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Guest Doug Heffernan

Courtesy Runners - Cal Ripken

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Guest Doug Heffernan

Quick question.

Today at our first pool play game the opposing team (tournament hosts) brought up courtesy runners during the meeting at home plate before the game. After agreeing we were playing under normal Cal -Ripken rookie rules (8U) I objected to their use as this option isn't found anywhere for Cal Ripken level play. There is a mention in the rule book for Babe Ruth covering it, but nothing for Cal Ripken levels of play.

Am I correct or did I miss any rule allowing their use?

 

Thanks

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A lot of tournaments will add rules to the Cal Ripken, or Babe Ruth, or FED rules specific to the tournament. Including but not limited to mercy rules, time limits, batting orders (Allowing everyone to bat), substitutions, courtesy  runners, Etc. 

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Courtesy runners for the catcher have been a rule in every tournament I've ever seen, with 2 outs its mandatory - with the tight time frames in tournaments, you really have to, especially below U12, if you want to finish games.

 

Beyond that and possibly to protect the pitchers, I think it's not necessary and always wondered why they had the option.

 

 

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Guest NJ Coach

In theory it saves time, but not in practice.     You've got in-game TOs to tie shoes every inning, TOs for injuries, mgrs trying to figure out defense assignments before each half-inning, and a dozen other things that cause delays and abbreviated games so does it really matter if catchers come off the bases early ?


Heck, lots of managers intentionally delay for winning near the time limit reasons....nothing you can do to fix all that.

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In theory it saves time, but not in practice.     You've got in-game TOs to tie shoes every inning, TOs for injuries, mgrs trying to figure out defense assignments before each half-inning, and a dozen other things that cause delays and abbreviated games so does it really matter if catchers come off the bases early ?

Heck, lots of managers intentionally delay for winning near the time limit reasons....nothing you can do to fix all that.
I haven't seen more than a handful of in-game timeouts to tie shoes, but theres nothing to be do e about injury timeouts. As far as managers making defensive assignments, we're talking about tournaments, they're not shuffling kids around much.

In any event, those other delays you mention makes the case for courtesy runners for catchers stronger in my mind. You control what you can control to keep the games moving.

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In my league and tournaments we allow catchers to have a courtesy runner with any outs to speed up the game and get them an extra break. 

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Guest NJ Coach

This weekend my kid pitched against a team who swapped in a crazy fast kid for a slow catcher who reached on a walk with one out...the replacement stole 2nd and 3rd on the next two pitches and then scored on a sac bunt.

It was unfortunate that the fast kid had been the last batted out, but his maneuver had nothing to do with saving time and I thought it was bush league to do it with one out.

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13 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

This weekend my kid pitched against a team who swapped in a crazy fast kid for a slow catcher who reached on a walk with one out...the replacement stole 2nd and 3rd on the next two pitches and then scored on a sac bunt.

It was unfortunate that the fast kid had been the last batted out, but his maneuver had nothing to do with saving time and I thought it was bush league to do it with one out.

In LL you can do the same thing with the Special Pinch Runner rule.

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35 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

It was unfortunate that the fast kid had been the last batted out, but his maneuver had nothing to do with saving time and I thought it was bush league to do it with one out.

It's not unfortunate, and it's not bush.  It's a good job by the coach of that team to use the rules in whatever way gives his team the best chance to win.

There are really only two kinds of teams: the ones that play to win, and the ones that visit the ballpark together so they can get ice cream afterward.  Anybody who doesn't like playing against one or the other of those should make their league and tournament choices accordingly.

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Agree with the above - coaches don't make the rules, but if you're not using them to your team's advantage, you're hurting your team.

My sons 13U team last year had a kid, also a ridiculously fast runner, score back-to-back runs. It was a tournament where you could courtesy tun for anyone. He made an out, next batter reached, he ran, stole second and third and scored on a single. Then ran for the kid that singled. Stole second and third and scored on a ground out.

Sports at the beach in Delaware let's you marry any 2 players that can play the field/hit/run in that slot at any point in the game as long as you announce the marriage in the pregame lineup. The local teams take advantage of this, and have 15-16 kids in their starting lineup - one's a hitter with a kid that fields and runs, another is a fielder with a partner that hits and runs, one kid does nothing but run the bases for his partner that hits and fields. Most of the local teams had at least 3 or 4 positions paired like this, some had 5 or 6. Visiting teams take a while to realize that you can and teams do play it this way, to their advantage.

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Guest NJ Coach

There's  a 'spirit of the rule' concept too.   Clearly the Delaware tourney 'marry' rules are intended specifically for that.  It's above board. There's no dishonesty.  In the example I describe, the other coach claimed to make the switch to save time,  which was a lie.  To me it's bush league since there was only 1out at the time.  If the catcher had been a fast player, he would not have been removed 'to save time.'

In this particular game, there were no such 'marry' rules (which i actually never heard of before).

 

 

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If the specific rules allow it, then the coach does not need to "claim" anything -- if the rules don't allow it, but the coach wanted to do it anyway, then he shouldn't have been allowed to do it.

 

I've umpired lots of tournaments where a CR is allowed with 0-1 outs and required with 2 outs. Sometimes, the CR an be "anyone"; other times it's specified.  And, sure -- the more of these types of rules we have, the less it resembles MLB and the more opportunity there is for some gamesmanship.  It's a tradeoff almost everyone accepts, at least to some degree.

Besides -- using the runner did save time.  It saved some of the time required for the runner to advance to second, third and home.  I think you just mis-understood what the coach meant. ;)

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Guest NJ Coach

Rules said otherwise, but the ump allowed it bc honestly he didn't give a sh*t.    Worse than that, we played against the same team whose pitcher would start his windup with both feet behind and off the rubber and stepping onto it with pivot foot to start delivery, which I confirmed here isn't legal after the first game against this team, and the ump didn't give a sh*t about that either even though it was brought to his attention this weekend.

 

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42 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Rules said otherwise, but the ump allowed it bc honestly he didn't give a sh*t.    Worse than that, we played against the same team whose pitcher would start his windup with both feet behind and off the rubber and stepping onto it with pivot foot to start delivery, which I confirmed here isn't legal after the first game against this team, and the ump didn't give a sh*t about that either even though it was brought to his attention this weekend.

 

That's an issue we can't really help you with -- even though it negatively affects all of us.  I'd encourage you to take it up with the TD or league administrator or similar.

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Guest NJ Coach

yeah well some umps take things seriously both 'for the kids' (game management and player/coach education), and others do it only for the cash and don't give a damn about those things.  but the same could be said for all professions so it's not really an umpire thing, but a human values thing regardless of profession or walk of life.

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If there's a rule being mis-applied, that's a protest situation. I've only actually had to protest a game once, on a dislodged base situation, but there was one other where I would have, but requesting the umpire sign the book was all it took to get him to look at the rule and change his ruling.

 

I think valid protests aren't good for umpires, especially in tournament situations (where they usually require officials to come to the field and decide on the spot). So if you're correct, even an umpire who "doesn't give a" will likely think harder on how he's applying the rule.

 

 

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