If you watch enough sports, you eventually may hear the phrase "Running up the score". "Running up the score" happens when a team who is clearly dominating the contest against the opposing team and is ahead in runs by a large margin, exploits their advantage by continuing to run the offense at full strength, stealing bases, bunting, hit and run, etc. when they clearly do not need to.
In sportsmanship circles, there is an unwritten rule of proper conduct in baseball that once a certain level of dominance is reached that the dominant team should "call off the dogs" and cease playing over-aggressively. While this is intended to not "show up" the other team, teams that do not heed this unwritten rule are sometimes met with anger and confusion.
Never is this seen more than at the youth baseball level. Below is a response to a LL coach that had been accused of running up the score and wanted some input:
"I manage an 11/12 year old team. We have a lot of good hitters on the team and have been pounding the ball lately. I had three separate kids hit HRs Saturday, two of them 3 run shots. I was accused of running up the score because when the game was 12-1 after the first 3 run HR we had first and third. I gave a take/steal sign to get the kid at first to get him to 2B and remove force out possibility.
The next pitch the kid at bat hits another 3 run Homer and its 15-1. This was the bottom of the third inning. They went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth and the game was over via mercy rule.
My thinking is that you never know what is going to happen in these games and I've seen on more than one occasion teams blow big leads. Plus, I am trying to teach my kids how to finish games and teams off. I never have been very good at taking my "foot off of the petal" and backing off but at this level it should not be an issue. We're not in coach pitch or Minor Division any more where the kids are babys.
Interested in any opinions and thoughts from experienced coaches."
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