Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Declaring a Tie - NCAA Game Ends After Ump Hurt

Tuesday's Florida Southern vs Mount Olive NCAA Division II baseball game ended in a scoreless tie after the home plate umpire left due to injury in the game's 7th inning.

Jim Joyce umpires from behind the mound.
Having sustained a foul ball injury in the 5th inning, Tuesday's home plate umpire persevered through the 6th and into the 7th, until a rotation play forced the issue as the afflicted plate umpire ran to cover a baserunner advancing to third base on a single to right field; the umpire ended up at a local hospital due to the game-related injury.

With a two-person officiating crew assigned to this inter-conference matchup, both head coaches agreed to end the game in a 7th inning tie rather than continue with one umpire. It was the finale of a brief two-game series.

College Rule: NCAA baseball rules allow for tie games: "Any regulation game called by the umpire with the score tied shall be declared a 'tie' game. Note: All individual and team averages from a tie game shall be incorporated into the official playing record" (5-10-b). Because the game was called in the 7th inning, it was a regulation ballgame (having gone at least five innings). Meanwhile, Rule 3-6-h states, "No umpire may be replaced in a game unless the individual becomes ill or injured." So while the umpire technically could have been replaced, with an out of conference Division II matchup (announced attendance: 25), it would have been highly unlikely for a replacement to be nearby.

Professional Rule: In professional baseball, a regulation game called with the score tied becomes a suspended game that must be completed at a future date (OBR 7.02(a)). If this same regulation suspended game is subsequently not completed prior to the last scheduled regular season game between the two teams, it becomes a "tie game" pursuant to Rule 7.02(b)(4)(B), unless either of the two teams involved would need to play the game in order to determine postseason eligibility or seeding, in which case the game must be completed prior to the playoffs. OBR 10.03(e)(1) instructs the official scorer to "record all individual and team actions up to the moment the game ends," with the exception of winning and losing pitchers.

OBR's replacement rule 8.02(d) states, "No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he is injured or becomes ill." Generally speaking, an umpire injured in a four-person game causes the crew to assume three-person mechanics, three umps beget two, etc.
Related PostDale Scott Exits with Injury, Joyce Umps Behind Mound (3/5/15).

Retrosheet maintains a repository of umpire changes during games dating back to 1871 (reason: "catch train"). According to the database, the last MLB umpire replacement occurred on July 14, 2011, when Cory Blaser entered the Brewers-Rockies game in its 4th inning to replace 2B Umpire Brian O'Nora, who had left shortly after the game began due to back pain.

From tmac:
Blaser umpired the AAA All-Star game in Salt Lake [on Wednesday, July 13] and was not scheduled to work another game until Friday [July 15] so he WAS sitting at home. When O'Nora got to the locker room [during the game on Thursday, July 14] and was deemed unfit to return, MLB execs called Blaser who must be able to drive very quickly (or was at the game having a beer (JOKE!)). This is a very unusual situation, as the ONLY time an umpire would be home (unless home is a city he works) would be during an all star break. I must start looking at a calender (or at least buy one).
Cubs-Pirates game ends in a tie.
Historical Note: The last tie in Major League Baseball occurred on September 30, 2016, when the evening's Cubs-Pirates game was called due to rain in the top of the 6th inning with a 2-2 score. Because that game was the last scheduled contest between the two teams for the 2016 regular season, and because the Cubs had already clinched home field advantage through the League Championship Series (best National League record...home field advantage for the 2016 World Series was decided by whichever league won the All-Star Game, the final year of MLB's 14-year "this time it counts" experiment), whereas Pittsburgh had already been eliminated from postseason contention, the game was declared final pursuant to OBR 7.02(b)(4)(B).
Related PostAnatomy of a Tie as Cubs-Pirates Game Ends in 1-1 Draw (9/30/16).

High School Rule: Under NFHS Rule 4-2-2, any game called at the end of five+ innings with the score tied shall be recorded as a "tie game," unless the state association has instituted a specific policy to address ties. As in the other codes, all individual and team statistics count for seasonal totals, but the game doesn't factor into a team's win-loss record. The NFHS umpire replacement rule is 10-1-6 ("No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he becomes ill or is injured").

Tuesday's was the final game of the Mocs-Trojans series and game time had been moved up in the day due to forecasted inclement weather later in the evening.

Wrap: Florida Southern Moccasins vs Mount Olive Trojans, 3/6/18


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