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Little League game that was won on a forfeit.

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  • Little League game that was won on a forfeit.

    There was recently a Little League game in which one of the teams failed to allow all its players to bat. According to Little League baseball rules, such a team is forced to forfeit when the game is over. The team that was in violation of this rule realized what it had done wrong when they were the home team in the lead and it was already the top of the 6th (In LL, 6 innings is a complete game.). The team in violation of this rule decided that it needed to give up its lead so that it can bat in the bottom of the 6th so that it can allow its remaining player to bat and remove the rule violation. The other team decided that it needed to strikeout on purpose on any type of pitch no matter what so that the team in violation of this rule would not get to correct its rule violation. This way the other team would win by forfeit as a result of that rule violation. I think that the forfeit did happen and the other team did win as a result. Is there a way that the team in violation could have avoided the forfeit? I have a possible scenario that might have worked.
    Scenario:
    For the purpose of this scenario, I will call the road team Team R and the home team which violated or almost violated the rule Team H. Also the first names of Team R will start with an "R" and the ones of Team H will start with an "H".
    top of the sixth:
    Team H leads Team R by one run.
    Randy comes to bat. Pitcher Hank goes to his mouth with his pitching hand while he is still in the pitching circle. As a result, the umpire calls a ball without the batter getting to swing. Hank then repeats this action three more times to get a walk. Now Randy is forced to take first base. Hank then goes to mouth four times for four more balls or a walk to each of the next three batters Ryan, Ron, and Rob to force in a run without any of the four batters getting to swing. After this, Hank proceeds to get the next 3 outs without Team R scoring again.
    bottom of the 6th:
    Team H scores the winning run and wins the game.
    This scenario will only work if there is no way that Team R can get outs by itself. If Randy were to refuse to go to first base on a walk, would he be called out or be ejected from the game without being called out? If an ejection without being called out happens and enough of the players on Team R get ejected from the game to run out of players on Team R to be able to substitute for the last player ejected would Team R have to forfeit its game? If Team R has to forfeit its game, does Team H's rule-violation forfeit or Team R forfeit take precedence or does the teams have to replay the game since both teams had to forfeit? If any of the runners of Team R pass each other on base while they are being forced to advance as a result of a walk, do they get called out or does Team H have to actually inform the umpire that they passed each other for the out to be called? If any of the players go out of the baseline when advancing on walks, can they get called out without Team H's help? In this paragraph, I'm mainly asking if Team R can possibly get the 3 outs in this scenario.

  • #2
    I think you need to read up further on this game. It was a New England regional game, and the home team tried to walk batters. But, LL baseball has a rule barring a team from trying to lose or extend the game on purpose, so the home team manager and his pitcher were ejected when the umpire realized that the intentional walks were intended to let the visitors score. The umpires wouldn't let the game turn into a travesty by granting the walks, and certainly wouldn't do so by a pitcher going to his mouth. In the game in question, the visitors's coaches told their batters to swing and miss at every pitch on purpose to make sure that the game didn't get into the bottom of the sixth inning, and so they "won" because of the forfeit.

    You can find a report of the game here: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...-forfeit_x.htm

    There's a pretty sophisticated discussion of the dilemmas facing the coaches here:
    http://eteamz.active.com/baseball/bo...cfm?id=1683558
    Last edited by Ursa Major; 08-18-2006, 12:49 AM.
    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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    • #3
      Little League game that ended in a forfeit (Part 2)

      I think the home team should have been allowed to intentionally walk in runs until the game was tied without anyone getting ejected. It was a strategy to prevent a certain loss. The umpire could say there was a chance that the road team might have attempted to tie or take the lead anyways despite the situation but the home team could not make that assumption so it had to use the strategy. The umpire assumed that the home team was trying to lose the game. This was not true. I think when that one rule involving the extending or losing of a game on purpose was meant for situations where a team tries to throw a game so that 1) someone can win a baseball bet for sure. 2) so that the other team can go to the next round without having to try hard. This would give this other team an advantage over the team they play against in the next round because the team they would be playing would have had to work hard to win their game and its players would possibly be more tired. This situation does not fall under catagory 1) or 2).

