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Universal Ground Rules

The Commissioner's Office has issued the following Universal Ground Rules for use in all Major League ballparks this season. Ground Rules pertaining to individual parks are posted separately in those parks. U.S. Cellular Field, Kauffman Stadium and Yankee Stadium currently do not have ground rules other than the Universal Ground Rules listed below.

  • Ball on the top step (lip) of the dugout is in play.
    • No equipment is permitted to be left on the top step (lip) of the dugout. If a ball hits equipment left on the top step it is dead.
  • A player is not permitted to step or go into a dugout to make a catch.
    • A player is permitted to reach into a dugout to make a catch. If a player makes a catch outside the dugout and the player's momentum carries him into the dugout, then the catch is allowed and the ball remains alive as long as the player does not fall while in the dugout. See Rule 6.05(a).
  • A batted ball in flight can be caught between or under railings and around screens.
  • A catch may be made on the field tarp.
  • Batted or thrown ball lodging in the rotating signage behind home plate or along first base or third base stands is out of play.
    • Batted or thrown ball resting on the rotating signage behind home plate or along first base or third base stands is in play.
  • The facings of railings surrounding the dugout and photographers areas are in play.
    • Any cameras or microphones permanently attached on railings are treated as part of the railings and are in play.
    • Any recessed railings or poles that are in the dugout and photographers areas are out of play and should be marked with red to mark them out of play.
  • Robotic cameras attached to the facing of the backstop screen are considered part of the screen.
    • A batted ball striking the backstop camera is considered a dead ball.
    • A thrown ball striking the backstop camera is considered in play.
  • A ball striking the guy wires that support the backstop is a dead ball.
  • A ball lodging behind or under canvas on field tarp is out of play.
  • A ball striking the field tarp and rebounding onto the playing field is in play.
  • No chairs can be brought out of the dugout or bullpen and onto the playing field.
  • All yellow lines are in play.


Ballpark Ground Rules

Arizona Diamondbacks - Chase Field
Atlanta Braves - Turner Field
Baltimore Orioles - Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field
Chicago White Sox - U.S. Cellular Field
Cincinnati Reds - Great American Ball Park
Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field
Colorado Rockies - Coors Field
Detroit Tigers - Comerica Park
Miami Marlins - Marlins Park
Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park
Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Angel Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium
Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park
Minnesota Twins - Target Field
New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium
New York Mets - Citi Field
Oakland Athletics - McAfee Coliseum
Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Bank Park
Pittsburgh Pirates - PNC Park
San Diego Padres - PETCO Park
San Francisco Giants - AT&T Park
Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field
St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium
Tampa Bay Rays - Tropicana Field
Texas Rangers - Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre
Washington Nationals - Nationals Park


Guidelines for Movement of Retractable Roofs
  • The decision as to whether a game begins with the roof open or closed rests solely with the home club.
  • If the game begins with the roof open:
  • It shall be closed only in the event of impending rain or other adverse weather conditions. The decision to close the roof shall be made by the home club, after consultation with the Umpire Crew Chief.
  • The Umpire Crew Chief shall notify the visiting club, which may challenge the opening of the roof if it feels that a competitive imbalance will arise. In such an event, the Umpire Crew Chief shall make a final decision based on the merits of the challenge.
  • (Arizona, Houston, Seattle, Toronto): Once the roof is closed during a game, it shall not be reopened.
  • (Milwaukee Only): The roof may be re-opened by following the procedures for opening the roof as detailed below.
  • If the game begins with the roof closed:
    • (Toronto Only): It shall not be opened at any time during the game.
    • (Arizona, Houston, Milwaukee, Seattle): It may be opened when, in the opinion of the home club, the climatic environment has reached a level where fan comfort and enjoyment will be best served by opening the roof to the natural atmospheric conditions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following guidelines should be applied opening the roof during a game.
    • The roof may be opened only once during the game.
    • The Umpire Crew Chief will be notified at the commencement of the inning that the roof will be opened at the inning's conclusion.
    • The Umpire Crew Chief shall notify the visiting club, which may challenge the opening of the roof if it feels that a competitive imbalance will arise. In such an event, the Umpire Crew Chief shall make a final decision based on the merits of the challenge.
    • The opening of the roof shall only commence between innings.
    • (Arizona Only): The roof shall be opened in a pair of 2 minute, 15 second intervals; one interval at the conclusion of an inning and one interval at the conclusion of the next inning.