Finally, a master list of slo-pitch rules. This is for hitters, fielders, pitchers, umpires and even spectators. The world would be a rosy place if we could all just remember these 15 points.
Rules are in no particular order, except for #1 and #2 which are essential to a game being played in an efficient manner.
- Hitters – Always take the first-pitch.
- Pitchers – Always throw a first-pitch strike.
- Spitz are communal. If you don’t want to share, leave them in your car.
- Umpires – Always call your own guy “out” on close plays. It’s better for your buddy to bust YOUR chops over the call than some “Gary Go-Hard” getting in your face.
- Umpires – If it’s a “foul ball”, yell like your hair is on fire. Don’t make any baserunners or fielders run for no reason.
- Spectators – Shag up those foul balls. The extra steps add up on your fitbit.
- Umpires – If the pitch is a “strike”, make an audible noise so the outfielders can hear you. If it’s a “ball”, silence is ok.
- Clean up your empties and garbage.
- Never throw behind the runner.
- Always hustle in and out of the dugout.
- Don’t try to hit up the middle.
- If you accidentally hit up the middle, apologize.
- If your 10th guy is a little late…start with 9 and take the auto-out. Don’t stall.
- Clean up your bats from the on-deck circle.
- “Three Cheers” should be done with purpose.
My favourite Northlands moment came on Saturday October 6, 1990. It was my first Oiler game. The home-building company my father worked for had season tickets. He must have had a good month, because that Saturday night was the home opener.
The Oilers had just won their 5th Stanley Cup, and during the pre-game ceremony team officials rolled the trophy in question onto the ice. Even from high in the stands, The Cup looked massive and sparkled like a ten-foot diamond on a Christmas tree.
The home team was announced and Mark Messier was given the loudest ovation. There was a smoke-machine (!) and what would now pass as the appropriate lighting production for a 6 year old’s birthday party. Hey, it was 1990!
Then it happened. Just as the visiting Winnipeg Jets were announced, something I had never witnessed in person before began to happen.
Grown men started boo’ing. Children began jeering. Women were cussing. It was the most unruly thing I had ever seen or heard as an 11 year-old! Confused, and perhaps caught in the moment, I began to boo too! “Boooooooooooo!”, I hollered. I managed only one “mini-boo” before my Mother let me know that it was not polite and I was to stop immediately! I’m guessing she was thinking, “Phil Housley, Thomas Steen and Ed Olczyk seem to be decent guys. My child should not be calling them down at work.”
I don’t remember a single goal in the 3-3 tie (but I do remember going to Boston Pizza for dinner, delicious). Thanks for the memory and the lesson in sportsmanship, Mom!