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Discussion: Yet another you make the call

Posted Discussion
Oct. 25, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
Yet another you make the call
SSUSA world tournament game. Fourth inning. Team A has 10 players on the official scorecard. Team B discovers an 11th player who is not listed on the official scorecard but has been playing.
Team B demands a forfeit but it is determined that the 11th player not listed on the official scorecard is on the official team roster.
1) because the player is on the roster there is no forfeit
2) any at bats by tne 11th player stand
3) the 11th player is ejected from tne game
Team A has no subs to put in so does the spot in the order the 11th player batted in now an out every time it comes up?
Can a team go from 11 to 10 without penalty?
It’s my understanding if it’s an injury the spot is an out the first time it comes up then after that you skip over it. Does that apply in this situation?
Oct. 25, 2021
msw4indy
16 posts
I would ask if when they caught the 11th player, was he batting the first time or has he already been in the game? Did he sub for the 10th guy or were all 11 in the line up but not on the official scorecard?

These are for my own curiosity as I am still learning the rules etc...

Mark W.
Oct. 25, 2021
Donna McGuire
20 posts
Two key points here:
1) Because the 11th spot in the lineup does not exist (was not on the official scorecard), the offense CANNOT put a substitute in for that player, even if it had one. And because the spot in the batting order does not exist, the offended team CANNOT be granted an out every time that “spot” comes up again in the order.
2) To obtain a penalty, the offended team has to appeal at the proper time. This is the same as appealing a batting out of order. The offended team MUST appeal after the batter finishes his at-bat and before a pitch to the next batter. The smart thing to do here would be to walk the batter then appeal. The batter would be out (and ejected) and any runners on base would return to the bases occupied before the illegal batter batted. (The batter is ejected because he is not on the scorecard and therefore not eligible to play in this game.) If the defense appeals while the illegal batter is in the batter’s box, the correct batter would assume the ball-strike count and finish the at-bat. So appealing at the correct time is essential if the team wants the benefit of a penalty.
Oct. 25, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
Donna.. great points.. and whatever happened in the previous innings stand.. also even though the player was ejected there is no way to get another out later in the game when he would have normally batted because he was never officially in the game/line up..

as far as losing a player and having no subs.. since you didn't mention the age bracket a team can go down 1 player from the required number of players needed to start the game the minimum number of players is 9 for mens under 70's and 10 for 70's and up .. and if you are lucky enough to still be playing at 85 the minimum number needed is 11
Oct. 25, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
BJ and Donna, both excellent points. This was in 60 major and I was watching this because our team had the next game. After going over it and over it, trying It took nearly 45 minutes to figure it out! This was discovered several batters after the player in question batted so calling it out before the first pitch to the next batter was not an option. How the other team missed it for four innings is beyond me.
Eventually they ruled the player in question was a ghost or phantom player.
Oct. 25, 2021
rmp0012002
Men's 50
48 posts
The opposing scorekeeper should have caught the extra batter. What happened the previous innings have no bearing but what happens to the extra batter? Is he just removed from the line-up going forward once found?
Oct. 26, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
Agreed about catching it rmp. How the opposing scorekeeper didn’t catch it earlier is beyond me. To answer your questions
1) the player was ejected from tne game.
2) since that player was not on the scorecard it was ruled he was a “ghost” or “phantom” player. A player that doesn’t exist on the scorecard.
As Donna pointed out no sub is allowed and no out is granted every subsequent time that spot comes up.
Oct. 26, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
I'm not very well versed on the subject of this post but have question that hopefully can be answered by those commenting previously. I copied 4.2 with A and B

SSUSA Rule Book Section 4

4.2 • ROSTER RESTRICTIONS
A team roster is limited to two times the number of defensive players
allowed for that team. For teams that play with 10 defensive players, the
limit is 20 members. For teams that play with 11 or 12 defensive players,
the limits are 22 and 24 members, respectively. A non-playing manager and
coach(es) are not included in this player count. A team must have the required number of players present in the dugout or team area to start or continue a game. Players listed in the starting lineup and not available at game time may be substituted for and re-entered later.

A. Official lineup cards are to be completed and submitted to the official scorer or umpire at the start of each game. The lineup shall contain the first and last name, position and uniform number of each player. NOTE: If a wrong number is on the lineup sheet, correct it and continue playing with no penalty.

