How long does a game of baseball go on for?
How long is game of baseball? Our guide explains how long a game lasts, how many innings there are, and the factors that can affect the duration.
Check out the Betway Insider's MLB picks page for best bets throughout the 2021 MLB season.
How long is a game of baseball?
The duration of a baseball game varies, but the average Major League Baseball game lasts for just over three hours.
MLB, minor league and college baseball games all consist of nine innings, although minor league and collegiate games don’t take as long in general.
High school baseball consists of seven innings, while Little League games are made up of six innings.
How long is a baseball inning?
A professional baseball game consists of nine innings, with each inning split into two halves: the top and bottom of the inning.
The away team bats during the top half of each inning, with the home side following in the bottom. Each team has three outs per inning, with each innings consisting of six outs in total.
The length of each half-inning can vary massively – some will be over very quickly with three quick outs, others may last a while if the defense struggles to get the batters out.
The length of each inning therefore depends on many things, including the number of at-bats, the pace of pitching and the number of pitching changes.
In theory, a half-inning can last forever if the defense are unable to get three outs.
Why does a baseball game last so long?
The length of a baseball game depends on several factors.
One of the most important factors is the number of base runners – more base runners means more at-bats, but it also means that the time between pitches tends to increase.
Another factor that can increase the duration of a game is a high number of pitching changes, with each switch accompanied by an extended pause in play.
If a game is tied after nine innings, this means extra innings – the teams will play until one is leading at the end of a full inning. This can sometimes means games last several more innings.
On the other hand, if the home team is leading when the top of the ninth is over, the game ends after just 8.5 innings.
If there is bad weather, then an MLB game can also end after just five innings.
What is the MLB doing to shorten games?
There is an ongoing debate in baseball about the length of games, with many believing that the sport needs to streamline in order to attract new fans.
Since 2015, the MLB have begun to introduce certain measures in an attempt to shorten the length of games.
There is now a timer that clocks the amount of time between innings, the time coaches take during visits to the mound, and the time between hitters at the plate.
Since 2020, a runner has been placed at second base at the start of every half-inning during extra-innings games, in order to produce a faster outcome and help prevent bullpens having to pitch for 15 or more innings.
Visit Betway's MLB betting page.