Last updated on November 8th, 2023 at 10:47 am
Softball games, whether recreational or for schools, are seven innings.
How Many Innings in Softball Game vs. Baseball Game?
Softball games have seven-inning games, whereas baseball has nine innings. Just like baseball, you have a top of an inning and a bottom of an inning with three outs. The away team bats in the top of the inning while the home team bats in the bottom.
Does Softball Have Extra Innings?
Extra innings occur if both teams are tied after seven innings of play. The softball rules in the NCAA put a runner on second base to start extra innings, and the game ends if at the end of an inning one team is winning. Putting a baserunner on second base helps speed up the conclusion of a game.
The way extra innings in softball works like this. For example, if the away team scores two runs in the top of the eighth and the home team only scores one, the game ends with the away team winning.
What is the Longest Softball Game on Record?
The longest softball game belongs to Creighton vs. Utah, which went 31 innings to complete. Creighton won the game eventually 1-0, and it took over and took close to 6.5 hours. Interestingly enough, their next match against each other took 25 innings to complete.
How Many Innings are in a College Softball Game?
NCAA college softball games are seven innings for a complete game. The inning consists of two halves, where the top of the inning has the away team hit while the bottom has the home team hit. There are nine softball players out on the field, just like you would see in baseball games.
If the game is tied after seven innings, the game moves into extra innings. Extra innings now put a player on second base to start the inning to speed up the game’s conclusion.
How Many Innings are in a High School Softball Game?
High School softball games are seven innings, the same for college and professional leagues. If the game is tied after seven innings, the game moves into extra innings.
Is there a Mercy Rule in Softball?
College softball games have a mercy rule stating that the game is over if one team has at least eight runs past five innings.
For most High School softball games, the mercy rule occurs when one team is up by 20 runs after three or ten runs after five. However, some different variations can occur via the mercy rule, so it depends on the umpire, the situation, and the agreement made by the High School coaches. Some leagues might add a cap to the number of runs a team can score during an inning to decrease the time of the game.
What Happens if there is Rain in Softball?
If a softball game has rain or gets too dark, a few things can happen.
- After five complete innings, or 4.5 if the home team is winning, the game will be official. If the game does not resume, the game concludes with a winner.
- If the game did not start due to the rain or did not reach the number of innings to make it a complete game, it can be made up during the regular season if possible.
- The umpire can resume play if the rain clears.
- The game can still occur as long as the weather does not interfere with the game.
How Long is a Softball Game Typically?
NCAA college softball games take about two hours to complete. Games can go longer if they go into extra innings, but typically seven innings is a standard game for softball teams.
According to CAA High School softball rules, a game will adhere to not exceeding one hour and 45 minutes. That means no new inning will occur if it goes past this one-hour and 45-minute mark.
Softball leagues below high school tend to have games under an hour and 45 minutes to complete. Some games might even end after six innings or before an hour and 45 minutes of regulation game time. Time limits on games are more common in middle school and rec leagues in a town.
How Do Doubleheaders Work in Softball?
The rules might differ if a doubleheader occurs in a slow or fastpitch softball game. For instance, hitters might get out on one strike instead of three. Hitters might also get out on a foul ball with two strikes against them. Other slightly different rules include walking on two balls instead of four.
These rules are typically for leagues that play outdoors where it gets dark early in the day, so there isn’t enough time to play two full games back to back.
Conclusion: How Many Innings are in a Softball Game
In summary, a professional softball game is seven innings, unlike baseball, which has nine innings. If a game goes into the extra-inning after seven innings, a runner starts on second base to help speed up the game’s conclusion. On average, a professional softball game will take about 2 hours or less to complete. For more amateur leagues, you can expect softball games to be less than an hour and 45 minutes.
Greg Kristan, owner of The Stadium Reviews, LLC and TM Blast, LLC, brings his extensive experience visiting over half of the MLB ballparks, along with numerous MLS, NHL, NBA, and NFL venues, to provide in-depth coverage on the bag policy, food options, and parking. He has also been interviewed about his experiences on several sports podcasts.