Rules of High School Baseball

A high school catcher readies to begin play.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (or NFSHSA) has written a set of rules applicable to high school baseball played in the United States. While each state may have its own set of rules that can result in slight differentiation, high school baseball played anywhere across the nation uses similar rules and regulations. High school baseball rules differ heavily from the Major League rules in many unique ways, mostly due to the use of amateur youth athletes.

How many innings is a high school baseball game?

Unlike in Major League Baseball, official high school baseball game is ​seven innings​ long. Due to the shortened game length, a game is official after four innings if the game must be stopped because of a weather interruption (rain, snow or lightning etc.) However, if the game has to be stopped because of darkness, the two teams can agree to pick up the game from where it left off if the subject had been discussed prior to the start. Due to the shortened innings, a High School game can last a hour and a half to two hours.

Do high school games have a Designated Hitter?

The use of a Designated Hitter, or DH, is optional for high school teams. Unlike professional baseball, the designated hitter does not have to be used in place of the pitcher. The DH can replace any player in the lineup and is commonly used for the weakest hitter regardless of position. Teams can also choose not to use a DH but cannot add one mid game. The designated hitter must be used from the start of the game if the coach wants to employ it anytime in the game.

How does interference work in high school baseball?

Interference is different in high school baseball because the base runner may not get in the way of or touch any fielder involved in making a play. If the fielder is standing in the baseline, the base runner must alter his path to the base. If the runner is judged to have interfered with the fielder, the runner is out and all other runners must go back to their original base. This is in place in order to prevent the injuries of high school athletes.