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Discussion: Initial Coin Flip Rule

Posted Discussion
Oct. 6, 2019
SKings24
50 posts
Initial Coin Flip Rule
Is the coin flip the decision of the umpire or is it stated somewhere in the rules as each umpire we had used their own spin on it.
Oct. 6, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2862 posts
§5.2 • HOME TEAM [Page 29]
Home team will be decided by the flip of a coin before every game. The team designated as home team shall bat last in the inning. EXCEPTION: A team giving an equalizer shall be designated as the home team. (See §1.31)
Oct. 6, 2019
hector
Men's 60
51 posts
We had differences also, some umps would assign teams as head or tail and some had the furthest team call heads or tails.
Oct. 6, 2019
SKings24
50 posts
So that is the problem the umpire was assigning Heads to team A and Tails to team B which is not how it should go. Do a flip to determine who calls the initial toss for Home. That takes it right out of the teams hands. Minor things like this impact the game in the end as Home has its importance.
Oct. 6, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2862 posts
My initial reaction is "Really?? ... That's nuts!" ... Sounds like we may need the "A" vs. "B" toss to determine who gets to call the real toss ... And maybe that should be a Best 2 of 3, with each manager calling it once, then if it's still tied, a 3rd toss, going back to "A" vs. "B" method so it's truly fair with each manager AND the umpire getting one call ... Oh, and the clock should be running from the first toss, like it says in the rules ... Guys, it's a 50/50% coin toss and shouldn't be that terribly difficult ...

Oct. 6, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
i think ya should go with rock.. paper.. scissors
Oct. 7, 2019
Webbie25
Men's 65
2273 posts
rock, paper scissors lizard Spock...…..
Oct. 7, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1331 posts
BJ and Webbie25, thank you for the laugh. I have made the joke on that before but would never use it. Right, wrong, or indifferent, we were always taught in clinics to use a double flip for fairness. It also helps assess good listeners at the plate meeting in my experience. The person on my left is always assigned heads, and on the right is always tails. Whoever wins that first flip is who calls the actual coin flip; other umpires may prefer the opposite designation. It beats trying to figure out who is from the furthest away from wherever I might be officiating or who is the oldest or having Chip and Dale trying to decide who should call the flip. I do know one director that does not like the double flip (not Dave), but it seems to work except for a few interesting circumstances that are more of an after the games discussion in the parking lot. I have actually had a coin land on its edge three times over the thousands of games.

I always called the flip for our team. I learned this by accident from a very uninformed/inexperienced 12 and under coach years ago. When I win the flip, I always say that I want to bat (other coach delighted)...second.

Dave, two out of three is pretty funny too. Remind me to tell you about the coin toss in the Louisville tournament sometime.
Oct. 7, 2019
stick8
1784 posts
Dave in USSSA tournament play we always use a double flip. One team to be heads, the other tails. Whoever wins that flip gets to call the second flip.
The only exception is the first game of the championship. The undefeated team is automatically home team—we call it the Resmondo rule.
If it goes to the “if” game then it’s back to a double flip.
Oct. 7, 2019
Gavin5
Men's 70
26 posts
Review of statistical probabilities. It all comes down to the final flip anyway. And its always 50:50, regardless of who calls it and what the call is. Keep it short and simple. However what is not always a given is that the flip winner takes home. For various (and odd) reasons, some will take visitor.
Oct. 7, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2862 posts
I'm throwing my lot (pun intended) in with Gavin5 here ... It always comes back down to the simple 50/50 probability of the relevant flip, and no amount of mental gymnastics or procedural hysteria will change that ... As a Director, I would back an ump who awarded the calling rights to the first of the two managers who greeted him verbally at the plate conference ... It's as fair and statistically relevant as ANY other method ...

stick8, the SSUSA approach of flipping in every game is most of the time an easy concept to understand, but apparently not always .. Here's how that conversation usually goes ... Manager or umpire: "Do we flip for home in the Championship game?" ... Me: "Yes, we flip the coin in all games" ... Mgr/Ump: "What about the 'if' game?" ... Me: "We only flip a coin for the 'if' when that game is in the group of games known as "EVERY GAME" ... Once in a while it takes a few moments for that to register, but I haven't had the same question repeated by the same Mgr/Ump too often! ...

Oct. 7, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1331 posts
Dave, my Daddy is an actuary and would totally agree with you. I have in jest when players aren't responding to coming for a plate meeting hollered first one to the plate gets home. That only happens with young guys, and I have never enforced it. Seniors for the most part are pretty prompt on coming to the plate. It is getting the line up card filled out that is a real chore with a couple of teams. You know that we have one in the Midwest here that may hold the record for longest effort in filling that out. Hope all is well.
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