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Babe Ruth seniors game (16 - 19), regular season and two-man crew. Local rule modifications were reviewed at the plate meeting to include no new inning after 2 hours and the game ends at 2 hours, 15 minutes. My partner is U1 and will manage the time clock and we start the game at the scheduled time.

VT comes out and hangs 6 in the first inning. HT chips away throughout the game and we go into the bottom half of the last inning with the score 6-5 and 8 minutes until the game ends. Both coaches were told before the top half, that this would be the last inning. 

Bottom half now and HT has R1 at 3rd and R2 at 2nd with 2 out and my partner announces time has expired and the game is over.

HT manager explodes, "Noooooo! You can NOT be serious! You can't do that! What? Do you have some place to be? We got a 1 run ball game here!"

I spoke to the coach calmly and reminded him we spoke about the time limits at the plate meeting and the game is now over. I also explained to him that were an umpire crew to stay on a field after the end of game time had expired, they could potentially be assuming additional risk themselves as well as responsibility for anything further happening on the field.

He remained indignant and said they were staying and finishing the game, called the other manager over and they agreed to finish the game without umpires. I closed the conversation by telling both managers I cannot force them to vacate the ballpark and by choosing to continue the game on their own they could now potentially be taking on additional liabilities. My partner and I departed the field and there was nothing further.

What do you have here, brothers? Do we just end it and leave with no discussion? Was there anything more that needed to be said?

~Dawg

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Tell the manager to protest so that he can adequately inform the board how F*#King stupid it is to:

A. Apply a clock to a contest that does not provide for one.

B. Compound the situation by applying a clock without even a cursory knowledge about how baseball works. 

C. Make it your problem.

I'll write this report for them. 

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I’ve never worked a tournament that had a “game ends at ____” rule.  The inning can’t start after ____ is normal, but once an inning starts, it has to be played out (in my experience)

I rarely side with coaches in arguments with umpires, but this one sounds justified.  Not Bc you did anything wrong, you followed the rules you were given (as you should), but the rule is asinine

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The only thing I would have done differently is mention liability to the coach. That's irrelevant. The rule is what it is, everyone was aware of the rule, and you couldn't simply ignore it. Yes, liability is an issue for you to be concerned about, but it should have no bearing on your application of the rules.

 

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At the start of a new half inning, never tell the coaches “this is the last inning.”

Been a sports admin for the last decade…..my kingdom for a season where there isn’t filed protests b/c of clock management by umpires (both softball & baseball).

1. Only address time if they ask. And when they do, “Mike, we’ve got 27 minutes left.”

2. Never say “this is going to be the last inning.” Wait for time to expire then simply announce to the coaches, “we’ve reached the time limit guys, this is the final half inning.” (Insert game tip if your tournament/league has weird extra innings rules, even if time expires)

3. I’d recommend, in this instance, once you hit the 2 hrs, tell them it’s the last half, followed by a reminder “and remember guys, it’s a hard stop at 2:15 regardless of where we’re at.

I think you handled this one fine and there’s prob not much you can do abt this coach freaking out. It’s just 1 small step to ensure there’s no questions on time.


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On 6/20/2021 at 3:20 AM, SH0102 said:

I’ve never worked a tournament that had a “game ends at ____” rule.  The inning can’t start after ____ is normal, but once an inning starts, it has to be played out (in my experience)

I rarely side with coaches in arguments with umpires, but this one sounds justified.  Not Bc you did anything wrong, you followed the rules you were given (as you should), but the rule is asinine

No way, not with the rules as stated.  "Drop dead" time limits are quite common around here, and the game drops dead.  Period.

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I agree with Matt on #1. But when tournament directors book too many games, perhaps for the financial benefit they receive, you easily wind up with: "This game's gotta stop NOW, we got six more games to play on this field."

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17 minutes ago, mac266 said:

No way, not with the rules as stated.  "Drop dead" time limits are quite common around here, and the game drops dead.  Period.

No way what?  I said the rule is asinine.

 

if my team is winning 6-5 in bottom of seventh, and they have 2 on and 1 out, I can slowly walk to my Pitcher to conference, catcher can call time, I can fake an injury, I could come set and stay there until batter calls time , I could purposely throw balls so they can’t get a hit….list goes on.

and then I win bc time is up.

say what you want, but the rule is stupid.  Don’t start an inning you can’t finish.  Amend the rule or schedule less games so you don’t need a “hard stop” at ___ time 

This rule is pure greed to ensure games can be scheduled to the brim.  if you’re okay with that, more power to you, but I’m not

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So, I woke up in a cold sweat this morning re-living this game and situation...and then it hit me:

In addition to the "liability concerns" of extending a game beyond the drop-dead time...if a crew allows the game to continue and assuming the game is in the bottom half and the home team manages to "win" the game, you know the visiting team manager is going to contact league leadership and say, "The umpires allowed the home team manager to convince them to continue the game beyond the drop-dead time at which point my team was ahead so, I should win this game." And now, we'll likely be getting an uncomfortable phone call from a superior wanting to know why we extended the game. 

