Tuesday December 12th 2017

Can you survive 8 ninth innings in one day?

The games schedule for the 2017 Hunlock Series has been published. All games will adopt the “9th Inning” format where games are decided over a single inning only. This format recreates the tension and drama of the ninth inning. The Red Kites open with a 4-game series against the Black Barracudas, while the Blue Rockers will have to wait until 2:30pm for their first game when they will face the Barracudas.

The Hunlock Series Rules have also been published and they include the following regulations which apply to the “9th Inning” format.

• The batting order of each team remains unchanged for the duration of the day unless a substitution is made.

• A substituted player cannot re-enter the same game, however that player can re-enter a subsequent game.

• The batter who was next to bat upon completion of the previous game will be the first batter in the next game with the rest of the batting lineup coming up to bat in order.

What is also noticeable from the schedule is that the home team alternates over the course of the 4-game series which implies that the fielding team in the bottom of the inning will remain on the field in the top of the inning of the subsequent game. This scheduling approach was adopted in previous years and it sped-up the games enormously as there was no need for teams to go in and out of the field. There even was no need for warm-up pitches as the pitchers were ready. The downside is that a pitcher will need to stay on the mound for 6 outs without a break as opposed to the usual 3 outs, which could mean twice as many pitches thrown in an inning. This is where the defence can really help pitchers, by minimising errors and not adding to the pitcher’s pitch count.

Over the course of the Series each team will play a total of 24 games, 12 games against each of their opponents. The team finishing top of the league standings will be the 2017 Hunlock Series Champion.

The other rules which differ from what teams are used to in the BBF leagues are:

• Pitching Restrictions. A player can appear as a pitcher in one, two or more games per day, but no player shall accumulate more than 3 innings (9 outs) as a pitcher over the course of the day. It is the responsibility of the opposing team to inform the umpire when a pitcher reaches the limit. Managers must inform opponents of the number of innings pitched by each of their pitchers during the day prior to the start of each game.

• No Mercy Rule will be in force.

• If the game is tied after completion of the final inning, each team is awarded half a win and half a loss in the standings.

The 2017 Hunlock Series Draft took place on Wednesday night.  See more details here.

If you have not signed up to play in the Hunlock Series, it is not too late. Contact Herts Baseball Club for details on how to sign up.

Our recruitment campaign ahead of the new season continues and in fact new youth (4 to 16) and adult players (14 and over) can join at any point during the year. The club welcomes boys and girls, men and women, from complete beginners to elite players. Click here for more details or contact us.