      In baseball when a dangerous hitter gets intentionally walked, the team walking this hitter usually does it to prevent a possible loss. If the umpire ejected the pitcher and manager in this situation simply because there was a chance that the dangerous hitter could have been retired had he been pitched to, the umpire would be suspended for sure and possibly fired.

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      • #4
        .........?

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        • #5
          I think we can safely merge this thread with you original thread, seezero. There haven't been too many responses to either, as of yet.
          "Anything less would not have been worthy of me. Anything more would not have been possible." - Carl Yastrzemski

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          • #6
            The manager from New Hampshire should get praise for paying attention to what was going on with the other team as well as with his team...the incident should never have occured in the first place if the Vermont manager had paid attention.
            Last edited by efin98; 08-18-2006, 08:11 PM.
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            • #7
              I think when that one rule involving the extending or losing of a game on purpose was meant for situations where a team tries to throw a game so that 1) someone can win a baseball bet for sure. 2) so that the other team can go to the next round without having to try hard. This would give this other team an advantage over the team they play against in the next round because the team they would be playing would have had to work hard to win their game and its players would possibly be more tired. This situation does not fall under catagory 1) or 2).

              Is that one of those Jeopardy "you're wrong" buzzers I hear going off?

              This rule was established by Little League to prevent this very situation. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ever should a player not get his three defensive outs and one AB before the completion of the fourth inning. I say fourth instead of sixth because of the ten run rule. The coach is an idiot if he allows this to happen. This is not the only case of this happening, just the most publicized. In fact, it happened at least twice in our district tournament for allstars this season. The funny part is that any team carrying less than thirteen players can only have two coaches, and one of them must remain in the dugout at all times. LL came up with this rule this year to help encourage everyone to place at least thirteen kids on thier teams and give more kids the chance to play. Well almost no one went with thirteen players because "Thats just too gosh darn many to get in the field!!" . Personally, I think if you can't get all twelve kids in the game in four innings, you're not coaching to develop players, you're coaching to gain fame as the guy who took our league to the LLWS.
              You have to piss with the puppies before you can bark with the dogs. - SFC Norman Dutram, Company B, 242d Combat Engineers

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              • #8
                Quick thinking by both coaches. I don't think the umpires should have authority to decide the game so I would remove that clause for sure. The forfeiting coach wasn't trying to lose, he was trying to win by doing what he was doing. In effect, the umpire forced a loss and actually caused the occurrence of losing, so he is at fault under that rule.

                Side note: I was always under the impression that leading teams didn't bat the bottom of the last inning out of courtesy for the trailing visiting team since 99.99% of the time it is petty and unnecessary and obviously running up the score when they already won the game. I thought that they could choose to hit if they wanted to, which obviously they would here in order to win.

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                • #9
                  I still think its one of those great rules that little league has. People say stop coddling the kids and let them experience these things, but instead, coddle them and let them experience it later when they are more mentally developed....and then don't coddle them.

                  What makes me madder than a overinvolved parent of a 10 year old who complains about playing time is an overinvolved parent of a 16 year old who complains about playing time.
                  "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                  -Bill James

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                  • #10
                    The manager whining and then having his players swing at anything to intentionally lose is breaking that rule more than the manager who was trying anything he could to win. Laughable job by the umpires and I definitely started rooting against the New Hampshire team in the LLWS after I heard this story.

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                    • #11
                      The kid who didn't get up to bat is all but forgotten in this blunder. The kids had been told about the LLWS minimum requirements of three consecutive defensive outs plus one at bat. I don't know how many games Vermont had played, but it had to be several to make it out of the Districts and past States.

                      This boy was probably the one kid who only batted one time and played three defensive outs. He had to know his role by heart, don't you think? So did his parents, the team scorer, and his buddies on the team.

