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Discussion: Game length

Posted Discussion
Dec. 14, 2010
bullet
Men's 55
130 posts
Game length
I need some input on this. Our League is thinking of starting our games with a 1 an 1 count with no fouls,compared to a full count. Appox how much time would this save in a 7 inning game.
Dec. 14, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
A 1 and 1 count will save UP TO 10 minutes a game. Get in the batters box and make something happen, you are not paying an entry fee for everyone to stand around and watch pitches go by.
Dec. 15, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"A 1 and 1 count will save UP TO 10 minutes a game." So will hustling on and off the field, and eliminating 'courtesy' runners (i.e. I need a faster guy to run for me even though I am perfectly healthy).

Paul, please tell me you aren't talking about the Silver League.
Dec. 15, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1955 posts
I also like the 1-1 although we played it with the courtesy foul. It does speed up the game 5-10 minutes because batters know they have to be aggressive. SSUSA debated it this year along with the option of adding 5 minutes to games and opted for the latter with a provision that the clock starts 2 minutes after the flip or managers meeting. This makes it incumbent on the teams to get on the field and ready to go to make full use of the time allotted. Many of the directors and the hierarchy of the SSUSA wish to attempt to keep that game as unchanged as possible. Please don't hop on all the changes that have been made-they were necessary for the game. 1-1 is a 'speed up the game' idea and was not well received. I would argue that when baseball and fast pitch are played, the pitcher has a huge advantage of throwing the ball as hard as he can and the ability to make it move several directions,along with changes of speed. The batter needs 3 strikes to even up the odds. In slowpitch, the pitcher has to lob the ball 50 feet or more and hit a little rectangle mat. Huge advantage to the batter. The 1-1 means a batter cannot sit and wait for the perfect pitch and gives some small advantage back to the pitcher. I believe it is very rare a pitcher 'gets me out'. It is just that I did not execute a good swing on a given pitch. This is a hitters game-swing that bat that cost you $200. If you are always looking for a walk, get a wood bat!! :-)
Dec. 15, 2010
DCPete
232 posts
Our local leagues have been 1 - 1 for decades (w/a courtesy foul) & no one has ever complained. It improves the tempo of the game since batters are looking to swing at the 1st good pitch they get and there is absolutely no downside so it's baffling why this is even an issue for SSUSA???
Dec. 15, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
In a tournament I suppose it can add up, but in league is 10 minutes really meaningful at all?

The tempo would get improved by good pitching, hustle, and NO bogus courtesy runners. How many times is it really a faster guy coming in, and not a healthier guy?
Dec. 15, 2010
stick8
1261 posts
Another factor that will speed up games (help get in as much game time as possible)is making sure players or spectators retrieve game balls fouled out of play or home run balls over the fence. Unfortunately many players don't like to shag balls and some umps don't carry a lot of game balls in their ballbag.
Dec. 15, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
Maybe rather than just saying the 1 and 1 count speeds up the game, it should be said that during the game there would be more action and less standing around, no matter how long the game takes.
Dec. 15, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Jawood, probably true but a good pitcher will ensure that the game does not crawl along. Even if 3 or 4 pitches are thrown to a batter the fielders will still feel alert and engaged if each pitch has a purpose and is not just a slow, lazy guy struggling out there.
Dec. 15, 2010
boston
297 posts
I hate guys that sit in league games and wait for walks. I don't get up at 6am on a Saturady to play at 9am to sit and walk. In tourneys the count should also be 1-1. Most guys take the first strike anyway.
In our league you are allowed to run past the bases. I hate the rule since I still enjoy sliding. It is supposedly for safety reasons. But, I have seen too many collisions at second during double plays. A runner does not get out of the way and is trying to beat out the throw and the umps don't call interference.
Dec. 15, 2010
ju25
Men's 55
139 posts
Been playing 1-1 forever and we still have games that are called after 5 innings. Hate when a teams stalls in the bottom of an inning looking for a close game to be called on time limit.
Dec. 15, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
most all other assoc's are now 1-1 count.also someone has done a study and supposedly the 1-1 count only adds only 5 minutes or so,not the 10 you are saying it does.
hate the run thru with no sliding rule,i think more get hurt with that rule than with sliding.

CR's need to be at 1st coaching if they are gonna be used,once the first pitch is thrown they get none,also if a runner can get his fat azz to 2b,he doesn't need a runner,team needs to use their hitting ability to get him in,just like we did in our younger days.

i only agree with the hustle part a tiny bit,as the outfielders going oppo from their dugout has approx an extra mile to go in and out from and to their position.we get to play in 100 degree heat a lot here in texas,does get a little wearing on ya.


stallers need to be shot,even tho we have used it ourselves,LOL.
Dec. 15, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Whether more get hurt with run through or sliding may depend a lot on age group. I've played both rules, and continue to play both rules, and I think run through is safer.

