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Many-team ballgame

Extend the three-fold or four-fold structure of baseball by letting three or four teams to compete in the same game.
  [vote for,

Baseball, lacking both the continuous clock and territorial premise typical of many team sports, seems amenable to many-team play. And former MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti, in a thoughtful essay on the game, even noted the motifs of three- and four-fold structure which pervade the game -- a pattern perhaps marred by mere duality of competitors in each typical game. So why not make it truly 'anyone's ballgame', and introduce three-team and/or four-team play?

The basic structure of the game would stay: each team fields - one- irreversibly substitutable lineup of 9 players, who jointly try to score as many runs as possible in 9 innings (or less), at which point lead ties are played out in 1-inning sudden death installments. However, innings would now be split into thirds or fourths, rather than halves; each team would pitch and bat exactly once (i.e. for 3 outs) in each inning. Rosters could be expanded to allow for the extra pitching and catching demands of many-team play.

In three-way play, visiting team A would bat first, against visiting team B, in innings 1-4 (and 10-13, &.); visiting team B would bat first, against home team C, in innings 5-9; home team C would bat last in each inning. Thus, one visiting team gets the advantage of pitching to home team C only four times (versus five), but pays for that advantage by having only three outs of pitching rest (versus nine) between innings 4 and 5. Purist fans of today's game will point out that long delays between pitching stints actually hamper pitchers, but I'd counter that longer average pitcher idleness then just becomes another strategic factor for players and managers to adapt to.

Wildcard, shmildcard...game-speedup, shmame-shmeedup -- just think of the exciting matchups and scorecard pencil sales opportunities here, folks!...

n-pearson, Oct 08 2003

Tri-sketball http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Tri-sketball
Kind of redundant with this idea. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004]

Three Team Hockey http://www.halfbake...a/3_20team_20hockey
And this one. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004]


       Didn't waugsqueke do multi-side team sports one time?
DrCurry, Oct 08 2003

       I think baseball is in some ways more easily adapted to three-team play, however, than are hockey and basketball.   

       Like tennis (Aussie doubles, anyone?), bowling, skiing, &c. baseball is an inherently turn-taking game, and as such can readily incorporate as many competitors as a crowd can stomach, without resorting to altering the field of play, number of balls, &c.
n-pearson, Oct 09 2003

       One fundamental problem with any multi-team game is that a team's optimal strategy may not always be to regard both opponents equally. The two teams which are ahead will tend to focus their efforts against each other, while the team which is behind will focus its efforts on the one which is ahead. It is thus hard to judge the relative performance of teams in a multi-way competition, given all the interactions of the different factors.
supercat, Dec 20 2003

       I really do like this idea. People should try this out at least. My only coment would be this; since there are 9 innings involving 2 teams, then why not have 6 innings that involve 3 teams? That way, the same amount of part innings would be the same. (6 x 3 = 18, 9 x 2 = 18) Also, it should be like this, Team A vs. Team B, then Team B vs. Team C (home team), and finally Team C vs. Team A and you continue from there.
5thdown, Apr 25 2006


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