Flip Flop Run Rule

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sixofdiamonds
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Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

Beginning with the summer season, all leagues will abide by a new mercy run rule called the flip-flop rule.

Flip-Flop Run Rule: If, at the end of the 3rd inning, the Home Team is losing by a margin of 20 or more runs, the Home Team and Visiting Team will 'flip-flop'. The Home Team will become the Visiting Team in the top of the 4th and the Visiting Team will become the Home Team. If, at the end of the 4th inning, the Home Team is losing by a margin of 15 or more runs, the Home Team and Visiting Team will 'flip-flop'. The Home Team will become the Visiting Team in the top of the 5th and the Visiting Team will become the Home Team. The league Run Rule will apply as normal if the home team is up by 20 or more runs after 4 innings or 15 or more runs after 5 innings.

As an example: Team A is the visiting team and Team B is the home team. Team A is winning 22-1 and the game moves to the bottom of the 3rd. If Team B cannot get inside the 20-run deficit after their at-bat in the bottom of the 3rd, Team B would automatically become the vising team in the top of the 4th and bat again. If Team B cannot get inside the 20-run deficit after their at-bat in the top of the 4th, GAME OVER. If Team B succeeds in getting inside the 20-run deficit after their at-bat in the top of the 4th, the game continues and Team A bats in the bottom of the 4th. If Team A scores enough runs to put the deficit at 20 or more after their at-bat, GAME OVER. If not, the game continues to the top of the 5th where the 15-run rule will come into effect. If, in the top of the 5th, Team A cannot get inside the 15-run deficit, GAME OVER.

The idea behind the rule is to lessen the beat-down a team will take in a lopsided game. The flip-flop rule helps prevent the visiting team from piling on runs and prolonging the opposing team's agony in the top half of the inning.
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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

Myself, along with the league's 5-member Rules Committee (Curtis Hensman, Bill Shipe, Bill Shallcross, Joe DeSousa, and Connie Georgiadis) discussed the flip-flop rule at length. We unanimously agreed instituting such a mercy rule would benefit the league as a whole. We weren't poking the bear, kicking the bee hive, or targeting specific teams. It's ridiculous to even think that let alone say it. We were merely looking for a way to lessen the embarrassment of the teams getting beat up and maybe even putting a stop to teams giving up early in the game, walking off the field, or forfeiting their next game. Getting another at-bat by flipping from home to visiting team allows the team getting pummeled an opportunity to get back in the game or at least within the run rule.

As far as players getting cheated out of at-bats. That's not entirely true. In a 7-inning game there are 21 outs-- 3 outs each inning for each team. That's 21 at-bats. Every run scored must equal an at-bat. If we allow for 1 LOB (left on base) each inning, that's 7 more at-bats. A team that scores 10 runs in a 7-inning game would have a total of 38 at-bats (10 for each run scored + 21 outs + 7 LOBs). A team that scores 30 runs over the course of 3 innings has a total of 42 at-bats (30 for each run scored + 9 outs + 3 LOBs). As is plain to see, the 30-run, 3-inning game has more at-bats for the winner than the 10-run, 7-inning game. More at-bats for the winner and less embarrassment for the loser. Sounds to me like a win-win.

Sorry, but I feel really bad for any team that has to endure a 30 or 40-run loss. Yeah, it's a ton of fun for the winners, but a total embarrassment that can't end soon enough for the losers. Most teams winning by very large margins are kind enough to ease up, go base to base, and not stretch singles to doubles, but that doesn't lessen the agony of the losing team that has to stay out there while the much better team is adding to their runs, hits, and RBI totals. In fact, seeing the other team having pity on you might even add to the agony of some. Let's face it, to most everyone it's embarrassing to the point where the lopsided game can't end soon enough.

Teams and players that have fallen prey to embarrassing losses know exactly how it feels. Many of them have come right out and said it to me. They won't come on here and tell anyone for fear of ridicule and more embarrassment, but they know who they are and they know how it feels.

Teams come in all walks of life. Some are family teams. Others are teams made up of neighborhood friends. Some are company teams made up of mostly employees. Some teams are sponsored where the sponsor requires the team must carry specific players. And some teams are comprised of serious softball players that are very, very good. Pit that serious team vs. a family and friends team and well... it's a recipe for disaster. One can ask, "Why not just keep those teams away from one another?". That's where an A and B Division would come in. Problem is, the elite teams complain they're playing the same teams over and over. And they would be because there are a lot fewer A teams than B teams. So, as a compromise, every team plays every other team in the league and the post season gets split into A and B Divisions. And therein lies the problem. Team Serious will play Team Family and Friends in a complete and utter regular season mismatch. Telling a team of family and friends to get better would require the team to cut friends or family members. That is not going to happen simply because they just don't take it that seriously. The least we can do is let them save face and end the beat down a little earlier. I can understand that. How about you?

