Baseball Icon

Baseball Common Penalties

What is a penalty in baseball? When will an umpire signal a penalty or infraction has been made on the field? Here are the rules of penalties in baseball.


In baseball, a penalty is called on any player who breaks the rules of the sports as defined in the rulebook for the league. Penalties can result in an out, a base runner earning a base, or even an ejection from the game. The umpires are responsible for calling penalties on players and coaches during a game.

Types of Penalties

While uncommon, baseball players sometimes commit actions that are more dangerous or severe than simply forgetting to tag a base. These actions result in penalties, that often might lead to a player or coach being ejected from the game. There are quite a few types of penalties that exist in baseball. We'll cover each one followed by the result of each penalty.

Charging the Mound

Charging the mound occurs when a batter approaches the pitcher during or after his at-bat, often to initiate an attack or fight with him. Charging the mound commonly happens if a batter is hit or almost hit by a pitch, and thinks it was on purpose. Bench-clearing brawls (fights in which members from both teams leave the dugout to fight on the field) are usually started after a batter charges the mound. Umpires have the discernment about who to penalize, and what their penalty is.

Baseball Charging The Mound


Interference occurs when a person (be it coach, player, or fan) illegally disrupts the game or changes the course of the play in ways that are not allowed or expected to happen. Interferences vary in degrees of severity, and different rules decide the penalty for different kinds of interference.

Baseball Interference

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Unsportsmanlike conduct covers many actions from players and coaches that are not allowed. The punishment for acts of unsportsmanlike conduct varies. Some actions of unsportsmanlike conduct include the following:

  • Inciting or trying to incite a specific response from spectators.
  • Purposely committing any action with the intent of making the pitcher balk.
  • Purposely make physical contact with the umpire.
  • Mingle with spectators or members of the opposing team.
  • For fielders, intentionally obscuring the batter's line of vision or attempting to distract him.
  • Not immediately leaving the field or dugout after being ejected from the game.
  • Continuing to overtly express disapproval of the umpire's decisions, even after the umpire has given him a warning.

Search Results