Can you survive 12 ninth innings in 1 day?

The games schedule for the 2014 Hunlock Series has been published. In the league stage all games will adopt the “9th Inning” format where games are decided over one inning only. This format recreates the tension and drama of the ninth inning. The Red Roosters open with a 4-game series against the Blue Dogs, while last year’s winners, the Black Widows start with four games against White Lightning.

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 2012 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 usual 3 outs, which could mean twice as many pitches thrown in an inning. This is where defence can really help pitchers, by minimising errors and not adding to the pitcher’s pitch count.

Over the course of the league stage each team will play a total of 24 games, 8 games against each of their three opponents. The team finishing top of the league standings will go automatically into the Hunlock Series Final. The fourth and third placed teams will play in the quarter-final. The winner of that game will progress to the semi-final to face the second-placed team. The winner of the semi-final will meet the top team in the final.

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 2014 Hunlock Series Draft takes place this Thursday, 28 August at 8:00pm. This year the Draft will not be televised but, with social media challenging TV as a media platform, coverage of this year’s Draft will be via Facebook. It will enable participants to interact more easily as the managers make their picks. For more details follow Herts Baseball Club on facebook.

Who will be the first Draft pick?

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.