Baseball Suspended Game Rules
In Major League Baseball, there are certain instances in which gameplay must be stopped. A suspended game is a baseball game that is stopped early and is completed at a later date from the point where the game ended. Read on to learn the rules of suspending and restarting an MLB game.
Suspended Game Rules
While all suspended games are a result of games being terminated, not all terminated games become suspended games. There are multiple occasions in which games must be suspended, including when a regulation game is ended due to weather and the game is tied or the visiting team has taken the lead of the game in the middle of an inning.
A suspended game can also be a result of curfew imposed by law, light failure or malfunction, a time limit set by the league, or darkness due to law preventing lights from being turned on. If any of these factors were to result in a game being terminated, the game must be completed at a later date.
A suspended game must be resumed immediately before the next scheduled game between the two teams on the same grounds. If there are no single games remaining in the season, it must be completed preceding the next scheduled doubleheader between the two teams. If this is the last scheduled game between the two teams on these grounds, the game must be transferred and played on the grounds of the opposing team.
If the suspended game has progressed far enough to be considered a regulation game and the game is not resumed before the last meeting between the two clubs, the team that is ahead is declared the winner. If a suspended game is not completed prior to the beginning of the postseason (the playoffs), the Office of the Commissioner determines how not completing the game will affect the teams eligibility for the postseason.
- On August 15, 2020, a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays was suspended following an hour and 45 minutes of torrential rain.
- On May 4, 1981 a game between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals was suspended in the top of the 11th inning with a tied score, and it was resumed the following day prior to the regularly scheduled game.
- On June 13, 2019 a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets was suspended after Harrison Bader slipped rounding 2nd base due to the wet field. The game was suspended because the field was determined unplayable.
The rules behind suspended games have evolved over time. Prior to World War II, the only suspended games that took place were games that had been protested and then resumed from the point of protest. During this time, when games were suspended for other reasons, such as curfew or darkness, the halted games would be replayed from the beginning at a later date, rather than resumed the way they are nowadays.
After the 2008 season, the MLB deemed that all nine-innings must be played during post-season games. If the playoff game were to be halted due to factors such as inclement weather, the game must be suspended and then resumed. Also, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, if a game was stopped before becoming official, it would be resumed at a later date from where they left off.
Similar Rules to Suspended Game Rules
- Rain Delay Rules
- Regulation Game Rules
- Protested Game Rules
What is a suspended game in baseball?
A suspended game in baseball occurs when a game is terminated before becoming a regulation game and having a winner declared. Most suspended games are a result of unplayable weather, light malfunctions, and other factors. Suspended games must be completed at a later date, and they must be resumed before the next scheduled game between the two opponents. Suspended games are resumed from the stopping point of the original game, they are not restarted from the beginning.