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The baseball association in my area are planning on starting to have time limits on some games. I have not been involved in any of this in the past. How is this handled in your area ?

I am asking this from two views - I am on the board of the association as the umpire rep and also as an umpire who is involved with training/mentoring umpires.

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I like time limit games. But it needs to be well established before the start of the game. There are two types of time limit games.

A: Drop dead. You hit your time limit hits and thats it where ever the game is at that point it's done and the score may revert to the end of the last complete inning.

B: No new inning. At the established time limit there will be no new inning.

It can create a sticky situation when everybody is not on the same page. Heck, it can create a sticky situation when they are on the same page.

Just remember no matter how nice the players and coaches are or how much they plead you have to end the game as arranged. Worse case scenario you continue the game someone gets hurt and now you are liable and your insurance could deny you.

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Here we have time limits ALL THE TIME, with the exception of championship games. League time limit is 1:50. It's the no new inning after 1:50. In tourneys its 1:40 or 1:45 same deal.

Everybody knows the rules, although it's always in the pre-game meeting. It works ok. Sometimes we have problems with the younger umpires shaving off a few minutes. The kids and parents pay and deserve 100% of the time allotted to them.

Time constraints aren't bad I don't think.

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We have time limits on high school JV games. No new inning after 2 hours. The exception to this is games on Saturdays do not have time limits. It makes it nice for double dipping. I can pick up a 4:00 PM game at one school and then a 7:00 PM game at another without the fear that the 4:00 PM will run too late for me to make it to another school for the 7:00 PM game.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Its not the double headers that are involved. We have that already on a few fields.

They are planning on having time limits on single games.

Who keeps track of the time ? Do you go with "no inning after a certain time" or just a "drop dead" time ? Do you go with "score reverts" or just keep whatever it is like a "no lights" ruling ?

I would like a few more replies. Thanks.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Its not the double headers that are involved. We have that already on a few fields.

They are planning on having time limits on single games.

Who keeps track of the time ? Do you go with "no inning after a certain time" or just a "drop dead" time ? Do you go with "score reverts" or just keep whatever it is like a "no lights" ruling ?

I would like a few more replies. Thanks.

We have time limits of 1:50 on all games. Umpire keeps time. No new innings after 1:50

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We've had a "no new inning after two hours" for years. It works okay, but what works better is "one more inning after 1:45". It stops coaches from trying to monkey around with the time limit. You can modify the times to fit your situations, but the "one more inning" is better than "no new inning". Trust me.

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LL-jr & sr - No inning starts after 2:15. PU keeps the time. I have a cheap casio watch I set for 2:15. I tell the coaches in pre-game, my time is what counts and I start the clock on the first warm-up pitch.

According to the game sit, I will advise coaches when the clock is winding down or when I think it's the last inning. Game ends when it ends, no revert back. I will encourage them to hustle in/out, If F2 takes too long, first one down. Coaches aren't always that stupid, some of them learn fast.

One league I do has a drop dead at 9:15pm because the lights automagically go out at 9:30.

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When we play 'drop dead' time limits, we do not revert back to the last complete inning. If it's the bottom of the 5th, 5-4 ballgame (visitors winning), R2 and R3, 2-2 count on batter with 1 out; time limit hits, that's all she wrote. The game ends 5-4, credit to the visiting team. May not be fair, but neither is the 'sudden death' playoff rules in NFL, but we all live and die by them.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Its not the double headers that are involved. We have that already on a few fields.

They are planning on having time limits on single games.

Who keeps track of the time ? Do you go with "no inning after a certain time" or just a "drop dead" time ? Do you go with "score reverts" or just keep whatever it is like a "no lights" ruling ?

I would like a few more replies. Thanks.

Even for nights/days we have a single game, it's still 1:50. PU keeps time unless he defers it to the BU. I carry a stopwatch in my bag and just use the time feature. Like I said, whether it's a double header or just a single game (usually a rain out makeup) it's treated the same.

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In a tourney we ran last year for PL ball we used the "no new inning" time limit. It worked very well with all coaches involved feeling that they at least had a chance to win whether the game was called at the end of the fourth or sixth inning. One thing that I have read in this thread that seemed to hold very true is to make sure that both coaches (if they choose to) meet with you pre-game and sync up to your watch, because that is the official game timerunning time.

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I dislike drop-dead limits. Just encourages stall tactics. Most of my leagues use no new inning limits. I like those, especially on Friday night. One league uses language like "time limit is 2 hours but no new inning shall start after 1 hour 45 minutes. Once an inning is begun, it must be finished." So what's the point of saying two hours? It only confuses coaches and creates a controversy everytime we end a game at 1:45. I've been trying to get them to change that wording every year to no avail.