B. All available substitutes shall be listed in the designated place by their last name, first name and uniform number.

My question is a part of the original post, Why couldn't the Team B request for forfeit not be upheld? Rule 4.2.A and B clearly state that all available starting players and substitute players shall be listed on the official line up card in their appropriate places. Makes no reference that if they are on the official roster that they are automatically included as an entry for A or B ??

If this 11th player has been purposely inserted into the lineup without being listed as required by rule 4.2.A and B and has contributed to the scoring of the game to the detriment of Team B and their ability to win the contest, why is this not clearly an intentional breach of the rules and not a viable protest for a forfeit to be declared?

None of the argument about legal or illegal substitution and protest before next pitch, etc, declaration of an out or batting out of order, same protest for out prior to next pitch, etc as covered by RULE apply as this is a "player" not listed at game time on the official lineup card either in the starting lineup or as an available substitute.

Again, I'm asking for you guys to clarify as I surely don't know what to call, just what I see in the rules. I think it is more serious than what has been addressed in posts above. thx
Oct. 27, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2…. I don’t necessarily disagree with you about a possible forfeit since
there is no specific wording in the rules to cover this exact scenario.. therefore I believe the outcome of the forfeit appeal would be determined on the UIC or tour. dir. and their interpretation of the rule…. hopefully DD will give us his input on what his call would be as a tour. dir. and if he thinks there is 1 cut and dry answer???
Oct. 27, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
T2, I can understand how a team would want a forfeit in the stated situation. But I will tell you being an eyewitness to all this the field director did call Sacremanto and as far as I could tell got the final ruling from them. Now who the director specifically talked to and on what basis or how they came up with the final ruling I couldn’t tell you.
Since there is nothing in tne rule book that specifically covers this it might be a good idea to put something in next years rule book that addresses this situation. In the interim you might address your questions to the main office in Sacramento or contact one of tne UIC’s.
I will say the umpire of this game did the right thing. He stopped tne clock, quickly calmed down the players who were jaw jacking each other and announced he was going to find out the proper rule for this. It’s not a shame to do that because umpires should always try get it right, even if you have to delay the game. This especially bodes true in a world tournament.

Oct. 27, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
IF, and that’s quite a large two letter word, I were umpiring I would ask the manager of Team A, did you comply with the requirements of Rule 4.2.A & B? And the answer is no, so therefore they are in violation of the requirements established by Rule and SSUSA and I would declare a forfeit. An umpires duties are to manage, orchestrate play, enforce the association rules, and use all their skills and experience to provide a fair and equitable field of play for both teams. Any other ruling is unfair to Team B who has complied as far as we know.

One cannot say that there is nothing in the rule book that specifically covers this situation, Rule 4.2.A & B set forth requirements for play, these were violated by inserting a player neither listed on the official line-up card or listed as an available substitute for this game.

My earlier post was simply to ask others to apply the rule and make a decision. You have my ruling with supporting document.
Oct. 27, 2021
Donna McGuire
20 posts
T2, you ask how to know what to call. Maybe these actual SSUSA game cases will help. Situation 1. A scorekeeper forgets to write a player on the official card, and the manager does not catch the mistake. The opponent catches the mistake after the player bats. Situation 2. A Major team recruits a Major-Plus player (whose team is out of the tournament) to finish the tournament with them on championship Sunday. He is not on their roster (and would not be eligible for their roster). The team gets caught playing with this player on the field.
The differences are major. In Situation 1, the player was on the official roster filed with SSUSA, and had checked in at the director’s table, but the scorekeeper and/or manager had a “senior” moment and left his name off the game card. Nothing nefarious here. The penalty: The team cannot use that player the rest of the game. He cannot bat, cannot play defense, cannot courtesy run. The offended team can get an out if it appeals at the proper time. In Situation 2, the team intentionally cheated. Definitely nefarious — a flagrant breaching of our rules. The penalty: forfeit.
As you know, our rule book does not cover every rule. We fall back on USA Softball for rules not spelled out in our book. USA does not forfeit a game when a player is removed for a rule infraction, as was the case in Situation 1. However, if the disqualified player had re-entered the game after being removed, then the game would become a forfeit. (USA Softball rule 4.8).
Oct. 27, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
DM - situation #1 you are referring to sounds like the opposing team catches the infraction the first time the “non listed” player bats. The OP situation occurs in the 4th inning? Something nefarious is going on because the offending team has to realize they have violated the rule, whether intentional or not. By not making this known, they are cheating, period. To blame the lady keeping the scorebook or calling this a senior moment are both copouts. Whomever lets this slide whether umpire on field, UIC, tournament director, or someone from the SSUSA home office, the offended team didn’t get the fair shake that they are entitled to.

