Major milestone in international baseball: WBSC unveils Official Rules of Baseball

Major milestone in international baseball: WBSC unveils Official Rules of Baseball
The WBSC has published its first-ever rulebook, setting that stage for the upcoming 2023 season and the birth of a new era for global baseball. The application of the rules is compulsory in all WBSC baseball competitions.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has published the first WBSC Official Rules of Baseball, which will be implemented at all WBSC baseball events from the upcoming 2023 season onwards, marking a significant milestone for the global baseball community.

The WBSC Official Rules of Baseball 2023-2024, available in English and Spanish, was the result of a rigorous two-year development and review process involving major stakeholders in the sport.

In 2021, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari established an expert-led working group chaired by WBSC Umpire Director Gustavo Rodriguez and including umpires Carlos Rey and Edgar Estivison and Scoring Commission member Oscar Izaguirre, alongside other members from the Umpires, Scorers and Technical Commissions, to develop the official rules.

After years of research, the initial draft was presented and approved by the WBSC Congress in March 2022, before being reviewed by WBSC stakeholders and Commission representatives in the second half of the year.

The translation into Spanish was done in collaboration with Luis Alberto Ramirez and the Mexican Baseball League (LMB).

WBSC Official Rules of Baseball

President Fraccari said: “The creation of the first WBSC Official Rules of Baseball is an historic moment for our sport and our organisation and will be a new starting point for all WBSC baseball events moving forward.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that Gustavo and his team have done over the past two years to produce the rulebook. They have followed a diligent process and I am confident that everyone involved in baseball and our sport will benefit as a result.”

"I am very proud of the result," commented Rodriguez. "This is another example of the WBSC being responsible to all our member federations to provide clear and concise leadership. We made sure to include all levels of baseball that the WBSC have responsibility for from the U-12 to the Premier12 level.

"In the last few years, the Official Baseball Rules included changes about replays and the use of the clock," the WBSC Umpire Director added. "We have the pitch counts for different levels and we have the bat requirements for each level.

"Our tournament regulations stated that we used the Official Baseball Rules with exceptions. Now we have our tournament regulations and our official baseball rules. All in one book. The dimensions of the field for each category, the pre-game routine for each category," said Rodriguez on a final note.

The final version is now ready to be implemented in all WBSC competitions in the 2023 international calendar.


The WBSC recently published the Official Rules of Fastpitch Softball and Slowpitch Softball.