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zackattack784
06-09-2008, 06:17 PM
I umpire in a little league and they follow standard high school rules with some minor changes. This has come up a few times, how many players are needed to start the game?
Thanks

Richard_Siegel
06-09-2008, 06:18 PM
I umpire in a little league and they follow standard high school rules with some minor changes. This has come up a few times, how many players are needed to start the game?
Thanks

9

zackattack784
06-09-2008, 06:21 PM
Ok, there was some confusion as to whether you could start with 8 or not. If a player were to get hurt in the middle of the game, the team could continue with 8, correct?

Richard_Siegel
06-09-2008, 06:29 PM
Ok, there was some confusion as to whether you could start with 8 or not. If a player were to get hurt in the middle of the game, the team could continue with 8, correct?

Youth leagues usually do whatever they want. They often make up their own crazy rules. You can expect anything from them. I have worked in youth leagues that allow 8 or 9 to start, and allow as few as seven to continue.

If you are using FED rules, 9 must be present to start. After the 1st pitch if one is leaves, 8 may continue the game. But not fewer.

MSPChris
06-10-2008, 12:59 AM
Richard -- help me out with this? I think this may be useful to a lot of other youth umpires.

What happens if you start a game with fewer than the required number?

Our umpire association won't do it. I'm not a lawyer, but someone on our board is :) his opinion is that an umpire that did that would expose himself to personal liability if anything went wrong during a game.

Team A has seven players, Team B has 12. League has a strict rule -- at least eight players or a forfeit. Coaches whine and umpire lets Team A borrow two of Team B's players. Now (God forbid) something terrible happens and one or more players are injured or maybe even killed.

Lawyers want to sue everyone in sight, and now the league's insurer's say, well this game should have never been played. We are not responsible. Umpire association's insurers say the same thing.

Can that really happen?

Richard_Siegel
06-10-2008, 03:30 AM
Richard -- help me out with this? I think this may be useful to a lot of other youth umpires.

What happens if you start a game with fewer than the required number?

Our umpire association won't do it. I'm not a lawyer, but someone on our board is :) his opinion is that an umpire that did that would expose himself to personal liability if anything went wrong during a game.

Team A has seven players, Team B has 12. League has a strict rule -- at least eight players or a forfeit. Coaches whine and umpire lets Team A borrow two of Team B's players. Now (God forbid) something terrible happens and one or more players are injured or maybe even killed.

Lawyers want to sue everyone in sight, and now the league's insurer's say, well this game should have never been played. We are not responsible. Umpire association's insurers say the same thing.

Can that really happen?

In any youth baseball league the manager of the team is primarilly responsible for determining if his players are playing under unsafe conditions. If there were any liablitily it would be the manager's.

DKingRef
06-10-2008, 03:07 PM
Richard -- help me out with this? I think this may be useful to a lot of other youth umpires.

What happens if you start a game with fewer than the required number?

Our umpire association won't do it. I'm not a lawyer, but someone on our board is :) his opinion is that an umpire that did that would expose himself to personal liability if anything went wrong during a game.

Team A has seven players, Team B has 12. League has a strict rule -- at least eight players or a forfeit. Coaches whine and umpire lets Team A borrow two of Team B's players. Now (God forbid) something terrible happens and one or more players are injured or maybe even killed.

Lawyers want to sue everyone in sight, and now the league's insurer's say, well this game should have never been played. We are not responsible. Umpire association's insurers say the same thing.

Can that really happen?
In a situation like this, I formally declare the game a forfeit. The teams can then play a scrimage game if they desire. Most times I call the scrimage, but I might not if I have called several nights and need the rest.

I do not hesitate to call the scrimage due to liability concerns. I call several pre-season scrimages each year to get ready for opening day, and a mid-season scrimage in my association is no differrent when it comes to liability. As long as I act prudently, I have little to worry about. Now if I set aside safety rules because "it is just a scrimage" and someone gets hurt, that might be a problem. Your association, however, might be different. Their liability insurer might exclude scrimages during the season. You should check.

PeteBooth
06-10-2008, 07:20 PM
[quote="MSPChris"]Richard -- help me out with this? I think this may be useful to a lot of other youth umpires.

What happens if you start a game with fewer than the required number?

My question?

Why would you want to start a game with fewer than the required number?

It's an easy payday.

1. Manager says "Blue I only have 7 "

2. Me "ok skip" I then tell both coaches - Game Over. Their President will determine if the game gets replayed or not.

3. Manager "Blue I will borrow 2 players from the other team"

4. Me "Skip you can do what you wish but me and my partner are done here"

Therefore, I do not know why you would want to start a game with less than what is required. It makes no sense to me.

Pete Booth

MSPChris
06-11-2008, 04:01 PM
[quote=MSPChris]Richard -- help me out with this? I think this may be useful to a lot of other youth umpires.

What happens if you start a game with fewer than the required number?

My question?

Why would you want to start a game with fewer than the required number?

It's an easy payday.

1. Manager says "Blue I only have 7 "

2. Me "ok skip" I then tell both coaches - Game Over. Their President will determine if the game gets replayed or not.

3. Manager "Blue I will borrow 2 players from the other team"

4. Me "Skip you can do what you wish but me and my partner are done here"

Therefore, I do not know why you would want to start a game with less than what is required. It makes no sense to me.