First of all, in the older groups (over 60), with the exception of Major Plus and maybe Major, I seldom see a guy slide, even when it would have made him safe. Most older guys just don't slide anymore—it's not a potential twisted ankle you can shake off, but for older guys it is a broken ankle that might take a season to heal.

Second, when guys don't slide, the collision of a runner steaming into second and the short stop hustling to be on the base, for example, is often nasty.

And for older players, where about half wear knee braces, stopping a run abruptly at a base is murder on the knees. Running through causes no stress.

When a player runs through, he sees the play developing in front of him and can run through on either the left or right side. Much safer to avoid colliding with a fielder.

The only time run through is more dangerous is when a guy is barreling along and suddenly the fielder moves to field a throw, for example. Those collisions of full-speed runner and infielder are more dangerous, but this is very rare compared to the frequent plays at second or third.
Dec. 15, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
omar,what i see is a lot of runners just running straight over the bag on force outs and won't move a whole lot,i have had my arm ran into a bunch of times when i use to play that norcal circuit,that's why i don't like it personally.and like you said,running into each other collisions can be real nasty and that's what these will do if runner is not made to get down,in a sense.
Dec. 15, 2010
bullet
Men's 55
130 posts
Dirty,yes i am talking our silver league.There was a rule change submitted to do this.Guys are tired getting done playing so late.
Dec. 15, 2010
jah#4
Men's 55
551 posts
IN a SPA tournament we studyed the 1 and 1 count over 44 games the avg. saving was only 7 mins. that with 3 games that went into extra innings.
Don Ward
Dec. 15, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1955 posts
7 minutes is easily an inning in a lot of cases. The thing I like best is that it makes batters more aggressive-it is a hitters game.
Dec. 15, 2010
SoCal'er
68 posts
There are 2 leagues that I know of here in So Calif that play 2 innings in a row. 7th, one only, of course. Once you get used to it, it's great. No more pitcher warming up or outfielders running or walking out to position every inning. We are able to play 2, 7 inning games in 2 hrs. If it's all about playing time then this is a good way to get it.
Dec. 15, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
Mad dog, UP TO 10 minutes a game, not on average.
Dec. 15, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
mad dog, it doesn't change the rule in this area that a runner must "get down" or veer out of the way on a force out or they are called for interference on a double play. Easy to veer left or right when it is obvious that you are going to be forced at second or third. I've never been called for interference by playing heads up. Still like the run through, especially the older I get. I know Dirty won't like it.:-)
Dec. 16, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1955 posts
Omar-I have played the run through-and brakes are my biggest problem with my knees, but I really don't like it. Changes the game too much.
Dec. 16, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
mad dog, great point. It is hilarious to watch a guy leg out a double, standing no less, than need a 'courtesy' runner. Rule is a complete joke. Why not use courtesy throwers for shortstops who don't quite have the arm they used to have?
Dec. 16, 2010
stick8
1261 posts
Dirty they could solve that issue easy. Make pitchers hand an out.
Dec. 16, 2010
DRob
34 posts
Well, here's something to stir the pot a little. In our league play, not only do we start at 1-1 and have a 5 run per inning limit but we play double innings! You play 3 outs twice or 2 sets of 5 runs (or a combination thereof) then switch until you reach the 7th inning or the time limit. The park where we play initiated this in 2009. We haven't figured out the advantage to this but it, and some other issues, has us looking at other parks for the senior leagues.
Dec. 16, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4313 posts
I played in one like that a few years back but it didn't last. There were far too many complaints.
Dec. 16, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1955 posts
Stick8-pitchers hand out- and while we're at it, we could cut the number of players by having the fair line from the plate through second base and you had to hit the ball to either rt. field or left field and you had to call it. That's how I learned to hit to left-the other kids didn't like changing fields every time I batted. Then we only need 2 outfielders, 2 infielders, a p and a c. 6 hitters, a couple DH's and we would only have to carry 12 to a tournament and think how many more teams would be able to be created!!!
Dec. 16, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Webbie, as to run through, it does change the game and it takes an ump who will hustle because close plays on second and third base takes a slightly different angle to gauge well. Also, the ump has to be alert to make sure the runner came back to tag after running through in order to advance to the next base. Still like the run through better as an older player.

taits, what were the complaints? I play the double inning a lot and it is so much faster and still equal. Getting hit on defense with a double 5-run inning does take a bit of time, but then you have your ups.
Dec. 16, 2010
Capt Kirk
400 posts
I ask Dave Dowell (SSUSA SCHEDULING GURU)if we played a 60 minute game + open inning, what percentage of our league games would go seven (7) innings. Currently we play a 50 minute game +open inning, and our games are 5 or 6 innings, what happen to playing seven (7) innings.
Here is Dave's response:
Hi Gary ... We don't have any precise statistics about the actual percentage of games in the seeding rounds that went the full 60 minutes (for previous seasons), but I would estimate it at somewhere around 70-80% ... That information, if more specificity is needed, would have to be derived from a detailed game card review, and we generally don't consult game cards unless there is a particular reason for doing so, like player particiopation/eligibility, and those are rare ... During the SSUSA Rules Committee meetings earlier this month, somebody mentioned that perdcentage range, and no one else seemed to take exception, so it's probably 'in the ballpark' ...

