How Long is a Baseball Game?

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You’ve always been to a baseball game, you know, MLB isn’t a game for people who are looking for immediate satisfaction. Instead, a baseball game is something you can enjoy with a cool drink, a hot dog and a slower pace. The average duration of a normal nine-star game has flown around the three-hour mark in recent years. This time is almost an hour, compared to 1920s and 1930s games.

Although many traditionals are in order with a three-hour game, Major League Baseball has introduced numerous modifications to the rules to help speed up play in order to attract a younger audience. And maybe the modifications to the rule help. 10 of 15 games were under 3 hours on Opening Day 2019, with 4 less than 2:30. The Red Sox-Mariners game of course lasted 3:34. So, until the game is finished, you never know for sure.

Still, if you are thinking at the ball field, “How long is a baseball game going to last?” you know this: anticipate around three hours.

How Long is a Baseball Game?

How long does a baseball game on average

The average duration of baseball in 2018 was 3 hours 9 minutes. But how long can it continue for a baseball game? The reply is unclear. The average duration may vary considerably for each game. For example, opposing teams played more than four hours in 2015.

The MLB issued regulations in the same year that reduced the duration of the MLB games. During instance, for 2008, the average duration of baseball games was 2 hours and 50 minutes. This is remains the lowest recorded average.

The total number of entries in a game may influence its length. But an MLB game may stretch over nine innings in certain circumstances. If the game is deadlocked at the conclusion of 9 innings, the game will add additional inputs until a winner appears.

On the other hand, after 8.5 innings, an MLB game may finish if the team leads before the second half of the last start. Bad weather may sometimes cause a game to finish early. The duration of the game may also be expended by different pitchers.

The average baseball game length in 2018 was 3 hours and 9 minutes. But how long can a baseball game last? The answer is uncertain. The average length for each game can vary significantly. For instance, in 2015, rival teams were playing games for more than four hours.

In the same year, the MLB promulgated rules that shortened the length of the MLB games. Take 2008, for example, the average length of the baseball games was 2 hours and 50 minutes. This is still the lowest average recorded.

The total innings in a game can determine its length. But in some cases, an MLB game can go beyond nine innings. Say the game is tied at the end of nine innings, the game will incorporate more innings until a winner emerges.

On the flip side, an MLB game can end after 8.5 innings if the home team is leading before the second half of the last inning starts. Bad weather can also force a game to end earlier than expected. Different pitchers can also expend the length of the game.

Level of BaseballInnings
Professional – MLB9
College – NCAA9
High School7
Little League6 or 7 (Time Limit)

How long is a college baseball game?

It may take up to 3 hours for most university games. Comparable variables such as bullpen changes make the game similar to the main league game. However, they discovered a method to reduce this amount by 3 hours.

As the College World Series starts, the duration of the games increases. All baseball works to decrease the overall time needed for baseball games.

How long is a high school baseball game?

A high school baseball game has an average duration of 2 to 2.5 hours. A few of reasons contributing to the total time reduction are that the game takes just 7 inches and there are much fewer pitch adjustments.

Teams have no specialized bullpens at the secondary school level, plus the ball is played more often as the plate approaches. Much of the game’s speed relies on the arbiter and whether he or she wants the game to move between the innings.

Most of the players, coaches and spectators in various areas of the nation, where the temperature is still cold during the spring months, enjoy the quality of their game.

How long is a little league baseball game?

Small league games typically take 6 or 7 inings and don’t last more than 2 hours. The number one element that affects the duration of little league games is the absence of strikes and the impossibility to go out.

Often you may witness a running rule game in which a team scores 15 or more runs. This may lead to lengthy entrances when a team is fighting to attack and the ball is struck hard and the defense fighting to make routine.

One aspect you’ll notice in many minor league games is that once the time limit has been surpassed, they won’t let a start. This time restriction may be between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 2 hours in various locations.

If there are little league tournaments, they want to guarantee that games remain on time and that the schedule takes place as it has been set.

How long is a major league baseball game last?

Let us first look at some of the reasons that can terminate a baseball game early to evaluate how long an MLB game lasts:

Incredible weather may cut short a baseball game. You may stop a game after just five innings if the weather is severe.

If the home side leads the top half of the ninth start, the game ends at 8.5. If the home side is ahead and the weather is severe or rainy, the game may be called at 4.5 innings.

A game is not deemed a regulatory game in Major League Baseball until the visiting team has completed 15 races or after five races, and the home team leads or until the home team does 15 races, regardless of the score.

If a game is interrupted before the regulatory criteria of the game are fulfilled, the game does not matter and is typically postponed till later.

Let us now look at some of the variables that lead to a longer game:

As mentioned previously, additional inputs happen when the game is tied after the ninth start. Every extra inning adds to the game’s overall duration.

Televised games have specific criteria and frequently take pauses and take a longer period to play.

Playoff matches and rivalry teams typically go longer than the typical baseball match.

Replaying challenges and changing the pitch will lead to lengthy breaks.

Each pitcher has various pitches and the time between pitches may vary considerably.

