The Ole Ball Game

Catchers box

by Eugene Vatch
(Roselle Illinois)

Chase Field, Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Field, Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Field, Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks Side view of the batter's and catcher's box View from behind

Eugene asked: Is their an actual catchers box and does the catcher need to stay in that box prior to a pitch being thrown? Can he set up outside this box?



Rick answered: Eugene, thank you for your question.

MLB rule 2.00: The Catcher's Box is that area within which the catcher shall stand until the pitcher delivers the pitch.

As you look at the photos above, you can see the catcher's box directly behind home plate.

Generally, during a game, those lines get erased due to the traffic.

Depending on the level, there are times the catcher's box gets left out when the field is lined; but it is supposed to be intact at the beginning of each game.

The catcher's box measures 43" wide x 8' long, as measured from the back point of home plate.

The MLB rule covering the catcher's box is 4.03:

(a)The catcher shall station himself directly back of the plate. He may leave his position at any time to catch a pitch or make a play except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catcher's box until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.

Penalty: Balk

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Comments for Catchers box

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Aug 26, 2017
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!ittle league rules on catcher's box NEW
by: capt Kirk

Watching LL world series. Does LL have the same catcher's box rule as MLB? If yes, why isn't it enforced?

Jun 11, 2017
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Pitchouts
by: Anonymous

What are the rules governing a catcher on a pitchout? ...more specifically, how far up in the opposite batters box can a catcher legally receive the pitch?

May 19, 2017
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Do we still need the catchers box?
by: Jeff

With the MLB rule change this year no longer requiring pitches to be thrown on the IBB, why do we need the catchers box? The only time the box is mentioned other than in the definition is when it is referenced during an IBB. Otherwise the catcher needs to be directly back of the plate. Or am I missing something?

Oct 29, 2014
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catchers box enforcement
by: matt

Catchers set up all the time now outside of the catchers box and the umpires do nothing about it.When is MLB going to come down on this and suspend these rogue umpires.

Oct 29, 2014
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catchers box enforcement
by: matt

Catchers set up all the time now outside of the catchers box and the umpires do nothing about it.When is MLB going to come down on this and suspend these rogue umpires.

Sep 17, 2013
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Penalty for outside catcher's box
by: Rick, theoleballgame

Del: Rule 2 Section 18...Illegal pitch. A illegal pitch is an illegal act committed by the pitcher with no runners on base, which results in a ball being awarded the batter.

When an illegal pitch occurs with a runner, or runners on base, it is ruled a balk.

Rule 1-2 Art 4...At the time of the pitch, all fielders shall be on fair ground except the catcher who shall be in the catcher's box. A fielder is in fair ground when at least one foot is touching fair ground.

Penalty: Illegal pitch. No one on base, a ball is called. Runner or runners on, balk.

While it doesn't specifically state the catcher situation, it would be the same. Should the catcher continue, a lot of people will be getting base on balls.

At some point, should a catcher absolutely refuse to move into the box, and his coach not figure out this is a bad move, the umpire could eject the catcher, in the interest of moving the game along. Doubt if that would ever occur. One ball should be enough.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Sep 15, 2013
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Catchers Box
by: Del C Sharron

With nobody on base what would the penalty be if the catcher was stubborn and continued to not stay in the catchers box after being told by the umpire to stay in the catchers box?

Sep 15, 2013
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Catchers Box
by: Del C Sharron

With nobody on base what would the penalty be if the catcher was stubborn and continued to not stay in the catchers box after being told by the umpire to stay in the catchers box?

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