NCAA 5-7 Doubleheader
SECTION 7. a. A doubleheader must include the same two teams and may be scheduled as two nine-inning games, a seven and a nine, or two seven-inning games. The first game of a doubleheader must be completed before the second game may start.
b. The second game shall start 20 minutes after completion of the first game. If a longer time period is necessary, the umpire-in-chief will announce this to both head coaches. The maximum time should be 30 minutes.
c. If a rescheduled (not halted) game is scheduled as part of a doubleheader, it shall be the second game played. If it is the completion of a halted game, it shall be the first game played.
Example 1—Team A plays a seven-inning game with Team B. Team B then plays a seven-inning game with Team C immediately after the first game. Team A then plays a seven-inning game with Team C immediately after the second game. Do these games count as regulation games? Ruling: No. Doubleheaders are defined as consecutive games between the same two teams.
Example 2—Team A plays a seven-inning game with Team B. Team A plays a nine-inning game with Team C immediately after the first game. Team C then plays a seven-inning game with Team B after the second game. Are these regulation games? Ruling: Only the game between Team A and Team C (second game) is a regulation game.
Example 3—Team A plays two seven-inning games consecutively with Team B. Team C then plays Team D in two seven-inning games consecutively. Are these regulation games? Ruling: Yes.
Example 4—Two conference teams are playing a doubleheader with both games scheduled as seven-inning contests. Conference rules stipulate that the halted-game rule is in effect. In the second game, the teams play to the completion of the fifth inning with one team ahead by a 12-2 score, when the game is called on account of darkness, as there are no lights at the facility. The final game of the series is scheduled for the next day as a nine-inning game. Ruling: The final two innings are played the next day before the nine-inning game.
Example 5—Two teams have a doubleheader scheduled as two seven inning games. The second game was stopped because of a time-limit conflict at the facility with two outs in the top of the sixth inning with the score 9-3 in favor of the home team. Is this a regulation game? Ruling: No. A time limit at the facility is not an accepted reason to end a contest.
Example 6—Two teams have a doubleheader scheduled as two seven-inning games. The first game is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and the second game to start at 6 p.m. Does this format satisfy the doubleheader rule for seven-inning games? Ruling: No. Doubleheaders must be played consecutively within 30 minutes of each other, according to Rule 5-7-b. If the above games are nine innings, they would be considered regulation games.
Example 7—Two teams have a doubleheader scheduled, the first game as a seven-inning game and the second as a nine-inning game. The second game is called due to rain or darkness. Is the first game that was completed a regulation game? Ruling: Yes. Both teams intended to play both games. By the doubleheader rules, a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game is legal. These teams should not be penalized due to rain or darkness.
d. A scheduled stand-alone seven-inning game shall be prohibited.
e. A seven-inning game that was originally scheduled as a part of a doubleheader, and was never started or had been halted or suspended, may be completed as a seven-inning game for a future time. Note: Allows for collaboration between umpires, home game management and the visiting team, which provides them with the flexibility of never starting or having to halt the game once it has been started. All three entities must be present when this decision is made.