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Played our first timed game , finish the inning, plus one additional inning format

May 30, 2013
1,295
63
Binghamton, NY
Boy, were the parents and coaches totally befuddled by this!

Was an ASA/USA Nationals Qualifier in MD this past weekend.

I really like the format, and thanks to this forum, had a pre-understanding of it and its benefits.

Only issue was there weren't enough fields/umpires to run a 2-day, double-elimination format with 11 teams,
in a realistic amount of time. Solution would have been hold 18U/16U at separate complexes. -OR- make the games 1:00 vs 1:20 timed portion.

We made it clean though the winner's bracket, secured our bid,
but never played the championship game due to time running out on Sunday.
(Top two teams get a berth, so incentive to start a champ game at 7pm on a Sunday was quite low...)
 
Aug 29, 2011
2,398
48
NorCal
We played in one of those this summer. The format is indeed a good one as it has both the benefit of moving the game along to keep the fields moving and takes the dumb clock management out of the equation. Of course our Saturday 8am game we still managed to set the field back by playing 2 extra innings, sadly a 10-9 walk off, not sure if they caught it up later in the day or not.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,373
113
Florida
It's really nice.
*totally* takes the clock out of the game strategy,
which is the way softball/baseball were meant to be played.

The "clock" only determines how many innings your game will be in total,
but puts no fuse on how long it will be allowed to take to complete those innings.
They tried this format in Florida a couple of years ago.

Took about two tournaments for people to figure out how to manipulate the clock. Basically the trick is paying attention so you do your clock management earlier so you can get your 'finish + 1' timing as close to the cutoff as possible.

And as you said, if you hit the wrong side of the cutoff (i.e. just starting the top of the inning), you now have two full innings to play and the games can very quickly run long which becomes an issue with game timing and tournament finishing. Also, teams start to really stretch things out once the clock is off.

Once people figured it out, they stopped doing this format. After a few tournaments, the initial benefits were not worth the scheduling issues and it didn't really stop clock manipulation. But it was good while it lasted :) At least they tried something new.
 
May 6, 2015
1,235
83
They tried this format in Florida a couple of years ago.

Took about two tournaments for people to figure out how to manipulate the clock. Basically the trick is paying attention so you do your clock management earlier so you can get your 'finish + 1' timing as close to the cutoff as possible.

And as you said, if you hit the wrong side of the cutoff (i.e. just starting the top of the inning), you now have two full innings to play and the games can very quickly run long which becomes an issue with game timing and tournament finishing. Also, teams start to really stretch things out once the clock is off.

Once people figured it out, they stopped doing this format. After a few tournaments, the initial benefits were not worth the scheduling issues and it didn't really stop clock manipulation. But it was good while it lasted :) At least they tried something new.

why would people show down once the "clock was off", what is the benefit? and to keep things rolling, make the cutoff for the inning to be finished at 1:00 maybe. then one additional inning.

and I think you will find that people who start their clock management early will get burned enough to just not care (ie they have a lead, try to slow down to get that finish inning , but then fall behind, and now wish they had more innings).
 
Last edited:
Oct 2, 2011
3,373
113
Florida
why would people show down once the "clock was off", what is the benefit? and to keep things rolling, make the cutoff for the inning to be finished at 1:00 maybe. then one additional inning.

and I think you will find that people who start their clock management early will get burned enough to just not care (ie they have a lead, try to slow down to get that finish inning , but then fall behind, and now wish they had more innings).
Once the clock was off everything slowed down because there is nothing pushing anyone to move fast. Between innings dragged, pitching changes, time outs, no hesitation to call a timeout/conference and so on.... It is one of the benefits of timed games - people generally move better when there is a deadline.

We thought the same on clock management, but really the only people who got burned were the tournament directors not being able to get all the games in or playing until midnight Sunday.

In the end, not getting games in annoyed people. Waiting over an hour for a team to come off another game in bracket play annoyed people. If the coaches missed the cutoff, they shrugged and played two more innings. Not much different to playing one extra at time cutoff most tournaments use - except longer.

We gave it a go. It worked OK, and then it didn't. We just went to longer game times/finish the inning. Easier to predict and schedule and in the end close to the result people wanted (more innings).
 
May 30, 2013
1,295
63
Binghamton, NY
Should also note: this particular tournament had no pool play. double-elimination right from the start.

ASA/USA, in general, I've found does NOT do a great job at scheduling games for a fast and efficient tournament.
Example: 11 team double-elimination format. We won our first game on Saturday, and thus did not have to play again until 8am Sunday.
They essentially ran a 16U and 18U tournament on 3 fields in two days.
Obviously, this resulted in a LOT of down-time and especially for teams that stayed in the winner's bracket.
Another field and crew of umpires would have really helped this one along. Or split 18U/16U to different complexes, etc.
When DD team played ASA Eastern Nationals three years ago, the scheduling was similar.
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2013
2,074
63
when my son was in LL minors we had a rule 1:25 and 1:45 rule. No new inning after 1:45 but if an inning started after 1:25 it would automatically be the final inning.
 
May 6, 2015
1,235
83
Once the clock was off everything slowed down because there is nothing pushing anyone to move fast. Between innings dragged, pitching changes, time outs, no hesitation to call a timeout/conference and so on.... It is one of the benefits of timed games - people generally move better when there is a deadline.

We thought the same on clock management, but really the only people who got burned were the tournament directors not being able to get all the games in or playing until midnight Sunday.

In the end, not getting games in annoyed people. Waiting over an hour for a team to come off another game in bracket play annoyed people. If the coaches missed the cutoff, they shrugged and played two more innings. Not much different to playing one extra at time cutoff most tournaments use - except longer.

We gave it a go. It worked OK, and then it didn't. We just went to longer game times/finish the inning. Easier to predict and schedule and in the end close to the result people wanted (more innings).
Umps need to get involved, put conferences on a clock, if team slow to take field, tell them ball 1 is coming, if slow to send out batter, tell them strike 1 is 15 seconds away, refuse to grant time to batters stepping out excessively, etc.

but this will take out the shenanigans of two outs, team is on defense in bottom of inning, 3 miutes remaining, ahead in score, walking two batters with bases empty to get to end of clock. just think it needs some adjustments to way of thinking by TD and Umps.
 

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