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How Long Is a Minor League Baseball Game? – Average Lengths

how long is a minor league baseball game

Some fans enjoy a baseball game to the fullest until they no longer keep track of time. On the other hand, other fans think that a baseball game is too long, albeit enjoying every part of it.

Time works as a very slippery concept in baseball because baseball is not a clocked game. Its duration depends entirely on every length of its inning. The inning, in turn, depends on the pace of the players. In addition, minor league baseball differs from major league baseball.

How long is a minor league baseball game? Read this article to find out.

How Long Are Minor League Baseball Games

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Since finding a definite answer to this is an impossible task, let us look into the average lengths based on innings.

A minor league baseball (MiLB) game operates similarly to major league baseball (MLB) in terms of innings. Taking nine innings, a minor league game could take an average of three (3) hours.

Of course, in reality, the number might differ. How long is the average minor league baseball game? In 2015, it was 2 hours and 42 minutes, but in 2018, the duration is 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Like the majors, the minors’ matches may extend if the scores tie after the 9th inning. Fortunately, to respond to the problem of protracted games and the absence of time-regulating mechanisms, the 20-second pitch clock was recently applied to the minor league games.

What Is the 20-second Pitch Clock in Baseball

The 20-second pitch clock is displayed on a board; it regulates the length of time a pitcher must take before he pitches the ball to the catcher. Through this, the pitcher must use only a maximum of twenty (20) seconds to prepare his pitch.

Baseball officials set this rule to pace the rhythm to a favorable flow. In fact, this rule has changed the dynamics of both MiLB and college baseball, compensating for the lack of temporal regulation in the sports.

How Long Was the Longest Game in MiLB History

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The longest MiLB game in history, which happened on April 18-19 and June 23, 1981, took a dramatic eight (8) hours and twenty-five (25) minutes to finish. For the record, the game lasted a total of thirty-three (33) innings. At the end of the 9th inning, the score tied at 1-1.

The teams involved in this historic event were the Pawtucket (RI) Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings. The Pawtucket team held the home team position and challenged the Rochester.

The game started on April 18, Saturday and took place at the McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The match went on beyond the 21st inning after the Rochester took a run.

At this point, Wade Boggs pulled off a tie for his team. The event transpired in a most dramatic way that even the audiences could hear the Pawtucket groaning.

The weather also did not go well, which was another inconvenience. In addition to that, the food in the clubhouses has also run out. The batters were getting weaker by each play.

Early in the morning, the players showed signs of exhaustion. The condition of the game alarmed Mike Tamburro, Pawtucket’s publicity manager. Thus, he called league president Harold Cooper, informing him of the game’s current state.

Harold Cooper, after hearing of the situation, called to end the game at the conclusion of its 32nd inning (approximately 7-8 hours after it commenced). At this point, the time was 4:07 on the morning of April 19.

The supposed continuation of the game that afternoon did not come into fruition because of the possibility of injury among the players. And so, the game officially resumed on June 23, when the Pawtucket Red Sox became the winner!

This event is on the extreme end of the average length of minor league baseball game.

How Fast Was the Fastest Game in MiLB History

Two historical events in MiLB history come up whenever one searches for the fastest game in MiLB history: the 1910 and 1916 matchups. But of the two, the 1916 matchup turned out to be faster, with a crazy 31-minute game compared to 1910’s 32-minute fast game record.

The 1916 game pitted the Winston-Salem Twins and the Asheville Tourists against one another. Transpiring within the last few days of the season, the famed 1916 game did not garner much attention as to who wins or loses. This factor came out as a blessing and curse to the teams involved.

It played out as a blessing because it involved less effort and fewer chances of game delay for the players. On the other hand, it turned out to be a curse because some fans were too late to see the match.

We know that the game happened earlier than expected to allow the Twins to catch a train schedule. On the record: the game happened for only 31 minutes. Just imagine that!

Conclusion

How long is a minor league baseball game? Although there are extremes, baseball experts decided that the average length of a minor league baseball game is three hours long, meaning certain MiLB matches can go longer or shorter than the 3-hour average.

The extremes in MiLB durations manifested in the Pawtucket vs. Rochester’s longest eight (8) hours and twenty-five (25) minute-game, and the Twins vs. Tourists’ thirty-one (31) minute game.

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