Something that seems to be an issue of contention, often not on purpose, but just generally misunderstood in the whole scoring procedure, is last bat and when to take it?
1- Tyke always take last bat, because they only play 3 innings it's only logical that all teams get to bat 3 times, so the maximum score you can get is 36
2- Mini-Squirt to Midget- Last bat is only taken if the home team is losing or if game time is not yet up.
Example- you are losing by 2 runs and time is up, you still take your last bat until you score 3 runs and then the game is over, at best you can win by 1
Example- you are winning by 2 runs and time is not up and there is still 5 minutes left to game. You will bat until the 1:45 is up and then the umpire will call the game and whatever the score is at that point will count.
Example- you are winning by 2 runs and the time is up. You do not take your last bat!
3- There is a 15 run mercy rule in Peewee, Bantam & Midget after 5 innings or 4 1/2 if the home team is winning. If you are winning by 15 at that point then the game is finished. The only way you can have a run spread higher than 15 is that it must be obtained in the first 4 1/2 innings.
Example- you are the home team and winning by 15 at the end of 3 innings, the other team would continue to play at the top of the 4th. If when their bat is over in the middle of the 4th and there is still 15 runs or more difference in the score the home team still takes their bat in the bottom of the 4th. If the visiting team cuts the spread down to 13 runs in the top of the 5th then the home team would go to bat in the bottom of the 5th. As soon as their second run scores and a 15 run spread occurs, the game is over. If after the top of the 5th the visiting team did not cut down the 15+ run lead then the home team would not bat in the bottom of the 5th and the game would be over.
4- Mini-Squirt and Squirt have a mercy rule of a maximum of 7 runs per inning with the final inning being open if it is announced. Occasionally the open inning will not happen due to a 7 run limit inning lasting too long and going past the 1:45 game time limit. If this is the case then the open inning will not happen. Our rules encourage the umpires "NOT" to call the open inning prior to 8:15 during the regular season. The only exception would be innings that are lasting exceptionally long. We've seen innings last 1/2 hour and as such some umpires will call the open inning earlier so that they can make an effort to get the open inning in.
Rules are the same in Mini-Squirt and Squirt even with the 7 run limit and open inning. Teams do not take last bat if they are winning and if you do take last bat because you are losing, you do not run up the score and the most you can win by is 1 run, and then the game is over.
We've had a few scores come in where last bat was taken even though the home team was winning. This only runs up the score and affects overall run spread which is instrumental in breaking ties at season end. I know that 99% of the teams playing are not doing this but we also know of a couple that are and as I said at the beginning, likely because they are unaware of the scoring process. Please make sure your coaches understand this and I hope I've made it clear in the above examples.
Some of this is not in GBMSL's rules as it is typical Softball Ontario format
Losing home teams always take their last bat until either 3 outs are attained or they are winning by one. Winning home teams never take their last bat if time is up, the game is over as soon as the visiting team has 3 outs.
Thanks for your help with this,
Keith & Felix