- 1 What are innings in softball?
- 2 Are there 3 outs per inning in softball?
- 3 Is there an 8 run rule in softball?
- 4 What is the difference between softball and baseball?
- 5 How do you score in softball?
- 6 Can you mercy rule in baseball?
- 7 What is a 9 pitch inning called?
- 8 How does the 9th inning work?
How many innings are there in a softball?
Inning Unit of play in baseball, softball, and other similar games This article is about the baseball and softball term. For the cricket term, see, For other uses, see, A baseball scoreboard In,, and, an inning is the basic unit of play, consisting of two halves or frames, the “top” (first half) and the “bottom” (second half).
In each half, one team bats until three are made, with the other team playing defense. A full baseball game is typically scheduled for nine innings, while softball games consist of seven innings; although this may be shortened due to weather or extended if the score is tied at the end of the scheduled innings.
The use of the term inning in baseball and softball contrasts with and, in which the term is in both singular and plural.
Why is there only 7 innings in softball?
Why Is Softball Only 7 Innings and Baseball 9? – This is not really well understood. It could simply be that the games are already long enough. With the opportunity to create different rules, a shorter game length was determined!
What are innings in softball?
Image credit: Shaun Chiet/SportSG A softball game consists of 18 players – nine per team – and seven innings. An inning is made up of two rounds, where both teams take a turn each to bat and field. Each half of the inning will not end till three outs occur.
The home team will usually field first. At the end of all seven innings, if the score is tied, there will be extra innings played until a winner emerges. The fielding side will start the game by throwing the first pitch. Under softball regulations, both the pitcher’s feet must be placed on the pitcher’s rubber before throwing the ball.
The ball should also be cast using an underhand motion. The other positions on the defensive team include a catcher, a shortstop, the first, second, and third basemen, as well as three outfielders. Their objective is to cause the batting team to accumulate outs.
- There are a few ways to achieve an out from a defensive perspective.
- The pitcher may cause the batter to strikeout – that is, throwing three pitches that the batter swings at but fails to hit.
- The other players may also bring about a force out by catching the ball and running to any of the bases before the runner (having batted, the batter now becomes the runner) does; or a fly out, by catching a ball that has yet to bounce or touch the ground.
They may also tag out the runner – this happens when a runner runs past the base before the ball reaches it, but that particular baseman manages to catch the ball soon after, and chases down the runner with it before he or she reaches the next base. Offensive team members, on the other hand, will take turns to go out onto the field as batters.
- The batting order must remain the same for all the innings.
- If the team consists of both female and male players, the gender order should be alternated.
- After batting, the batters become known as runners, as aforementioned.
- Runners must touch all the bases in numerical order; there should be no running in a clockwise or irregular direction.
However, skipping the first base is allowed. In addition to the circumstances – strikeout, force out, fly out, and tag out – explained earlier, a runner may also be called out if he or she runs out of the infield playing area by more than the stipulated allowance of around 91 centimetres.
Are there 3 outs per inning in softball?
The Game –
Each game is scheduled for a maximum of seven innings with a 1 hour 15-minute time limit. If there is a tie at the end of the seventh inning or the maximum time limit, then teams will follow the tie breaking procedure detailed in the rules. Games will not exceed the 1 hour 15-minute time limit. No inning will start after the maximum time limit. However, the inning may be completed if an inning is in progress when the time limit is up. A game is considered official after four innings. If a game is stopped due to inclement weather, and the game is in the fourth inning that score will be counted. Example: The game is in the middle of the 5th inning and it begins to rain, the score reverts to end of the 4th inning. A team is allowed three outs per inning. A batter cannot be called out on fouls unless the ball is legally caught. Players can stay at bat until they hit the ball or are out on a legally caught foul ball. Players can stay at bat until they hit the ball or are out on a legally caught foul ball. Base stealing is not permitted – base runners must remain on base until a pitched ball is hit. Batter must reach each base safely before a substitute runner can be employed. The batting team must supply umpires at first and third base to call plays in the field. If the umpires are unsure of the call or there is an extreme delay in making the call then the batter is presumed out. Protests are not accepted; therefore, all disputes must be resolved at the time of the incident by the captains on the field.