I would hope that all involved would have more integrity than to “explain with excuses” a decision that wasn’t fair and equitable. I for one would not be a part of any such decision.

This is my personal position, once again based on rule of play, circumstances as they unfolded on the field of play, and my personal experiences and judgment developed over my years of playing and umpiring.
Oct. 28, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2.. once again you are making a statement against the offending team that was not in the OP.. where did you come up with this??.. just your personal opinion???

(Something nefarious is going on because the offending team ("HAS TO REALIZE") they have violated the rule, whether intentional or not. By not making this known, they are cheating, period.)
Oct. 28, 2021
TimMcElroy
789 posts
I think that Donna did a good job of explaining this situation and SSUSA's response to it (twice).
Oct. 28, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
BJ - When you say i have once again made a statement against the offending team that was not in the OP, please read thoroughly what is being discussed.

My reference in my last post states that the offense is not brought to anyone's attention until the 4th inning. Even if you were the manager of Team A you and all the other members of that team would realize that after two and possibly three rotations of the batting order that you were doing something wrong. they have chosen to let this continue, they are flat out cheating. Or do you have or anyone else have a better description, like "having a senior moment"?

Tim & DM - I have much respect for officials in all sports but i can't accept the explanations given to me in the instance above.

Wording like "1) Because the 11th spot in the lineup does not exist (was not on the official scorecard), the offense CANNOT put a substitute in for that player, even if it had one. And because the spot in the batting order does not exist, the offended team CANNOT be granted an out every time that “spot” comes up again in the order."

I contend again, that the offense didn't attempt to put in a substitute, they ADDED the 11th spot ILLEGALLY. When you violate a rule, you are to be punished, not rewarded. What if this player assisted his team in scoring 2,3,4 or more runs in the 4 innings that he illegally participated in?

On the flip side, i have a written rule that was violated and justification for allowing the protested forfeit to stand. Rule 4.2.A & B

If this happened again, knowing what you know now, would you render the same ruling? It appears to me that a better ruling could have been made based on the rule set available.

Sometimes even when best intentions are our goal, we are wrong.

Oct. 28, 2021
Fuzz
15 posts
Donna's explanation seems a logical application of the "spirit/intent" of penalizing using an "ineligible player" versus using an "illegal" player. In this case, player was on the roster and legal to play but ineligible to play because not listed on line up card. Just my (correcting previous typo) thoughts. fuzzy
Oct. 28, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
Fuzz - Everyone likes to talk about "spirit/intent" of a rule, explain that to Team B who probably loses a game, in this instance as stated in the original post, "SSUSA world tournament game." because they followed the rules, their opponent did not, and the officials in charge of this game do not adhere to the rules either.

You say he was on the roster and legal to play, OK then why wasn't he listed on the OFFICIAL line-up card as required by 4.2.A & B. A rule is a rule is a rule.

I didn't even mention other rules that were violated:

7.1 Batting Order A & B as well as 7.1 (1) Batter eligibility

Others responding to this forum discussion are trying "to fit" an explanation into the circumstances of this game to somehow save face and justify their position, I am just asking that the rules of the game to be followed, by the teams and the rules to be enforced by the umpires and officials running the tournament.

If I were the sponsor for Team B, I would ask for the entry fee to be refunded because my team was not treated fairly.
Oct. 28, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
T2, why would you ask a manager if he or she complied with the requirements of rule 4.2 A & B? That makes no sense to me.
And under what rationale would you grant a forfeit in the situation I presented when the rule you cite says nothing about a forfeit?
Expanding upon the situations that Donna posted I had one similar about 6 years ago. A player was late, arrived in the 2nd inning. After a couple batters he was put in as a courtesy runner. Two innings later the scorekeeper from the other team came up to me between innings and casually told me that runner was not listed on the scorecard.
How would you rule on that?
Oct. 28, 2021
Donna McGuire
20 posts
T2, you assumed the Situation 1 stated above was the game you witnessed. It was not. The scorekeeper somehow jumped over the fourth batter in their lineup when filling out the official game card at a TOC event, and the manager did not catch her error. When the scorekeeper learned her mistake cost them an out (the other team appealed properly) AND the services of their best player for that game, she burst into tears. I used that case as an example of a player's name being left off the game card, and the penalty enforced.
Under your reasoning, her team should have forfeited that game, too. Seriously?
SSUSA does NOT have a rule saying a player found in the game but not on the official game card constitutes a forfeit. USA Softball does NOT have such a rule, either. Both rule books say if an ejected/disqualified player is caught playing again in the same game, then the team would forfeit.
That did not happen in the case you cited to start this thread.
Oct. 28, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
Stick8 - OK, during the discord between the two coaches or managers of the opposing team I would use the question of compliance to reenforce that a violation had occurred that had adversely affected the game. That justifies declaring a forfeit as I interpret and apply the rules.

