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  • Error rule

    I'm reasonably new to baseball from a cricketing background, my oldest son swapped from baseball after about 5 years of junior cricket, he hs been playing 4 years now. I have started scoring my youngest sons team.

    The one rule that I feel I don't necessarily get is the error rule. As from how I understand it, in baseball it is seen as the fielders fault and not the runners skill. Whilst often it is a fielders fault, sometimes it is the runner's speed that hurries the fielders throw and causes the error. The batter appears to be not rewarded for his "hustling" the feilder by being quick towards the base and forcing a throw more quickly and often causing the error to occur. In cricket, if a feilders misfields (causes "overthrows" or additional runs), it is counted as a runs to be the batsman, because the batsman has created the situation where fielders error has occurred and he can profit from it.( Overthrows usually happen when a batsman has taken a quick single, and the feilder in an attempt to run him out has thrown poorly (as they are often rushed into the throw).)

    I understand that On base % is becoming more prevalent and from my understanding, drawing errors benefits the batter, but the standard "hits" measure doesn't reward a batter who causes an error. Not only is the batter not rewarded for causing the error that allowed them to get to first safely but they get no benefit from the additional base they might gain or RBI's caused by the error.

    It seems an injustice in the scoring system. Players who work on speed, and always run at top speed aren't rewarded for that effort, the fielder is soley punished for the the runners efforts.

  • #2
    A scorer can make a judgement the hitter’s speed created the error and award a hit. It’s hard to describe every situation in words. It’s more of an experienced baseball scorer/person knows it when he sees it. An example would be a hitter bunts the ball down third. The only possible way the fielder is going to throw him out at first is to scoop the ball barehanded and throw in one motion. The ball rolls up the fielders arm when he tries to barehand it. Base hit.

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    • #3
      According according to my understanding, errors do not benefit on base percentage, so they actually helps the batter’s stats less.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
        A scorer can make a judgement the hitter’s speed created the error and award a hit. It’s hard to describe every situation in words. It’s more of an experienced baseball scorer/person knows it when he sees it. An example would be a hitter bunts the ball down third. The only possible way the fielder is going to throw him out at first is to scoop the ball barehanded and throw in one motion. The ball rolls up the fielders arm when he tries to barehand it. Base hit.
        Thanks for the answer. I got it is all a call by the scorer and can sort of see how that would work.

        But a base hit (a single) is what he would get at best, when in fact the batters, reaction time/speed to base has caused the error, and may be what got him to second and possibly caused additional RBIs by creating a poor throw by his hustle.He is not going to be scored the double and the additional RBI's that his skill has in some manner earned.

        I suppose I see junior baseball teams with oversized kids, using their advantage of additional "weight" into their swing get rewarded with bigger hits but then waddle to the base but the nimble skinny kid, who can run like the wind is generally not rewarded for being fit and fast.

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        • #5
          Errors are basically all determined on the fielders ability, and does not take into consideration the batter's or runner's abilities or lack of them. IOWs, a speed of the runner is only taken into consideration when determining if a fielder would be able to make a play on the ball that would have been able to put the runner out with an "ordinary effort" that's defined in the OBR as:
          Originally posted by 2019 Official Baseball Rules
          ORDINARY EFFORT is the effort that a fielder of average skill at a position in that league or classification of leagues should exhibit on a play, with due consideration given to the condition of the field and weather conditions.
          It should also be noted that the official definition of an error is:
          Originally posted by 2019 Official Baseball Rules
          9.12 Errors -

          An error is a statistic charged against a fielder whose action has assisted the team on offense, as set forth in this Rule 9.12.
          (a) The Official Scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:
          (1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases, unless, in the judgment of the Official Scorer, such fielder deliberately permits a foul fly to fall safe with a runner on third base before two are out in order that the runner on third shall not score after the catch;

