Well, the only reason to care and to stay and read is to be entertained. If you aren't laughing, thinking or writing a hate-filled email (you know, the kind with pictures of donkeys doing horrible things to my loved ones), then you should bail. For my part, I will make with the funny and link to the ridiculous stories that sports provide us with each and every day. Like say this or this. The second "this" refers to the Jimmy Johnson flavored ice cream story not the one about European Kickball players complaining about the cold.
So, what is the mercy rule? [Note, this is for my mom, my wife and any wayward stranger who has found their way here and who never inflicted or had inflicted upon them the humiliations of youth sports.] In short the mercy rule is a rule created by benevolent coaches to spare the tender feelings of their charges. It is put into play when during the course of a contest one team has a huge and, in the eyes of the coaches and officials, insurmountable lead over the other. When the game has reached this level of imbalance, the game is ended early and the non-winners (there are no losers, remember) are allowed to exit the field with their dignity intact.
That is the idea anyhow. The reality is the players on the team that was "mercied" are no less humiliated as they slump into the back seats of their parents' cars. They know what happened. They know that if not for the intervention of this deus ex scoreboard, they might be watching the other team bat around for the fifth time and counting. At least, this is what I have gathered from the literature.
When specifically may the mercy rule be implemented? Here are a few examples:
- In Little League, a game may be stopped after one team has a lead of ten or more runs and the away team has played at least four innings.
- In Pop Warner football, a team with at least a 28-point lead may be required to run only between the tackles. This means no sweeps, no passing plays, even punts and kick-offs may not be returned when the mercy rule is in effect.
- In youth hoops, the clock will run continuously through the final quarter (even during timeouts or inbounds plays) if one team has a 40-point or greater advantage.
- In a relationship, when a man prematurely ejaculates for the fourth consecutive time, the woman may suggest oral gratification instead of leaving him for the man's best friend.
- In a friendship, after a man has drank 15 or more beers or shots and passed out on his best friend's couch, his friend may superglue his cock to his belly and stick his hand in a basin of warm water instead of banging the man's girl, who was begging for it I swear.