Baseball Appeal Rules

In baseball, the umpires are responsible for making the calls in a game as they pertain to the rulebook. But sometimes, they make mistakes. The managers of each team can make an appeal to the umpire if they believe the call was incorrect.


An appeal can be requested by the fielding team to bring attention to a member of the batting team breaking a rule that the umpire failed to see. Common appeal plays include the following:

  • The offensive team bats out of order.
  • A base runner did not properly tag up after a fly ball was caught.
  • A base runner did not touch the bases in order, or missed a base while running.
  • A base runner did not immediately return to first base after overrunning or oversliding
  • The batter’s checked swing is appealed

Some lesser common appeal plays include:

Appeal ExamplePossible Outcome
On an overthrow to first base, the runner is awarded second base, but failed to touch first base.He is called out.
A run is scored during the play that the appeal is being requested for.The run is discounted.
A base runner fails to tag up on a fly ball. The defense requests an appeal.The runner is called out.
The runner fails to touch home base when scoring a run and the fielder tags the base.The runner is out on appeal.
Two runners reach home plate at nearly the same time and the first runner didn’t touch the plate.The second runners run will not count.
A batter bats out of order in the lineup and an appeal is made.The batter will be called out and any score or advance will be discounted.
An improper batter bats in the lineup and the defense forgets to request an appeal before the next pitch is made.The batting order is assumed to be correct going forward.

Requesting an Appeal

An appeal must be made before the next pitch and play. Defensive teams can make appeals either verbally or by making an action that clearly shows they would like to appeal, usually by pointing at a location where a rule was broken. Teams can not make multiple appeals in a row on the runner at the same base.