The comment was in the context of finding a sensible solution to meeting the desires of many players and managers to have a higher percentage of 7-inning ball games in Tournament play ... And as you've probably noted from our Message Board commentary, the most common suggestions are to begin with a 1-1 count and/or to limit courtesy runners ... During the committee discussions, it was also a general consensus that most time shortened games DO go 6 innings, lending an impression that we weren't far off in getting to 7 ... The final decision was to add an extra 5 minutes to each phase of tournament play, as you noted ... We'll play 65+Open in seeding games now and 70+Open in bracket games, with Championship/If-needed games being a full 7 innings un-timed ... This was the best way, in our collective view, to make a better run at increasing 7-inning games without altering the fundamental structure of the game itself for starting pitch count and substitutions ...

As it may relate to those making the decisions in your local league environment, I would expect similar results as we had prior to this year's time changes ... If the ratios hold true, 60 minutes should yield somewhere in the same range of 70-80% of the games going the full 7 innings, and the remainder almost exclusively being 6 innings ... Obviously, there can be, and always are, weird things that can happen, like a lot of big innings early on that can chew up time ... In our case, we're confident that the extra 5 minutes and some (not so subtle) nudging or pressure on teams to hustle on/off the fields and be ready to play without an inordinate amount of between innings with infield warmup, etc, will work ...

Good luck on this, please keep me posted, and best wishes for a great Christmas Season ... Regards ... DAVE


Dec. 17, 2010
Mario
Men's 50
367 posts
1-1 count is not for tournaments. Leauge play , OK, but not in tourneys. Why not just go to 75 minute games. This would solve it all. We usually get done earliy in the evening anyway.
Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Better yet Mario, get rid courtesy runners, all the BSing that goes on between innings, show at least a little hustle, get rid of the special bats, and there would be no need to artifically limit the time of games.

Does anyone remember that the beauty of baseball is that it is the only team game played without a clock?
Dec. 18, 2010
lazer larry
Men's 50
96 posts
Dirty, Tiger played a team game off the course and he didn't use a clock. He just counted hoes, i'm mean holes, same diff.LOL Lazer Larry
Dec. 18, 2010
stick8
1261 posts
Webbie, I've sat in rules committee meetings and you'd be suprised what weird gimmicks people come up with. Don't think for a minute what you elluded to or something similar hasn't been thought of before because I'd wager it has--somewhere.
How's this one: I play in a 35+ league where you can bat an unlimited amount of batters which is not uncommon. However, there's a league rule that says you can drop as many hitters as necessary to get down to 10 or 11 at anytime. I thought I'd heard it all but I'd never heard of that one.
Dec. 19, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
381 posts
The #1 factor with SSUSA and game length is scheduling 1.5 hour game slots. I have never seen any other organization in 32 years schedule this much time for games. If paying for fields by the hour consider the cost of 1000 games! Just one of the cost factors in providing the best experience.

The new rule allowing an additional 5 minutes to the time limits should result in many more 7 inning games. The trade-off will be some additional challenge for TD's (Dave) and a few late starts for games that follow. Umpires and teams need a little time between games and they should still get it most of the time. I think this change is the most sensible way to address the issue. I personally do not like the 1-1 count. For me there was much to like about the innovative approach of USSSA in the 80's but when they went to the 1-1 count it was a sad day, IMHO.

I have not heard anyone say that pitchers have the greatest impact on the pace of a game. The time between pitches is not always completely within their control (foul balls, fielders ready, umpire ready, catcher who can catch) however a pitcher that takes an extra 5 seconds to set and deliver a pitch can eat up to 2 minutes an inning! I don't think there's another factor, including courtesy runners, that can have that kind of impact.

I watch pitchers walk 10' in front of the rubber, accept the ball, walk back behind the rubber, scratch, spit, stare down the batter and finally get ready to pitch, every pitch! Drives me nuts!

I would go for a requirement that courtesy runners be "on the field" when time is called, either coaching a base or at least out of the dugout. The challenge is one more thing for umpires to watch. There have been requirements for "on-deck", I think, so do it for CR's. Could require batters to declare the CR (and who) at the plate before batting. If they want to declare a runner who's on base already but they don't score and are not put out, then no CR.

I am always generally for fewer, simpler, clearer rules so when issues can be addressed by simplifying and without adding to or complicating existing rules, I'm usually in favor. This doesn't mean I agree with the "purist" approach of getting rid of most of the exeptions that make the senior game a "ton of fun"!

ShaneV
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