by Mike Constanza
|The Length of the game|| |
|The Rules of the game|| |
|The Mercy Rule|| |
Softball is not like other sports with fixed time limits like football or basketball. It resembles tennis in time duration where a match can last for many hours. There are no quarters or halve in softball games; instead, there is a goal in a softball game. This goal has to be achieved to win the match.
A softball game can last as long as it can. There is no breaking down of time in this game. If the defense is excellent in one team and if they could quickly eliminate the opposing team, then the game can end very soon. Otherwise, the game can be continued for multiple hours.
As a basic unit of the game, softball has innings just like baseball, and the difference between the two games, baseball, and softball, is that there are 7 innings in softball and nine innings in baseball. The 7 innings of the softball game can usually take up to 2 hours. But given to circumstances of the team, the game could be carried on for longer and shorter than the 2 hours.
Softball rules permit the game to be between 3 to 7 innings for a match. For softball, the usual innings are seven, and these innings are used in NCAA softball as well as in Olympics Softball. The high school also follows the same number of innings.
There could be six innings in a softball game for younger players at some school tournament. There is a possibility that the organizers or sponsors of the tournaments create their own rules about the number of the inning and other things. There are various leagues players can play in this game, so there is a slight chance you encounter a league with a time limit over the game length, but this is highly unlikely.
An average softball game lasts for an hour or two with some variation because of the outstanding defense of a leading team. So the game can be stretched to a more extended period of time as well as shorter. The game's length depends upon the softball innings.
The typical 7 innings usually take 2 hours, but with a different number of innings, that time changes accordingly. In case of a tie score, the innings could be increased from the typical 7 innings.
As you already know that the softball game has 7 innings. The innings is divided into the first and second half inning or top and bottom innings. Both teams are given defensive and offensive roles. At first, one team turns to score about three outs during the top or first half of the match. Meantime, the other team has their turn to defend. The team that has the defending role records three outs, then they turn into the offensive side, switching the roles of the game. The team that has more number of runs is the winning team.
In 2009 July, two softball teams came face to face in Alberta, Canada, and created a Guinness World Record. The players played straight for the longest stretch of time in the history of softball, and it was 115 hours and 3 minutes. The starting date of the game was June 30th, and it went on till the 5th of July. The winning team walked away with the trophy by making an 876-766 score.
According to the International Federation of Softball, the rules and regulations of the softball game include 7 innings. If a situation occurs that both team scores are tied at the end of the 7th innings, then they can continue the game to break the tie. In this case, the duration of the game is extended considerably. In some circumstances, the umpire can call the game at their discretion over a specific reason, resulting in a shorter softball match.
The softball game has a rule called "the mercy rule," According to this rule, it allows to the end the game if one of the teams accumulates a much higher score than the opposing team. And if it looks unlikely that the other team could not catch up with the high score of the leading team.
The mercy rule is used to avoid any kind of humiliation of the losing team and, at the same time, avoids spending more time on the game.
About Mike Constanza
For years, Mike had always told everyone "no other sport like baseball." True to his word, he keeps diligently collecting baseball-related stuff: cards, hats, jerseys, photos, signatures, hangers, shorts (you name it); especially anything related to the legendary player Jim Bouton.
Mike honorably received Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix. In his graduation speech, he went on and on about baseball... until his best friend, James, signaled him to shut it.
He then worked for a domain registrar in Phoenix, AZ; speciallizng in auction services. One day at work, he saw the site JimBouton.com pop on the for-sale list. Mike held his breath until decided to blow all of his savings for it.
Here we are; the site is where Mike expresses passion to the world. And certainly, he would try diversing it to various areas rather than just baseball.