A regulation baseball game is nine innings long. Each inning is divided into two halves, with the visiting team batting in the top half and the home team batting in the bottom half. A team must get three outs to end an inning. Outs can be made by striking out, grounding out, flying out, or getting caught stealing.
The average length of a baseball game is about three hours. However, the actual length of a game can vary depending on a number of factors, including the pace of play, the number of runs scored, and the weather.
Here are some of the factors that can affect the length of a baseball game:
- Pace of play: The pace of play is the speed at which the game is played. A slow pace of play can be caused by a number of factors, including the pitcher taking a long time to deliver the ball, batters taking long swings, and players taking too long between pitches.
- Number of runs scored: The number of runs scored can also affect the length of a game. A high-scoring game can take longer than a low-scoring game, as there will be more opportunities for outs to be made.
- Weather: The weather can also affect the length of a game. If it is raining or snowing, the game may be delayed or even cancelled.
If the score is tied after nine innings, the game will go into extra innings. Extra innings are played in the same format as regulation innings, with the first team to score the most runs winning the game. Extra innings can continue indefinitely until one team has more runs than the other.
In recent years, Major League Baseball has implemented a number of rule changes in an effort to shorten the length of games. These changes include a pitch clock, a limit on mound visits, and a ban on defensive shifts. The pitch clock limits the amount of time a pitcher has to deliver the ball, while the limit on mound visits restricts the number of times a manager can visit the mound during an inning. The ban on defensive shifts prohibits the defense from placing all of their players on one side of the field.
These rule changes have had some success in shortening the length of games. However, the average length of a baseball game is still over three hours.