In many sports, a game clock is used to time games and track the amount of time left. However, there is no game clock utilized in baseball games. Instead, baseball games are generally comprised of nine innings, with no set time limit for each inning. However, many people have wondered what the top or bottom of an inning is in baseball.
Each baseball inning is divided into two halves: a top half and a bottom half. During the top half of an inning, the visiting team bats while the home team fields. Once three outs have been made, the top half ends, and the teams switch fielding and batting roles for the bottom half of the inning.
We’re going to explain everything you need to know about baseball innings. Once we’ve discussed each half of a baseball inning, we’ll discuss what happens during the transition period between half innings. We’ll also outline how long baseball innings last and why the bottom half of the ninth inning is often not played!
What Is The Top Or Bottom Of An Inning In Baseball?
Unlike many sports with a set time limit, baseball has no time limits. Instead of using a game clock, baseball games are comprised of multiple innings. Professional baseball games consist of nine innings and last around three hours. However, many people are unfamiliar with how baseball innings work and what “top” or “bottom” means in this regard.
In baseball, innings are divided into two parts, each with a top and bottom half. In a professional Major League Baseball game with nine innings, there will be nine top halves and nine bottom halves. These halves are also referred to as half-innings. After each half-inning, the teams change their roles on the field. Let’s discuss each half of a baseball inning!
Baseball Top Innings
The first half of each baseball inning is known as the top half or the top of the inning. In Baseball, the visiting team usually bats during the first half-inning while the home team fields. Once three outs have been made, the top inning is done, at which point the teams switch fielding and batting roles.
Baseball Bottom Innings
The second half of each baseball inning is known as the bottom half or the bottom of the inning. During the bottom inning, the home team bats while the away team is fielding. Like top innings, a bottom inning ends when three outs are made. This concludes an inning, with the teams switching roles again at the start of the next inning.
What Happens Between Inning Halves In Baseball?
As we explained above, baseball innings const of top and bottom halves. During the first half of an inning, the visiting team bats while the home team fields, switching roles during the bottom inning. Many people have wondered what happens during a baseball inning’s top and bottom half.
This transition period is known as the middle of an inning. During locally-televised MLB baseball games, the middle of an inning will last approximately two minutes and twenty-five seconds. For nationally-televised games, the middle of an inning lasts an additional twenty seconds. However, the length of this period isn’t just to accommodate advertisements!
The break between the halves of a baseball inning is crucial for players. MLB games have a two-minute countdown between each half-inning. Since teams need to switch roles between each half-inning, players will grab their necessary gear for the upcoming inning. The fielding team needs to prepare to bat while the batting team prepares to field.
How Long Do Innings Last In Baseball Games?
As we mentioned earlier, baseball games are not confined to a game clock. Instead, professional baseball games consist of nine innings, each comprised of a top and bottom half. While standard nine-inning games last around three hours, many people have wondered how long innings last in baseball games.
For a three-hour baseball game with nine innings, each inning will last approximately 20 minutes. While most average innings will last roughly 20 minutes, there is no set time limit for an inning, which means times may vary. The most important determining variable during baseball innings is how efficiently the pitcher performs.
Since baseball inning last approximately 20 minutes, each half-inning is around 10 minutes in length. Between each half-inning, which is known as the middle of the inning, there’s a countdown while the teams switch between fielding and batting roles. Generally, this transition period lasts at least two minutes.
Why Is The Bottom of The Ninth Inning Often Not Played?
In baseball, including MLB games, the ninth inning is the last. However, the bottom half of the ninth inning is not always played in baseball games. Sometimes, the last half-inning may end before three outs have been made. Ultimately, there are a few reasons a baseball game will end during the ninth inning.
When the home team is in the lead after the first half of the ninth inning, the bottom half will not be played, and the game ends. Furthermore, if the home team is tied or behind at the end of the first half of the ninth inning but then proceeds to score enough points to win before earning three outs, the game will end before the ninth inning is complete.
Does Softball Use Top And Bottom Innings?
Like baseball games, softball also uses innings. Each softball inning comprises two rounds, which means there is also a top and bottom half to each inning. Much like baseball, teams switch between batting and fielding during these halves. However, in softball, only seven innings are played per game.
Baseball innings are divided into two halves: a top half and a bottom half. The visiting team bats during the top half of an inning while the home team fields. After three outs are made, the top half of the inning is over. The teams will now switch batting and fielding roles for the bottom half of the inning.