Starter re-entry rule 3.03

  • How is the rule suppose to be enforced. Scenario: Suppose that a manager enters all subs in the third inning and after 4 innings all players have met mandatory play allowing the starters to be re-inserted in the game in the fifth. The Manager then re-enters a starter(S1) for second starter(S2). Question: Can S2 re-enter the game in the 6th inning?

    The main question is does S2 have to wait for S1 to play 6 outs and bat once even though S1 has already done such in innings 1 and 2.



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  • I think the answer is "yes" under this provision: "a starter, (S1) re-entering the game as a substitute for another starter (S2) must then fulfill all conditions of a substitute (once at bat and six defensive outs) before starter (S2) can re-enter the game". The key for me is the "must then" w/o reference to what the S1 may have done at the outset.

  • 3.03 A player in the starting line-up who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter the game once, in any position in the batting order, provided:

    1. his or her substitute has completed one time at bat and;

    2. has played defensively for a minimum of six (6) consecutive outs.

    ...

    5. a starter, (S1) re-entering the game as a substitute for another starter (S2) must then fulfill all conditions of a substitute (once at bat and six defensive outs) before starter (S2) can re-enter the game.

    In this case, S2 (a player in the starting line-up) has been removed for a substitute. S2 may re-enter after his substitute (S1) has completed one time at bat and played 6 consecutive defensive outs. As paragraph 5 specifies, S1 must complete these requirements after replacing S2.

    The reasoning is as follows - since starters may re-enter in any position in the lineup, they must sit out for a minimum amount of time to avoid gaming the system. This minimum amount of time is 1 at-bat and 2 defensive innings. This ensures, in particular, that a starter can't be given _more_ at-bats through some substitution trick (unless that trick involves injury or illness).

  • For the regular season rules (which is what you are discussing here), the simple rule of thumb is a player cannot come back into the game until the player who replaced him has played 6 defensive outs and batted once AFTER the replacement occurred. For the purposes of re-entry, treat every substitution as if the sub (whether actual sub or returning starter) had never been in the game before.

    An example:

    St1 plays innings 1 and 2, bats in the first.

    SuA replaces St1 in T3. He plays all of innings 3 and 4 and bats in the 4th.

    St1 replaces St2 in T5. He plays defense in the 5th and 6th, but St2 cannot come back into the game until St1 has also batted AFTER the substitution. So, if St1 batted B5, St2 could re-enter to bat in B6. Note that if St1 were to bat leading off B6, St2 would then be free to re-enter as a pinch hitter later in that half inning.

    Does that help?

  • The rule is there to allow players to get more innings but not so flexible that managers can reenter at will to manipulate the lineup.

    Rita

  • Thanks for all that have replied. I'm clear on the rule.

  • While I understand the reasoning behind the rule, I wish it was more flexible after all players have gotten their mandatory play time. I know htere are coaches that would "play the sytem" and try to get their better batters more at bats, but it stinks for those of us who just want to get some of the other players more time.

    There have been many games where we have a comfortable lead (6 runs or so) and I would LOVE to pull some starters to get the other players additional time. The problem is that we all know how quickly a 6 run lead can disappear and if I can't put the starters back in when things start going south then I'm handcuffed as to what i can do.

    I don't know the answer but I would love to be able to get Johnny more playing time without putting the team at too much risk.

  • Our league uses the CBO for all divisions. You hear less complaining from the parents. The managers can now do free substitution. Which normally allows for more playing time for the less talented players.

  • Jeff, is winning more important than playing time for all players?

  • @ Jeff Johnston...agreed.

  • @ Rita...Jeff was expressing the dilemma all managers have regarding the substitution rule. Balancing winning and playing time is the ultimate juggling act. Neither one is more important, but ask any player "would you rather play six innings and lose every game or play 2 innings and win every game" and most kids will answer the latter. I've managed teams from all levels for the past 12 years and I've never once had a problem with a player or parent on my winning teams, but sure have on those losers.

  • I asked the question because sometimes I think people forget.

    Frankly, I think a manager with imagination could manage both.

  • @Rita - managers are in a no-win situation, some of the time. By the rules, if you have 12 players, the most even you can put PT in a normal 6 inning game is 9x4 innings and 3 x 6 innings. That usually is not easy to accomodate, if you wish to make sure the 'right 3" get 6 innings.

    I wish the PT rules were more flexible, to make it easier to manage a game towards "equal" PT. It is just difficult, given the current rules. I wish my league had a 4 innings + 1 AB rule, but since we don't and all of my opponents more or less do 6 x 6 and 6 x 3, if I don't want to be mercied, I really have to play 100% to win.

  • @Dave - as you say, the simple foolproof scheme is 3 & 3. Hopefully it is not the same 6 kids playing only 3 innings per game all season :)

    The real solution is CBO (and hopefully it is not the same kid batting 12th all season long)

  • @ Rita @ Jeff, The problem I have with both of your comments and there is merit to both!! I hate 3.03, part 4. 'only a player in the starting line-up may re-enter the game.' This means that subs can NOT re-enter the game and once pulled can not play again, that simply sucks and prevents more play time for them when leads go in either direction later in the game.

  • Scenario:

    We are the visiting team. Starters 1-9 all play three complete innings (9 defensive outs, and at least one at bat). At the top of the fourth inning, three substitutes are declared and enter the batting order for starters 1-3. Starter 4 gets sick and can't make it to bat. The opposing coach selects starter 1 to re-enter for starter 4. Starter 1 bats in the top of the fourth inning. Starter 4 has no intention on returning to his position in the batting order or even the game due to his illness. Can starter 1 be removed at any time, as long as they are not going back into the game for the remainder of the game and starter 4 isn't coming back in either? If so, can starter 2 come back in to replace starter 1? Can starter 2 also be removed regardless of play time and be replaced by starter 3, as long as neither starter 1 or 2 come back in the game?

    Rule 3.03 (5) talks about the requirement that a starter for a starter has to fulfill in order for the original starter to return. However, it does not seem to apply in this case because neither starter 4, 1, or 2 are going to re-enter the game, so the subsequent play of their replacement is not relevant.

  • Starting player gets sub out but coach wants to re enter starting player back. My question is can he re enter in any position in the line up or only where he left? Please help me understand.

  • Starting player gets sub out but coach wants to re enter starting player back. My question is can he re enter in any position in the line up or only where he left? Please help me understand.