Is there an 8 run rule in softball?
College softball is often characterized by the thrill of long rallies and lots of runs. The high-scoring elements of the game helped prompt the “run-ahead” rule, allowing teams to clinch a win early if they have taken a significant-enough lead against the competition.
- In 2022, national champion Oklahoma won via run-ahead rule 41 times out of 62 games.
- 🔴 Oklahoma softball: The all-time starting lineup Let’s explore the specifics of college softball’s run-ahead rule: What is the current run-ahead rule in NCAA DI softball, for the regular season? If one team is up by eight or more runs after five or more equal innings, the plate umpire may declare the run-ahead rule.
These complete innings must be played unless the home team reaches the eight-run lead while at bat — so technically, the shortest a game could go is four-and-a-half innings. If the visiting team reaches the eight-run limit in the fifth, or any inning after, the home team must be given the opportunity to bat in the bottom half of the inning.
What is the run-ahead rule for the NCAA DI softball postseason? The run-ahead rule remains the same in the NCAA tournament and Women’s College World Series, with the exception of the WCWS championship series. ❔ How the WCWS works What is the run-ahead rule in the WCWS final? In the Women’s College World Series best-of-three championship series, the respective NCAA divisional softball committees get the chance to remove the run-ahead rule for the championship games between the final two teams in the series.
This decision must be formally declared before the start of the tournament. For example, in the first game in the 2022 WCWS final, Oklahoma stunned Texas with a 16-1 win. In any other scenario, the game would’ve been over after the fifth inning, when the Sooners were already winning 14-1.
Can baseball end in 7 innings?
8th inning traditions – Many teams have 8th inning traditions as well. In 2020 and 2021, when MLB began to shorten doubleheader games to 7 innings, the traditions continued for doubleheaders only if the games proceed to an 8th inning (marking extra innings ).
- While all thirty Major League franchises currently sing the traditional “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the seventh inning, several other teams will sing their local favorite between the top and bottom of the eighth inning.
- Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway Park, for example, sing along to Neil Diamond ‘s recording of ” Sweet Caroline “.
A notable occurrence happened in June 2011 when during the playing of the song, the city’s NHL franchise, the Boston Bruins, captured the Stanley Cup following a 7-game series against the Vancouver Canucks, and many fans cheered after the announcement was made.
- Following the Boston Marathon bombing, several teams (including Boston’s archrival, the New York Yankees ) temporarily played “Sweet Caroline” in the middle of the eighth inning as well, or at other times during the game, as a means of showing solidarity with the City of Boston.
- The New York Mets have previously used “Sweet Caroline” but have since dropped it.
After experimenting with it during select games during the 2014 season, the Mets began to implement Billy Joel’s ” Piano Man ” as a full-time sing along. Similarly, starting in 2008, the Kansas City Royals began to play ” Friends in Low Places ” by celebrity supporter and one-time spring training invitee Garth Brooks during the middle of the 8th.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers also hold an 8th inning tradition, with fans singing Journey’s ” Don’t Stop Believin’ “.
- The practice came under controversy when the song’s author, Steve Perry, a Bay Area native and San Francisco Giants fan, asked the Dodgers to stop the tradition.
- The team refused and continue to play the song through the 2013 season.
The Minnesota Twins, who played the same song, ended the tradition upon moving to Target Field in 2010. The Journey song ” Lights ” is frequently played at San Francisco Giants baseball games (including a version led by Perry himself in the middle of the 8th inning during Game 2 of the 2010 World Series ) and the cross-bay Oakland Athletics after-game fireworks starts.
The Detroit Tigers also play the beginning of “Don’t Stop Believin'” in the eighth inning, showing the lyrics on the big screen. The Washington Nationals play ” Baby Shark ” in the middle of the 8th inning, in honor of Gerardo Parra ‘s walkup song. The Oakland Athletics play Bay Area native MC Hammer ‘s ” 2 Legit 2 Quit ” during the middle of the eighth.
The Cleveland Guardians play ” Hang on Sloopy “, Ohio’s official rock song, during the middle of the 8th, and fans spell out O-H-I-O at the appropriate times within the song (similar to Ohio State University and other Cleveland sporting events). The San Diego Padres play the Righteous Brothers ‘ ” You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” during the middle of the 8th.