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My league uses 1 hour 50 minute time limits on all AAA/Majors games. The time limit also in effect for playoff and tournament games unless the score is tied.

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The baseball association in my area are planning on starting to have time limits on some games. I have not been involved in any of this in the past. How is this handled in your area ?

I am asking this from two views - I am on the board of the association as the umpire rep and also as an umpire who is involved with training/mentoring umpires

.

If you are going to have time limit games then other rules need to be amended most notably visits to the mound. If the game is TIMED, then when ANY player / coach visits F1 = charged conference. That means if F2 requests and is granted time and he goes out and talks to F1 (about anything) = charged conference.

The 20 second rule now becomes more then simply a nit-pick'n rule when the game is timed and strict adherence to this rule should be followed.

Also, most umpires should be following this anyway but one minute between innings timed from the 3rd out (I realize this is a FED rule) but if the game is timed it should be adopted by other leagues as well.

In other words, no-one bothers to amend the "other" rules when the games are timed and it makes our job as officials more difficult because let's face it we KNOW when a team is stalling BUT if they are within the rules there is nothing we can do about it.

Pete Booth

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I prefer the no new inning rule as opposed to drop deads. However, whichever you choose the entire league has to use them for all games, no exceptions. It isn't fair to teams to let one go the distance and others gets cut short.

The PU keeps the time, don't ever allow a team or scorekeeper keep it. We are the arbiters of the game so we control the time. The other rule you need to settle on is when does the clock start. Some leagues say it starts at the conclusion of the pregame meeting, others at the first pitch.

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A local organization uses a 1:45 time limit. No new innings after the time limit.

What's funny is that there's a rule that states "No new inning will begin if there is less than 5 minutes left." I asked the UIC why it's a 1:45 limit if we don't start after 1:40. He had no answer, except "We do it to stop a game from going too far after the 1:45 limit." He had no idea what I meant.

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Unless there are multiple games on a field that night, or the lights are on timers, I don't like time limits. Most of the leagues I work in have time limits on their games, although occasionally it will be dropped for the last game of the night if both coaches agree. When did baseball become a sport based on time?

When I have the time limits, I keep the official time and do everything I can to make the game go past it. That includes starting an inning with 30 seconds of time left. I use the justification that the next inning begins immediately after the third out of the last inning. The winning coach doesn't usually like that in a close game. I hear more complaints from players (which is who we are all supposed to be out there for anyways) about time limits than I do appreciation for them.

Just my :wow:

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The problem is when you have time limits on some and not others then it isn't fair to the other parts of the leagues. Now, I agree that if there is time left, even 15 seconds, then you keep playing. I hate guys that shortcircuit the time limit because they don't want to do the extra inning. Manage your games to keep them moving but give them all the time they are allowed. If they squander their time, that's their problem.

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What's funny is that there's a rule that states "No new inning will begin if there is less than 5 minutes left." I asked the UIC why it's a 1:45 limit if we don't start after 1:40. He had no answer, except "We do it to stop a game from going too far after the 1:45 limit." He had no idea what I meant.

That's not funny, that's just stupid. The next inning decision is made when the third out at the bottom of the inning is made. Got ten seconds to go, like we had last week, another inning is going to be played.

We let our scorekeeper keep the time. I get a thumbs up or down when I look at them when that third out is recorded, and I know it's close. (Thumbs up means we're done).

Drop dead games are no good, and "no new inning" games are better. "One more inning" after a certain time, is better still, as it takes the stalling tactics out of the equation. Plus, if it's LL minors, you've just defined your last inning, and the 5 run limit can be taken off. It's a win-win-win situation.

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That includes starting an inning with 30 seconds of time left. I use the justification that the next inning begins immediately after the third out of the last inning. The winning coach doesn't usually like that in a close game. I hear more complaints from players (which is who we are all supposed to be out there for anyways) about time limits than I do appreciation for them.

Just my :2cents

:

Not only does the winning coach and players don't like it - what about your partner? if it was me I would be upset and frankly if that's how you conduct your games I would not work with you. Nothing about your umpire ability but your game management decisions.

It's one thing if we have 5 MINUTES left on the clock. It's quite another when we are talking SECONDS.

Remember if it's the top half of the inning and it's started, then you must complete the last half of the inning. If it's only seconds remaining it makes absolutely NO SENSE to start the inning in the first place otherwise why have a time limit.

IMO, this is an association decision that should be followed unilaterally by ALL umpires. Also, the last game even though you have lights should be treated like the first or second game.