                      Where was this kid and the scorer before the 6th inning? This player was sent out to play the 5th inning probably in the OF. Why didn't he check with the scorer first? Ask to see who he was replacing in the batting order. If it wasn't one of the next three or four batters, say something to a coach. They can always change where to insert him into the batting lineup before going over to the Official Scorer.

                      The Vermont scorer is as much to blame as the AS Manager, in my opinion. His/her job is to keep score and also to keep track of the team's subs plus the other team's subs too. They should have told the Manager where to insert this kid in the batting order. The choice was simple - Would you rather take out a good player or risk forfeiting the game?

                      I was our LL All Star team's scorer one season and I can tell you that we discussed when and who to sub from the 2nd inning on. This team only had 12 players so three kids were the subs. We had to get in four subs in every game, and never had a problem. I can tell you that a LL AS game goes by so fast and the Manager makes a few quick decisions that later on he wished he hadn't made.

                      In one AS game, I asked an Assistant Coach if one of our best hitters was re-entering the game as we were down by one run at the time. She said "no", and both of us agreed on the spot that our Manager was making a mistake. The player would never get back in the game or bat again. And we never scored a run. The player's dad told me later on their son was hurt by what happened.
                      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TonyK
                        The kid who didn't get up to bat is all but forgotten in this blunder. The kids had been told about the LLWS minimum requirements of three consecutive defensive outs plus one at bat. I don't know how many games Vermont had played, but it had to be several to make it out of the Districts and past States.

                        This boy was probably the one kid who only batted one time and played three defensive outs. He had to know his role by heart, don't you think? So did his parents, the team scorer, and his buddies on the team.

                        Where was this kid and the scorer before the 6th inning? This player was sent out to play the 5th inning probably in the OF. Why didn't he check with the scorer first? Ask to see who he was replacing in the batting order. If it wasn't one of the next three or four batters, say something to a coach. They can always change where to insert him into the batting lineup before going over to the Official Scorer.

                        The Vermont scorer is as much to blame as the AS Manager, in my opinion. His/her job is to keep score and also to keep track of the team's subs plus the other team's subs too. They should have told the Manager where to insert this kid in the batting order. The choice was simple - Would you rather take out a good player or risk forfeiting the game?

                        I was our LL All Star team's scorer one season and I can tell you that we discussed when and who to sub from the 2nd inning on. This team only had 12 players so three kids were the subs. We had to get in four subs in every game, and never had a problem. I can tell you that a LL AS game goes by so fast and the Manager makes a few quick decisions that later on he wished he hadn't made.

                        In one AS game, I asked an Assistant Coach if one of our best hitters was re-entering the game as we were down by one run at the time. She said "no", and both of us agreed on the spot that our Manager was making a mistake. The player would never get back in the game or bat again. And we never scored a run. The player's dad told me later on their son was hurt by what happened.

                        Okay, maybe the kid knew his role. I am sure he's going to stand up and tell his coach what to do aren't you. BS!! You can't fault a kid here. They are twelve, not twenty. From experience I can tell you that whoever was scoring the game for Vermont had no access to the manager, coach, or kids. The only person who knew what was going on was the Official Scorekeeper, and since when is it thier job to tell a team they are violating a rule.
                        You have to piss with the puppies before you can bark with the dogs. - SFC Norman Dutram, Company B, 242d Combat Engineers

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                        • #13
                          And the kid would have gotten his rightful AB in the bottom of the 6th if the umpire hadn't decided to make the game about him and disallow the walks.

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                          • #14
                            flash we have already visted the rule book concerning this rule. If need be I will post it here for you.
                            You have to piss with the puppies before you can bark with the dogs. - SFC Norman Dutram, Company B, 242d Combat Engineers

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cartersball
                              flash we have already visted the rule book concerning this rule. If need be I will post it here for you.
                              According to the rule I saw posted, in LL you can't intentionally try to lose. By having his players intentionally strike out, the NH manager was intentionally trying to lose that game. I personally will not root for a team that "advanced" out of their regional that way. The other team was actually trying to win by their strategy of walking people in and it possibly could have worked if the umpires and whining opposing coach didn't overreact.

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