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Synonyms: PH
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In gift exchanges, especially in exchange fandom, each participant is due a fanwork from another participant. A pinch hit is a fanwork produced for a request that's in need of fulfillment either because there were no offers that matched to it or because the participant assigned the request defaulted. Moderators will call for pinch-hitters to ensure that every participant receives something. The term derives from baseball: a pinch hitter is a player who replaces another player during the game, comparable to the substitute players in football/soccer.

Some mods call for pinch-hitters to volunteer at the beginning of a challenge so that they have a group to send pinch-hit requests to at the time-crunch end of the challenge, when most dropouts occur, but it's also common for mods to post the pinch hits to the exchange Dreamwidth. Pinch-hitters are generally not required to be, or forbidden from being, participants in the challenge.

In some challenges, such as Yuletide, participants who drop out may be denied participation in future challenges.

Initial Pinch Hit

Also known as IPH; an initial pinch hit is created when there are no offers that match a participant's requests. Sometimes this happens because

Emergency Pinch Hit

Also known as EPH:

Emergency Pinch Hit - name for a pinch hit that goes out after fic reveals (ie, when reveals happen and someone finds that their gift fic is just placeholder text, or the fic violated one of their DNWs, something along those lines)[1]

Advertising Pinch Hits

Aside from being posted to the Dreamwidth community for the exchange they're a part of, pinch hits are commonly advertised:

  • in Fail_FandomAnon's Bangs, Fests, and Exchanges thread
  • on the unofficial Yuletide comm and in the Yuletide Discord server
  • on the Exchanges After Dark Discord server
  • by word of mouth.

There was a livejournal community, fic_pinch_hit, where mods who need an emergency pinch-hitter could post a request. It was founded by fanofall on Nov. 2nd, 2007, and was an extremely low-traffic community.


  1. Nonnie on Post 1006 what's an EPH? 2019-01-04