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Delaying play to run clock time off

Dec 15, 2012
101
18
A coach can either play to win trophies or play to develop softball players.

If your priority is to win as many games as possible, then the clock becomes a real issue. Lots of things are within your control to slow down ballgames. Some of these tactics can get really bizarre (equipment failure) and others are more mainstream (taking pitches or extending signals). The intent is still exactly the same which is to NOT LOSE a ballgame. It is 100% legal and within the rules of the game.

If your priority is to develop players, then clock becomes a non-issue as you want your players to learn how to compete in tight situations with the ball game on the line. (What an opportunity!). You will win some nail brighter games and you WILL lose some heartbreaker games. Your players are however learning skills they will need to compete in real 7 inning games that matter in High School and College.

In my opinion, if you are a playing on a team where the coach manipulates the clock find another team.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,068
63
Pennsylvania
A coach can either play to win trophies or play to develop softball players.

If your priority is to win as many games as possible, then the clock becomes a real issue. Lots of things are within your control to slow down ballgames. Some of these tactics can get really bizarre (equipment failure) and others are more mainstream (taking pitches or extending signals). The intent is still exactly the same which is to NOT LOSE a ballgame. It is 100% legal and within the rules of the game.

If your priority is to develop players, then clock becomes a non-issue as you want your players to learn how to compete in tight situations with the ball game on the line. (What an opportunity!). You will win some nail brighter games and you WILL lose some heartbreaker games. Your players are however learning skills they will need to compete in real 7 inning games that matter in High School and College.

In my opinion, if you are a playing on a team where the coach manipulates the clock find another team.
I agree with this. Our team has developed through several phases. At 12u the goal was strictly player development. At 14u we focused on preparing our players for high school ball. At 16u we focused on helping them reach their college goals. At 18u/23u we focused on preparing them to play college ball. Our focus has never been winning trophies. That said, we have won a lot of games, and have quite a few trophies as a result. If you are successful at developing your players, you will win. It just happens.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,161
83
Florida
A coach can either play to win trophies or play to develop softball players.
I totally disagree. You can absolutely balance these things. I don't see how these are mutually exclusive or in many ways even related.

I am not sure why people think the players aren't developing because we won a bracket game by taking a pitch. And then went and played more competitive softball?

I am always confused by all this 'preparing them for high school or college' talk.

What if some of the players don't want that? What if that is NOT their goal.
Why is HS or COLLEGE when going for the win is OK?
What is their HS sucks and has no chance of winning?
What if this travel tournament is this teams one and only chance of winning?
Why does EVERYTHING have to be a life lesson? It is JUST a sport.
We play HUNDREDS of games - there are going to be PLENTY of close games where timing WON'T come into it. Can I learn 'how to win the close ones' in these games or does the one time we called a time out cancel all that out?
Are our practices somehow wasted because our coach checked the clock?
All those batting and pitching lessons meaningless because our catcher went and talked to the pitcher?

For some - TRAVEL may be where they win or lose. Just because we like to believe 7 innings is the way it is 'meant to be played' doesn't mean it is for everyone. If you play travel, play for a garbage high school and don't play in college, maybe timed games is how the game is for that player - that a clock is just how the game is actually played for them.

We played an 2 extra-inning games last week - we won, we lost one. They know how to win and lose.

And yeah, my DD is lucky - and her HS plays some unbelievable high school games that are WAY more intense than anything you will ever get in travel (and some that are way worse as well) - but she is one of the luckier ones. She has teammates that don't have that.

Again - I have never as a coach done anything stupid. And we never did anything on pool games. But bracket day we are going to go as deep as we can. Even if I wanted to - how many games could I really effect by minor stalling especially if I don't do it in pool games?

Maybe an average of 1 per weekend? Maybe not even that?
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,031
113
I totally disagree. You can absolutely balance these things. I don't see how these are mutually exclusive or in many ways even related.

I am not sure why people think the players aren't developing because we won a bracket game by taking a pitch. And then went and played more competitive softball?

I am always confused by all this 'preparing them for high school or college' talk.

What if some of the players don't want that? What if that is NOT their goal.
Why is HS or COLLEGE when going for the win is OK?
What is their HS sucks and has no chance of winning?
What if this travel tournament is this teams one and only chance of winning?
Why does EVERYTHING have to be a life lesson? It is JUST a sport.
We play HUNDREDS of games - there are going to be PLENTY of close games where timing WON'T come into it. Can I learn 'how to win the close ones' in these games or does the one time we called a time out cancel all that out?
Are our practices somehow wasted because our coach checked the clock?
All those batting and pitching lessons meaningless because our catcher went and talked to the pitcher?

