Core Training

Exploring the International Tie Breaker in Softball

If you have been to or played in a softball tournament, you are probably familiar with the international tiebreaker rule. If you aren’t, the international tiebreaker takes place when a game ends in a tie and time has expired. The team will play another inning of the game, this time starting with a runner on second base in scoring position. The runner on second is typically the last out from the inning before, unless it’s a pitcher or catcher who would need a courtesy runner, then it would go to the person who made the out before them.

Many coaching strategies go into an international tiebreaker. It would be awesome to have a statistic for how many lead-off batters in the inning attempt to sacrifice bunt the runner on second over to third base. This is the most common strategy that offensive coaches use when put in an international tiebreaker situation. If the batter gets the bunt down, it moves the winning run to third base with one out and two more chances to score. Defenses should almost always play that first batter as if they are going to bunt. Pitchers should also be thinking this way and should try to get the batter to pop up or miss the bunts entirely.

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