          Rule 9.12(a )(1) Comment: Slow handling of the ball that does not involve mechanical misplay shall not be construed as an error. For example, the Official Scorer shall not charge a fielder with an error if such fielder fields a ground ball cleanly but does not throw to first base in time to retire the batter. It is not necessary that the fielder touch the ball to be charged with an error. If a ground ball goes through a fielder’s legs or a fly ball falls untouched and, in the scorer’s judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the Official Scorer shall charge such fielder with an error. For example, the Official Scorer shall charge an infielder with an error when a ground ball passes to either side of such infielder if, in the Official Scorer’s judgment, a fielder at that position making ordinary effort would have fielded such ground ball and retired a runner. The Official Scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the Official Scorer’s judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball. If a throw is low, wide or high, or strikes the ground, and a runner reaches base who otherwise would have been put out by such throw, the Official Scorer shall charge the player making the throw with an error. The Official Scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise. A fielder’s mental mistake that leads to a physical misplay— such as throwing the ball into the stands or rolling the ball to the pitcher’s mound, mistakenly believing there to be three outs, and thereby allowing a runner or runners to advance— shall not be considered a mental mistake for purposes of this rule and the Official Scorer shall charge a fielder committing such a mistake with an error. The Official Scorer shall not charge an error if the pitcher fails to cover first base on a play, thereby allowing a batter-runner to reach first base safely. The Official Scorer shall not charge an error to a fielder who incorrectly throws to the wrong base on a play. The Official Scorer shall charge an error to a fielder who causes another fielder to misplay a ball—for example, by knocking the ball out of the other fielder’s glove. On such a play, when the Official Scorer charges an error to the interfering fielder, the Official Scorer shall not charge an error to the fielder with whom the other fielder interfered.

          It should also be noted that "The Official Scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors" which would be the case of a fielder misjudging or making a mental mistake in rushing a throw because his presumption of a runner's speed (correct or not).

          So if a fielder "hurries" his throw because he "thinks" he has to in order to make the play, the only thing the scorekeeper has to determine is....would the other fielders in the league giving "ordinary effort" have been able to retire the runner on that play, or if the runner's speed would have had him beat out that ball of an "ordinary effort" of all other fielders making a play on the ball as well.

          In the situation you describe, if the fielder had made an accurate throw after giving an "ordinary effort" on the ball, would that throw have put the runner out....if yes, than the fielder is charged with an error on the "wild throw". But had the fielder made some extra-ordinary effort on the ball causing him to throw off balance in order to try to retire the runner that caused the wild throw (similar to the bunt down the line Jett described)...than no error, and the batter receives an infield "hit".


          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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          • #6
            I've been wondering about this issue also. My son leads the team in ROE. I attribute it to him making contact with the ball almost all the time, being one of the fastest in the team and hustling every time. I know that his coach recognizes and appreciates this. I just wish sometimes that there's a way for this to be reflected in his batting stats, esp when he goes 0 for 3 but ROE twice.

            Another related question is on HBP. I notice that some kids has a higher rate of being hit by pitch. But when I think more about it, I don't know if this can be attributed to a certain skill or not. Are there things that a kid can do to be HBP more in the same way that if they make a lot of contact and hustle, they can cause more ROE?

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            • #7
              i score my sons games and have all the way through his journey so far. when my son is involved in a close call and another coach is near i use his judgment rather than my own. one thing that is different in scoring your kids youth games (as opposed to scoring, say, HS games) is that every year the standard for "ordinary effort" changes a little bit.

              its a dumb statistic anyways, for both the fielder and the hitter. ordinary effort for a fast fielder with good reflexes is different than a slow fielder who reacts slowly. what sense does it make that a hitter would be rewarded if he hits it towards a bad player who doesnt get in position to make a play?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by atlantanon View Post
                My son leads the team in ROE. I attribute it to him making contact with the ball almost all the time, being one of the fastest in the team and hustling every time.
                "The harder you work, the luckier you get..."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Malleeboy View Post

                  Thanks for the answer. I got it is all a call by the scorer and can sort of see how that would work.

