question 4. A bunted ball is also treated like a normal foul ball, UNLESS there are 2 strikes.

Question 6. A foul tip is an out if there are 2 strikes.

+2
Level 92
Aug 11, 2022
I think 6 is correct, but I agree on 4.
+1
Level ∞
Aug 11, 2022
There is a clear best answer for both questions but I'd welcome specific suggestions to reduce confusion, so long as they are not overly wordy.
+1
Level 83
Aug 11, 2022
For 4, a simple cure would be to have the first option read: “It is always treated like a foul ball”

For 6, you could have the first option say: “The batter is automatically out”

+1
Level 67
Oct 5, 2022
Maybe for #6 it could be "the batter is out no matter the count." I think #4 is okay because it is well-known among people who watch baseball that bunting foul with two strikes is an out, and that's an unusual rule that comes up often.
+1
Level 68
Oct 5, 2022
Jmellor, the batter is only out on a foul tip if there are two strikes. Otherwise, it is just a strike.

I enjoyed this one. Is there one for football? There are some crazy rules in American football.

+1
Level 67
Oct 5, 2022
I know. I was referring to rewording one of the wrong answers to make it clearer that it is wrong. As written, it just says "the batter is out," which is true in some cases (third strike) but not others.
+1
Level 80
Oct 5, 2022
#6. The batter is out if there are 2 strikes. It is treated as if the batter swung an missed if there are less than 2 strikes.
+1
Level 80
Oct 5, 2022
#4. The batter is out if there are 2 strikes. It is treated like a normal foul ball if there are less than 2 strikes.
+1
Level 80
Oct 5, 2022
5. If the ball bounces off of a player in fair territory and and goes over the fence, it is a home run. Recommend add the words, "off the ground" to this question.
+1
Level 53
Oct 7, 2022
On a "foul tip", if there are two strikes and the catcher catches the ball, the batter is out, if there are less than two strikes, it is treated as a strike, but if the foul tipped ball goes above the head of the batter and the catcher catches the ball, the batter is out no matter what the count is.
+2
Level 92
Aug 11, 2022
Surprised I got them all as I haven't been a fan of baseball in a long time, but I guess all that baseball I watched and played growing up stuck with me.
+1
Level 74
Aug 11, 2022
I beat or equalled 11% of people. Sounds right having only ever watched one game as a tourist in the US.
+2
Level 75
Aug 11, 2022
Very surprised to get 9/15, I literally didn't have a clue about any of the questions.
+1
Level 90
Aug 12, 2022
8/15 here. I knew some of those words.
+1
Level 61
Oct 5, 2022
5/15 - First time I've ever guessed every single answer on a quiz!
+2
Level 84
Aug 11, 2022
I think the substituted player question is incorrect. If a game is suspended and completed at a later date, a player could be traded between the teams before the completion of the game. In that instance, he would be eligible to re-enter the game, playing for his new team.
+4
Level 67
Oct 5, 2022
This is an absurd scenario. The common-sense answer is that the player cannot come back in. It's clearly meant to contrast baseball with sports like basketball and football, where you can freely substitute out and back in.
+6
Level 84
Aug 11, 2022
I also think the missed-base on a home run question is incorrect, or at least incomplete. If the fielding team makes an appeal, the batter is out. If not, the home run stands.
+1
Level 64
Aug 12, 2022
I was going to mention that as well.
+1
Level 89
Aug 12, 2022
Same here. If the fielding team does not appeal that the batter missed a base, then the home run will stand.
+1
Level 75
Oct 5, 2022
I don't think I'd ever have been as ashamed to not get everything right on a quiz.
+1
Level 65
Oct 5, 2022
#6 is definitely inaccurate, if it happens with 2 strikes the batter is out
+4
Level 68
Oct 5, 2022
It's not inaccurate. If if happens with two strikes, it's still treated as a swing and a miss.
+2
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
The question didn't specify two strikes. The second answer-it is treated as a swing and miss-applies regardless of the count, and is clearly the best and most accurate answer to the question asked.
+1
Level 81
Oct 5, 2022
Me: Thinking I could reason my way through this with little baseball knowledge.

Also Me: Gets 6/15—0 points.

Either I don’t get the reasoning of baseball or baseball doesn’t follow reaoning…

+1
Level 68
Oct 5, 2022
Probably a little bit of both.
+1
Level 46
Oct 5, 2022
#10 is wrong. As of this past year, the game is resumed at a later date and finished.

https://www.mlb.com/news/new-mlb-rain-delay-rules

+2
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2022
No. The question is correct. Your link refers to non-official games. The question refers to an official game, since it is in the 6th inning and the score is not tied.
+1
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
I would say at the conclusion of the 5th (and prior to the start of the 6th) rather than the beginning of the 6th (the latter of which isn't 100% clear that the visiting team didn't hit a solo home run in the top of the 6th right before the rain hit - one could view it still as the "beginning" of the inning if it were only one pitch and zero outs into the inning).