Are there always 9 innings?
Inclement weather – In the case of inclement weather, any game which has reached this point may be stopped and shortened as needed, with the result being final, and all records and statistics counted. A game which has not reached this point before being stopped is either considered a suspended game (to be continued at a later date from the point of stoppage), or is simply canceled and replayed from the start.
This depends on the rules of each individual league,) In either case, no statistics are counted until the game becomes official. Since most professional baseball games are nine innings long, the fifth inning is used as the threshold for an official game. If the visiting team is leading, or the game is tied, the end of the fifth inning marks this point.
If the home team (which bats last) is already ahead in the score, and theoretically would not need its half of the fifth inning, then 4½ innings (i.e., the middle of the fifth) is considered an official game. The game is also considered official if the home team scores to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, since the game would end immediately if the same thing happened in the ninth.
Games that are stopped due to power outages are treated as suspended and cannot be declared official. In the Major League Baseball postseason (since 2009), all tiebreaker games that are added to the end of the regular season (since 2009), and in the regular season (since 2020), this rule does not apply; all games stopped at any time for weather or power outages are considered suspended and continued from the point of stoppage when play resumes, no matter if the game has reached the end of the fifth inning.
This rule was put into place as a result of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, which was the first postseason game in history to be suspended and resumed from the point of suspension. Prior to the 2009 postseason, a playoff game had to have at least five innings completed in order to be suspendable; a playoff game stopped prior to that point had to be started over.
What happens after 10 innings?
In baseball, extra innings occur when the score remains tied at the end of the ninth inning. The rules in extra innings are different throughout the various leagues and levels of competition, but the premise remains the same: determining the winner of the game.
- In baseball, there is no game clock.
- Instead, games consist of innings with two parts, each called half-innings.
- The top half of each inning is where the away team bats, while the home team bats in the bottom half.
- Each half-inning ends when three outs are recorded by the fielding team.
- If the score remains tied at the end of the ninth inning, additional innings known as “extra innings” take place.
These extra innings are held in essentially the same format as any other inning in a game of baseball, with the road team batting first and the home team batting second. Extra innings will continue until the away team has more runs at the end of the bottom-half of an inning, or until the home team scores a game-winning run during the bottom of an inning.
- If the home team takes the lead in the bottom half of an extra inning, the rest of the inning does not have to be played and the game is over.
- Since there are no ties in baseball, there is no limit to the number of extra innings that can be played.
- They continue until a team can be declared the winner.
The MLB implemented a new format for extra innings during regular season games before the start of the 2020 season. Prior to this rule change, the game simply continued on into the 10th inning in the same way it did every inning before that. However, with the rule change, each half-inning now starts with a runner already on second base,
- The batting team has no say in what player goes to second to start the inning; the last batter to record an out in the prior inning takes second.
- This is supposed to provide both teams with an equal opportunity to score runs, while also increasing the likelihood of the game ending sooner.
- This change had previously been experimented with in certain minor leagues before the MLB decided to officially change their extra innings format.
The new extra inning format remained in place for the 2022 regular season, and in 2023, it was officially adopted as a permanent rule change for all regular-season MLB games. The extra-innings rule was not in effect for the 2022 MLB Playoffs and will not be in effect for the 2023 postseason either,
- The normal extra innings rules apply for playoff games, so extra innings do not start with a runner on second base but instead start like any regular inning.
- In 2021, the NCAA followed the MLB’s lead by establishing the same extra innings format.
- Each half-inning begins with a runner on second base and no outs.
Similar to the MLB, the runner to begin the inning at second base is whoever made the last out batting in the previous inning. For games during the World Baseball Classic, extra innings begin with a similar format to the previous MLB rules, with innings beginning exactly as regular innings do, with no men on base.
What is the difference between softball and baseball?
Who uses bigger balls? – A regulation softball is significantly larger than a regulation baseball. A softball measures between 11.88 and 12.13 inches in circumference and weighs between 6.25 and 7.00 ounces; a baseball measures between 9.00 and 9.25 inches in circumference and weighs between 5.00 and 5.25 ounces. Canada women’s national softball team pitcher Danielle Lawrie pitches during practice at the 2018 Canada Cup International Softball Championship in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday July 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
How do you score in softball?
