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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 01:48pm
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Why do FP games last so long

Didn't want to do my usual thread hijacking.
Mike brings up a good point in another thread. FP games usually last longer than SP games. As he said, 20-30 minutes in many cases, sometimes longer.

Why?

There are many reasons, obviously. There are also many ways to speed things up.

One of my pet peeves is batters wandering out of the box on "plain vanilla" balls and strikes. This is not just something we deal with up here in the Pacific NW. I've seen it in other parts of the country, and seen it for years. Keeping batters in/near the box is just one way. Are there others?
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 01:57pm
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REALLY? How long are your games? In WV our HS/College games run anywhere from 60-90 minutes. I had a 1-0 HS game this year that went 7 complete and lasted 50 min. AND there were 31 strikeouts out of 42 outs. (Probably that big strike zone!)
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:22pm
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I can't compare the two, since I only call FP, but the length of a 7 inning untimed FP game depends mostly on the skill level of the players.

A young B travel squad or an unskilled JV squad may take 90 minutes or so to complete 7 innings. Sometimes longer if neither team has any kind of pitcher.

But, if we leave low skill level walk-fests / drop fests / grounders between the legs fests out of the equation, a pair of good fast pitch teams can complete 7 innings in anywhere from 55 to 75 minutes. Occasionally a bit longer.

Most of the wasted time is with general dawdling, which is entirely within the umpire's control, not with live ball non-action.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:27pm
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Speaking for this area (Midwest), softball playing girls are....lazy. They walk from the dugout to their positions on the field, walk from the field to the dugout, walk to the batter's box, etc. Plus, the coaches think they need to huddle before the defense goes onto the field every inning. My solution: Enforce the 1 minute warmup rule between innings. If that means the pitcher gets only one pitch (or less!) then so be it.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:39pm
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There is the pitcher who has to groom the circle between every warmup and every pitch and the batter who has to step out and look at the 3B coach between every pitch. Also, there is the challenge to hit the ball. 3-2 and 2-2 counts are very common in FP because there is a duel between the F1 and the batter. Foul Balls are not outs on 3K. Sometimes there is no hustle on the FP diamond between innings (A situation which Umpires could fix)

The only time I have ever had games over 2 hours is when the pitching just plain stunk and we played walk ball for most of the game.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBits
Speaking for this area (Midwest), softball playing girls are....lazy. They walk from the dugout to their positions on the field, walk from the field to the dugout, walk to the batter's box, etc. Plus, the coaches think they need to huddle before the defense goes onto the field every inning. My solution: Enforce the 1 minute warmup rule between innings. If that means the pitcher gets only one pitch (or less!) then so be it.
That's a huge way to save 15 to 20 minutes in a game. If it takes the girls 2 to 2.5 minutes each half inning to get on the field and complete the warmups, then start telling the catcher "balls in" when she gets to her position. About the 3rd inning, she'll get the hint, and be out there on time, or have a coach warming up the pitcher. You'll have just saved 1 to 1.5 minutes each half inning, or 14-21 minutes in a 7-inning game.

Another way I help shave time when I'm the BU is, for example, a sliding steal of 2B that covers it up with dirt. A lot of Blue will call Time, then sweep off the bag for the runner who is now standing there. I just ignore it temporarily. There's no need to call Time and waste 15 to 20 seconds to sweep it off - unless it's totally burried and I can't see any of it. There'll be plenty of opportunities clean it later (inbetween innings, time-out for a lineup change, retrieval of a foul ball, etc). Besides, most of the time, the runner will take care of it for ya, with her feet or her hands.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:47pm
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Nobody has hit on my first thought yet....so here it is.

I umpire FP only, but a few years ago, I did some volunteer work at a major co-ed slowpitch tournament helping out the umpire coordinator.

One of the first things I noticed was how quickly the games moved along. After thinking about it, I came up with three reasons:

1) No signals from the coach to the catcher, then the catcher to the pitcher. If the pitch was not hit, throw the ball back to the pitcher and pitch it again.

2) Since there was no stealing or bunting, there is no need for the base coach to go through a gyration of signals between each pitch.

3) Not a lot of at-bats that go much past three pitches.

