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VolUmp

Stalling

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I recently read a post that made reference to an umpire stopping the game clock when he judged that a team was stalling to run out the clock in tournament play.

I have always felt that this is an area that is badly neglected in tournament rules.

I call tournaments, for example, where there is some vague phrase included such as, "stalling tactics will not be considered good sportsmanship if noted by the opposing team or the officiating crew."

WTH does that mean? There's no mandate to do anything about it!

Coaches who are playing tournament games unfortunately have to deal with the clock. Baseball in it's truest form simply cannot exist in today's world of pool play, schedules, teams traveling from out of town, umpire shift changes, etc, etc, etc.

If the game comes down to the clock benefiting you either by running it out or stretching it, the head coach just has to learn how to manage the game clock. Absolutely no different than all other sports that have always had a game clock.

Example:

Home Team (Top of 5) has a 4-run lead with the weakest part of the opponents' lineup coming up. There are 12 minutes left on the clock, but we're only in the 5th inning. Now is the time to use up a lengthy visit to the mound, followed by one at-bat, followed by a pitching change. Everyone can do the math and see how much of the clock you can chew up if you think ahead. Maybe make another visit and another pitching change to be sure.

What I despise seeing, is the head coach not paying attention to the clock until he's in the bottom of that 5th inning, and then tries to have a team meeting by the dugout, strolls slowly to the 3B box, gives a bogus set of signals on every pitch, has his batter call time twice while retying his shoes and succumbing to "Nomar's" disease with his batting gloves between every pitch.

If the coach can't think ahead, he ought to be punished.  Either by adding 5 minutes to the clock for any violation I judge to be intentional, or an out called for stalling.  You could not even assign the out to a player.  Just call time and declare, "That's ONE OUT — STALLING."  If the coach argues, the clock stops — or restrict him immediately while the clock is stopped and continue.

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FED has this rule (3-4-6):

"When a team attempts to conserve or consume time illegally, the referee shall order the clock started or stopped."

Oh wait, that's football. Never mind.

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18 minutes ago, maven said:

FED has this rule (3-4-6):

"When a team attempts to conserve or consume time illegally, the referee shall order the clock started or stopped."

Oh wait, that's football. Never mind.

While I find your response beyond clever and hilarious, have you any input on punishing (penalizing) stalling tactics in baseball?

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One of the tournaments I worked this year said to eject any offender for time wasting, and the tournament director could forfeit the game to the non-offending team.  Nothing about stopping the clock.

Other ones are silent.  Other than not allowing for the stalling tactics to happen (ending conferences quickly if you are sure they are stalling, getting batter in box, etc.) ejection is really your only legal tool IMO unless clearly called out on white sheet or by tournament director.

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46 minutes ago, VolUmp said:

While I find your response beyond clever and hilarious, have you any input on punishing (penalizing) stalling tactics in baseball?

Just use the normal tools that you have at your disposal. They're entitled to use their visits, but just break them up at the normal pace you've been using all game. If I know/suspect a team is stalling, I won't give the catcher a 2nd or more trip to the mound. Keep those batters in the box - just like I'd hope you'd been doing all game anyway. Disallow more than 1 offensive conf (and it's disallowed by rule in Fed games anyway, which is the vast majority of games in my area anyway) per inning.

And if they persist? 20 seconds to the next ball/strike, as it may apply.

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14 hours ago, VolUmp said:

Example:

Home Team (Top of 5) has a 4-run lead with the weakest part of the opponents' lineup coming up. There are 12 minutes left on the clock, but we're only in the 5th inning. Now is the time to use up a lengthy visit to the mound, followed by one at-bat, followed by a pitching change. Everyone can do the math and see how much of the clock you can chew up if you think ahead. Maybe make another visit and another pitching change to be sure.

What I despise seeing, is the head coach not paying attention to the clock until he's in the bottom of that 5th inning, and then tries to have a team meeting by the dugout, strolls slowly to the 3B box, gives a bogus set of signals on every pitch, has his batter call time twice while retying his shoes and succumbing to "Nomar's" disease with his batting gloves between every pitch.