How We Score – Win Points Win points are all about the team performance. They accumulate during both individual innings and overall game wins. Each inning is worth +10 points and overall games are worth +50 points. If an inning is tied, the points roll over to the subsequent inning.
Game MVPs After each game, the players and members of The Unlimited Club will vote for three players who they feel had standout performances. These points will be added to the player’s individual total. Points will be awarded as follows: MVP 1: +60 points MVP 2: +40 points MVP 3: +20 points Individual Stats The final component of points is individual stats.
Position players and pitchers will earn points based on their performance. Offensive Points The breakdown for individual points is as follows:
Single: +10 points Double: +20 points Triple: +30 points Home run: +40 points Stolen base: +10 points Caught Stealing: -10 points Base on balls: +8 points HBP: +8 points Sacrifice Fly/Bunt: +10
If a batter goes 3-for-5 with two singles and a home run, but is caught stealing, they will be awarded 50 points.10 (S) + 10 (S) + 40 (HR) – 10 (CS) = 50 points Pitching Points Pitchers earn +4 points for every out and -10 points for each earned run allowed.
For example, if a pitcher throws 5 2/3 innings and allows one earned run, they would earn 58 points. (17 x 4) – (1 ER x 10) = 58 points A player’s points determine their ranking, which will be used each week for the draft. What about extra innings? In extra innings, no player earns individual points and there are no additional win points to be earned per inning – only those that have rolled over.
For example, if all seven innings were tied and the game took nine innings to decide a winner, only 70 points, plus win points, would be awarded.
What does 3 mean in softball?
Diagram: All Nine Softball Position Numbers – Below is a standard softball position chart with numbers for each position.
Pitcher (P) is fielder #1Catcher (C) is fielder #2First Baseman (1B) is fielder #3Second Baseman (2B) is fielder #4Shortstop (SS) is fielder #6Third Baseman (3B) is fielder #5Left Fielder (LF) is fielder #7Center Fielder (CF) is fielder #8Right Fielder (RF) is fielder #9
The basic infield positions are shown below in diagram above, which illustrates where each player will stand in the most fundamental situations. To get started, check out my video on the softball positions as they break down into different “bins” of player types. Okay – let’s now discuss the body types, traits, skills and recruiting profiles of the nine positions in softball.
Is 4 fouls and out in softball?
Once they get 3 strikes they’re out, and the next batter comes up to the plate. A batter can’t strike out on a foul ball. If they have two strikes, there’s no limit to the number of foul balls they’re allowed to hit. They can only strike out on a swing and miss or a ball they fail to swing at in the strike zone.
How many runs is a mercy rule?
Tournament Rule 12 – RUN RULE: If at the end of three (3) innings, two and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of fifteen (15) runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.
- NOTE: If the visiting team has a lead of fifteen (15) or ten (10) or more runs respectively, the home team must bat in its half of the inning.
- — — —
- While you’re watching games, keep in mind that there are several situations where the 8-, 10- or 15-run rule may come into play. To make the rule easier to understand, refer to these explanations and descriptions:
- The rule is designed to create thresholds to end a game in a fair and timely fashion. The 8-run rule is only in effect for regular season games.
- The use of the term “mercy rule” is a misnomer. The run rule is not in place to limit the number of runs a team can score in a game. Little League strongly urges you to refer to this as the 8-.10-, or 15-run rule.
- Little League Baseball® games that are shortened by the run rule, regardless of division, must abide by all of the rules that define a “regulation” or “official” game, including pitching count eligibility rules. However, the mandatory play rule no longer applies.
- Little League Softball® is also governed by this run rule, but is not subject to the pitching regulation because it does not use pitch counts to determining a pitcher’s eligibility.
- Once a game is “official” (3 ½ innings for Major Division, and below; or 4 ½ innings for Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division, Junior League, and Senior League) it can end by way of the run rule in any of these ways:
- If the visiting team’s lead reaches 8, 10 or 15 runs in the top half of inning, and the home team fails to score during its turn at-bat in the bottom of the same inning of an official game.