That's extremely nitpicky, admittedly. On a less nitpicky note, neither the quiz rules nor the questions specify it is a regular season game. Postseason games are never ended on weather delay and would always be resumed at a later date regardless of inning, score, etc.

+1
Level 68
Oct 5, 2022
The game can be official even before the 5th inning is completed as long as the home team is ahead when the visiting team has made 15 outs.
+1
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
Yes, it absolutely can. My suggestion was to clear up ambiguity within the question and not intended as a maxim or all-encompassing description of the rule. Nothing about the validity of the question or accuracy of the answer is impacted by the 4.5 inning/home-team ahead possibility.
+1
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2022
Added "regular season" to the question.
+3
Level 68
Oct 5, 2022
A game becomes official after the losing team has had 15 outs at the plate -- so technically, if the home team is winning, a game could be called after 4 1/2 innings.
+2
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
That's mostly true, but doesn't affect the validity of the question or accuracy of the answer. I say mostly because the way you stated it doesn't account for the possibility that the visiting team took the lead in the top half of the 6th (or later) inning, then the delay/postponement hit before the home team got to bat. In that scenario, the game would be resumed even though the team that was "losing" had already gotten 15 outs.
+1
Level 68
Oct 7, 2022
Two issues with that. Firstly, the question says it's the beginning of the sixth inning, so that's prior to pitches being thrown. ... Secondly, baseball rules do account for that scenario -- the game reverts back to the last full completed inning of play, which would leave the score at 2-1 in favor of the home team.
+2
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
I threw in a few nitpicky comments, but in fairness should add: Awesome quiz, QM! Thanks for not shying away from one that predictably lead to nitpickers like me waxing on here.

My wheels are turning for a slightly more advanced version that could include earned versus unearned run situations, what can and can't happen on dropped third strikes in relation to game situation, whether a pitcher can ever pitch non-consecutive innings, RBI or no RBI, error or no error, how batting average is affected (or not) by certain plate appearance results, etc.

+1
Level 66
Oct 5, 2022
One other area of arguable ambiguity is question 14. If the infielder fields, throws to first errantly, first baseman comes off the bag to catch the ball and tags the batter before he reaches first and after runner on third crosses home, that run counts. But is that still considered a "ground out"? Wikipedia says yes. MLB glossary is ambiguous.
+1
Level 67
Oct 5, 2022
If we award you the title of Most Awesome and Knowledgeable Baseball Fan, will you stop this and just let us enjoy the quiz? The common-sense scenario is obvious. It's testing whether people know the rule that when a batter is forced out at first for the third out, the movements of the other runners are irrelevant.
+1
Level 56
Oct 5, 2022
Yes, 10 is shaky. I think it's better off to eliminate the question for further clarification basically answers the question. Why 55% get it correct. IMHO
+1
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2022
No, it's not shaky. There is one unambiguous correct answer.
+3
Level 75
Oct 5, 2022
Having read these comments, I'm going to say that I thought these questions and options were very well worded. There was clearly a best answer for all of them and they all corresponded to the rules of the game.
+2
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2022
Thank you!
+1
Level 70
Oct 5, 2022
#12 is incorrect.

First of all, they can occupy the same base without either necessarily being out. One runner is out only when tagged. The question is ambiguous about this because there's no mention of anyone being tagged.

Assuming both are tagged while occupying the base, the trailing runner is out only if he is not being forced. If the trailing runner is being forced, it is the lead runner that is out. So none of the answers is correct.

Some of the other questions could benefit from better wording or more clarifying statements to reduce ambiguity, but this one is plain wrong.

+1
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2022
Added "and they are both tagged" to the question.
+2
Level 72
Oct 6, 2022
Got 100% on this, but there's a lot wrong:

The biggest mistake is the one about the home run and missing the bases. The batter is only out if there's an appeal. The batter is not automatically out. Home run counts unless someone notices and appeals before the next pitch.

+1
Level 72
Oct 6, 2022
Also, I suggest you change "before the ball reaches first base" to "before the batter is forced out" in this question: 14. A batter hits into a ground out for the third out of the inning. But before the ball reaches first base, a runner scores. Does the run count?

If it's a grounder to first base and the first baseman tags the runner, the run counts.

+1
Level 72
Oct 6, 2022
Finally, you should change "A batted ball bounces over the outfield fence in fair territory"

"a batted ball bounces one time in fair territory and then bounces over the outfield fence"

That gets at what you're trying to ask and conforms to the rule that what happens to a foul ball that bounces for the first time after first and third base.

+1
Level 78
Oct 6, 2022
I'm not -really- a baseball fan but I love all the history and intricacies of the game.
+1
Level 69
Oct 6, 2022
Love it. Thank you, thank you!
+1
Level 69
Dec 27, 2022
I got... TWO. two!!! out of fifteen! on a MULTIPLE CHOICE QUIZ, with no question having more than 3 answers!

I would have done better just GUESSING!!!

+1
Level 74
Feb 2, 2023
A lot to think about, but I scored 14/15. Thanks for the quiz!