Pete Booth

Pete, I agree completely! That's what our association does. I posted this question because not all associations are like that. Not all umpires are like that.

Coaches start whining, c'mon the kids want to play, yadda yadda. I think umpires with more experience might be immune to the whining, but what about less experienced umpires?

Our association won't start a game without the minimum number of players. They cite legal liability as the main reason. My question was, is this a valid reason?

PeteBooth
06-11-2008, 04:44 PM
My question was, is this a valid reason?[/quote]

It is a valid reason but the MAIN reason is that it's against the rules plain and simple.

If the rule says you need 9 or 8 then you need 9 or 8. Some leagues use "pool players" but that is a different story. Generally speaking "borrowing" other players is not allowed.

It's our job to show up to the game site on time. In our association they want the umpires there at a minimum of 1/2 hour before game time.

It's the coaches job to make certain he has enough players.

Also, to the response "let the kids play"

I am all for it but it will not be with either myself or my partner around. The coaches can run a scrimmage all day long so that the kids do play.

In summary: It's not our problem if the coach cannot field a team.

Pete Booth

KenGibes
06-11-2008, 05:54 PM
I umpire in a little league and they follow standard high school rules with some minor changes. This has come up a few times, how many players are needed to start the game?
Thanks

I may be picking at semantics, but if you umpire in a Little League, then you don't follow NFHS rules. If you umpire in a league with little players that play on little basepaths, then you umpire in a youth league.

DelawareBlue
06-11-2008, 06:30 PM
I umpire in a little league and they follow standard high school rules with some minor changes.

You may umpire in something folks call "little league" but it's not Little League, Inc. Little League uses OBR with modifications and amendments, not NFHS. The (so-called) competitive levels of Little League (Majors and above) clearly require each team to have 9 players to start and 9 players to continue once the game begins. If a team drops below 9 players, the game is suspended and the local Board decides what to do. The Board can order the game resumed or rule a forfeit.

robcichon
06-11-2008, 08:31 PM
You may umpire in something folks call "little league" but it's not Little League, Inc. Little League uses OBR with modifications and amendments, not NFHS. The (so-called) competitive levels of Little League (Majors and above) clearly require each team to have 9 players to start and 9 players to continue once the game begins. If a team drops below 9 players, the game is suspended and the local Board decides what to do. The Board can order the game resumed or rule a forfeit.

Exactly.

The LL Inc. league I associate with has Managers that try this every so often.

Nope.

Me, "Reschedule this game when you have sufficient numbers of players and call me (I am UIC/Assignor). G'night skip."

lmsans
06-12-2008, 03:34 PM
LL-JR, first round of the playoffs 3-seed (HT) hosting 14-seed (VT).

Scheduled start time is 10am. 955am I start my pregame with VT HC and HT AC. VT has only 8 players. My playoff pregame includes reviewing the "playoff" rule mods. #2 says a team must have 9 players to start. I tell VT he's got 15 minutes to come up with a player. This league allows borrowing from other teams with some restrictions. First time all season there aren't a bunch of kids hanging out.

Anyway, HT AC volunteers "I can probably get you somebody from my team" (he has 12). We finish and I'm expecting to see a HT player go to the other side and start.

HT AC goes over to HT HC and says "They only have 8 and I don't think it is fair for us to send one of our kids over there" HC agrees, we wait until 1015am. What a rat!

Game over - forfeit.

Don't feel sorry for the VT, this was their 2nd forfeit in a row. As I'm changing in the parking lot, I hear one of the players say to another "I'll see you tomorrow with the team that actually plays games.

HoosierBlue
06-13-2008, 06:02 AM
Just FYI ... I call USSSA baseball which implemented a new rule this year that you may start a game with 8 and may add late players to the bottom of the lineup. That goes for all age groups top to bottom.

I think the brass got tired of teams "starting" a game with 9 (including a borrowed player which usually means a called-up player from a lower age group) and then immediately dropping him and "finishing" the game with 8.

Now you may start with 8 and take the automatic out for each AB in the 9-hole.

BPA has a special rule where if you walk or hit the batter just before an automatic out, you skip the automatic out and lose it. For years, especially in adult softball, if there is an automatic out, teams would walk the bases loaded to get to the auto out ... sometimes even walking a run in to end an inning.

new_ump
06-14-2008, 03:45 PM
If in a little league game a team is allowed to start with 8 or even 7 players, don't they have to accept an automatic out?

If not what is to stop a rogue coach from only having his top 7/8 players show?

zackattack784
06-16-2008, 10:17 PM
I umpire in a little league and they follow standard high school rules with some minor changes. This has come up a few times, how many players are needed to start the game?
Thanks

I may be picking at semantics, but if you umpire in a Little League, then you don't follow NFHS rules. If you umpire in a league with little players that play on little basepaths, then you umpire in a youth league.

The league hands out a one page rule "book" at the beginning of the season that states all rules that differ from the standard rules and at the bottom it says all other rules revert back to NFHS :D

Rich_Ives
06-16-2008, 10:38 PM
If in a little league game a team is allowed to start with 8 or even 7 players, don't they have to accept an automatic out?

If not what is to stop a rogue coach from only having his top 7/8 players show?

It all depends on what rules they are using. There is no general rule.

In official LL you cannot start or continue with less than 9.

Other organizations and their rule sets have their own way of handling it. You need to check with the particular organization to find out what to do.