- If the home team establishes a 8, 10-or 15-run lead (in the bottom of the inning) of an official game.
- When the home team takes a lead of 18, 10 or 15 runs, the game ends immediately after the run that establishes the threshold lead is scored, regardless of how many other runs may have scored on the play; or the number of outs there are in the inning. Note: If runners are on base when a walk-off home run is hit to end the game (by way of the 10-run rule), all of the runs count toward the final score.
- The run rule is optional for local leagues during the regular season. The 10- and 15-run rule is mandatory during Little League International Tournament games.
- Since the run rule is optional during the regular season, a local league’s Board of Directors must decide to implement the rule for all divisions, or identify which divisions will be abiding by this rule throughout the regular season.
- Local leagues that interleague with other Little League programs, should establish prior to the game whether, or not, the run rule will be in effect.
- There is no other Little League playing rule that provides a different run threshold to end a game. No local league is allowed to establish a rule that supersedes or circumvents any official Little League rule or regulation.
When leagues choose NOT to use the 8-run rule, 10-run rule, or 15-run rule during the regular season, the possibility of lopsided scores is greatly increased, which, in turn, may adversely affect any child’s or parent’s Little League experience. To learn more about the Little League Rules and Regulations, download the on the or, : The 8, 10, and 15-Run Rules: What Parents Need to Know
Is there a run limit in softball?
There will be a 15 run mercy rule in effect at the end of 3 complete innings and a 12 run mercy rule after 4 complete innings, and a 10 run mercy rule after 5 complete innings each team can score a maximum of 7 runs per inning(exception: last inning is unlimited).
Can you mercy rule in baseball?
What is the ‘mercy rule’ in the World Baseball Classic? – Regarded as perhaps the biggest deviation from the current MLB structure, the mercy rule in simple form is a way of ensuring that one team doesn’t decimate the other. While the debate as to whether it should even be in place continues, we’re just here to explain what it is and how it works.
Why is it called batting?
The word comes from the now-obsolete bat, ‘felted mass of fur or wool,’ from the idea of ‘beaten’ or ‘batted’ fabric.
What is a 9 pitch inning called?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia An immaculate inning occurs in baseball when a pitcher strikes out all three batters he faces in one inning using the minimum possible number of pitches: nine. This has happened 114 times in Major League history and has been accomplished by 104 pitchers (79 right-handed and 25 left-handed).
- Major League Baseball ‘s first immaculate inning was accomplished by John Clarkson of the Boston Beaneaters against the Philadelphia Quakers on June 4, 1889; and the most recent by Johan Oviedo of the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 24, 2023.
- Use of the term “immaculate inning” first appeared in newspaper reporting after 2000.
Seven pitchers have accomplished the feat more than once, including Hall-of-Famers Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, and Randy Johnson, and active pitchers Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, and Kevin Gausman, Koufax, Sale, and Scherzer are the only pitchers to achieve an immaculate inning three times.
- Oufax accomplished his first immaculate inning while throwing his first no-hitter, becoming the only player to do both in a single game.
- Five pitchers – Bob Gibson, Johnson, Pedro Martínez, Ryan, and Scherzer – are also members of the 3,000-strikeout club,
- Sloppy Thurston, Ryan, Wade Miley, Thomas Pannone, Reid Detmers, and Hayden Wesneski are the only rookies to have achieved the feat.
Ryan and Gausman have struck out three batters on nine pitches in both the American League and National League, Danny Jackson is the sole player to pitch an immaculate inning in the World Series : the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 1985 World Series,
Jackson pitched a complete game, winning 6–1 and staving off elimination for the Kansas City Royals, who eventually won the series in seven games. While an immaculate inning typically occurs with the bases empty, a nine-pitch, three-strikeout performance can also be accomplished by a relief pitcher who enters the game with one or more runners on base.
On May 8, 2014, Brad Boxberger of the Tampa Bay Rays entered a game against the Baltimore Orioles with the bases loaded and proceeded to strike out the side with nine pitches. No player has ever struck out four batters on 12 pitches in an inning, with one of those batters reaching base on an uncaught third strike,
- No pitcher has thrown more than one immaculate inning in a game.
