Ninth Inning Rally Chart

I rarely use this space to discuss game rules for the game I created, Baseball Trivia Challenge, but figured I’d make a rare exception. I sent the game to several folks to play test and have received some excellent feedback. The particular bit of feedback I want to discuss here concerns teams that enter the ninth inning trailing by a large number of runs. The reason this is a problem is because, regardless of their ability, players in Baseball Trivia Challenge cannot score more than 4 runs per at bat.

Both Earle Shamblin from Tabletop Baseball + and Nick Hawes came up with the same excellent house rule to deal with these situations. Their solution is to let the ninth batter continue the at bat as long as runs are scored. In other words, the at bat will continue unless one of three things happen: 1) the d20 die roll indicates no runs are possible; 2) the batting team’s manager answers the trivia question incorrectly; 3) the pitching team’s manager answers the trivia question correctly. It’s an innovative solution to a problem I didn’t recognize existed.

If you’ve read many of my posts you may have noticed that I’m a little over-the-top when it comes to mathematics and realism. So while I love their solution, I feel I must point out that the realism of the game will be affected if you implement this rule. Simply put, teams will score more runs than they should and relief pitcher ERAs could skyrocket. If that isn’t a problem for you, I think it’s the best solution to this problem because it puts the most pressure on both “managers.”

Another option that solves the realism issue is to use the Ninth Inning Rally Chart shown below and included with the game. I created it only after Earle and Nick pointed out the need for it, so they deserve most of the credit for it, too. You may use this chart whenever your team is down by no more than 9 runs in the ninth inning.* Simply state your intention to do so and roll the dice. Observe the rating of the player indicated (batter, pitcher, fielder) then locate the number in the cell corresponding to the player rating and the number of runs behind. If the d20 is less than or equal to the number shown, read the next trivia question to whosoever turn it is to answer. If you answer correctly or your opponent gets it wrong, you score the runs required to tie the game.

That’s all there is to it! Feel free to use either rule! Both approaches add a much-needed element of excitement to games that might otherwise be decided!

*Note that, in theory, you could use this chart to play an entire game where you selected how many runs you want to “try for” each at bat.

RTG RUNS BEHIND
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
0
1 1 1
2 2 1 1 1
3 3 2 1 1 1 1
4 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
5 5 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
6 6 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
7 7 4 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
8 8 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1
9 9 5 3 2 2 2 1 1 1
10 10 5 3 3 2 2 1 1 1
11 11 6 4 3 2 2 2 1 1
12 12 6 4 3 2 2 2 2 1
13 13 7 4 3 3 2 2 2 1
14 14 7 5 4 3 2 2 2 2
15 15 8 5 4 3 3 2 2 2
16 16 8 5 4 3 3 2 2 2
17 17 9 6 4 3 3 2 2 2
18 18 9 6 5 4 3 3 2 2
19 19 10 6 5 4 3 3 2 2
20 20 10 7 5 4 3 3 3 2
21 20 11 7 5 4 4 3 3 2
22 20 11 7 6 4 4 3 3 2
23 20 12 8 6 5 4 3 3 3
24 20 12 8 6 5 4 3 3 3
25 20 13 8 6 5 4 4 3 3
26 20 13 9 7 5 4 4 3 3
27 20 14 9 7 5 5 4 3 3
28 20 14 9 7 6 5 4 4 3
29 20 15 10 7 6 5 4 4 3
30 20 15 10 8 6 5 4 4 3
31 20 16 10 8 6 5 4 4 3
32 20 16 11 8 6 5 5 4 4
33 20 17 11 8 7 6 5 4 4
34 20 17 11 9 7 6 5 4 4
35 20 18 12 9 7 6 5 4 4
36 20 18 12 9 7 6 5 5 4
37 20 19 12 9 7 6 5 5 4
38 20 19 13 10 8 6 5 5 4
39 20 20 13 10 8 7 6 5 4
40 20 20 13 10 8 7 6 5 4
41 20 20 14 10 8 7 6 5 5
42 20 20 14 11 8 7 6 5 5
43 20 20 14 11 9 7 6 5 5
44 20 20 15 11 9 7 6 6 5
45 20 20 15 11 9 8 6 6 5
46 20 20 15 12 9 8 7 6 5
47 20 20 16 12 9 8 7 6 5
48 20 20 16 12 10 8 7 6 5
49 20 20 16 12 10 8 7 6 5
50 20 20 17 13 10 8 7 6 6
51 20 20 17 13 10 9 7 6 6
52 20 20 17 13 10 9 7 7 6
53 20 20 18 13 11 9 8 7 6
54 20 20 18 14 11 9 8 7 6
55 20 20 18 14 11 9 8 7 6
56 20 20 19 14 11 9 8 7 6
57 20 20 19 14 11 10 8 7 6
58 20 20 19 15 12 10 8 7 6
59 20 20 20 15 12 10 8 7 7
60 20 20 20 15 12 10 9 8 7
61 20 20 20 15 12 10 9 8 7
62 20 20 20 16 12 10 9 8 7
63 20 20 20 16 13 11 9 8 7
64 20 20 20 16 13 11 9 8 7
65 20 20 20 16 13 11 9 8 7
66 20 20 20 17 13 11 9 8 7
67 20 20 20 17 13 11 10 8 7
68 20 20 20 17 14 11 10 9 8
69 20 20 20 17 14 12 10 9 8
70 20 20 20 18 14 12 10 9 8
71 20 20 20 18 14 12 10 9 8
72 20 20 20 18 14 12 10 9 8
73 20 20 20 18 15 12 10 9 8
74 20 20 20 19 15 12 11 9 8
75 20 20 20 19 15 13 11 9 8
76 20 20 20 19 15 13 11 10 8
77 20 20 20 19 15 13 11 10 9
78 20 20 20 20 16 13 11 10 9
79 20 20 20 20 16 13 11 10 9
80 20 20 20 20 16 13 11 10 9

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