I didn't start this thread to assess the merits of a drop-dead time in a game that doesn't inherently run on a clock. I merely wanted to understand how to best administer it. End the game on the drop-dead time, period...

~Dawg

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1 hour ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

I didn't start this thread to assess the merits of a drop-dead time in a game that doesn't inherently run on a clock. I merely wanted to understand how to best administer it. End the game on the drop-dead time, period...

Dawg...  Here is what I would suggest, you suggest to the powers that be.  I hate these drop-dead times for the exact reason you had in this game.    I believe there is a MUCH BETTER way to handle these 'time limit' games....

Suggest, or just do it at the plate meeting, that you switch to a 'do not start an inning' time limit.  The best run tournaments use this method because you always finish an inning or 1/2 inning if HT is winning.  For a 2-hour-per-game-goal, use 1:45 or 1:50.  What I see happen usually is.. "Coach we have 3 minutes left what do you guys want to do" the coaches will end 3 minutes short almost always, so not to run long.  

This takes the burden off of you to 'end' the game... and let's be honest, to @Matt's point, there is nothing right about ending a one run game with guys on base in the bottom of the inning--although you did exactly what you were supposed to do.

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Thanks, @aaluck...the other thing I am now thinking about (and I don't have a BR rule book) is, if a game goes beyond the no-new limit and reaches the drop-dead time and the game is incomplete, does this mean the score reverts back to what it was in the last fully completed inning?

Not a huge concern for my game because this was regular season, not a tournament or talent showcase or some other high-leverage game but, I am absolutely looking this up for future reference...

~Dawg

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4 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

does this mean the score reverts back to what it was in the last fully completed inning?

Not my concern. Who wins and who loses--not my concern.

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21 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

if a game goes beyond the no-new limit and reaches the drop-dead time

We do not use both the 'drop dead' and 'no new' together, so its never been a problem. Make them pick one (league or coaches) and go with it.  I'd bet the coaches would all choose the 'no new' to prevent what happened in your game.

I can say that with the 'no new' at say 1:50, I have rarely had a game exceed 2:10, never 2:15. 

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3 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Thanks, @aaluck...the other thing I am now thinking about (and I don't have a BR rule book) is, if a game goes beyond the no-new limit and reaches the drop-dead time and the game is incomplete, does this mean the score reverts back to what it was in the last fully completed inning?

Not a huge concern for my game because this was regular season, not a tournament or talent showcase or some other high-leverage game but, I am absolutely looking this up for future reference...

~Dawg

The tournament i did like this, yes, it reverted to the last full  inning.

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On 6/20/2021 at 1:02 AM, Matt said:

Tell the manager to protest so that he can adequately inform the board how F*#King stupid it is to:

A. Apply a clock to a contest that does not provide for one.

B. Compound the situation by applying a clock without even a cursory knowledge about how baseball works. 

C. Make it your problem.

I'll write this report for them. 

Depends if this is a tourney or league...be careful who you're criticizing...

Time limits in general are necessary evils in many scenarios, but "no new inning after" usually suffices...it doesn't however solve the potential of that one hour last inning.   "Drop Dead" rules usually come up when a few too many of those long last innings occur.

In my experience, typically, the "drop dead" time rules for tournaments come from the consideration for the volunteers who are already there from 7-7 only to see that expand to 9-10 PM because the last inning went stupidly long...in five consecutive games....I have put in 16 hour scorekeeping shifts before.

In league games, the drop dead rules are typically coming at the request of the umpires, and their association representatives...for any number of reasons - mainly they don't want to be working until midnight.   In some RARE occasions it's a facility directive.

In very few cases does a TD or a league board arbitrarily apply drop dead time rules...they don't care, they're not out there.   Most TD's and boards would rather have no time limits at all...and if necessary, leave it "no new inning after".    The drop dead rule is brought in simply to ensure they keep volunteers and/or umpires.   If volunteers or umps don't raise this, the rule likely doesn't exist.

22 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Thanks, @aaluck...the other thing I am now thinking about (and I don't have a BR rule book) is, if a game goes beyond the no-new limit and reaches the drop-dead time and the game is incomplete, does this mean the score reverts back to what it was in the last fully completed inning?