- Jesús Sánchez of the Florida Marlins came within one pitch of that feat on September 13, 1998.
- Facing the Atlanta Braves, Sánchez struck out the side in the bottom of the second inning on 10 pitches, threw an immaculate inning in the bottom of the third inning, and struck out the first batter he faced in the fourth: seven consecutive strikeouts on 25 pitches.
Just one game has seen two pitchers throw immaculate innings: on June 15, 2022, Phil Maton and Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros struck out the same three Rangers batters in different innings.
What is a 3 pitch inning called?
How rare were Minor’s 3 outs on 3 pitches? One of the greatest things about baseball is the sheer quantity of possible outcomes at any given moment within a game, and how frequently different things that can be termed “rare” occur. One such rarity is the,
- You’ve probably heard of it – an immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out all three batters in an inning, on three pitches each.
- The immaculate inning used to be very rare – there were none from 1929-52.
- But in 2019, there have been seven.
- Something more rare? How about recording three outs on three pitches in an inning? did it on Thursday in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ vs.
the Red Sox. The first batter was Brock Holt. He grounded out to the first baseman on the first pitch from Minor in the inning, a 77-mph knuckle curve. Then, Gorkys Hernández grounded out to the shortstop on the first pitch he saw. Two away, and two pitches thrown.
- The third batter of the inning was Jackie Bradley Jr., who popped up to shortstop on the first pitch Minor threw him in the inning.
- And just like that, Minor had three outs on three pitches.
- The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that it’s the third time that’s happened this season, that a pitcher has gotten three outs in a half-inning on three pitches – including relievers who entered the game with no outs but didn’t start the inning.
The other pitchers with a three-pitch, three-out inning this year were Adrian Houser on July 1 and Drew Anderson on April 15. That’s it. Overall, there have been eight instances of a three-pitch, three-out inning since the start of 2015 according to Elias.
- In that same span, there have been 22 immaculate innings.
- Based on trends we’ve seen in the game, it makes sense that such an inning – which by definition cannot include a strikeout – has become more rare, especially in contrast to immaculate innings, which require three strikeouts.
- On Tuesday, the league-wide strikeout record was set for the 12th season in a row.
Each year since 2008, the league-wide strikeout total has surpassed the prior record. Given the proliferation of strikeouts, it makes sense that a specific, rare kind of inning that involves no strikeouts would become even more rare. : How rare were Minor’s 3 outs on 3 pitches?
Does baseball have 11 innings?
Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie, Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine regulation innings (in softball and high school baseball games there are typically seven innings; in Little League Baseball, six), each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat.
However, if the score remains tied at the end of the regulation number of complete innings, the rules provide that “play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning, or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning.” (Since the home team bats second, condition (2) does not allow the visiting team to score more runs before the end of the inning, unless the game is called before the inning ends).
The rules of the game, including the batting order, availability of substitute players and pitchers, etc., remain intact in extra innings. Managers must display caution to avoid exhausting all their substitute players during regular innings, in case the game reaches extensive extra innings.
How does the 9th inning work?
Regulation Game | Glossary | MLB.com A game is considered a regulation game – also known as an “official game” – once the visiting team has made 15 outs (five innings) and the home team is leading, or once the home team has made 15 outs regardless of score.
Prior to the 2020 season, if a game was terminated early due to weather before becoming official, the results up to the point of the termination did not count and the game was started over at a later date. But as part of MLB’s health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, all games cut short due to weather before becoming official were resumed at a later date, rather than started over from scratch, during the 2020 campaign.
The rules below remained in place. If a regulation game is terminated early due to weather, the results are considered final if the home team is leading. If the home team is trailing, the results are considered final if the game is not in the midst of an inning when the visiting team has taken the lead.
- If a regulation game is terminated early due to weather and the game is either tied or in the midst of an inning in which the visiting team has taken the lead, it becomes a suspended game that will be completed at a later date from the point of termination.
- If not terminated early, regulation games last until the trailing team has had the chance to make 27 outs (nine innings).
If the home team is leading after the visiting team has made three outs in the top of the ninth inning, the home team wins and does not have to come to bat in the bottom of the ninth. If the game is tied after both teams have made 27 outs each, the game will go to extra innings.
