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Discussion: Line up and batting order structure

Posted Discussion
May 22, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Line up and batting order structure
I have 17 players on my team. On the line up card I list positions 1 thru 11 as we field 11. I put my top 7 players in the top 7 spots and then for 8 thru 11 I put in a starter then a substitute.

We also have a local rule that each player must play at least 3 innings.

My line up allows me to keep my better player in through the full game, keep my batting order to 11, and allows me to substitute after 3 full innings to get all of the other guys in the line up.

All eligible players are listed on the line up card, including the subs and any EP's we may have in reserve in case of injury.

I believe this is in accordance with the SSUSA rule 4.7 on substitutes as I exchange line up cards with the other team and announce my substitutes when they enter the game. The starters that get substituted do not re-enter the game. No substitute plays any other position at the same time the player he substitutes is still in the game.

1. So, is this the correct way to make my line up card?
2. Is it bad form to keep my better players in the game for the full game?
3. Can the EP be used as a courtesy runner or must the courtesy runner come from those who are active in the lineup?

4. As an alternative, some managers feel round robin batting is the way they want to go, and while I see their point of view regarding getting everyone some playing time and some at bats, I can't see how this reconciles with the SSUSA rules.

Thanks in advance for your response....Bradlybone

May 22, 2014
Clean Up
43 posts

Do you really need that many players?

May 22, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Not really, we can carry 20 and I'm just trying to get as many guys some playing time and do it legally. But weather I need them or not, I have them this year. Next year may be different. If I could get 11 or 12 to come to every game I wouldn't have any more than that. So, Clean Up, what do you say? Is what I'm doing with my line up and use of subs legal?
May 22, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
IMO, 17 showing is only good for lowering the high entry fee cost per player, but players also suffer in playing time. It's hard for 17 to play fairly equally and I doubt they do. I've left two teams in the last 16 years for having that many show up.
I can understand it especially in the heat, but most pay to play as I did back then. Why not just carry a committed 10-11 or so and have TWO teams picking up two as needed.
May 22, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Forgot, you need to consider runner and hitting abilities in the mix as well as positioning the 'need a runner' guy with n a range for an available CR that won't be up to bat too soon. Many other considerations are needed as well but understand your method.
May 22, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Taits, I agree with your opinion, but the question is about the legality of the line up. As far as I can tell it's legit.

I inherited this team and out of respect for the old manager and the players that came with the team, I'm keeping them on this year. I hope to reduce the team next year by splitting it in two as I have several guys moving up that want to play on my team.

But for now I just need to know the legal opinion, is this a legit way to do a line up considering how many players I actually have as opposed to how many I'd prefer to have?

And no, the players do not get equal time. the top 7 get full time and the rest start and play 3 to 3 1/2 innings then a sub comes in and plays 3 to 3 1/2 innings depending on what's left. All the players are aware of the how's and why's yet are still enthusiastic about being on and playing for this team.

The issue is that some of the other teams bat round robin and feel I should do the same. some other teams do what I do. There is no local rule about batting round robin and I've told them that if it was a rule, I'd follow it but at this point I'm trying to follow the rules as printed in the SSUSA rule book.

So the question isn't rhetorical, I'm not thinking about carrying 17, I have 17. At least until next season.
May 22, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Sorry I must have cut that out ... you can carry 20 in SSUSA... some other assn's are different I believe.
NCSSA is also 20.
May 22, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Under the header above is tournaments and under that are the rules link. It's easy to find most rules there. I use it quite a bit on line here as well as the book it self. My book for 2010 is totally apart from use. Might order one from them.for this year.
Eureka, ca nice quaint town I visited a couple times as a kid down by the wharf.
May 22, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Taits, it's still a nice town and softball is alive and well here.
May 22, 2014
TimMcElroy
43 posts
I normally stay out of these kind of discussions, but wanted to throw a few thoughts out there for you to consider.

Playing 11 on defense suggests to me that your team is at least 70.

At 70+ you know that injuries and life altering circumstances (cancer, etc) are a reality. Every player on your roster has value, and should be treated as an asset. They put in time, money and effort.