                  But a base hit (a single) is what he would get at best, when in fact the batters, reaction time/speed to base has caused the error, and may be what got him to second and possibly caused additional RBIs by creating a poor throw by his hustle.He is not going to be scored the double and the additional RBI's that his skill has in some manner earned.

                  I suppose I see junior baseball teams with oversized kids, using their advantage of additional "weight" into their swing get rewarded with bigger hits but then waddle to the base but the nimble skinny kid, who can run like the wind is generally not rewarded for being fit and fast.
                  You're bringing up several different issues here:

                  1) What is the correct way to score an error (already addressed by others on this thread)

                  2) What is the true way to evaluate a player's hitting contribution at the younger ages (see below)

                  3) Dribblers down the 3rd base line reward fast runners (especially lefties) with hits at the youngest ages. How valuable is that short term and long term (see below)

                  Your intuition is correct that at ages 7-10, and maybe even 11-12, there is a big reward to kids who hustle, and they will often reach first more often than big kids who hit the ball much harder. You can see this in a stat I call OBP + ROE - which is the number of times a player reaches first for any reasons (walks, hits, errors, HBP). In terms of contribution to a team winning at the youngest ages, this is the most relevant hitting stat, I've found. I've even written about it ( https://www.filterjoe.com/2015/02/27...-pitch-begins/ )

                  However, how valuable are these types of hits in both the short run and long run? In the short run, they help the team win. I have a son who is a small lefty. At age 9 he was especially tiny on his 9-10 year old team yet led the team in OBP + ROE, in OBP, in batting average - you name it - because of these dribblers down the 3rd base line. And that helped our team win games. But did it help him develop as a player long term? Not really.

                  Fast forward 5 years, and he is still smaller and an okay batter but the kids who can hit the ball 300+ feet are at a big advantage. On the big field (60/90) it is much harder to beat out the dribblers down the 3rd base line so it's no longer worth trying to get a base hit that way. He may not be able to hit the ball 300+ feet yet because he's not big enough, but if he focuses on hitting hard line drives, he'll do fine as line drives translates into singles. Lately he's been hitting line drives in games that go right into shortstop or pitcher gloves for outs. As he gets bigger, these will translate into singles, so even though he's not helping the team with these outs, he's helping his own development with hard hit line drives.

                  So here's an interesting thing - the guy who had a lower batting average than him but hit the ball very hard on his 9-10 year old team was really big. He is now a freshman in HS - really really big. And he's playing on varsity. He is a bad fielder and even worse base runner. But he can hit the ball very hard, harder than many of the varsity players. That translates to a .292 batting average on the big field (5th highest on team), so the HS coaches are trying to figure out how to make him into a reasonable fielder.

                  He tried to hit the ball hard in rec ball at every age, and had the body type to support it. Didn't always mean he helped the team the most, but it did get him ready for high school baseball better than hitting dribblers down the 3rd base line.
                  Last edited by JoeG; 04-17-2019, 09:52 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atlantanon View Post
                    I've been wondering about this issue also. My son leads the team in ROE. I attribute it to him making contact with the ball almost all the time, being one of the fastest in the team and hustling every time. I know that his coach recognizes and appreciates this. I just wish sometimes that there's a way for this to be reflected in his batting stats, esp when he goes 0 for 3 but ROE twice.

                    Another related question is on HBP. I notice that some kids has a higher rate of being hit by pitch. But when I think more about it, I don't know if this can be attributed to a certain skill or not. Are there things that a kid can do to be HBP more in the same way that if they make a lot of contact and hustle, they can cause more ROE?
                    Reaching on errors is not a viable stat. As the players get older and more skilled it doesn’t occur often enough to track it. When my son was eleven and twelve we looked at plate appearances in reverse. We determined if a batted ball was an all-star hit or a rec ball hit. A high fly ball off the fence was a red ball hit. An all star would have tracked and caught it.