Why does baseball have 9 innings?
Why is a game 9 innings? These are the backstories behind baseball’s iconic rules Vintage print of a runner rounding the bases in an early New York baseball game (hand-colored lithograph), 1891. Published in New York by Louis Prang & Company. (Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images) (GraphicaArtis/Getty Images) For decades, baseball has remained such a constant that its rules and structure have become as cherished as its greatest players.
- The run-scoring environment might have changed a bit since 1905, but the fundamental look and feel of the game hasn’t.
- Legendary sportswriter and Spink Award winner Red Smith, as always, said it best: “Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection.”But, while Red certainly had a point, the story behind that perfection was less divine intervention than a whole lot of trial and error.
So, how did baseball get here? Why are there four balls and three strikes, anyway? You have questions, we have answers. Why do pitchers throw overhand? of the world aside, baseball history has been written by men throwing overhand. But it wasn’t always this way: For decades, every pitcher had to throw with their arm directly perpendicular to the ground, as you can make out in this illustration of a game from the 1860s: (Incidentally, this is also why they’re referred to as “pitchers” – they pitched the ball in the traditional sense of the term, with a stiff underhanded motion, almost like tossing a horseshoe.)If that sounds like a pretty easy time for hitters, well, that was the point.
- Baseball evolved from other stick and ball games like cricket, so, like in those games, pitchers weren’t originally intended to be in opposition to the batter.
- Their purpose was simple: Offer the ball up in a hittable position and get out of the way.
- Presumably tired of getting shelled year after year, pitchers like Tommy Bond started pushing the envelope inch by inch, creating greater speed and movement with essentially sidearm deliveries – until, in 1872, the perpendicular rule was relaxed to allow for greater range of motion.
At that point, all bets were off: Pitchers – recognizing that they could throw harder, locate better and throw more ferocious breaking balls – began to creep their release point all the way up to a three-quarters arm slot by the early 1880s. Finally, in 1884, Cincinnati Red Stockings boss and “Father of Professional Baseball” Harry Wright made it official: Pitchers could deliver the ball any way they wanted.
- The move fundamentally changed the relationship to the batter, and changed much of the game with it – from the rule stipulating that batters where the pitch was thrown to the function of balls and strikes.
- Speaking of which,
- Why are batters given four balls and three strikes? “Three strikes you’re out” has been a foundational rule of baseball since the very beginning – it was even codified in the 1845 Knickerbocker Rules, thought to be some of the very first written rules of the game.
For everything else, though, it’s been a long and winding road. Again, baseball’s primary objective in the mid-19th century was to let batters put the ball in play as much as possible. So, naturally, those batters were given plenty of chances to make that happen.
- And we do mean plenty: Initially, called strikes didn’t even exist, and when they were instituted in 1858, they came with caveats – the first pitch couldn’t be a called strike, and umpires were required to warn each batter that a certain pitch would be called a strike in the future.
- But that’s not all! The idea of a “ball” didn’t yet exist, either, so eventually pitchers recognized that they could continue to deliver pitches well wide of the plate and wait for the batter to get impatient.
As you might imagine, this created some, uh, pretty drastic pace of play concerns: Batters, free to wait for the perfect pitch, would see up to 40-50 pitches per at-bat – in one 1860 game between the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Brooklyn Excelsiors, 665 pitches were thrown,
Over three innings,Games were routinely called due to lack of daylight, so, in 1863, called balls were instituted. Even when the concept was introduced, though, it was slowly and tentatively: Only every third “unfair” pitch was called a ball, meaning a batter could only walk after nine (!) pitches outside of the strike zone.
As run-scoring declined and pitchers began to do more than just feed batters, the rule was frequently adjusted – first to eight balls, then to seven, then to six and so on, until in 1889, the league settled on four. Why nine innings (and why nine men in a lineup)? In baseball’s infancy, not only was it a game without a clock, but it was also a game without a set number of innings.
Instead, teams played until one of them scored 21 aces – the 19th century equivalent of a run. This wasn’t a problem at first, in an age in which scoring runs was pretty commonplace – games lasted in the 1840s, and featured scores as high as, A problem was brewing, though: As skill levels increased and pitching caught up to hitting, those 21 aces were harder and harder to come by.
