What Are Extra Innings in Baseball?

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So, you’re catching a baseball game with your buddies, right? Enjoying the popcorn and the cheers, everything’s going great, until suddenly, the game keeps going past the ninth inning. And you’re like, “What’s happening?”

Well, my friend, welcome to the world of ‘extra innings’ in baseball. This is the time where things get really exciting. It’s like overtime in other sports, a tie-breaker round that gives teams a chance to take home the victory. Let’s dive in deeper and see what this is all about!

What are extra innings in Baseball?

In baseball or softball, extra innings occur when a tie persists after the regular number of innings. Generally, a baseball game consists of nine innings, while softball and high school games have seven, and Little League Baseball has six. If the score remains tied, the game continues until the visiting team scores more runs in a completed inning or the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning. The game rules, including batting order and player availability, remain the same during extra innings. Managers must be cautious not to exhaust substitute players during regular innings, as a team may forfeit if unable to field a full nine-player team.

How common are extra-inning games in baseball?

Extra-inning games in baseball aren’t as common as you might think! Historically, they account for about 10 percent of regular season games. Just to give you a sense of that, let’s take a peek at the last season. Out of the 2,430 regular season games, only 223 went into extra innings. That’s just 9.2 percent! And it’s interesting to note that with the implementation of the extra-innings tiebreaker rule, games stretching up to 13 innings have become quite rare over the past three seasons. To put it in perspective, there were 37 13-inning games in 2019 alone, which was the last year with the “normal” extra-inning rules. So, while extra innings add an exciting twist, they’re not an everyday occurrence in the world of baseball.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.