Most of the games that I saw in that tournament were 7 inning complete games finished in less than 60 minutes.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:52pm
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Andy hit it on the head. SP- most leagues the pitcher takes two warmup pitches between innings. You don't really need to warm up the old arm for SP. A lot less swing and miss opportunities which also results in a lot less passed balls. No stealing,etc
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 02:56pm
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Talking Andy did hit it on the head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago11
Andy hit it on the head. SP- most leagues the pitcher takes two warmup pitches between innings. You don't really need to warm up the old arm for SP. A lot less swing and miss opportunities which also results in a lot less passed balls. No stealing,etc
The same thing might be said from the FP perspective like this
There is the pitcher who has to groom the circle between every warmup and every pitch and the batter who has to step out and look at the 3B coach between every pitch. Also, there is the challenge to hit the ball. 3-2 and 2-2 counts are very common in FP because there is a duel between the F1 and the batter. Foul Balls are not outs on 3K. Sometimes there is no hustle on the FP diamond between innings (A situation which Umpires could fix)
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 03:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcblue13
The same thing might be said from the FP perspective like this
There is the pitcher who has to groom the circle between every warmup and every pitch and the batter who has to step out and look at the 3B coach between every pitch. Also, there is the challenge to hit the ball. 3-2 and 2-2 counts are very common in FP because there is a duel between the F1 and the batter. Foul Balls are not outs on 3K. Sometimes there is no hustle on the FP diamond between innings (A situation which Umpires could fix)
Is there an echo in here?
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 03:09pm
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Another reason - SP catchers don't have to put equipment on. I've umped and seen many games where it takes the FP catcher several minutes to get her equipment on. Sometimes it is faulty equipment. Sometimes it is catcher inexperience and no coach is helping. Sometimes it is a player who doesn't want to be catcher and is stalling. I've also seen warm up pitches take a minute or 2. The catcher doesn't catch it and it rolls around the back stop while the catcher WALKS to get it. On the throw to the pitcher it goes into the outfield and no outfielder seems to notice. When they do and throw it back to the pitcher it is over her head and past the catcher. You can guess what occassionally happens next. Not much you can do about this.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 03:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLBuffalo
Another reason - SP catchers don't have to put equipment on. I've umped and seen many games where it takes the FP catcher several minutes to get her equipment on. Sometimes it is faulty equipment. Sometimes it is catcher inexperience and no coach is helping. Sometimes it is a player who doesn't want to be catcher and is stalling. I've also seen warm up pitches take a minute or 2. The catcher doesn't catch it and it rolls around the back stop while the catcher WALKS to get it. On the throw to the pitcher it goes into the outfield and no outfielder seems to notice. When they do and throw it back to the pitcher it is over her head and past the catcher. You can guess what occassionally happens next. Not much you can do about this.
Easy fix for part of this: toss the pitcher or catcher a new ball.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 03:53pm
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I don't do FP, but I have watched quite a few. There are a few differences that may or may not slow or speed up each game:

1) Most SP games start with 1-1 count and foul balls are strikes (no batter gets more than 5 pitches), whereas FP there is a 0-0 count and foul balls are not strikes after 2 strikes(I have seen many times where a batter will foul off 5 or more pitches)

2) Most SP has no stealing or lead-offs (therefore no pick-off attempts or catchers throwing to bases)

3) As mentioned before - no waiting for the catcher to put gear on in SP

4) And also as mentioned before no waiting for signs to be given in SP

Some things that tend to slow down the SP game

1) More hits in a typical SP game

2) Most of the leagues I work only give one ball/game - so everytime a ball goes out of play, the game is stopped until the ball is retrieved

3) Adult players don't usually hustle in and out

A good pitching duel with experienced teams will be real fast FP, just like a high scoring hit-fest will be take a long time in SP. But if you have a similar
scoring game, the SP will tend to be faster.

At least that has been what I have observed.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 04:19pm
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They are different games. Football games take longer than basketball games (even NBA) but no one argues that point.
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Old Wed Jun 28, 2006, 05:14pm
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Scratch the equipment argument, that's why the CR exists for the catcher.

SP guys are lazy and don't hustle anytime it doesn't involve the ball being hit.

As noted, too much extraneous BS between coaches and participants

SP with stealing still takes less than 70 minutes

In three years, ran three NQ's and six JO state tournaments with 90 minute time limit and teams used every bit of it. 30% of the games didn't get in full 7 innings

This could go back and forth forever.
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