How long does a baseball game last? Between two and a half to three and a half hours. There is no doubting the fact that baseball is one of the most popular sports in America and it’s always a great feeling to go to a game and be a part of the live action. If you are new to the game and find yourself falling in love with baseball, I’m sure you’d like to have lots of questions answered about the sport. Below shows how the length of baseball games has increased the in-game time up to the year 2014. Even though the data is a little dated the games today are pretty much the same in length from last reported on the chart.


Have you ever been to a baseball game and it feels like the game is just going on forever? We’ve all been there and had a similar feeling. In this post, I walk you through the game of baseball and the amount of time it takes to complete a baseball game.

But before then, I’d like to intimate you with some of the basic rules of the game. Being conversant with these rules will make you love and appreciate the game even more.

Basic baseball rules

The history of baseball can be traced back to as early as 18th century, and its structure or format is still the same today. It’s a game that is most popular in America, Japan, and Canada. It is multiplying in other parts of the world now, but it isn’t just as big as the set up in America.

The world series of baseball is the pinnacle of the sport, and it’s an event that consists of the current year best American League Baseball Team and National League Baseball Team.

During a baseball game, the primary objective of any team is to score more runs than the opposing team. You have to hit a ball thrown at you and then go on to legally advance around four bases, touching first, second, third, and home before three players/teammates are put out in the inning to end their turn at bat.

Players and Equipment

Two teams of 9 players each play the game of baseball. A game runs for about nine innings, and each team alternates between fielding and batting in every inning. The cumulative score at the end of 9 innings is put together, and the team that gathers the most runs is declared the winner.

In each inning, there are three outs for each team before roles are swapped. An inning can be further divided into two parts: the bottom (where it’s the home team that bats), and the top (where it’s the away team that bats).

A baseball field consists of two main sections: outfield and infield. There’s a diamond shape which separates the outfield and infield. The diamond shape has four bases which have a spacing of about 90ft between each of them. The pitching mound is located in the center of the infield. The pitcher stands on the pitching mound, throwing the ball in the direction of the batter. The home plate is where the batter stands. The remaining bases are known as the first, second and third base. Before a batter scores a run successfully, he needs to touch all bases.

The ball has a diameter of around three inches. It has a white color with red stitching. Most bats are made of aluminum, metal or wood. The fielding team wears gloves to make catching and picking up ground balls a bit easier. The catcher, wearing a heavier padded glove, helmet, chest protector, and leg guards, positions himself behind the batter to receive a ball being thrown by the pitcher.

Scoring Runs

Scoring is achieved when a batter hits the ball with the bat into a designated part of the fielding area and then gets around all bases (before the ball is collected and thrown to the base the batter is heading to). If a player hits the ball and it leaves the playing area completely flying over the fence and landing in the crowd, a mandatory run is awarded to that team. A player has the option of stopping at any base if they don’t believe they can get to the next base before they get tagged out.

It’s possible for players to score multiple runs if they already have more than one player on any of the bases. Sometimes, a situation arises where there’s a player on every base, so, when a batter makes it to the first base, those who are already on the second and third bases can trickle home, scoring valuable runs in the process.

The number of players that get around to the home plate without being tagged determines the number of runs that will be scored. The maximum number of runs a team can score on one hit is four.


A game is won when a team outscores their opponents over the entire nine innings played. At the end of nine innings, the team that has the highest number of runs is the winner. If a tie occurs, then both teams will have to keep playing extra innings until a clear winner emerges.


How Long Does a Baseball Game Last

Well, it depends on some factors. Major league Baseball games are played for a total of nine innings, and the total average duration for a game is about three hours. Collegiate baseball and minor leagues are also played for nine innings. Babe Ruth and high school baseball, little league baseball, and Tee-Ball are played for seven, six, and five innings respectively.

How Long is an Inning in Baseball

There are a total of three outs in an inning, with each team having three outs. There are two halves in an inning. During the “top” half of an inning, the away team bats and the bottom half is when the home team bats.

This rule is the same for all baseball games – the only exception is Tee-Ball, where outs are not counted, and every player is expected to get an at-bat in each inning. There’s the possibility of half an inning taking three pitches for three quick outs. There is, however, no specific time limit. The specific duration depends on some factors, such as the number of pitching changes, the pitcher’s speed, and the number of at-bats. In theory, an inning would continue forever if the fielding team is unable to record three outs.

If there is a tie at the end of an MLB game, additional innings will be played by the teams until one team can record more runs than the opponent opposing team at the end of an inning.

Also, if the home team is ahead on runs after the “top” half of the final (ninth) inning, the game can come to an end at that point, with a total of 8.5 innings played.

It’s hard to project the exact length of time (regarding minutes and hours) it takes to complete a game. For instance, the length of time pitchers take between each pitch, the longer the game will last.

Also, if a game has lots of base runners, it increases the duration of the game, as more time is used up by pitchers between pitches as they try to hold the runners close and prevent stolen bases. And games that have several play challenges or pitching changes usually last longer than necessary due to prolonged pauses during play.

New rules are now being applied in MLB to reduce the duration of games – rival teams have been known to play for over four hours. Now there’s a 2:30 between-innings timers, and there’s the testing of pitch clocks in minor leagues, which limits the time spent between pitches to 20 seconds when there are empty bases.

However, not all levels of baseball are implementing these rules. Other factors affect the game of baseball.

How Long Does a Minor League Baseball Game Last

Minor league baseball includes AAA, AA, high-level A. low-level A, and Rookie ball professional leagues. The innings rules used in MLB apply to them also. AAA and AA leagues have adopted the 20-seconds pitch clock, and this has reduced the duration of games by 12 minutes.

What is the duration of a collegiate baseball game?

Collegiate baseball games are also played for a total of nine innings. However, certain circumstances allow one or both games of a doubleheader to last for seven innings. If a team is leading by at least ten runs after seven innings (or five innings if it’s a seven-inning game), the game is concluded through the implementation of a “mercy rule.”

How Long is a High School Baseball Game

There are seven innings in a high school baseball game. A game can last four innings if there’s inclement weather. Since there are high school fields that do not have lights, play can be paused and resumed later if darkness becomes a problem. A “mercy rule” is called is any team is leading by at least ten runs after five innings.

What is the Duration of a Youth Baseball Game

The level of play, the league association, age, and sometimes location is what determines how long a youth baseball game will last.

Tee-Ball (4-7 years of age) has a total of five innings; however, the amount of time allotted for the game is what determines the number of innings, which may be different in every league.

Little league (7-13 years of age) games usually last for a total of six innings.

Babe Ruth league (13-18 years of age) is played for a total of seven innings.

There a few more organizations, with comparing the age groups you can get a pretty good idea on where they would be on the list.

How long is a Baseball Game

Answer – Normally two and a half hours to 3 and a half hours would be safe for time allotting for planning.