You cannot have coaches "making deals" and that's what you are doing when you say "if both coaches agree" we wave the time limit.

I like drop dead time limits because it "forces" teams to hustle and less headaches about when the game ends, however, most time limit games are in the 2 hour range with no new inning shall start at 1:45 or 1:50

There is no reason a 7 inning game (other then extra innings) can not be completed in time if the kids are hustling, F1 around the plate and the players make the plays they should. Now, if you have teams that cannot play that is a "horse of a different color"

In conclusion time limts are useful because of scarsity of fields and during tournaments where there are many games. FWIW starting a game with seconds remaining is simply absurd and for what purpose. All you do is make it tough on the next crew and the teams that are waiting to play because everything is now backed-up BIG TIME.

Pete Booth

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It's one thing if we have 5 MINUTES left on the clock. It's quite another when we are talking SECONDS.

If the third out of the bottom of the inning happens with any time on the clock, you play the next inning. Five minutes, or five seconds, thems the rules, and you play another inning. I'm not seeing what's not clear about that.

Now, if the home team is coming up, they're ahead, and there's less than a minute to play, it makes no sense to keep going. The change over is going to take a minute right there. I've seen three pitches and three outs, and that takes about two more minutes. So if the visitors go down in the top half of an inning, they're behind, and time is expiring in less than three innings, I can see halting it. Other than that, you gotta go.

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Five minutes, or five seconds, thems the rules, and you play another inning. I'm not seeing what's not clear about that.

All I can sow is WOW.

Here is what I do on time limit games. The BU keeps track of the time. When I have the dish I do not wear a watch. Let's say we are in the bottom of 6 and the time is that close, my partner is in contact with me meaning we only have a minute or less left.

We are NOT starting the top of the inning. I can dust the plate off or something like that to "kill" a minute or less. It makes no sense because as mentioned once you start an inning you have to finish the inning. IMO, I am not cheating anybody. Both teams had an equal number of at bats in this case 18 outs so it's fair.

OK one might say what's the difference between 5 minutes and 5 seconds. IMO, a BIG difference. In a timed game the teams are hustling so you are ready to go with at least 4 minutes left. You can get 3 outs in 4/5 minutes even if there is a hit or 2. If the HT is ahead no need to play the bottom. Yes the game is delayed a bit if we have to play the bottom half of the inning but there is nothing we can do about that. The point is 5 minutes is a HUGE difference then 1 minute or seconds remaining.

NOTE: When games are TIMED, coaching needs to change. You see more "small ball" during tournament games because runs are precious. That's the nature of time limit games.

Now, if the home team is coming up, they're ahead, and there's less than a minute to play, it makes no sense to keep going.

NOT necessarily true in tournament games where they have run differentials etc. That's why IMO you need to be consistent. It's the drawback of torunament / TIMED games BUT it's equal because ultimately each team bats the same.

I look at time limits in a similar manner to darkness.

For the most part we KNOW when it gets dark and when we get to a point in a game that has SOME light left but unless you have a 1,2,3 an out, the game will not be completed. Rather then have a sh******m, we simply stop.

As mentioned simply amazing.

Pete Booth

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In our county, in Florida, the athletic director has deemed that all JV games have a two hour time limit. Not drop dead but no new inning after 2 hours unless there is a tie. Ties are to be played out. The reasoning behind this is that JV and varsity sometimes play back to back and that could end up having the Varsity game starting way late. The AD has left it up to our association as to who keeps the time. In the games that I work the base umpire will keep a watch, IN HIS POCKET, and let the plate umpire know when we are at the time limit.

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Okay this will make me unpopular, but here I go anyway.

As PU on timed games, I keep the time. As time starts winding down, I'll give some updates but always use the phrase "We have about__ minutes to go." And work extra hard to keep them hustling.

If the bottom half of an inning ends with a minute or so, were done.

Face it most games played under a time limit they are completely incapable of giving us quick innings or half innings.

Nobody is going to gripe about a minute or so. And I see it as a dis-service to the league, the players and parents of the players, not to mention the umpires which will follow you.

Many of these places with time limits have them so they can pack as many games as possible into a day.

You have the "no new inning after 1:50" rule and start a new inning at 1:49, dimes to dollars you will not complete that inning before the following game is scheduled to start (and this could still remain true with a no new after 1:45). And that was the 8:00 game by the end of the day the 4:00 game hasn't started until after 5:00 players, parents, coaches and umpires are not happy about this.

Also NEVER extend a game beyond the predetermined limits no matter how nice they are, your liability insurance may not cover you if you go beyond what is required if there were a situation.

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