Photo of a rain delay at Wrigley Field. Home of the Chicago Cubs.

Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

Image Credit: Chris Metcalf (CC BY 2.0)

Many fans throughout the Major League Baseball season are hesitant to purchase tickets for a game based on the unpredictable weather conditions. So let me clear a few things up for you. In the NFL, officials will only delay a game when lightning or hurricane conditions strike which is very rare. Then again, some NFL teams play their home games indoors. 

Major League Baseball is where fans are very unclear on how the weather effects the fate of the game. Here are Major League Baseball's rules for when inclement weather strikes .

  • Before the start of the game, the home team is the only entity that can delay a game due to weather.
  • After the home team manager gives the umpire-in-chief his lineup card, the umpire-in-chief is the only game official that can halt the game due to the weather conditions.
  • Play will typically continue during light rain.
  • The umpire-in-chief must wait at least 30 minutes after delaying play before cancelling the game.
  • If he believes there is a chance for the game to resume, he can delay the game as long as he wishes.
  • The umpire-in-chief must attempt to complete a game at all times.
  • If the game has completed the top half of the fifth inning and the home team is winning, the game becomes an official game and counts as a win in the standings.
  • If the game has completed the bottom half of the fifth inning and the visiting team is winning, the game becomes an official game and counts as a win in the standings.
  • If a game is re-scheduled for a later date, the original ticket will also grant fans access to the re-scheduled game.
  • For re-scheduled games, remaining tickets are sold as normal.
  • Depending on the policy of the stadium, some teams will allow fans to exchange tickets from cancelled games for future games, subject to availability.

So the next time it rains when you're at the ballpark, why not go grab a few beers in the stadium's restaurant with your friends? Many fans will exit the stadium during a rain delay, leaving you with the option of grabbing a seat you can't afford for the rest of the game.


Related Articles