To understand college baseball games in a more descriptive and definite manner, one can say; college baseball game is a game of ball played between two collegiate teams at an intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. This game is primarily played in the United States of America. Each team consists of nine players. College baseball games are predominantly played by men, but it is played by people of all ages and genders. The first intercollegiate baseball game took place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, around 1859. Baseball evolved from the British game rounders, which are played by both girls and boys.
The intercollegiate baseball games are controlled by either the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), or The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
Though the NCAA is the major governing body for intercollegiate athletics. Under NCAA, there are three divisions for participating schools, and matches.
Coming to the main discussion of the article; “How many innings are there in a college baseball game? “, to understand this better one should first understand what is the nature of doubleheaders, influential risks like the 10-run rule, and the overall nature of the baseball game.
Number of Innings in a college baseball game
What are innings?
First to understand what are innings here is a descriptive explanation of that. An inning is the basic unit of play, consisting of two halves, namely the “top” (first half of the game) and the “bottom” (second half of the game). In each half, one team bats until three outs for the batting team, and the second team plays the defense.
What is the Top and the Bottom of an inning in Baseball?
The top of the inning is the first half of the inning, and it is assigned to the visiting team, which allows them to bat first in each inning. The bottom of the inning is considered the second half, or the last or final three outs of the inning. The bottom of the inning is always assigned to the home team. The bottom half of the ninth inning can be skipped if the home team is already in the lead when the top half of the ninth inning ends.
The NCAA, which is the major governing body for intercollegiate athletics has decided to have nine innings for baseball intercollegiate games as often as possible. Some possible exceptions to the nine innings baseball intercollegiate games for shortening the lengths of the baseball games are as below :
- If the teams are playing a non-conference match, or if it is the last day of the intra-conference series then the game is shortened to 7 innings.
- If the teams are playing a double-header then the game is shortened to 7 innings.
- Games are also shortened to 7 innings due to the “Mercy Rule”.
- If the teams are playing a nine-inning game and one team is winning by 10 or more runs by the end of the seventh inning, then the game can be called off immediately.
- If the teams are playing a seven-inning game and one team is winning by 10 or more runs by the end of the fifth inning, then the game can be called off immediately.
What are ” Extra Innings” in the baseball intercollegiate games?
A usual intercollegiate baseball game has nine innings, but the rules allow modifications, thus shortening the game anywhere between five to nine innings, and lengthening the innings beyond the usual number of innings in the case of a tie score. Some other possible reasons for a short game below seven innings can be because of the weather, darkness, injuries, or similar conditions.
What is a doubleheader?
The number of college baseball innings can change depending on the number of games played in a day. One game takes nine innings, while if two games are played in the day; which is known as a doubleheader then there are seven innings played in each game.
What is the mercy rule in college baseball?
Let us know more about the mercy rule in baseball due to which the length of the baseball game can be shortened. Mercy rule is also known as the “run rule”. The mercy rule works by causing one team to lose a game whenever the opposing team secures a 10-run lead after the 7th inning. It also states that a game is finished if one team is ahead by 20 runs after 3 innings, 15 runs after four innings, or 7 runs after five innings.
Reasons for 9 innings in an intercollegiate baseball game?
Most other sports or games aren’t longer than 6 innings. But for games like baseball and softball, over time, pitching gets better, which makes it very difficult to score runs and thus the game tends to stretch longer. Thus the games can also last for more than 4 hours. Thus the concept of fixed innings play was incorporated making it a total of 9 innings for the intercollegiate baseball game.
How long is the baseball intercollegiate games?
An intercollegiate baseball game lasts for nine innings while some are seven innings long. The number of innings will affect the length of the overall game, and a single inning can last around 20 to 25 minutes approximately. If one or both teams’ ace scorers score a ton of runs then the length of the inning is extended automatically. In the same way, if the team has an ace pitcher who is capable of three strikeouts, then the length of the inning can be shortened.