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Time Management in Softball Games

Unless playing a College or High School game, most Softball games have time limits and as a game is about to end due to time expiring, game decisions and tactics can change depending on whether a team is ahead or behind. Being the home team generally has less bearing on time tactics if there is a time limit on the game because the home team always gets their last at bat (unless there is a “drop dead” time on the game as well). In this article, we present a table showing some things a team can do to either slow the game down or speed it up to its advantage.

"No new inning" means that no new inning may start once time expires, but that the current inning can be completed.

"Drop dead" means that the game ends no matter what. In such a case, the whichever team was ahead in the previously completed inning is the winner.



Managing the end of the game properly can mean the difference between a win and a loss in a close game. It can lead to some unconventional actions such as intentionally making outs or intentionally not swinging at strikes to reach or delay the time expiration.

Update: After letting this article marinate in my brain for a day or two after it was written, I decided that the information would be best presented via table instead of all text as before, so I updated the article to include the above table and eliminated a lot of the verbiage in the article.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Don McKay. All rights reserved.
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