Baseball is different from other games in that it is not regulated by a clock or measurable time. Instead, baseball matches are controlled by innings. Therefore, it makes sense to ask how many innings in baseball. To be precise, a single baseball game has a total of nine innings. In each inning, there is a bottom half and a top half. It is these innings that are used to determine the winning side. Let us find out how innings work in baseball.
How Do Baseball Innings Work?
Each baseball inning has two parts known as half-innings. The top of the inning is the first one, while the bottom of the inning 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 baseball, 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 inning. In a baseball, it is a rule that 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 of the inning. The top of the inning is only over when a total of three outs have been made. Unlike other games, the away team is always prioritized in baseball.
The Middle Of The Inning
The middle of the inning is the transition period between the bottom-half and the top-half. The middle of the inning 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 of the inning.
The Bottom Of The Inning
The bottom of the inning is the second and last part of each inning 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 inning. The bottom of the inning 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 the ninth inning 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 the ninth inning, 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.
There are instances when the scores are tied at the end of the ninth inning. In such cases, extra innings are played to determine the overall winner of the match. The teams will take part in extra innings until the winner is decided. The other difference with baseball 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 the extra innings are relevant.
In youth baseball leagues, the innings cannot go past a total of six. Baseball 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 baseball games, now you have the most accurate answer. It is equally important to note that innings can be more than fifteen if the teams keep tying at the end of each session.