Major League Baseball (MLB) is to implement its first ever-universal code of conduct for fans attending any games during the 2018 season.
While many teams enact their own set of rules for fans that enter their stadiums, the MLB has decided it is time to launch a league-wide set of standards that baseball lovers must abide by when the season begins in April.
The MLB said the code would create “minimum standards that would be uniform across the game, as well as consequences for violations of those standards”.
The league said it has been working in recent months to develop the guidelines that will make up the code of conduct, receiving input from teams in the process. While safety and security initiatives were discussed at last week’s quarterly Owners Meetings in Chicago, the MLB said the new code of conduct is expected to be presented and potentially approved at the next Owners Meetings, slated for November in Orlando, Florida.
“We are working with the clubs on security and fan conduct initiatives at all of our ballparks,” MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said, according to ESPN. “We will be issuing a league-wide fan code of conduct for the 2018 season.”
An incident that encouraged the league to take such action involved Baltimore Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones, who said that he was racially goaded by Boston Red Sox fans in May.
Fenway Park reacted by throwing the fan in question out of the game, as well as permanently banning him from the Red Sox home ground.
In another incident, a Toronto Blue Jays supporter threw a beer can onto the field at the Rogers Centre in October, and was subsequently banned from all 30 MLB stadiums for a full year. He also received a 12-month probationary period following the ban.
The set of standardised rules will support ballpark workers and fans alike, with security following a strict code that will be supported by the league.
The NFL American football league reportedly has one of the most comprehensive fan conduct policies in the US, which was enacted to “set clear expectations and encourage a stadium environment that is enjoyable for all fans.”
Image: Keith Allison