How Many Innings in Baseball

baseball field

Baseball is different from other games in that it is not regulated by a clock or measurable time. Instead, matches are controlled by innings. Therefore, it makes sense to ask how many there are in baseball. To be precise, a single game has a total of nine.

In each one, there is a bottom half and a top half. These are used to determine the winning side. Let us find out how they work.

How Do Baseball Innings Work?

Each one has two parts known as half-innings. The top is the first one, while the bottom is the second one. One team is fielding while the other one is at-bat in each half-inning.

They will switch roles in the field at the end of each half-inning. In this game, a team can only make scores when it is their turn to bat. It is not possible for the fielding team to make scores.

The Top Of The Inning

The top of the inning is the name given to the first bit of each one. It is a rule that the away team has to bat first at the top of the inning while the home team fields.

The home team will bat at the bottom. The top is only over when a total of three outs have been made. Unlike other games, the away team is always prioritized.

The Middle Of The Inning

The middle is the transition period between the bottom-half and the top-half. The middle should not be more than two minutes and twenty-five seconds for locally televised games.

For nationally televised games, it needs to be a maximum of two minutes and forty-five seconds. It is at this time that players take their gear, such as gloves and hats, ready for fielding. It is impossible to make scores during the middle.

The Bottom Of The Inning

baseball on field

The bottom is the second and last part of each one in a baseball game. In some cases, it is referred to as the bottom half for short. During the bottom half, the home team is usually is at bat while the away team is fielding. This is their last chance to accumulate as many scores as possible in that particular one. The bottom is entirely over as soon as a maximum of three outs has been made.

The 9th Inning

In a baseball game, the ninth inning is the very last one. In some cases, the bottom of this one is not even played or it could end before a total of three outs are made. For instance, if the home team is ahead by the end of the top half of this one, the game will end immediately.

Also, the match will end instantly if the away team is on the lead at the end of the ninth inning following the bottom half.

Extra Innings

There are instances when the scores are tied at the end. In such cases, extra are played to determine the overall winner of the match. The teams will take part in this extra playtime until the winner is decided.

The other difference with this game is that sudden-death is not used to determine the overall winner. Instead, both teams are given equal chances to be at bat so that they fight to get the most scores, which is why these are relevant.

In youth baseball leagues, it cannot go past a total of six. Games can even take hours to finish, especially when both teams are strong and aggressive. This also explains why youth leagues cannot go up to nine games.

If you were trying to find out how many innings are in games, now you have the most accurate answer. It is equally important to note that there can be more than fifteen if the teams keep tying at the end of each session.


How long is an inning in baseball?

Around 20 minutes, where it takes around 3 hours to complete all 9.

Does baseball always go to 9 innings?

Yes, the games are usually played until 9. However, in earlier days the games were played 6.

How many extra innings are in baseball?

There can be as many as possible until one team wins.