Depends on tourney/league mostly...most common tourney rule I've seen is it reverts back to beginning of inning (which sucks when VT takes lead in top half, and HT drags game in bottom half)....other tourneys I've seen the score stand at drop dead time, giving the VT a potential advantage.

Neither is perfect, but I prefer to keep the score at drop dead time...gets rid of the shenanigans that occur if VT puts up 8 runs in top of (what will now be) the last inning to take a six run lead, taking 30 minutes to do so....defense just letting batters get on...offense forced to abandon to get out of inning to get HT up to try to finish inning...then HT slowing down things as much as they can to run out the clock.

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On 6/22/2021 at 2:47 PM, aaluck said:

We do not use both the 'drop dead' and 'no new' together, so its never been a problem. Make them pick one (league or coaches) and go with it.  I'd bet the coaches would all choose the 'no new' to prevent what happened in your game.

I can say that with the 'no new' at say 1:50, I have rarely had a game exceed 2:10, never 2:15. 

Drop Dead time should NEVER be the only rule...yes, you can do "no new inning" on its own, but not "drop dead"...it should always be accompanied with a "no new inning" time...even if they're half hour apart.  "No new" is your ideal..."Drop Dead" is your "we need to keep things on schedule, drop the nuke".   You set the "no new" far enough ahead that you rarely need to do the "drop dead"...if there's only a drop dead time then virtually all games hit the drop dead time, meaning every game you need to revert to last completed inning (most of the time) and deal with the shenanigans of dragging things out OR every game the VT has an inherent advantage if the score at drop dead time is kept.   I've seen TD's set these ten minutes apart and you just shake your head.

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Drop dead is not uncommon around here, too.  Typically there is no "reversion" (which is the correct way, IMO).

I've had far too many "no new inning" games drag on 30+ minutes after the fact, typically because we had the wrong home team.  I am a fan of drop dead in tournaments.  Then again, I've been advocating for years that any run rule should apply immediately, regardless of who has or has not batted.  If the visiting team goes up by 15 in the third inning (or whatever your limits are) ... ball game right there.  There is no reason to allow them to waste another 45 minutes because the home team can't get an out, then screw around with the home team's feeble excuse for batting for another 15 minutes.

The biggest issue I see with tournaments falling behind is TDs thinking 15 minutes between games is adequate IF everything stays on schedule.  15 minutes for teams to clear out, umpires to change out, an overstretched groundcrew to reset the field, and two new teams to come on and warm up (which they should have done already).  Right.

Games need a minimum 30 minutes scheduled in between with teams instructed that games could begin 30 minutes before the scheduled time.  That builds in plenty of wiggle room on either side.  Nobody wants to be standing around, but we need to be practical.  

Additionally, TDs and UICs need to be proactively looking for ways to help fields get back on track, even if that means moving games around to another field and assigning another umpiring crew.  It drives me nuts to be on time or ahead, and then have to wait an hour or more for a team from another field.

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Drop dead is not uncommon around here, too.  Typically there is no "reversion" (which is the correct way, IMO).

I've had far too many "no new inning" games drag on 30+ minutes after the fact, typically because we had the wrong home team.  I am a fan of drop dead in tournaments.  Then again, I've been advocating for years that any run rule should apply immediately, regardless of who has or has not batted.  If the visiting team goes up by 15 in the third inning (or whatever your limits are) ... ball game right there.  There is no reason to allow them to waste another 45 minutes because the home team can't get an out, then screw around with the home team's feeble excuse for batting for another 15 minutes.

The biggest issue I see with tournaments falling behind is TDs thinking 15 minutes between games is adequate IF everything stays on schedule.  15 minutes for teams to clear out, umpires to change out, an overstretched groundcrew to reset the field, and two new teams to come on and warm up (which they should have done already).  Right.

Games need a minimum 30 minutes scheduled in between with teams instructed that games could begin 30 minutes before the scheduled time.  That builds in plenty of wiggle room on either side.  Nobody wants to be standing around, but we need to be practical.  

Additionally, TDs and UICs need to be proactively looking for ways to help fields get back on track, even if that means moving games around to another field and assigning another umpiring crew.  It drives me nuts to be on time or ahead, and then have to wait an hour or more for a team from another field.

I'd like this a billionty times if I could. Agree with everything you mention. I'll have to mention the "kill it immediately  when mercy rule attained". That alone would solve most time issues.

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16 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

The biggest issue I see with tournaments falling behind is TDs thinking 15 minutes between games is adequate IF everything stays on schedule.  15 minutes for teams to clear out, umpires to change out, an overstretched groundcrew to reset the field, and two new teams to come on and warm up (which they should have done already).  Right.

I couldn't 'heart' this post but once on the screen, but just know that i 'heart' it a whole bunch in real life.