After an 1856 game ended in a 12-12 tie on account of darkness, it was clear that a change needed to be made. Enter Alexander Cartwright, founder of the Knickerbocker Club and definitely not a real fireman: That begged the question: Exactly how many innings was the right amount? At that point, the Knickerbockers were torn between seven or nine men to a side – it all depended on how many were available that day – and for consistency’s sake, the number of players dictated the number of innings played.
- Alas, this couldn’t be decided without some good old-fashioned squabbling.
- From MLB official historian John Thorn: In an 1856 Knickerbocker meeting, backed a motion to permit nonmembers to take part in intramural games if fewer than eighteen Knicks were present, Duncan F.
- Curry countermoved that if fourteen Knickerbockers were available, the game should admit no outsiders and be played shorthanded, as had been their practice since 1845.
Sensing that an official ruling was necessary as more and more baseball teams were formed, the Knickerbockers decided to form a committee in 1856 to tackle the issue. The desire for more competitive defense won out, and nine innings – and nine men – became the standard for good.
Why 162 games? Initially, baseball’s scheduling was simple: In 1920, the American and National Leagues both had eight teams, and each team would play its league rival 22 times, giving us the 154-game slate that would last for four decades. And then expansion happened. In 1961, the AL added the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators.
The next year, the NL welcomed the New York Mets and the Houston Colt,45s. (Yes, this did lead to one year in which the AL’s schedule was slightly longer – they both covered the same number of days, but the NL got more days off.) Suddenly, the simple math was slightly more complicated: Each team playing every other team in the league 22 times would have resulted in an untenable 198-game schedule.
- So, MLB cut it to 18 games against each league rival, and 162 games was born.
- But, while that number has endured, it hasn’t been without some controversy as further expansions made the calculation a bit trickier: 76 games within the same division, 66 against non-divisional league opponents and 20 Interleague games.
A bit involved? Sure. But, as Thorn to Mental Floss back in 2014, good luck changing it: “Baseball is a religion. It becomes the 11th commandment: 162 games.” How did home plate get its shape? Believe it or not, home plate wasn’t always the square-triangle hybrid we know today.
Until the turn of the 20th century, games used just about any object teams could find, be it made of metal, marble or even glass. The only thing that mattered was the shape: Home plate had to be circular. As you may have already guessed, this posed a problem: Imagine sliding into home, only to find your leg scraped or sliced by a piece of rock.
(Robert Keating, the man who patented the design for the rubber, even complained that tapping one’s bat on home would ” “.) So, in the 1880s, changes were made. The National League mandated a rubber or marble plate in 1885, and in 1887, home plate was transformed into a 12 inch-by-12 inch square – in line with the other three bases.
- This posed difficulties of its own, though – it was awfully hard to tell whether or not a ball caught the corner when the corner was as small as a single point.
- The solution? Create a base that was a forward-facing square in the front, to allow for a longer line demarcating the strike zone, while maintaining the diamond look at the back.
Why is it 60 feet, six inches to home? If you think Aroldis Chapman is impressive now, consider: If Chapman had pitched back in 1888, when the mound was just 50 feet away from home plate, he likely at around 125 mph. For much of the game’s early history, the distance from pitcher to home plate was a fuzzy concept – the Knickerbocker Rules didn’t settle on a fixed distance, and by the 1870s, pitchers simply had to stay within a box whose front edge was 45 feet from the front of home plate (again, similar to cricket, though the pitcher wasn’t allowed a running start).
This worked for a while, until pitchers began to move beyond the simple underhand delivery. In 1880, Lee Richmond tossed the first perfect game in Major League history, and John Ward followed up with one of his own just five days later. The two games – along with the fact that the National League ERA that year was – sent shockwaves through professional baseball,
and not simply because of Ward’s Snidely Whiplash facial hair. Over the next few years, pitching moved closer to what we know today. Looking to goose offense, the front of the pitcher’s box was moved back to 50 feet away, and by 1887 – with overhand deliveries now the law of the league – pitchers were required to start their delivery with their feet 55.5 feet from home.Desperate for some offense with fan attendance on the decline, the Senior Circuit moved the box back one more time.