If you've gotten this far, thanks for taking the time to read.
Dilbert56
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by Dilbert56 »

Like this new approach. If it becomes unpopular, it might serve just as well to let the home team waive their final at bats. If the home team is getting humiliated, they could simply tell the umpire they waive the right to bat in the bottom of the inning and the game is over.
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blouderback
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by blouderback »

I see the rule changed on 7/18/2022. Can you explain the change and the reason for it so everyone is aware?
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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

I didn't change the rule, only the wording so it makes more sense.
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blouderback
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by blouderback »

I hate to be picky, but now its even more ambiguous, since there is now nothing in our rules to handle situations where the away team is ahead by more than 15 runs after 5 innings have been played.
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blouderback
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by blouderback »

Also, it refers to a "league run rule" which no longer exists in the rules.
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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

The league run/mercy rule is, and has always been, 20 after 4 innings and 15 after 5 innings. If a team is getting beat by 20 runs after the 4th inning or 15 runs after the 5th inning, the run/mercy rule kicks in and the game is over. It does not matter if the team on the short end is the home or visiting team. The same holds true for the 6th inning as well.

The Flip-Flop Rule is designed to help teams get back in the game BEFORE the league run/mercy rule kicks in. It helps teams from being at the mercy of a team that is pounding them, whether it's because the team doing the pounding is that much better or the team getting pounded is shorthanded or simply having a really bad game.

Let me see if I can offer a few simple-to-understand examples.

Example 1: Team A is the visiting team. Team B is the home team. Team B has just completed their at-bat in the bottom of the 3rd. The score after 3 is Team A - 20, Team B - 0. Without the Flip-Flop Rule, Team A would come to bat in the top of the 4th and continue to pound Team B, forcing Team B to endue a continuation of the onslaught. With the Flip-Flop rule, Team B would become the visiting team in the top of the 4th and attempt to score a few runs to continue the game. If they don't score in the top of the 4th, game over. If they do score, Team A then bats in the bottom of the 4th. If, in the bottom of the 4th, Team A takes the score to a margin of 20 runs or more, game over.

Example 2: Team A is the visiting team. Team B is the home team. Team B has just completed their at-bat in the bottom of the 4th. The score after 4 is Team A -15, Team B -0. Without the Flip-Flop Rule, Team A would come to bat in the top of the 5th and continue to pound Team B, forcing Team B to endue a continuation of the onslaught. With the Flip-Flop rule, Team B would become the visiting team in the top of the 5th and attempt to score a few runs to continue the game. If they don't score in the top of the 5th, game over. If they do score, Team A then bats in the bottom of the 5th. If, in the bottom of the 5th, Team A takes the score to a margin of 15 runs or more, game over.

In both examples, the Flip-Flop Rule is implemented BEFORE the league run/mercy rule kicks in. Contrary to my original example, the Flip-Flop Rule does not kick in for any inning other than the upcoming 4th or 5th innings. I know in Sunday's game your team felt they should have become visiting team in the top of the 6th, but that is not how it works. Your team was down more than 15 after 5 so the game ends.

I apologize for the confusion. In my haste to get the rule posted, I didn't have a complete understand of the concept and therefore did a poor job of explaining it.
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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

Under the Flip-Flop Rule in the league rules, it's states what the regular run rule is.
The league Run Rule will apply as normal if the home team is winning by 20 or more runs after 4 innings or 15 or more runs after 5 innings.
I'm trying to keep the league rules from turning into a War and Peace novel, but If you insist I will put the run rule in under it's own category.
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blouderback
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by blouderback »

OK, so the rule did, in fact change, because originally it said

"If, at the end of the 4th or 5th innings, the Home Team is losing by a margin of 15 or more runs, the Home Team and Visiting Team will 'flip-flop'."

And now it only says

"at the end of the 4th inning...".

And, since this flip-flop rule / run rule is different than the USSSA Flip-Flop / rule (which simply states "after" the 3rd or 4th, depending on the program), I would suggest that we codify in the PDF rules and not depend on people having to search through message board posts. Thanks!
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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Flip Flop Run Rule

Post by sixofdiamonds »

Yes, sir! I'm on it like flies on dung.
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