Each year there are requests that do not have writers, either because they were unable to be assigned by the matching algorithm or because their writer was forced to default. In an attempt to ensure that everyone gets at least one fic, these requests are assigned to pinch hitters.
Becoming a Pinch HitterEdit
Anyone, even someone not participating in Yuletide, is able to become a pinch hitter. A participant simply has to sign up to the pinch hitter mailing list. Any needy requests will be posted to the mailing list; in general, the first participant to reply to the request will be assigned as its pinch hitter. Pinch hitting is very popular and it can be difficult to get a request from the list; some participants go years without being assigned to any pinch hits.