In addition, several runners on bases typically force pitchers to slow down and make the game longer.


Related: How Much Does a Baseball Weigh?


How long is an MLB game on TV?

Most of the games shown on TV are playoffs. Usually pre-game and post-game show are included. The pre-game program begins 30 minutes before the game and takes 5 to 30 minutes following the match.

The average duration of the playoff MLB may thus be three and a half hours. The average postseason baseball game in 2017 was 3 hours and 32 minutes. The average playoff time in 2016 was three hours and 25 minutes.

This increases the overall duration of the regular season games about half an hour longer. The many pitching changes that may be performed during the game make these games lengthier. Post-season games are important.

Baseball managers thus employ as many pitchers as possible. The objective is to match the opposite batteries as accurately as possible. Therefore, visits to the mound extend the duration of the game when replacements are performed.


Related: How Much Does A Bat Weigh?


How Long Is A Youth Baseball Game?

On average, a young baseball game lasts between 1 hour and 1.5 hours depending on the baseball level. Depending on age, league and state, there are many distinct types of youth baseball.

The smallest league games are 6 inings long, some of the advanced leagues are seven interiors and some of the younger leagues are five interiors.

Tea and coach pitch are among the youngest forms of youth baseball (sometimes known as ‘Minor Leagues’). Some teeball games have a one-hour time restriction for the whole game. Many ball games do not score, let each participant to bat every single inning and utilize the parents as coaches and arbitrators.

Tea and coach pitch Baseball youth leagues are development programs for children to learn sport, practice healthily, and enjoy. The top tiers of the little league are extremely competitive and may take over two hours for certain games.


Related: How Many Innings Are In A Baseball Game?


Baseball timing & its average length

The overall baseball play time in 2018 was 3 hours 9 minutes. But how long does baseball take? There is no answer. The average time for each game will vary significantly. Rival teams, for example, played more than four hours of games in 2015.

This same year, the MLB introduced regulations to reduce the length of the MLB games. Take 2008, for example, which was 2 hours and 50 minutes on average for baseball games. The average number recorded remains the lowest.

Total entries in a game measure the length. However, in certain instances an MLB game may continue beyond nine inputs. Say that the game is linked before a winner comes out of the game at the conclusion of nine innings.

On the other side, after 8.5 inputs, the MLB game ends when the home club gains the lead prior to the second half of the final start. Poor weather may sometimes lead to early completion of the game. The duration of the game may also be spent on different pitchers.


Related: What is The Little League Pitching Distance?


Baseball Game Overview


An inning is a period in which one team gets a chance to fight and the other team plays and pitches, in order to hit the other team as quickly as possible and with the least possible scored points.


A timeout is a break in play that pauses the ball’s progress. This is usually a time for coaches to discuss strategies and future games with their players.

Pitching Changes

The change in pitch is the replacement of the pitcher for tactical reasons or when the pitcher changes position.

Extra Innings

An additional entry is necessary if the 9 entries are finished without a winner. A tie-breaker is calculated by adding additional inputs for a winner.


Related: What Does QAB Mean In Baseball?


What is the MLB doing to shorten games?

Baseball is always discussing the duration of games, many believe that the sport must be streamlined to attract new viewers.

Since 2015, the MLB has started using various methods to reduce the game time.

There is now a timer which measures the time between the entrances, the time coaches take on mound visits and the time between batters.

Since 2020 a runner has been stationed on the second base during additional inputs at the start of each half-inning so that the results may be quicker and avoid bullfighting.


Related: What Does PO Mean in Baseball?


Time of an Average MLB Game

We assessed each game on a random day to get an average MLB time, in this instance Sunday 23 June 2019.

On June 23, 2019, 15 MLB games were played:

  • TOR vs BOS – Game Time: 3:04
  • MIA vs PHI – Game Time: 2:59
  • DET vs CLE – Game Time: 3:33
  • SD vs PIT – Game Time: 4:58
  • ATL vs WSH – Game Time: 3:09
  • HOU vs NYY – Game Time: 2:48
  • CIN vs MIL – Game Time: 2:50
  • MIN vs KC – Game Time: 3:09
  • NYM vs CHC – Game Time: 2:49
  • CWS vs TEX – Game Time: 3:07
  • TB vs OAK – Game Time: 2:58
  • COL vs LAD – Game Time: 3:10
  • BAL vs SEA – Game Time: 3:07
  • SF vs ARI – Game Time: 3:13
  • LAA vs STL – Game Time: 3:42

Each game was played on June 23, 2019 and the average duration was 3 hours and 14 minutes.

Two additional dates have been examined to corroborate the average:

The average game time on Sunday 30 June was 3 hours and 20 minutes. The average time for the game on Saturday 21 September 2019 was 3 hours and 27 minutes.

After analyzing these dates, you may prepare for an average baseball game for at least three hours.

However, if you are going to a playoff, TV or rivalry game, you may want to spend more time since these games are usually longer.


So, how much time does a baseball game take? You can never be sure. But you should be ready to spend at least three hours watching your baseball club play, particularly in the big or lower league, given what we saw above.