Although not intentionally done, you just suggested the following:

I inherited this team from another guy and don't plan on keeping. everyone next year.

Batters 1-7 are my stars
Batters 8-11 are okay, but will be replaced if something better comes along.
Players 12-17 will be asked back only if needed.

From a distance, my advice is to re-think things. By playing your stars 100% of the time, you increase the chance for them to become injured or worn down. If they are truly stars, then they don't necessarily need extra at-bats or reps on defense. The guys with lesser skill will only improve with opportunity.


Good luck to you.
May 24, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Thanks Tim,

This is a fairly correct assessment but needs some clarification:

Players 1-7 are my stars.

Players 8-15 are okay, but will either improve or continue to share playing time.

Players 16 and 17 will be asked back only if needed, or will be offered a spot as a base coach or scorekeeper and kept on as EP's.

When I inherited this team (actually 2 seasons ago) I asked them if they'd rather continue as the 'lovable losers' of the league or if they'd rather improve and become a winning team. They chose to become a winning team. Good choice!

Some of the original team have left due to age, injury, distance, and what have you. Some have stayed and worked on their game both during practice and during one on one sessions with me.

Some don't attend practices, have not improved, can't bat their weight, can't field the ball, can't throw the ball, but do show up for games. A few are automatic outs and rarely reach fist base except on an error. Some won't improve as they don't have the physical ability to do it; attitude is not really everything when you keep score.

So I give them playing time while I build the team and offer to work with them one on one if they want to improve.

I wish we all could hit .700, throw a runner out at home from the outfield, never make an error that costs runs, and play well and contribute, but life is just not that way.

Prior to inheriting this team they had several seasons with fewer than 2 wins all season excepting the occasional win by forfeit. I didn't see many smiles on the faces of the players. They were perennial cellar dwellers. Now even the weakest players are enjoying themselves due to the changes I've made.

We won 10 straight last year in spite of carrying several players who are negative impact players. We had more wins in one season than they'd had in the previous 5 seasons combined. We finished 4th but in a very tight race and had it not been for some key injuries, we most likely would have finished 2nd.

I won't kick them off the team, rather I'll offer them spots as base coaches or scorekeepers, but after this year if a player can't bat his own weight or continually costs runs on defense....well why would I penalize the rest of the team by forcing automatic outs on them?

Where is the fairness when I put in a player who can't field the ball and his errors cost runs that cost games? How is that fair to the team? How could it be fair to put batters into the line up at a critical stage of the game who will not hit the ball past the short stop? Ever?

So better players get more playing time, just like better salesmen make more money, better cars last longer, better looking girls get asked out more, better soldiers get promotions....sports imitates life. Those who can, do. Those who can't don't.

There are two sides to this coin...its not a social experiment where everyone wins, it's a competitive ball game.

But the question remains, is my line up in accordance with the SSUSA rules?


May 24, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Do you have practices that include game plays, with hitting, fielding, situational plays, etc etc? You might get more out of them with ALOT of practice.
Cohesiveness may ensue with it also.
I feel you really only get better with practice.
No rule for how you set up the line up only the number of players on the roster. Limited to 20 as I already stated.
One thing about all sub par players at the end. You may have a string of outs in a row...
Maybe think about mixing one in here of there. Hopefully all are not always outs.
May 24, 2014
bradlybone
Men's 60
6 posts
Yeah Taits,

We practice for a couple months depending on the rain, usually twice a week. It rains a lot up here on the North Coast of Ca. We do drills to improve on position play, situational batting, base running, knowing where to throw, knowing when to advance...we cover most of it.

Some of us practice between games but most do not. That's fine because everyone has a real life outside of the league.

Personally I enjoy practice and have nets here at home in the yard.

I invite other teams to practice with us sometimes and when they show up they say we have the best practices in the league. Everyone sweats at our practices except those guys who stand still as the fly ball approaches, then lands at their side only a few feet away....that's frustrating...but you know how it gets after you get old and believe you're old. Knees don't work as well, hips don't work as well, eye's are not as good anymore....for some those are real problems.

I appreciate that, I have problems of my own.

But I agree, practice really helps most people.


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