For some - TRAVEL may be where they win or lose. Just because we like to believe 7 innings is the way it is 'meant to be played' doesn't mean it is for everyone. If you play travel, play for a garbage high school and don't play in college, maybe timed games is how the game is for that player - that a clock is just how the game is actually played for them.

We played an 2 extra-inning games last week - we won, we lost one. They know how to win and lose.

And yeah, my DD is lucky - and her HS plays some unbelievable high school games that are WAY more intense than anything you will ever get in travel (and some that are way worse as well) - but she is one of the luckier ones. She has teammates that don't have that.

Again - I have never as a coach done anything stupid. And we never did anything on pool games. But bracket day we are going to go as deep as we can. Even if I wanted to - how many games could I really effect by minor stalling especially if I don't do it in pool games?

Maybe an average of 1 per weekend? Maybe not even that?
My benchmark regarding whether something is over the line or not is if somebody didn't know the game was timed would whatever was going on being considered out of the ordinary. Taking pitches might fall under that with only the most astute fan of the game..a kid untying and then retying their shoe would stick out like a sore thumb..
 
Dec 15, 2012
101
18
My benchmark regarding whether something is over the line or not is if somebody didn't know the game was timed would whatever was going on being considered out of the ordinary. Taking pitches might fall under that with only the most astute fan of the game..a kid untying and then retying their shoe would stick out like a sore thumb..
Either way you are attempting to NOT lose a game by running the clock out.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,068
63
Pennsylvania
@marriard ,

One quick example of something we did...

Last summer we started with a roster of 7 recent high school graduates that were all planning to play college ball. 3 of our players from the previous year aged out of 18u and 2 were high school graduates that decided to quit softball because they were not playing in college. We could have looked for 4 or 5 new players and kept the squad at 18u. We won over 70% of our games the previous summer at 18u so I am quite sure we would have been pretty good. Instead, the other coach and I had a private meeting with our core of 7. As a group we decided to play 23u. We contacted the 3 that aged out and then picked up several other college players that we knew. It was our opinion that playing against other legit college players would better prepare our group than playing another year at 18u. Honestly, the summer was a blast and we had the opportunity to play against some very good players. In fact, we played against Carrie Eberle from Virginia Tech (She's really good...). I'm sure we could have collected some more trophies if we stayed at 18u, but I stand by our decision to move to 23u. I still think it was the best decision for our group of players.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,031
113
Either way you are attempting to NOT lose a game by running the clock out.
I agree and I wouldn't do it but in the taking pitches case if the pitcher throws strikes the no problems right?

Anytime you put a clock on a sport those things are going to happen..why do you think they put a shot clock in college basketball (hint: 4 corners)
 
Dec 15, 2012
101
18
I totally disagree. You can absolutely balance these things. I don't see how these are mutually exclusive or in many ways even related.

I am not sure why people think the players aren't developing because we won a bracket game by taking a pitch. And then went and played more competitive softball?

I am always confused by all this 'preparing them for high school or college' talk.

What if some of the players don't want that? What if that is NOT their goal.
Why is HS or COLLEGE when going for the win is OK?
What is their HS sucks and has no chance of winning?
What if this travel tournament is this teams one and only chance of winning?
Why does EVERYTHING have to be a life lesson? It is JUST a sport.
We play HUNDREDS of games - there are going to be PLENTY of close games where timing WON'T come into it. Can I learn 'how to win the close ones' in these games or does the one time we called a time out cancel all that out?
Are our practices somehow wasted because our coach checked the clock?
All those batting and pitching lessons meaningless because our catcher went and talked to the pitcher?

For some - TRAVEL may be where they win or lose. Just because we like to believe 7 innings is the way it is 'meant to be played' doesn't mean it is for everyone. If you play travel, play for a garbage high school and don't play in college, maybe timed games is how the game is for that player - that a clock is just how the game is actually played for them.

We played an 2 extra-inning games last week - we won, we lost one. They know how to win and lose.

And yeah, my DD is lucky - and her HS plays some unbelievable high school games that are WAY more intense than anything you will ever get in travel (and some that are way worse as well) - but she is one of the luckier ones. She has teammates that don't have that.

Again - I have never as a coach done anything stupid. And we never did anything on pool games. But bracket day we are going to go as deep as we can. Even if I wanted to - how many games could I really effect by minor stalling especially if I don't do it in pool games?

Maybe an average of 1 per weekend? Maybe not even that?
Even though I don’t agree with your approach, I understand your thought process. I do have a question however on how you would handle a game in which a pitcher or batter is being actively evaluated by a College Coach in a close ball game? Do you still use the same approach to make it to the next game?
 

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