....... except for the part about this "groundcrew" to which you refer.  Most of those kinds of gig that *I* have, the next groundcrew I see will be the first in a long time I've seen.

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As far as TDs coming up with ways to get fields and games on schedule…

Tournaments should put in a “flip home and away teams” rule. 
 

Away team up by enough for slaughter rule? Home team bats first next inning and is now the away team.

7th (or 6th if that’s the age level) inning and/or time limit will expire this inning? Home team bats again, and is now the away team. 
 

This would save 10/15/20 minutes all over the place, and wouldn’t be hard to administer. It even saves you a changeover between innings. Clear the bases, ready to play again. 
 

How many times have we all needed 3 outs to end the game…but we can’t get there because the away team is piling on absolutely worthless runs? 


This would fix having the wrong home team. I once did this on my own last year during an 8pm fall game. Talked to the coaches in the 6th. They both said that makes sense. In something like a 5 run margin game near 10pm, we went 1-2-3 and went home. On the way out, some fans stopped me and said how did you come up with that? That was genius! 

In tournaments, time is at a premium (most of our stuff is no new inning after 2, but game times 2:15 apart). Here’s a way to save time that doesn’t compromise the game whatsoever. 

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As far as TDs coming up with ways to get fields and games on schedule…
Tournaments should put in a “flip home and away teams” rule. 
 
Away team up by enough for slaughter rule? Home team bats first next inning and is now the away team.
7th (or 6th if that’s the age level) inning and/or time limit will expire this inning? Home team bats again, and is now the away team. 
 
This would save 10/15/20 minutes all over the place, and wouldn’t be hard to administer. It even saves you a changeover between innings. Clear the bases, ready to play again. 
 
How many times have we all needed 3 outs to end the game…but we can’t get there because the away team is piling on absolutely worthless runs? 

This would fix having the wrong home team. I once did this on my own last year during an 8pm fall game. Talked to the coaches in the 6th. They both said that makes sense. In something like a 5 run margin game near 10pm, we went 1-2-3 and went home. On the way out, some fans stopped me and said how did you come up with that? That was genius! 

In tournaments, time is at a premium (most of our stuff is no new inning after 2, but game times 2:15 apart). Here’s a way to save time that doesn’t compromise the game whatsoever. 

This is a n adult slow pitch rule and used in a league I used to administer. It’s a fantastic idea for youth travel tournaments. Alas, too many superdads would bitch and moan something about runs allowed/scored/differential and whine about seeding. So it won’t be employed. +1 for the idea.


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2 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

As far as TDs coming up with ways to get fields and games on schedule…

Tournaments should put in a “flip home and away teams” rule. 
 

Away team up by enough for slaughter rule? Home team bats first next inning and is now the away team.

7th (or 6th if that’s the age level) inning and/or time limit will expire this inning? Home team bats again, and is now the away team. 
 

This would save 10/15/20 minutes all over the place, and wouldn’t be hard to administer. It even saves you a changeover between innings. Clear the bases, ready to play again. 
 

How many times have we all needed 3 outs to end the game…but we can’t get there because the away team is piling on absolutely worthless runs? 


This would fix having the wrong home team. I once did this on my own last year during an 8pm fall game. Talked to the coaches in the 6th. They both said that makes sense. In something like a 5 run margin game near 10pm, we went 1-2-3 and went home. On the way out, some fans stopped me and said how did you come up with that? That was genius! 

In tournaments, time is at a premium (most of our stuff is no new inning after 2, but game times 2:15 apart). Here’s a way to save time that doesn’t compromise the game whatsoever. 

The issue is most tournaments use runs allowed and run differential as tiebreakers.

So a team not having to play a half inning is an advantage there.

But I too have pitched that idea, never had anyone take it though.  I usually end up at a pool game where the clearly better team CHOOSES away when they win the flip bc they want the extra at bat.  The exact opposite of what everyone else would want

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1 hour ago, SH0102 said:

The issue is most tournaments use runs allowed and run differential as tiebreakers.

So a team not having to play a half inning is an advantage there.

But I too have pitched that idea, never had anyone take it though.  I usually end up at a pool game where the clearly better team CHOOSES away when they win the flip bc they want the extra at bat.  The exact opposite of what everyone else would want

But since it’s the same for all away teams that are ahead, it’s fair for all teams. 

 

Most tournaments max out on RD or even just use runs against. No reason this policy shouldn’t be used. Putting a field back an hour or more by the end of the day isn’t nearly as important as run differential. But again, rules are the same for all teams at that point. 
 

As for your last paragraph…nothing worse than controlling the “flip” when you know one team is much better than the other, and that team chooses away.  
 

 

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