What Happens When the MLB Game is Rained Out?

If an MLB game is rained out, it’s typically postponed and rescheduled. The umpire crew or the home team announces the decision.

Major League Baseball (MLB) games are outdoor events subject to the whims of the weather.

Rainouts can cause scheduling headaches, but they’re an inevitable part of baseball. Fans and players watch the forecast, knowing heavy rain can halt play.

When a game gets rained out before it starts or becomes official — which requires five innings of play, or four and a half if the home team is ahead — the teams generally reschedule the match for a later date.

Tickets for the original game are often honored at the rescheduled event, ensuring fans still have the opportunity to enjoy America’s pastime despite the weather interruption.

Weather and Baseball

Like a curveball, the weather can take an unexpected turn at a baseball game. Baseball, a sport that thrives under an open sky, often faces the unpredictable nature of the elements.

Sunny days promise the classic game atmosphere, but when clouds gather, so do the questions about game continuity. Players and fans watch the sky as the game’s fate hangs on the whims of the weather.

Forecast’s Role in Game Prep

Teams and officials heavily rely on weather forecasts. Preparation begins long before the players take the field.

Analyzing weather patterns ensures a smooth run-up to the first pitch. When forecasts predict rain, stadiums gear up with necessary measures:

  • Tarp coverings are ready to roll out over the diamond.
  • Communication with meteorologists for real-time updates.
  • Plans are in place for possible delays or postponements.

The Impact of Rain on Play

Rain often plays spoilsport in baseball. A drizzle may not stop the game, but heavy rain leads to challenging conditions:

Rain ConditionEffect on Play
Light DrizzlePlay continues with caution
Moderate RainThe risk of slips and injuries increases
Heavy DownpourVisibility drops and play is halted

The decision to delay or call off a game isn’t taken lightly. If conditions worsen, here’s what happens:

  1. Play is suspended, and the game enters a rain delay.
  2. Officials wait for a clear weather window to resume play.
  3. If the weather doesn’t improve, the game may be postponed to a later date.
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The Rainout Decision Process

Picture this: fans in the stands, the smell of hotdogs in the air, and anticipation building. Suddenly, dark clouds roll in, and rain starts to pour. What happens next?

Sports enthusiasts and ticket holders often wonder about the fate of their favorite pastime during inclement weather.

The rules and practices around rainouts are clear but involve several key steps and authorities.

Who Calls It

The decision to call a rainout is a big deal. It impacts players, fans, and the league schedule. Here’s a glimpse into who makes the call:

  • Umpires are in charge on game day.
  • Team officials advise based on weather reports.
  • Security and groundskeepers also have a say, as safety is paramount.

Timing Considerations

Timing is everything when it comes to rainouts.

  • Decisions are made as close to game time as possible.
  • Officials wait for weather updates before the final call.
  • It’s not just the rain—field conditions after a downpour matter.

Teams and leagues aim to avoid inconvenience for fans and minimize disruptions.

They also want to preserve the integrity of the game by ensuring fair and safe playing conditions.

Immediate Aftermath of a Rainout

The moment dark clouds loom over a ballpark, fans, players, and staff all wonder: Will the game push through or face a rainout? Understanding what unfolds during and after such a weather event is crucial for everyone involved in baseball.

The aftermath of a rainout in Major League Baseball (MLB) includes a systematic yet rapid response, and how it’s handled significantly impacts everyone at the game.

Announcement Protocols

A rainout can’t go unnoticed. The announcement comes into effect as soon as officials decide conditions are unplayable. This is how teams relay the information:

  • Public address announcements to inform those in the stadium.
  • Social media updates for fans not in attendance.
  • Official MLB app notifications for instant updates.

Communication is swift and clear, leaving no space for confusion. The announcement protocol is a well-oiled machine, ensuring every fan knows about the postponement as soon as possible.

Fan Reactions and Refunds

Fans have mixed emotions when a game gets washed out. While some might feel disappointed, others enjoy the unexpected adventure.

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Nevertheless, the question on everyone’s mind is, “What about the tickets?” Here’s how fans are taken care of:

Ticket PolicyDetails
Automatic RefundsOnline purchases are refunded automatically.
Exchange OptionsTickets can be exchanged for a future game.
Window PeriodThere’s often a set period to claim refunds or exchanges.

Ballparks ensure fans leave with clarity on how their investment is managed.

Clear refund or exchange policies are communicated, allowing fans to make informed decisions about their next steps.

