Fenway Park has a ground rule for balls that hit the top of the ladder on the Green Monster and go out of play—the batter is awarded a ground rule double

Ground rules are rules applying to the field, objects on and near it, and special situations relating to them, in the game of baseball. Major League Baseball has defined a set of "universal ground rules" that apply to all MLB ballparks;[1] individual ballparks have the latitude to set ground rules above and beyond the universal ground rules, as long as they do not directly contradict each other. Additionally, a set of universal ground rules exists for the six MLB stadiums with retractable roofs, with the individual ballparks able to set additional rules.

Unlike the well-defined playing field of most other sports, the playing area of a baseball field extends to an outfield fence in fair territory and the stadium seating in foul territory. The unique design of each ballpark, including fences, dugouts, bullpens, railings, stadium domes, photographer's wells and TV camera booths, requires that rules be defined to handle situations in which these objects may interact or interfere with the ball in play or with the players, and adaptable by ballpark within the universal rules.

The term is familiar to most fans through the ground rule double, a batted ball that bounces fair, then over the outfield fence in fair or foul territory for a two-base hit.


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)


Individual ballpark

Individual ballpark ground rules vary greatly from ballpark to ballpark. For the 2017 season, Citi Field, Kauffman Stadium, Target Field, Yankee Stadium, and Guaranteed Rate Field are the only MLB ballparks that do not have individual ground rules above the universal set.[1]

Examples of ground rules that have been or are still in major league ballparks include:[citation needed]

Movement of retractable roofs

These ground rules only apply at ballparks featuring retractable roofs. As of the 2021 season, these are: Rogers Centre, Chase Field, T-Mobile Park, American Family Field, Minute Maid Park, and LoanDepot Park. Rules governing batted balls striking the roof are defined in each individual ballpark's ground rules.



All ballpark-specific retractable roof ground rules concern opening of the roof after a game has started.

If the game starts with the roof closed:

If the game starts with the roof open and it is closed during the game:


  1. ^ a b c d e "Umpires: Ground Rules". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Wrigley Field Information – Facts & Ground Rules". cubs.com. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  3. ^ https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/High-cheese-comes-to-land-of-high-tea-Yanks-vs-14059130.php