Note: this is your local organization, which may or may not be affiliated with USA Softball. They may be unaffiliated and just hosting a USA tournament. Until you reach State levels and above, the tournaments are run by local organizations paying USA to use the brand.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.
There are the things umpires should be cracking down on — but that should be done throughout the whole game, not just when coaches decide they are now in a hurry.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.
It’s not just the timed procedures you mentioned that they utilize to the fullest extent. It’s also when they make substitutions. A coach will request Time to saunter to the circle and talk with the pitcher, then when the plate umpire goes out there to break things up, they’ll make a pitching change that will require the warm up pitches. Then when play is finally resumed, the coach will ask for Time as the next batter comes up, and lets the plate umpire know they now want to bring in a new outfielder. Do you tell the coach they can’t make the substitution?There are the things umpires should be cracking down on — but that should be done throughout the whole game, not just when coaches decide they are now in a hurry.
There are legal ways to milk the clock. Inevitably the “offended” coach will complain. At that point I explain to him/her:
*the pitcher has 20 seconds to receive the ball and pitch and if he/she watches my hand twitching, he will see me counting. I cannot make her go faster than that. I can penalize her after that.
*the batter has 10 seconds to get ready; I cannot make her go faster than that. I can penalize her after that.
*the defense has 60 seconds between innings, I cannot make them go faster than that.
*the offense has one time out per inning, I cannot deny them that. But they will last approximately 60 seconds, and I will monitor that.
*the defense has three timeouts per game, I cannot deny them that. Those will also last approximately 60 seconds, and I will monitor that.
What I find funny is the last two coaches that complained to me about the other team milking the clock BOTH came back and won their game because the “milking” team was actually mismanaging the clock (one drop dead, one finish the inning).
well... not in my examples.Note: this is your local organization, which may or may not be affiliated with USA Softball. They may be unaffiliated and just hosting a USA tournament. Until you reach State levels and above, the tournaments are run by local organizations paying USA to use the brand.
I find we just need to start managaing the clock earlier in the game. We have found several tools to accelerate the pace of the game as needed. We also use the same tools in games that a not timed..E,
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.