A forfeit occurs when the chief umpire decides to end a game in favor of the wronged team for a violation of the rules. Forfeited games are rare and are usually only seen when a team is unable to play.

What Happens When a Baseball Game is Forfeited?

In accordance with the Major League Baseball Rule Book, the score of any game that ends in forfeit is recorded as 9-0, as this equates to the number of innings that are in a regulation game. In terms of the game’s statistics, these are recorded as to how they stand at the time of the forfeiture. The game is always recorded as a loss for the team that had to forfeit and a win to the opposing team, regardless of which team was ahead at the point of the forfeit.

Why Might a Team Have to Forfeit a Baseball Game?

There are a number of scenarios in which a team may be required to forfeit a baseball game, including:

  • The team fails to appear on the field, or if they refuse to begin playing within five minutes of the umpire calling “play” (unless the umpire-in-chief judges the delayed appearance as unavoidable)
  • The team uses tactics that are specifically employed to delay or shorten the game
  • The team refuses to continue with a game (unless the umpire-in-chief has suspended or terminated the game)
  • The team fails to continue with a game within one minute after the umpire-in-chief calls “play”
  • The team has been warned by the umpire-in-chief for rule-breaking and then continue to purposefully violate the rules
  • The team fails to remove a player from the game within a reasonable amount of time after being ordered to do so by the umpire-in-chief
  • The team fails to show up for the secondary game in a doubleheader within half an hour after the first game has ended (unless the umpire-in-chief of the first game extends the length of the intermission)
  • The team is unable or unwilling to place nine players on the field