Everyone employs different set of rules when it comes to RBI competition. The follwing is a guideline on how we do it on the West Coast.
These rules were developed over several years of serious play in Davis, CA during the lates 80's and early 90's. We believe that these rules are fair and provide the most level playing field amongst serious and advanced players. They should be applied if a national tournament situation were to arise.
Only one starting pitcher may be used per game. Starting pitchers being one of the first 2 pitchers listed on the pop up menu. For example, on St. Louis, you will see the following pitchers listed in the following order:
The top 2 pitchers, Tudor and Cox, are your possible starters. The bottom 2, Daley and Worrell are your relievers. If you use Tudor in the game, then you can not use Cox. And if you use Cox, you can not use Tudor. Both relievers may be used at any time.
NO PINCH HITTING FOR THE 2ND RELIEVER
Relating to the one starter rule, if you have your second reliever in the game, meaning your 3rd pitcher, then you can not pinch hit for him when his spot in the lineup comes up.
The simple reason for this, is that you have no pitchers in the bullpen left aside from your second starter, which you can not use. By pinch-hitting for your second reliever the game will force you to use that last starting pitcher. Therefore this is forbidden.
NO ALL-STAR TEAMS
All Star Teams are forbidden from competition. They may be used in Exhibition games only, when agreed upon by both parties.
To the first-timer and inexperienced player, the allure of playing the all-star teams proves irresistible at times. However the serious RBI player will avoid these teams, for the simple reason that they are unfairly balanced. There are too many good players in the lineup and on the bench that it creates uneven matchups with other teams.
The only matchup that works consistently is American vs. National. But that eventually becomes a homerun derby, where anyone in the lineup, with just minimal contact, can park it.
As is the case in real baseball, the all-star teams are not real teams, they are just for show. So in serious RBI competition, they should be treated accordingly.
NO HOUSTON OR SAN FRANCISCO
This one is up for debate. But basically, these 2 teams are inferior to the others, creating uneven matchups.
Houston has some decent pitching, but there are no big bats in their lineup. Unlike St. Louis, who also lack power, Houston's speed is not sufficient enough to compensate for their flumsy bats.
San Francisco on paper looks like it should be decent. Mitchell, Leonard and Davis are all decent hitters. But their pitching just does not measure up. You are lucky to get either Reuschel or Krukow into the 6th inning with anything above 65 mph.
RANDOM SELECTION OF TEAMS
Now that we have excluded the above-mentioned teams, we are left with 6 that qualify for competitive play. Rather than having the opponents select the team they want, (9 times out of 10 you would end up with a BO vs DT mathcup), a random selection process is used.
This involves scrolling through the team selection page with your opponent, and stopping at a random time.
Determining home/away or preferred controller can be agreed upon by the two contestants, or by coin flip.
The two players must turn their heads away from the tv screen so as not to see which team they may land on.
Both players begin to shuffle through all the team selections with their game controllers.
One of the two players will call out "stop", at which time both players cease to shuffle through the teams. A third party not involved in the game at hand may also call out "stop".
When both players have "stopped", and one team does not qualify (i.e. if it lands on the all-star teams or HO or SF), then repeat the process until both teams are one of the following:
CALLED STRIKE WHEN CALLING TIME OUT
When the team at-bat decides to call time out to substitute a pinch-hitter from the bench, and the pitcher is already mid-windup and tosses a strike over the plate, then the successive pitch must be a ball to even the count.
RUNNER ONLY ADVANCING ONE ADDITIONAL BASE FOLLOWING COMPUTER-GENERATED ERROR
When an outfielder overthrows one of his infielders, then the baserunner may advance one extra base at the time of the errant throw.
There are certain situations when the computer is responsible for the mis-throw, and the opponent's defense should not be held liable.
RBI INFIELD FLY RULE
When a pop-fly is hit to the infield when the bases are loaded, or there are runners on 1st and 2nd base, then the player on defense CAN NOT intentionally let a pop fly drop in the infield to initiate an easy double play.
If an error does occur in that situation, then the defense can only throw one baserunner out. And the runner to be thrown out in that event, should be the lead runner on his way to home or on his way to third. Allow the remaining baserunners to advance one base, maintaining the force-out play for the defense
Winner does not have to press Re-Set on the NES console. That is the responsibility of the loser of the previous game, or the new player to challenge.
IDLE PLAYER GETS DRINKS
When there are 3 or more players involved in RBI, then the person not playing must get the drinks for the two who are playing.