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How to get the other team (and ump) to move the game along

Aug 12, 2014
562
28
I coach two rec teams, one 10U and one 12U in different leagues. The league the 12U team played in ended right when the 10U league started. The second league only has enough players for one 12U team, so the commish has been doing what he can to get them games. He asked if I would be willing to have my 12U team play a few games with them, and of course I agreed.

We played a doubleheader against them last week and they are the slowest moving team I've ever seen. They take forever warming up each inning they are in the field. They change pitchers multiple times mid-inning. They take timeouts to coach players (they are pretty inexperienced). This was compounded by an ump who didn't care. He would just sit on his stool between innings and let them take as much time as they wanted. After the first game, he said we'd start the second game at 8:05. At 8:05, the team was out in rightfield doing drills. I walked over to the ump and asked if we could get started, and he finally called out to the coach to get them out on the field. The first pitch was finally thrown at 8:15.

We only played three innings in the first game and two in the second. Granted some of that was because none of the 7 pitchers or however many they used could throw strikes, and we maxed out 6 runs every inning except one. But the ump was just as bad - at one point he decided he couldn't see the rubber, so he very slowly walked out to the circle, took out his brush and very deliberately cleaned off the rubber, and very slowly walked back behind the plate. It was probably 5 minutes total.

I emailed the commish after to tell him what happened, my concern was more with the ump who let it all happen. The commish said that he heard similar things from other teams that played them (the better 10U teams), and he would talk to them. We're playing another DH against them this week. It's not a situation where they are stalling to run out the clock. They seem to really believe this is the best way to coach their players.

What can we do to try to get them to speed things up?
 
Oct 3, 2019
139
28
Maybe when you're in the field, have your pitcher speed things up. Keep them off balance. It might help them adjust to the pace. Or, maybe not...
 
May 29, 2015
2,331
113
Pace of game is one of my biggest frustrations. In my experience, most coaches don't realize how slow they are being ... and then wonder why they only play 2-3 innings per game.

As for how to get them to speed it up ... you got me. Especially when you have an umpire who is in no hurry.

One thing I wish leagues and tournaments would do is place a specific time for teams to warm up. 25 to 15 minutes before the game, the visiting team has the field. 15 to 5 minutes before the game the home team has the field. 5 minutes before the game is the plate meeting. Play ball. (I know that is trickier before tournaments, but those aggravate me even more. You had your team over there standing around and watching this game for 45 minutes and you did NOTHING.)

As an umpire, I try to keep my plate meetings short and sweet, but pace of play is something I have been emphasizing regularly: "Let's keep the players moving. Have your courtesy runners ready; have somebody come warm up your pitcher to help out your catcher. We are moving between innings, so if you don't warm up the pitcher we are playing roughly 60 seconds after that last out."
 
Feb 13, 2021
594
63
MI
So much of pace of play can be controlled by the umpire between innings 5 in a minute, even pitching changes, they get 8 pitches or 1 minute, whichever is shorter. I stand close to the catcher up one line or the other, if a pitch gets away, I feed the C another ball and grab the one that got away. The ONLY time I let it go more than 1 minute is if the C has to gear up and the defense has someone else out to warm up the P, I always have this warmer-upper (trademarked) take 3 and leave 2 for the C, one and coming down. My biggest question is why in all that is holy does an umpire have a stool on the field?
 
May 2, 2018
149
43
Central Virginia
First, this is rec so I have no issue with coaching an inexperienced team while in the game. It sounds like it is just a scrimmage so treat it as such. If you as the opposing coach have an issue with this then that should be discussed prior to the game (as well as pace of play) or just stop playing them.

Second, stop scheduling double headers. If you are only getting 2-3 innings per game and run ruling them why on earth would you start a new game? Just play one game for 1 hour 30 minutes or however long you see fit.

If you are agreeing to play this team you have to understand the situation and have patience. If you (your team) is getting nothing out of this then you either decide that it is ALL for the other kids or you just choose not to play that team anymore.

That being said, you definitely need to say something to the other coach regarding the teams pace of play. It's possible they do not even realize or know any better.
 
Dec 2, 2013
2,006
113
Texas
I posted on this very same topic in the spring complaining about the lack of trying to get as many innings as possible in my DD's HS JV games. Both umpires and coaches could control this if they wanted to. I don't think they see it as a problem. When you only get 3 innings in a game many kids may get one AB and only play 1 inning in the game because time is up. I counted 20 minutes of down time during the course of the game.

Back in 12U rec days, we had a crabby umpire that would tell us to limit your between inning coach's meetings, have your catchers ready with their gear on ready to go. Girls in the dugout need to know where their gloves are and more importantly the players need to know which positions they are going to play the next inning. I always had a clip board with the lineup and positions each inning. The only questions the players should have is, which inning is it coach? Luckily we had a working scoreboard run by the siblings of the players, which can pose a problem in itself.
 
Dec 15, 2018
439
93
CT
Tournament two weeks ago, championship game (so untimed), but it was 90 plus degrees. Both pitchers were taking 1 warm up pitch between innings. Umpire in the 5th was like "girls you are KILLING me!" (giving him no break)

Tight games that move along with quick innings, there isn't much need to take the full warmup. Get out and play.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,788
113
California
When delay starts happening
Yawnnn again...
Everybody on your team bring a pillow and towel/blanket,
Lie down on the field and take a nap.
...like kindergarten.

Some on here may think i'm joking ;)
But... no. :)
 
Last edited:
Jan 24, 2020
42
18
Had a 16U Friendly this weekend where the opposing team would gather between every half inning outside their dugout for a lengthy chat. Mid 3rd they are supposed to be in field, umpire comes over to me (Scorekeeper) to verify runs, and says"can't imagine what they have to talk about for so long," I responded with, "they can use their one minute however they like" and winked. Umpire laughed, turned around and yelled "Batter Up!" Their coach was livid and their players had to scramble out to the field. After each of the first 3 pitches they made a defensive substitution. It was absurd. Umpire was laughing. They got it together for the next inning.
 

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