How Long Are MLB Baseball Games?
The length of Major League Baseball (MLB) games vary on average between two and three hours, although individual games may last for much longer. This is the result of several factors, including an array of rules and regulations that determine the pace of the game.
The primary duration determining factor of an MLB game is the number of innings. A regulation game between two teams consists of nine innings. Some games can have more than nine innings due to ties, however, but it’s rare for a game to go beyond 13 innings. Each inning, barring any delays, should last about 20 minutes.
MLB games also include multiple break periods throughout the game, including two break periods between innings and two special break periods known as the “half inning break” and the “pitcher break”. During the “half inning break,“ the teams switch the field indicating the end of the inning, and the “pitcher break“ lasts usually between 2-5 minutes when the pitcher is changed out. To comply with local and state laws, teams are also required to include a break in between the 5th and 6th innings known as the “5th inning break”.
Other factors affecting the length of an MLB game include:
- Time allotted for breaks after runners advance to a certain base. For example, when a runner reaches first base, the batter has up to ten seconds to leave the batter’s box.
- Time allotted for TV broadcasts. This not only includes commercial breaks, but also regular and post-game interviews with players and other personnel.
- Weather and game delays. Rain delays, for example, can last for hours and add significant length to a game.
Overall, MLB games can last between 2-3 hours on average, but individual games can go much longer depending on a variety of factors.