The answer should be: Nothing.
I assume you are referring to the scenario of beginning the fifth inning with the visitors down by more than 5, or entering the bottom of the 5th with the home team down by the same. Many before have suggested that the 5 run rule be waived or modified in some form or another under those circumstances. Indeed, this was debated and rejected at the LL Congress that created the rule. And since local leagues must not create local rules in conflict with LL rules, there is really nothing that can or should be done.
In the past our league has operated with a 6-run cap, so we have encountered the same argument even before the rule change. Our board similarly decided not to do anything, mainly because it was usually the parents and not the kids who believed the last inning would be a waste of time; the kids wanted to keep playing, regardless of the score.
Our board similarly decided not to do anything...
What do you mean by not doing anything? Did you end the game, or did you keep playing?
Here's the dilemma as I see it. My AAA Minors team is winning, 7-1, going into the last inning. Since they cannot catch up, I'm going to pitch a kid who has never pitched before in his life, because I want to save my pitching for our next game. So I bring in Nate Nopitch to take the mound in this final inning. Eight consecutive walks later, the game ends with my team winning, 7-6.
Is that really accomplishing anything? I'm all for letting the kids play, but was this really worth the effort for the kids involved? The only players that got any significant play time is Nate and his catcher, and they're probably more demoralized than happy with the outcome. The rest of the kids got zero value out of extending the game.
Since I'm in district staff, I have no idea what my old league plans to do this year. In the past, we did have run limits in Minors that were different than the five-run limit LL has imposed, and whenever a team could not catch up, the losing manager conceded the victory to the other team. So I'm guessing that's what the league will do this year.
If you are in the "let them play" camp, I would suggest you push your league to do away with scores and standings in your Minors divisions. Just play each half-inning until the team at-bat registers five runs or three outs, then switch sides, keep doing that until you play six innings or you reach your league time limit, then send everyone to the concession stand for their snow cones. But if you insist on keeping scores and standings for certain Minors divisions, then you should play those games until a winner can be determined, and once that happens, end the game right then and there.
JMO, Manny Aponte
Oh, one more thing that I forgot to add. I'm no lawyer, so I cannot say whether this would really ever happen, but...
Assume from my previous post that Nate Nopitch hits a poor batter in the face with a pitch. The batter is injured seriously enough that he has to be taken off the field by EMS. After the emergency room visit, it's determined that the kid had his eye hit hard enough that he may no longer be able to see out of it correctly even after surgery. The parents are devastated, and consult with a lawyer to see if they are entitled to any damages.
The lawyer does his homework, and finds out that the inning when the kid got hurt was played unecessarily. The game was already over, for all intents and purposes, but the umpire allowed the game to go on because the league has a policy to keep playing even after a winner can be determined. And I, as the winning team's manager, put in Nate to pitch since I knew it wouldn't affect our victory, despite the fact that Nate has never pitched before.
Would the lawyer advise the injured kid's parents to sue the league, the umpire, and me for damages? Maybe, maybe not. If they did, would they win? Maybe, and then again, maybe not. But would my life be miserable for the next few weeks because I would have to seek my own legal counsel to help me in this predicament? I'd rather not find out.
Again, I have no idea if this really would play out. But why run the risk?
Is this world today of "Lawsuit at the drop of a hat"... a fair point Manny but I'll take my chances on giving the kids what they want... as much baseball as possible.
U12's here we always used a 6 run rule every inning. Now we have LL majors and Minors.... both with 6 run rule each Innings. (We play 90 Minutes or 6 Innings whichever comes first. ). End of game no matter what the score we let the coach of a losing side decide if they want extra playtime... and yes.. give the usual NO PITCH kids a chance if they want. In saying that, I would never allow a kid in Catching Pitching Role that could be a danger to himself unless I get it agreed to by the Parenst first.
In the past, we did have run limits in Minors that were different than the five-run limit LL has imposed, and whenever a team could not catch up, the losing manager conceded the victory to the other team. So I'm guessing that's what the league will do this year.
That is what we are doing again this year.
Mark (Manny's successor)
I don't work any one league. One league I cover games for has informed me they have passed two local rules, One to suspend the five run rule, the other to suspend the game rest requirement. I have informed them that I will not being there this year because of this. Total BS.
Michael S. Taylor
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