Sports Law • Risk Management

major league baseball

MLB Protective Netting Extension: To Protect the Fans or to Protect the Facility Owners?

The start of the 2018 season will see all 30 MLB install protective netting to the near ends of each dugout with some teams extending their protective netting even further. In doing so, these clubs are extending the protection to spectators who are dangerously close to the action. Baseball, since the early 1900’s, has been operating under the safety net of the “Baseball Rule,” the assumption of risk that states that injury from objects leaving the field of play and into the stands are an open and obvious risk that is inherent to the game. In purchasing their tickets and attending a game, spectators agree to the Baseball Rule, which might include their suffering injuries from balls, bats, gloves, and even athletes making their way into the stands.

However, baseball today is vastly different from the games played a century ago.

May 31, 2011: Increased Risk When Baseball Goes Into Extra Innings

More than six hours for a major league baseball game? That is what happened in a recent game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies. The night game went after one o’clock in the morning with a day game fewer than twelve hours later. In order to break the tie, the night game took ten extra innings, nineteen in total. Also, collectively the teams went through sixteen pitchers, but at what cost?

October 12, 2010: Doping Risk Management

Alberto Contador was victorious in the 2010 Tour de France, but has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union because of positive testing for clenbuterol. The famous bike race has experienced years of bad press with allegations and charges of doping. Surprisingly, doping goes back to the races origins in 1903 when participates used ether and consumed alcohol in an effort to gain an advantage.