ground rule

noun
1.
Usually, ground rules. basic or governing principles of conduct in any situation or field of endeavor: the ground rules of press conferences.
2.
Sports. any of certain rules specially adopted, as in baseball and softball, for dealing with situations or circumstances arising chiefly from the particular nature of the playing area or the interference of spectators.

Origin:
1885–90, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ground rule
 
n
a procedural rule or principle

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
The next one by the same player is a ground rule double.
Keith's second ground rule was better communication--everywhere.
The pivotal question is whether the parties need a written ground rule
  regarding confidentiality.
Before the groups begin their work, spend a minute discussing a critical ground
  rule: ratings must be substantiated by evidence.
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