Something happening 6 yrs ago is not a part of this discussion, same as the “ghost or phantom” players you alluded to In your earlier post. I looked long and hard and couldn’t find reference to either in. The rule book.

DM - Stick8 was the one that witnessed the fiasco that resulted in this discussion not me. It is what it is. I see it one way and you see it a different way. If I were the umpire in the original post, I would support the protest that would result in a forfeit and I have the rule book to support such decision and you have……………nothing.
Oct. 28, 2021
Fuzz
15 posts
T2 -- Please list and state the rule which says this situation will result in a forfeit. I can't find it. Thanks.
Oct. 28, 2021
mck71
254 posts
I witnessed this as well and agree with how it was handled. Could have been quicker but agree was better to get it right!

GREAT question Fuzz, I did not see the reasoning in the rule under the OP desc which warranted a forfeit for the "offended team" as T2 believes.

T2 - Since I have seen you on here numerous times, my ASSUMPTION is that you have played in a SSUSA event? If yes, then you COULD understand that most if not all teams use their own scorebook for the in game details. SOME (probably most, def us) use the other teams scorebook to add the opposing teams line up (or we add them in our book player by player as they bat) BUT NEVER READ THE ACTUAL CARD PRESENTED TO THE UMPIRE (I can't remember ever asking the umpire to see it after filling it out honestly). I guess the only good thing here is while you would have "supported" the forfeit, I certainly would have brought in the UIC or TD and the correct decision would have been delivered.

My point, taking a "common sense/logical" approach, simply is that WHY would I put down 10 players in my "active in-game" line up and then play 11 INTENTIONALLY? And to NOT add them to the bottom as a possible substitute?

I agree with Donna, "senior moment", sadly I have had a few! lol
Oct. 29, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
T2, why the argumentative tone in your posts?
You stated that you would rule a forfeit in this situation. You stated you would rule as such based on your interpretation of the rule you cited. The rule says nothing about a forfeit.
Based on that, what part of the rule are you interpreting to rule this game a forfeit?
Oct. 29, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
Stick8 - give me the location in the rule book where you find the “ghost” and “phantom” player so I can finish my response to fuzz, thanks

Mck71 - hard to answer your questions in your post just above, maybe you should answer why someone would be stupid enough not to either list this “player” we are all talking about as either in the starting lineup section or available substitute section for this game. But you’ve already answered above that you fit this category also.
Oct. 29, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
T2, I have a better idea.
Please cite your interpretation of rule 4.2 A & B that leads you to awarding a forfeit to team B.
Oct. 29, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
Stick8 - that’s what I’m trying to do, just need your input on the “ghost” and “phantom” player you referenced earlier as that player plays a big part in my answer, thanks for the help. It will all be revealed soon, after I get your valuable input.
Oct. 30, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
T2, why all of a sudden do you need input on ghost and phantom?
You already told Donna that “if I was the umpire in the original post I would support the protest that would result in a forfeit and I have the rule book to support such a decision....” And then you proceeded to insult her by saying “and you have..........nothing”. That was rude and unnecessary T2. Very rude.
You want input on phantom and ghost? Read Donnas post third from the top, focus on her point #1. She nails it perfectly. Those words were used by the director and other umpires who were there to,describe the player in question.
Since youve already supported a forfeit to team B, for the fourth time can you please cite your interpretation of how rule 4.2 A & B leads you supporting said forfeit?
Oct. 30, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3562 posts
Come on, stick8 ... It's all about ghosts and phantoms on Halloween Weekend, of course! ...
Oct. 30, 2021
stick8
1924 posts
lol. That’s true Dave. They’re out in droves!!
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