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Old Thu Sep 05, 2002, 11:26pm
Tap Tap is offline
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We've got a church league tournament (ASA adult SP), the lights set to automatically go out at 10:20 pm, the light timer locked with a combination lock and only a guy on vacation to Europe knows the combination. We had 3 games tonight, though between games 1 and 2 we played the 8th inning of another game from the night before that was tied with one out and one on in the top of the 8th when the lights went out. Luckily, that game ends in just one inning (fun for players to drive to game, warm up, and play only 1 inning). So we've finished game 1, the 1 inning completion, game 2, and then we get to game 3. Sure enough, it's a 10 run game with the vistors winning and about 10:00 pm, and they score another 10 in the top of the 7th. In the bottom of the inning, which started at about 10:15 pm, the home team then frantically rushes to try to get some runs, and -- with 2 outs -- the lights go out precisely at 10:20. They're down about 17 runs still. The league commissioner had left the field earier in the evening, though there was someone purportedly involved in running the league (also happened to be the visitors' catcher) who said he will e-mail everyone.

My understanding is that this would be a game called for darkness and the score would revert back to how it was after 6 innings, which of course is regulation (5 innings or more in ASA). Visitors win. I didn't know the specific rule number at the time, but it seems to be Rule 5-3-C. I stated that the ballgame was over, but it certainly was not as orderly and clear of a situation as it should have been, especially since everyone was scurrying to find their belongings and cars. We should have explained what would the ruling would be if the lights went out, but we thought we would be able to get the game in.
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Old Fri Sep 06, 2002, 07:22am
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Red face Thought or Assumed?

and you see what happened!




glen
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Old Fri Sep 06, 2002, 08:11am
Tap Tap is offline
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lesson learned

It was definitely a lesson learned -- lucky the outcome was well in hand.

I'm still not sure why someone didn't just cut the lock off the light timer box and go to the hardware store and buy a new lock.
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Old Fri Sep 06, 2002, 01:58pm
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Normally, light failure results in a suspended game. However, one of our local leagues specifies that if the lights go out on the timer, it is to be treated like a rained out game (ie, reverts to last complete inning if necessary).

So light "failure" and light "timer shuts off" are two different things.

Other leagues I do treat that situation as light failure and continue the game another night.
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Old Sat Sep 07, 2002, 09:09am
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Re: lesson learned

Quote:
Originally posted by Tap
It was definitely a lesson learned -- lucky the outcome was well in hand.

I'm still not sure why someone didn't just cut the lock off the light timer box and go to the hardware store and buy a new lock.
Tap,

Maybe I'm missing something here, but what lesson is there to be learned?

There is not a damned thing the umpire can do to change the situation. For all intent and purpose, for you the game was over. If they want to continue playing that game at another time, that is an administrative call.

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Old Sat Sep 07, 2002, 12:29pm
Tap Tap is offline
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lesson learned

Mike,

I learned a few things and will learn a few more when you respond to this long e-mail.

While I read the rule book and case book often, I need to do so even more because I was not 100% sure the game was over per the rule I cited above or technically suspended -- I was about 95% sure it was over and not suspended.

I thought the game was over, though reading Greymule's post now I'm not so sure if it could be a suspended game. Is "darkness" the same as the lights shutting off? Is the lights shutting off at an expected time (10:20), which is what happened, the same as the lights shutting off at some earlier, unexpected time? Just wondering.

What's your take on what the rule book says should happen here? I realize the league will do what it wants, but I want to know what the ASA rule book provides?

I also need to make sure I know how I am going to answer a player's question re: the lights situation before he asks it. Speaking with the league commissioner in advance would have been better, but he slipped away from the park (without speaking with the umpires) before the last game started and left some 15 year-old running the scoeboard who had no authority (the one guy affiliated with the league was playing in the game at issue).

The safest answer would be "As far as I'm concerned, since there are no lights, I am going home so the game is over -- the league will handle it from here." Then the league can sort it out.

Steve



[Edited by Tap on Sep 7th, 2002 at 12:55 PM]
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Old Sat Sep 07, 2002, 01:28pm
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Steve,

ASA 5.3.C:

A game call by the umpire shall be regulation if five or more complete innings have been played, or if the tem second at bat has scored more runs in four or more inning than the other team has scored in five or more innings. The umire is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or other causes that place the patrons or players in peril. (For ASA national tournament play, see ASA Code 510.A)

F.Y.I. ASA Code 510.A states that all games in championship play must be completed.

Now, since this isn't Championship Play, 510A does not apply unless the league administration has adopted it.

I have participated in discussions on a few boards where there is a belief that once an umpire utters the words "Ball game", it is done and nothing else is possible. Sort of like when a judge uses his/her gavel. Well, I've never seen a mechanic or rule which dictates an umpire must declare a game over, hence, there can be no "official" ramifications should an umpire prematurely say a game is finished.

It was obviously dark and continuing to attempt to play would certainly place the players in peril, so your declaration was justified. And the fact that you said the game was over is not wrong since there was no administrative personnel available to make a league decision to the contrary. If the league wants to continue the game at a later date, that would be their perrogative to do so. However, that would not mean you errored in some fashion.

It's sort of like, "how many computer programers does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

None, that's a hardware problem.

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Old Mon Sep 09, 2002, 09:42am
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Just to add my 2 cents...

For regular league games that have to end pre-maturely, (lightning being the most common), I suspend the game, and make sure that all aspects of the current situation (outs, count, who's at bat, who's on base, inning, score, etc.) are recorded in both scorebooks and in my notes.

I leave it to the league to decide if or when to resume the game.

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Old Mon Sep 09, 2002, 08:10pm
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Tom:

The easiest and wisest measures to take. CYA and leave the administrative decisions to those in the league who are in place to make them.

Scott
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