SAN DIEGO — Plans for the expansion of protective netting for the 2020 Major League Baseball season were announced Wednesday in San Diego by league commissioner Rob Manfred, according to the Associated Press.
Seven teams will expand their netting to the foul poles in their stadiums while 15 other teams will expand their netting “generally to the area in the outfield where the stands begin to angle away from the field,” the AP reports.
Manfred said the remaining eight teams have already installed netting that extends beyond the far end of their dugouts.
“I'm really pleased to report that for the 2020 season all 30 clubs will have netting in place that extends substantially beyond the far end of the dugout,” Manfred said, according to CBS Sports.
The push for extended netting by the MLB began in 2018 with the hopes to reduce spectator injuries from foul balls and pieces of broken bats. Such injuries have occurred at several stadiums throughout the years.
In May of this year, a toddler suffered a fractured skull when she was hit with a 106 mph foul ball at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Three months later the Astros announced that they would extend the protective netting at their park down the left and right field lines - just short of the foul poles. In 2017, a young girl was also hospitalized after she was hit by a 105-mph foul ball at Yankee Stadium in New York.
In March 2018, the San Diego Padres announced details on their efforts to cover more of Petco Park with protective netting.