Thursday, March 12, 2020

MLB Suspends Operations - Defining a Delay

Major League Baseball suspended operations, cancelled the remainder of Spring Training, and postponed Opening Day, delaying the start of 2020's regular season by at least two weeks. Not just for MLB's sake, but for NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA, and other sports leagues, it's important to define our terminology.

Suspension, postponement, cancellation, and delay are nouns which will be bandied about in the coming hours, days, and weeks, but what does each mean? In order to avoid confusion as the sports world modifies its schedule, here's a glimpse at this entertainment industry terminology.

NOTE: MLB, for whatever reason, appears to have interchanged the terms "cancelled" and "suspend" regarding Spring Training in its press release. These are NOT identical terms and carry vastly different revenue/ticket implications, as the following definitions illustrate.

Definition of Terms, Sports
A SUSPENSION refers to a momentary hiatus or pause from an event or activity already in progress. For instance, the NBA suspended its in-progress season, while the NHL put a "pause" on hockey. When something is suspended, similar to a suspended game, it is expected to be made up at a future date, if possible. Tickets held for the original event will be honored for the resumption, and, thus, refunds will not be processed.

A POSTPONEMENT moves a scheduled game to a new date in the future. If Opening Day is postponed, for instance, it will still occur, just at a later time. Tickets for the original event will be good for the rescheduled/makeup date.

A CANCELLATION terminates whatever is in progress and whatever is scheduled with no intent to create a substitute event. For instance, if a college conference cancels a tournament or season, then said tournament or season will simply not occur and will not be made up. Cancellation begets an eventual refund (or ticket exchange).

A DELAY pertains to something happening that day at that event. If a game enters a rain/weather delay, for instance, play will be temporarily suspended, but will ideally resume within minutes or hours. Sit tight and wait it out.

A delay also refers to staying a component of a larger system (e.g., a few innings of a full game or a few games of a larger season), but the whole element (e.g., the game itself) is said to be postponed.

Thus, we might well be looking at a suspension of baseball operations, postponement of Opening Day, and cancellation of Spring Training, and delay the start of the season.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Sports Terms - Suspend vs Postpone vs Cancel vs Delay (CCS)


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