No more walks - Calgary Only!
To add even more excitement to the Mite division, in 2006 Calgary Minor Softball implemented the “No Walk Rule”. Combined with the home run line, the Mite division should end up being the most exciting division to both play and to watch!
Batter # 1 (B1) is at the plate. The game is played normally up until the batter receives a 4th ball, which would normally result in a walk. This is where the game changes. After the 4th ball, the batter will have a count against him/her. It will either be 4 balls, 0 strikes (4-0), 4-1 or 4-2. The coach, or designated pitcher for the offensive team (B1’s coach or selected parent), will now come in to pitch to his/her own batter. The number of pitches that the batter will receive from the coach/parent is dependant upon the number of strikes that the pitcher had achieved against that batter prior to throwing the 4th “ball”. All batters continue using the same rules.
If the count was 4-0, and the batter did not have a strike, the coach parent may throw up to 3 pitches.
If the count was 4-1, and the batter had 1 strike against him/her, the coach parent may throw up to 2 pitches.
If the count was 4-2, and the batter had 2 strikes against him/her, the coach parent may throw only 1 pitch.
Pitches (pitch) from the coach or parent are the only opportunity that the batter will get to hit the ball and get on base. There is no opportunity to walk. Every pitch will be considered a called strike. If the batter has 2 or 3 pitches to work with, he/she may leave the pitch and wait for a potentially better pitch. The coach/parent will pitch from the pitching rubber (normal distance) and may pitch orthodox (underhand toss) or regular fastpitch.
If the batter uses up all of his/her strikes without hitting the ball, he/she is out. Once again, every pitch is considered a called strike no matter where the pitch is thrown. The batter does not have to swing to strike out, nor does the pitch have to be in the strike zone.
On the third strike only, if the batter hits a foul ball, he/she will be granted an additional pitch, unless of course the foul ball is caught! This will be the same as regular rules in regards to a third strike foul ball.
The defensive pitcher will remain on the field to field balls hit into play.
Should a ball be hit into play by the batter and this ball comes in contact with or is touched by the parent/coach, whether intentional or accidental, as determined by the umpire, the play will be called dead. If there is any interference on the play in regards to the coach/parent acting as the pitcher, as determined by the umpire, the play will be called dead. In both cases, the batter will be ruled out and the runners will return to their original base prior to the hit ball.
The implementation of this section will have many major benefits.
# 1 – No walks means that every run will have come off of a hit ball!
# 2 – More hits means more defensive plays for the infield!
# 3 – Less pressure on parent umpires in regards to calling balls and strikes.
# 4 – Wider variety of pitchers may be used. Every player that wants to pitch can try without having to worry about walking in 5 runs.
# 5 – Lower scoring games. There will an increased number of strikeouts and hopefully defensive outs, which should result in less 5 run innings.
# 6 – Innings will be quicker which should result in more innings played per game.
# 7 – The home run line will become a major factor and the home run will be an exciting play for all players and fans to look forward to.
Plus many more!
This combination of changes has been implemented for a many different reasons. The three main reasons are to make the games more fun for the kids, to assist in the development of skills through more involvement from all of the participants and to make the game more exciting to watch for the parents and families.