If the coach can't think ahead, he ought to be punished.  Either by adding 5 minutes to the clock for any violation I judge to be intentional, or an out called for stalling.  You could not even assign the out to a player.  Just call time and declare, "That's ONE OUT — STALLING."  If the coach argues, the clock stops — or restrict him immediately while the clock is stopped and continue.

So the visitors are down by 4. The HT is stalling on defense, and your solution is to call penalty outs on the DT ? That is definitely a make $#!+ up rule. And if my partner is thinking about adding time to a game clock, forgetaboutit. Time has expired, game over. If he thinks there is still time on the clock, I hope his one-man skills are up to snuff. Let the TD deal with stalling

 

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Part of the charm of baseball is the absence of a game clock. The game proceeds at its own pace.

Whoever adds a clock to the game is responsible for creating penalties for abuse of the clock, as other sports have done. Existing rules cannot be expected to stretch to cover this alien element.

If you want to penalize it as UNS, have at it. I wouldn't. In timed games, I enforce existing pace of play rules and let the chips fall where they may.

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Entering a time limit simply becomes part of the strategy.   Different strategies depending on "drop dead" or "no new inning after" rules.  And stalling can be part of the strategy.  Even if there are explicit rules to deal with it, there are so many ways to get around it.   Frankly, stalling is the least of the issues that time limits cause as far as "integrity of the game" is concerned.   If the tournament has drop dead rules, especially those where the score reverts to the last complete inning, you can have a scenario where one team is trying to walk everyone and the other is trying to get themselves out.

Most of these tournaments don't even have a provision to stop the clock when there's an injury...so, sudden cramps happen.

In my experience the TD's create the tournament rules, create the time limits, and don't think of the other elements until some coach starts taking advantage of all the loop holes.  Then you'll see  the rules come in the following year:

no pepper

no infield warmup between innings

3 warmup pitches instead of 5...or 1 instead of 3

modified conference rules

penalties based on umpire judgment

Without the rules, you don't have much standing, except to be consistent.

As you have stated,  you don't like to see a coach who suddenly starts the obvious stalling tactics in the last of the fifth (I agree); I don't like to see an umpire who doesn't show any sense of urgency until five minutes before the bell - keep the pace going all game to show a consistent set of expectations to how fast you want the game moving...then you have a better leg to stand on when calling the coach on his last minute stall tactics.

I had one tournament where I had my players get out on purpose in order to end an inning before the clock expired, so we could get a last new inning started to maximize my chances of completing a comeback.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I had one tournament where I had my players get out on purpose in order to end an inning before the clock expired, so we could get a last new inning started to maximize my chances of completing a comeback.

To me, this is perfectly legitimate.

All of the phoney stalling technics are not.

Premeditated stalling techniques that are not obvious, such as I stated in my OP, are fine as well. 

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7 hours ago, maven said:

Part of the charm of baseball is the absence of a game clock. The game proceeds at its own pace.

Whoever adds a clock to the game is responsible for creating penalties for abuse of the clock, as other sports have done. Existing rules cannot be expected to stretch to cover this alien element.

If you want to penalize it as UNS, have at it. I wouldn't. In timed games, I enforce existing pace of play rules and let the chips fall where they may.

What he said.  ^^

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In all the tourneys that I've worked, I don't think any have had any explicit penalties for stalling aside from saying that it's unsportsmanlike. In some of those same tourneys there were rules that said a team would be disqualified or told not to return if they committed multiple unsportsmanlike acts. Even when I know a team is stalling or when an opposing coach complains to a TD I've never seen anything done about it. I've never even seen a team told they wouldn't be welcome back. That being said, it seems most coaches stop stalling (or at least make it less obvious) when they are called on it early in a tourney.

