Rain delays in the MLB might go something like this:
It’s 30 minutes until game time- you stroll into a private suite at the ballpark to enjoy pregame refreshments accompanied by a group of your closest friends. You feast your eyes upon the spectacular view of the diamond from behind the climate-controlled glass and suddenly, BAM, a flash of lightening followed by rumbling thunder and large raindrops. The bright green turf is concealed by an ominous tarp.
Under the protection of a suite, you don’t have to bother with that umbrella or concern yourself with the lightning’s electric charge. But what does this mean for gameplay? The MLB has rules for rain delays that can seem somewhat complex. We are breaking down these rules or regulations so that next time you park under dark skies at the stadium, you’ll know what to expect.
MLB Rules for Rain Delays
Generally, Major League Baseball teams will play through light to moderate rain. The tipping point is the amount of rain or collection of water on the field. Decisions to cancel or delay a ballgame are also effective by whether or not the game has started. All decisions are informed by a contracted meteorologist or team of meteorologists in conjunction with the grounds crew. Here are some guidelines:
If the Game Has Not Started
The manager of the home team has the discretion to decide if a game should be delayed or canceled. Once the manager hands his lineup card over to the umpire, that discretion falls to the umpiring crew chief.
Umpires are required to wait at least 30 minutes to see if conditions improve before canceling a game. Once cancelled, a game that has not begun is simply rescheduled for a later date.
If the Game Has Started
If a Major League Game reaches the bottom of the 5th inning, the leading team can be declared the official winner and the game can conclude.
If the game has not been played through the fifth inning, it must be either delayed or rescheduled to pick up where it left off.
If the game is tied or stopped in the middle of an inning after the fifth inning, it is not considered a complete game and must be rescheduled.
Length of Rain Delays
Rain delays can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, with the duration up to the umpire. As with before the start of the game, the umpire must wait at least 30 minutes for weather to clear before postponing a game, but can wait hours if it seems there will be a reasonable chance to resume play. The umpire’s is encouraged by the MLB to do their best to ensure a started game is completed, so you could be waiting a while.
Rain Delays and Your Suite Tickets
Games that are not completed will either be rescheduled to an open day or moved to a split doubleheader within the same series. Tickets in all seating areas within the stadium, including the premium ones, will be valid only for the rescheduled date. (Some exceptions allow attendees to exchange the tickets for entry to a game in another series.) Since not even Major League baseball teams can predict or control weather, refunds are not provided for rain delays or rain-outs.
If a rain delay occurs, touchbase with the stadium staff before leaving to determine how you will be notified when the rescheduled game is played.
Your suite expert with SuiteHop will be happy to help you understand the rain delay policies of your specific game. As a general rule of them, enjoy the gourmet catering provided even if the skies open up. Once the ballpark gates open up, food will be served in the suites rain or shine. In the event of a cancellation due to weather, suite goers will be given extra time to clear their plates but catering will not be reimbursed and cannot be used at a later date.
For additional questions regarding rain delays or to book your private MLB suite, contact us at 1-888-SuiteHop or firstname.lastname@example.org.