                    The same thing with HBP. As the players get older the umpiring gets better. Umpires won’t award first if a batter leans in front of a pitch. Even college ball has clamped down on it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeG View Post

                      You're bringing up several different issues here:

                      1) What is the correct way to score an error (already addressed by others on this thread)

                      2) What is the true way to evaluate a player's hitting contribution at the younger ages (see below)

                      3) Dribblers down the 3rd base line reward fast runners (especially lefties) with hits at the youngest ages. How valuable is that short term and long term (see below)

                      Your intuition is correct that at ages 7-10, and maybe even 11-12, there is a big reward to kids who hustle, and they will often reach first more often than big kids who hit the ball much harder. You can see this in a stat I call OBP + ROE - which is the number of times a player reaches first for any reasons (walks, hits, errors, HBP). In terms of contribution to a team winning at the youngest ages, this is the most relevant hitting stat, I've found. I've even written about it ( https://www.filterjoe.com/2015/02/27...-pitch-begins/ )

                      However, how valuable are these types of hits in both the short run and long run? In the short run, they help the team win. I have a son who is a small lefty. At age 9 he was especially tiny on his 9-10 year old team yet led the team in OBP + ROE, in OBP, in batting average - you name it - because of these dribblers down the 3rd base line. And that helped our team win games. But did it help him develop as a player long term? Not really.

                      Fast forward 5 years, and he is still smaller and an okay batter but the kids who can hit the ball 300+ feet are at a big advantage. On the big field (60/90) it is much harder to beat out the dribblers down the 3rd base line so it's no longer worth trying to get a base hit that way. He may not be able to hit the ball 300+ feet yet because he's not big enough, but if he focuses on hitting hard line drives, he'll do fine as line drives translates into singles. Lately he's been hitting line drives in games that go right into shortstop or pitcher gloves for outs. As he gets bigger, these will translate into singles, so even though he's not helping the team with these outs, he's helping his own development with hard hit line drives.

                      So here's an interesting thing - the guy who had a lower batting average than him but hit the ball very hard on his 9-10 year old team was really big. He is now a freshman in HS - really really big. And he's playing on varsity. He is a bad fielder and even worse base runner. But he can hit the ball very hard, harder than many of the varsity players. That translates to a .292 batting average on the big field (5th highest on team), so the HS coaches are trying to figure out how to make him into a reasonable fielder.

                      He tried to hit the ball hard in rec ball at every age, and had the body type to support it. Didn't always mean he helped the team the most, but it did get him ready for high school baseball better than hitting dribblers down the 3rd base line.
                      While the fielding skills and arms improve with age and development fast hitters will look for opportunities to drop bunts on third baseman. Depending on where the third baseman is positioned and how well he throws across his body enters the decision making.

                      While no one tries to hit a grounder to short there are fast left handed hitters where if the third baseman can’t cut off the ball the odds of the shortstop throwing out the hitter from the hole are slim.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JettSixty View Post

                        While the fielding skills and arms improve with age and development fast hitters will look for opportunities to drop bunts on third baseman. Depending on where the third baseman is positioned and how well he throws across his body enters the decision making.

                        While no one tries to hit a grounder to short there are fast left handed hitters where if the third baseman can’t cut off the ball the odds of the shortstop throwing out the hitter from the hole are slim.
                        There's a period from about 7th grade to 9th grade or so where it takes a long time to run 90 feet to first base, even for the fastest runners. Perhaps by 11th grade or so the fastest runners can beat out those bunts, especially if they are batting left-handed?

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                        • #13
                          Basically the Error stat is out-dated and unnecessary and baseball would be better if it were removed from the equation.

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                          • #14
                            There wasn’t travel ball when I played. I gauge when I played against all stars for Babe Ruth, Legion and large classification high school. My son started playing USSSA Majors at 13u. I don’t recollect any weak arms except the handful of 13u teams that had no business signing up for Majors tournaments. I had one slow runner in 13u. He was invited back for 14u (over more than foot speed).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Error and hit stats are actually detrimental. Kids will back off from making plays for fear of an error and they really, really focus on hits against poor competition. OP has it right: if your son is doing anything positive or negative regarding a base, a run, or an out then that's what's most important. This includes mental stuff.
                              Major Figure

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