What Is Baseball Kangaroo Court?

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Kangaroo Court was a common part of society matters during the 1900s before it made its entrance into the sports category. Free trials were conducted in this justice system with the agreement in decisions made by most people. The laws of the justice system were not followed by the kangaroo court and were ignored. Communities remained self-disciplined because of their presence. This practice slowly started making its way into the world of sports including Baseball. Let us discuss what is Baseball Kangaroo Court and offenses in a Baseball Kangaroo Court briefly in this article.

What Is Baseball Kangaroo Court?

It is a sort of protocol that is followed to report issues in any organization, including sports. In Baseball, the Kangaroo court is approached when the decision-making process is time-consuming, and management cannot address minor issues. We will find out more about kangaroo court in Baseball in this article.

Kangaroo Court

A baseball Kangaroo Court is referred to as a court of players which consists of a mock justice system. Under this justice system, the team members are allowed to hold each other accountable for the mistakes they conduct in the field as well as off the field. The punishments given in this court are mostly fines of monetary nature. The decisions are made final by the majority voting of the players or by an impartial jury appointed earlier. This process starts with the appointment of sheriffs who note the offenses in the whole season, and sessions are held after the season.

Baseball Kangaroo Court

Appointment of Sheriffs

First of all, the sheriff’s appointment takes place with the support of the teams. Two sheriffs are appointed by the teams, and they work throughout the season to note down the offenses. The teams usually agree about the possible offenses, and this may include locker cleanliness, training missed, etc. 

Kangaroo court session starts after baseball season mostly, but they can also take place in the middle of the season depending on the intensity and quantity of the mistakes conducted by the players.

People present in the court

The sheriff presents the mistakes recorded during the session when the proceedings begin. The proceedings are heard by a judge, and apart from judge witnesses, a jury and the defendant are also present in the court.

The argument in Kangaroo court

Since the mistakes presented in the court are undeniable, so it is almost impossible for the players to present an argument and deny the charges against them. 


A player who is late for practice can be seen by all the team members, and no one can deny this mistake conducted by the player, including the player himself.

So until proven innocent, players are considered guilty.

Decision-making process

The punishment comes from the judge, and the players and members of the team are asked to agree or disagree with the decision through voting. An example is the punishment of a fine to a specific player narrated by the court, and then the rest of the team members can decide whether the sentence is reasonable or not through their votes.

Most popular punishment

The most popular type of punishment is a monetary fine applied to the players. These fines are collected and are later used for different team-related tasks like season-end dinners, charity donations on behalf of the team, etc. 

Other punishments can be physical, like lap running on the track. The court decision is final and cannot be presented for any appeal in any other court or the same court.

Offenses in a Baseball Kangaroo Court

The main purpose of this court’s decisions is to give a feeling that all players are accountable for their acts so that proper discipline is maintained for players’ benefit. The offenses presented in the court can include both on and off-the-field behaviors; before, in-between, and after-the-game behaviors as well. Four categories of offenses are discussed below:


These offenses do not result in strict punishments, but if ignored, they can result in harsh punishments. Examples of such offenses are given below:

  • Looking messy and disorganized
  • Dirty locker
  • Being late for practice
  • Muddy shoes are not allowed in the clubhouse, so if the players come with dirty shoes, they are eligible for punishment.

This type of offense is punished with fines, and they become part of the team fund.

2.Game-Related Offenses

These offenses cannot be easily argued in court because they are related to your field performance. These offenses can be embarrassing. 

Mostly the embarrassment given by the court is considered a punishment, but if the offense costs the team during the game, then a fine will be imposed on the player for sure by the court.

Examples of some game-related offenses are as follows:

  • Failure in a sacrifice bunt
  • If you miss a sign from the coach of third base
  • If you do not run an infield hit

3.The Stretch

The sheriffs can also be found guilty of certain charges if they make an illegal accusation against the players. 

For example, if a sheriff accuses a player of dying his hair with a trending color, then it is not a legal accusation. It will be called a stretch in technical terms, and the sheriff will be guilty of it. Usually, minor leagues have such charges. It normally turns out to be a waste of the court’s time.

4.Verbal Diarrhea

This offense is normally common in minor leagues. It happens when players become extremely sensitive to minor remarks passed on to them. The player might behave in a way that he does not understand what he was accused of, or he may act like a fool or lie. 

This results in a major fine to the player because his mouth words prove to be a waste of time for the court, so the court fines the player, and the cash goes to the team funds.

Record Keeping

Record keeping is important for Kangaroo Court, and it is done by the sheriff. The records can be kept in printed form or digitally maintained. Everyone related has access to the records for identifying the details of their mistake.

A record is also kept for fund management so that all know how much a team has in their cash bank and how much players owe the team as a punishment fine.


Baseball is a game that is referred to as a gentleman’s game, but it has many non-written rules which protect its honor. The Kangaroo court is a practical application of such unwritten laws. 

The game is meant to be entertaining as well in all respect for all involved, so Kangaroo court also keeps the entertaining aspect in consideration while holding players accountable. On a serious note, the Kangaroo Court is meant to keep the players on track and to help them in taking their game seriously and respect all their fellow players.


1.What is Kangaroo court in Baseball?

It is a justice system in Baseball under which the team members are allowed to hold each other accountable for the mistakes they conduct on the field as well as off the field.

2.How many types of offenses are presented in the Kangaroo Court?

There are four types of offenses that are presented in the Kangaroo Court. These are Pot-builders, Game-Related Offenses, and Stretch and Verbal diarrhea.

What Is Baseball Kangaroo Court?
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