To our softball community...
No one has been more disturbed about the final score of our Franklin game than I. Those of you that were there know that everything was done, short of making a mockery of the game, to end it.
Runners were going 60 feet at a time, Umpires were told to make the strike zone as big as they wanted. They were told our runners would be aggressive in their leads and to call it like they saw it, yet the game was permitted to get where it did. I, along with the Franklin coach, was unaware how bad it actually was until it was finally over.
Things that were done by the Falcon team:
After the first 7 runs were scored, our team stopped all aggressive moves on offense. This included stealing bases, tagging up, bunting, hit and running, advancing on pass balls and wild pitches, stretching singles into doubles and doubles into triples. All substitutions were made in the first inning. All cheering and celebrating was stopped early in the first. We did everything short of disrespecting the game to "shut down".
Suggestions (after the fact) of what else might have been done:
Why didn't you bunt?
A bunt is looked at as an aggressive play. The defense still needs to do three things right and if this is not done then we look like we are "running up the score". Compare this to a football game in which one team is blowing out the other and you pass the ball to throw an "intentional" interception. The opposing team drops the ball now how do you look passing the ball when up by 60 points?
Why just not swing or strikeout intentionally?
Again using football - you're up 60 to nothing, you get the ball on offense, do you take a knee three times and then punt? NO! That shows no respect for your opponent.
Why not end the game after you're up 25 runs?
We would have liked to! WIAA rules require you play 5 to be an official game. Asking to end it any earlier would be asking them to forfeit. I was 15 feet away from Coach Davis most of the game. Had she wanted to end it she would have had my support. Her players never indicated they wanted to stop playing and she never stop coaching.
The game was played with respect towards the other team. The only time a Franklin player seemed upset was when in the fourth inning, three consecutive Falcon runners were called out for leaving early. It was at this point the Franklin catcher was heard to say "Hey he's (the umpire) doing that on purpose". Before that, the Franklin spirits were high.
As the Franklin team was leaving ,their starting pitcher stopped to say, "Hey Falcons you're awesome, good game, good luck" All players and Coaches showed respect for one another.
In our team meeting after the game I informed the players that the score and stats would not be reported.
What was put on our web site was a game recap that has been done for every game we’ve played. This, in retrospect should not have gone there and has since been removed.
There have been several other very unbalanced games this year in our league. At what point is it just too much? Twenty, thirty, forty runs? If this game does anything positive it will point out the inequities in our league, rules that need to be changed and the role Umpires can take in such an unbalanced game.
The Falcons respect every team we play. We teach that. To disrespect your opponent is to disrespect yourself and the game. This was not a victory we celebrated.
Woodinville HS Fastpitch