Universal Ground Rules

Adopted from Major League Baseball’s Universal Ground Rules

  • 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. For parks in which the dugout is not raised or lowered from the level of the playing surface, the “lip” shall be considered to be the out-of-play line at the entrance(s) to the player’s bench
  • A player is permitted to step on the lip of the dugout in parks in which the lip is in play, but they may not go into a dugout to make a catch.
    • A player is permitted to reach into a dugout to make a catch provided they do not step into the dugout. If a player makes a catch outside the dugout and the player’s momentum carries him into the dugout, then the catch is allowed but the ball becomes dead, per the catch and carry rule. A catch made by a player standing out of the dugout but held up by the occupants of a dugout shall stand and the ball will remain live, provided the player does not step or fall into the dugout.
  • A batted ball in flight can be caught over, between or under railings and around screens.
  • A catch may be made on the field tarp.
  • Any cameras, microphones, or other television broadcast equipment on the field of play or attached to railings are treated as part of the field and are in play unless otherwise noted.
  • A ball striking mesh netting that is a direct extension of the fence remains in play
    • Any recessed mesh, railings or poles that are in the dugout or otherwise are out of play
  • A ball striking the wires that support the backstop netting (where applicable) is a dead ball.
  • A ball rolling through or under a fence or gap in the fence, as well as lodging behind, in, or under the field tarp, bullpen bench, advertising signage, fencing, protective padding, or any other natural aspect of the playing field shall be ruled out of play in accordance with the Official Rules of Baseball. Runners will be awarded bases accordingly.
    • Ruling the ball out of play shall be contingent on an umpire being able to directly observe the ball as out of play or lodged.
    • In the event a fielder plays the ball before an umpire is able to arrive at the ball to determine its status, any plays made shall stand.
  • A ball striking the field tarp or bullpen benches located on the field of play and rebounding onto the playing field is in play.
  • No chairs or equipment can be brought away from dugout or bullpen wall
  • All lines marking dead ball territory, both on the ground and on fences, are in play
  • Any ball striking the top of the home run fence, regardless of whether or not the top of the fence is marked with a yellow (or other coloured) line and subsequently bounding over the fence shall be ruled a home run
  • In the event any team is required to shut off the field lights by a local by-law and an inning is in progress, the game shall be stopped and suspended five (5) minutes prior to this curfew time
    • Within fifteen (15) minutes of this curfew time, play shall be suspended at the conclusion of any half-inning.