According To NCAA Rep, Tonight’s UL vs LSU Game Must Be Complete By 11:00pm, BUT…
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun softball team is scheduled to play LSU today at 1:04 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
The winner of the contest will win the Baton Rouge Regional and advance to the Super Regionals to take on Florida State in Tallahassee.
If only it were that simple.
As has been well documented, if the game cannot be played today, LSU would advance to Tallahassee by way of an NCAA tiebreaker rule. (Read more about that stupid rule here)
As rain and scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast throughout Baton Rouge today, there is a legit chance the game isn't played, something both teams are hoping doesn't occur.
UPDATE: This morning on ESPN1420's Thinking Out Loud, Steve Peloquin said an NCAA rep in Baton Rouge informed him today's game between the Cajuns and Tigers must be complete by 11:00pm.
According to the rep, unlike the previous days of the Regional when first pitch was required to take place prior to 11:00 pm, today the game is required to be finished by then.
However, this is a direct contradiction to the NCAA rule which only states a contest must begin before 11:00pm. The NCAA hasn't been known to legislate end times, only start times.
Can you imagine a scenario when the Cajuns and Tigers are playing in a long, on again off again rain delay with the game undecided in the 3rd inning and the Cajuns up by 4 runs. The clock strikes 11pm and the NCAA ends the contest and LSU advances to the Super Regional.
Let's assume for a minute the NCAA rep is correct, and despite the direct contradiction to the rule, the language in the rule book allows wiggle room.
Under a hypothetical situation when the two teams are in the middle of a contest to determine the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional, and with the Cajuns being an hour bus ride away from home, I can certainly envision a scenario in which both schools could sign waivers and agree to continue playing a game past 11:00pm.
BUT, and there's a big but (if you're singing Sir-Mix-A-Lot at the moment, I don't blame you), the truth is, the NCAA rep on site is probably wrong.
I probably should never again type, "Let's assume for a minute" when discussing the NCAA. As they've shown over the course of the Baton Rouge Regional, their decision making is questionable at best.
On another note, would the NCAA allow the two teams to sign a waiver and play tomorrow? Probably not.
At this point, any scenario that involves the winner being determined on the field rather than a ridiculous tie breaker is favorable.