Rescheduling the Game

When a Major League Baseball (MLB) game is rained out, fans and players wonder about the next steps.

Teams must juggle their busy schedules to accommodate this unexpected change.

Rescheduling the game can be tricky, but MLB has strategies to ensure the season runs smoothly. Let’s dive into how games get a new play date.


One common solution to a rained-out game is the doubleheader. This means two games are played back-to-back on the same day.

Teams resort to this option to compensate for lost time without extending the season. There are two types of doubleheaders:

  • Single-admission doubleheaders, where fans watch both games for the price of one ticket.
  • Split-admission doubleheaders, where each game requires a separate ticket.

During these intensive game days, managers must strategize their pitching lineups and player rest times.

Impact on Season Schedule

A rained-out game can ripple through the season schedule. Teams work with the league to find an optimal date for both teams’ schedules. Considerations include:

Pitchers’ rest daysEnsuring pitchers have adequate rest between games
Travel schedulesMinimizing disruptions to pre-planned travel arrangements
Stadium availabilityFinding open dates at the home team’s stadium
Player healthMaintaining adequate rest and recovery time for players

The MLB works hard to ensure the new game date is fair and not disadvantage any team. Rescheduled games strive to maintain the balance and integrity of the full season.

Effect on Players and Teams

The effect on players and teams when an MLB game gets rained out can be significant. Weather delays shake up well-established patterns and can affect future games.

Disruption of Routines

Professional baseball players thrive on routine. A sudden rainout can disrupt these routines, which include:

  • Pre-game rituals: From stretching to batting practice, each step is timed.
  • Nutrition and rest: Players plan meals and sleep around game times.
  • Mental preparation: Focus and mindset can be thrown off with schedule changes.
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Pitching Rotations and Rest Days

A rained-out game has a direct impact on the pitching staff. Considerations include:

Pitching RotationRest Days
Starters may pitch on different days.Extra rest can either help or hinder performance.
Bullpen usage adjusts for future games.Relievers’ routines can be disrupted.

Coaches must strategize new rotations and rest schedules to keep arms healthy.

Statistical and Record Implications

When a Major League Baseball (MLB) game gets rained out, fans often wonder about the impact on team stats and player records.

Understanding how rainouts affect the larger season picture requires a peek into MLB’s handling of these weather-related disruptions.

Incomplete Games

Rain can pause or suspend a game, leaving stats in limbo. Here are key points:

  • If a game doesn’t reach the official point (4.5 or 5 innings), the stats don’t count.
  • Players’ achievements in the halted game get wiped out.
  • The game restarts fresh on a rescheduled as if it never started.

Historical Rainout Anomalies

Sometimes, rainouts create unique historical footnotes. Noteworthy instances include:

April 17, 1976Mike Schmidt’s 4 homerunsGame lost in the 13th, perfect game stats dropped
May 26, 1959Harvey Haddix perfect for 12 inningsGame lost in the 13th, and perfect game stats dropped

These anomalies remind us that baseball’s history is filled with ‘what-ifs’ influenced by the weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If My MLB Game is Rained Out?

If an MLB game gets rained out, officials typically reschedule it for a later date. Depending on the team’s policy, fans can use their original tickets for the makeup game or obtain a refund. Always check the team’s official website for specific details.

Do Baseball Stats Count If a Game Is Rained Out?

Baseball stats from a rained-out game do not count unless the game is official; typically, five innings are played or four and a half if the home team leads.

How Long Will They Delay An MLB Game?

Depending on the issue, an MLB game delay can vary, typically lasting from 30 minutes to a few hours. Extenuating circumstances could lead to longer delays or eventual postponement.

What Happens If a Baseball Game is Rained Out in the 7th Inning?

If a baseball game gets rained out in the 7th inning, the game may be suspended and continued later or deemed complete. The umpires’ decision depends on the score, specific league rules, and whether it’s a professional or amateur game.

What Occurs If MLB Game is Postponed?

A postponed MLB game, typically caused by rain, is usually rescheduled to be played later. The decision to delay or reschedule rainouts rests with the team officials and Major League Baseball.


Inclement weather can disrupt our excitement for baseball, yet MLB has protocols to preserve the game’s integrity. Postponements mean a reshuffled schedule, but fans won’t miss out.

Tickets typically remain valid, ensuring the action eventually plays out. Always check with your team for updates, ensuring you’re ready for the next pitch, rain or shine.

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