What are the Major League Baseball Rules?

Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball are governed by the Professional Baseball Rules Book, which is comprised of four fundamental documents: (1) the Major League Constitution; (2) the Basic Agreement; (3) the Major League Rules ("ML Rules"); and (4) the Professional Baseball Agreement. The ML Rules govern transactions for and between major league clubs and their minor league affiliates, the drafts, post-season play, team territories, as well as outlining other general rules. The ML Rules also give power to the Official Baseball Rules (the Playing Rules and the Scoring Rules), but do not actually delineate those rules. The ML Rules are available to the public at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

ML Rules Summaries

Below is a summary of the ML Rules drafted by Mike Andrews of SoxProspects.com based on his review of the actual ML Rules. They are indexed by the actual rule numbers. Please keep in mind that these links are to summaries of the ML Rules, NOT to the actual ML Rules. These summaries are posted here for discussion purposes and to educate baseball fans on the transaction rules of professional baseball.


Rule 1. Circuits
Rule 2. Player Limits and Reserved Lists
Rule 3. General Contract Rules
Rule 4. Amateur Draft
Rule 5. Rule 5 Draft
Rule 6. Rule 5 Draft - Selected Players
Rule 7. Termination of Player-Club Relations
Rule 8. MLB Unconditional Release
Rule 9. Assignment of Player Contracts
Rule 9A. Temporary Assignments
Rule 10. MLB Waivers

Rule 11. Options
Rule 12. Transfer Agreements (Trades)
Rule 13. Suspended Players
Rule 14. Retired Players
Rule 15. Restricted, Disqualified, Ineligible Lists
Rule 16. Reinstatement of Players
Rule 17. Player Salaries
Rule 18. Playing Otherwise than for Club
Rule 19. Umpires and Official Scorers
Rule 20. Conflicting Interests

Rule 21. Misconduct
Rule 22. Claim Presentation
Rule 23. Holidays
Rule 24. Suspended Personnel
Rule 25. Uniform Playing Rules
Rule 26. Gate Receipts
Rule 27. [blank]
Rule 28. Voting
Rule 29. Major League Disaster Plan
Rule 30. Finances

Rule 31. Bulletins
Rule 32. Schedules
Rule 33. Qualification for Post-Season Series
Rule 34. Post-Season Series
Rule 35. Post-Season Supervision by the Commissioner
Rule 36. Pennant and Memento
Rule 37. Post-Season Schedule
Rule 38. Post Season Series Termination
Rule 39. Post-Season Playing Rules
Rule 40. Players Eligible for Post Season

Rule 41. [blank]
Rule 42. Post Season Expenses
Rule 43. Post Season Playing Grounds
Rule 44. Post-Season Admissions
Rule 45. Division of Post-Season Receipts
Rule 46. Postseason Bonus Forbidden
Rule 47. Exhibition Games
Rule 48. Obligation of Participants
Rule 49. [blank]
Rule 50. Enforcement of ML Rules

Rule 51. Classification of Minor Leagues
Rule 52. Major & Minor League Territorial Rights
Rule 53. Minor League Expansion, Retraction, Relocation, Reclassification
Rule 54. Regulation of Minor League Franchises
Rule 55. Minor League Free Agency
Rule 56. Player Development Contracts
Rule 57. Travel Standards for Minor League Clubs
Rule 58. Standards for Minor League Facilities
Rule 59. Club indebtedness
Rule 60. Definitions