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Or, if you can't umpire 6 in under 2 hrs (most tourney time limits) it's prob your fault anyway and deserve any hardships ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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On 7/11/2017 at 1:07 PM, beerguy55 said:

3 warmup pitches instead of 5...or 1 instead of 3

Easy fix. I come out to protest your rule misinterpretation on the number of warm-ups allowed.   Gives my pitcher warm-up time AND runs time off the clock.

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What do you do if your partner is stalling because there's a minute left on the time and 2 outs in the bottom of the inning?

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31 minutes ago, udbrky said:

What do you do if your partner is stalling because there's a minute left on the time and 2 outs in the bottom of the inning?

Thank him? :D 

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Just now, stkjock said:

Thank him? :D 

Haha, I mean, it was blatant and terrible. The kids were complaining about it. I had clock in C and he kept asking the time. I told him a minute. HT up, just playing out the time. He walked back home like this, but at 1/4 the speed:

 

 

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Son's team has faced 2 teams that wasted time like a pro soccer team.  At least in soccer you can give a yellow card for time wasting.  When they did a pitching change, the new pitcher had to go to the dugout to get a different glove, but it took so long to get that glove that he could been waiting on Amazon Prime to deliver it to him.  And then catcher had to go get some water or they did a catcher change at the last moment. These 2 teams were 2 of the best we have faced and really did not need to waste time (at least to win these games, the could have been worried about their next games). These team also only batted 9 whereas most 13U teams near us still roster bat.

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Fed 7-6-2: "When a referee recognizes stalling occurring at any time and in any position, the offender shall be warned and thereafter violations shall be penalized when stalling recurs. These provisions require the referee to penalize stalling without hesitation. Stalling shall be penalized in accordance with the Penalty Chart ("Table" above)."
First a warning, then one penalty point, one penalty point, two penalty points and disqualification.  

Oops, sorry that's Wrestling.  

 

 

 

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I was BU when I was younger with a veteran PU. It was clear the coach was killing time we only had 3 minutes left or start a new inning. HC goes out to talk to his pitcher and I watch my partner go out to break it up but it took him a minute to get to the mound and tells the HC the plate is dirty I kid you not. As he is walking back PU kicks dirt on the plate, the HC then yells "can you clean the plate blue" so after dropping his brush and cleaning the plate he gets down the pitch comes in and ground ball out. Ballgame he yells. I was glad the game was over but felt dirty about how it ended. He grabs a hotdog and tells me how sometimes you got to take control of a game. 

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I work lots of tournaments that use a 1:45 no-new-inning limit on 7 inning games.  Think about it, anything less that 15 minutes per average inning will get you thru 6 and start the 7th.  Even a poorly played game ought to average well under 15 per inning.

The problem I see with some crews is that they allow...even encourage lolly-gagging and various time-wasting for the first 5 innings...and then somehow expect the pace of the game to speed up as the clock winds down.  Be consistent, and keep the game moving from the start:

No huddles while going out for defense.  No walking on/off the field.  If catcher ended inning on base or at bat, there better be someone from the bench ready to warm up the pitcher, or he's not getting warm ups.  Batter, keep one foot in the box when taking signals...no nature hikes or Nomars. 

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13 hours ago, FleasOf1000Camels said:

I work lots of tournaments that use a 1:45 no-new-inning limit on 7 inning games.  Think about it, anything less that 15 minutes per average inning will get you thru 6 and start the 7th.  Even a poorly played game ought to average well under 15 per inning.

The problem I see with some crews is that they allow...even encourage lolly-gagging and various time-wasting for the first 5 innings...and then somehow expect the pace of the game to speed up as the clock winds down.  Be consistent, and keep the game moving from the start:

No huddles while going out for defense.  No walking on/off the field.  If catcher ended inning on base or at bat, there better be someone from the bench ready to warm up the pitcher, or he's not getting warm ups.  Batter, keep one foot in the box when taking signals...no nature hikes or Nomars. 

Exactly, set the expectation in inning one, not at 1:40.

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