How long is a baseball gameOne of the most frequently discussed subjects to serve as the 2023 baseball season starts is how long an average baseball game lasts. How long is a baseball game, exactly? The average game lasted little more than three hours between the 2019 season and the 2022 season.

Baseball’s popularity has likely been impacted by the fact the matches have gotten longer, which is no secret. This year’s new rules reduce game time to regain viewership and fan support. The new laws appear to be effective.

The average game time has decreased to two hours & forty minutes during the initial week of the season in 2023. It remains to be seen if the briefer games have the desired impact on popularity. Fans are still leaving the stadium 20 minutes earlier compared to what they did in previous years.

We decided to look at past patterns surrounding the subject because everyone is currently thinking about how long baseball games are on average. To add context and colour to the conversation, we’ll examine facts about the duration of baseball games throughout the league’s history.

The “How Long is a Baseball Game” project on the data collection Jocks GitHub contains all of the code that was used in this article’s analysis. The information came from this website.

Before the 2023 Season, the Rules Will Change

Before the 2023 MLB season, many rules were altered, but only two focused on the usual duration of baseball games. Which are:

  • The game’s clock
  • Modified pickoff rules

The significant one is the first. A pitch clock was instituted to shorten a pitcher’s delivery time this season. Having a runner on base, pitchers have an additional 20 seconds to make their pitches and only 15 seconds when the bases are empty. According to this ESPN story, over one hundred pitchers pitched on average more slowly than this previous year. This rule adjustment will undoubtedly speed up the game.

A pitcher’s ability to pick off a runner who is on base is restricted by a second regulation. This regulation will indirectly shorten baseball games even if its primary goal is to increase efforts to steal bases. Check visit our earlier post on how long is a baseball game definition to learn more about pickoffs.

Before being introduced this year, these changes were tested in the minor leagues and produced faster, more interesting games. Now let’s examine the issue’s root, which is the typical duration of baseball games.

The Typical Baseball Game Length Through Time

Baseball games have been getting longer on average for a very long time, which is no secret. Here is the length of a baseball game by decade before displaying the data visually over several decades. 

According to the statistics collected thus far this year, the game duration may have returned to the relatively short 2:40 area. Since the 1980s, games haven’t been so brief. This turning-back time is very dramatic.

Although the data broken down by decade is helpful, seeing trends over time might be even more intriguing. The graph below depicts the evolution of baseball game length during the turn of the 20th century.

This graphic demonstrates how game length increased substantially during the 1920s. If not stopped, this slowing down of the match would keep viewers away from tuning in frequently.

Length Percentiles for Baseball Games

One can examine “how long is a baseball game” differently through percentiles and quantiles. Even though the median duration tells us how long we should expect to watch a game each night, there are times when it lasts significantly longer or shorter. The length of baseball games between 1920, 1970, & 2014 (the most recent year in our database) is shown in the table below by selected percentiles.

1920 1970 2014
5th Percentile 1:25 2:01 2:30
25th Percentile 1:40 2:18 2:49
Median 1:50 2:31 3:04
75th Percentile 2:02 2:47 3:21
95th Percentile 2:32 3:20 4:00


According to this data, the shortest games played now are roughly equal to the longest played throughout baseball’s early years. Even stranger is that 1 out of every 20 games this past year lasted over 4 hours, or around one on every other day. Today, baseball games last nearly daily and are twice as prolonged as the typical game from the 1920s.

The graph below displays the data set’s 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, & 95th percentages for baseball games’ length.

Game length and Runs Scored Have a Correlation

The claim made by many fans is that as games have grown more complex and drawn out, they have become less engaging. This would be true only if there were fewer events every minute of the match. In other words, if the games were longer due to greater scoring, the longer games are probably not driving away viewers.

Let’s investigate whether the prolonging of the game is a result of the rising score. First, look at the plot below, which illustrates how scoring has changed.

According to this graph, scoring peaked in the 1930s and the, late 1990s and early 2000s. But during the past 15 years, pitchers have reclaimed their preeminence. The same was true in the middle of the 20th century, particularly in the 1970s.

Plotting runners scored over an hour of play makes for a more intriguing chart. Runs scored in an hour for all seasons dating back to 1915 are shown in the graph below.

What we had anticipated to be true is supported by this plot. The number of runs each hour has been cut in half since its highest point in the early to mid-20th century. More significantly, since the early 2000s, the number of runs each hour has drastically declined. This may be seen by observing how the line on the uppermost right-hand part of the plot has dropped dramatically since that point.

An inferior output is produced overall when there is less movement per minute and a longer needed attendance.

Do some baseball teams play longer games?

When discussing baseball game length, it’s also important to consider whether particular clubs have a history of playing more quickly or less quickly than others. We reviewed all the contests each team has participated in since the 2000 campaign. We calculated the typical game length for each team.

Next, since 2000, we have calculated the average game duration for each team. We can determine which teams played the longest and shortest games compared to the remainder of the league by deducting the league average.

The six clubs with the greatest number of games dating back to the 2000 season are displayed in the plot below.

Similarly, since the 2000 season, the following teams’ games have been the shortest.

What catches my attention is how much longer Boston and the Yankee games are than any other team. Regarding the second part of the plot, these figures don’t seem ordinary to me because someone must have played the shortest games only by chance, and they seem plausible given random fluctuation. There has been a 10-minute difference between Yankees versus Red Sox games and the other baseball league teams. This seems to be quite significant.

But math isn’t about emotions. We can check mathematically to see if these impressions are accurate. This section’s remaining sentences are just enjoyable mathematical games.

Is this a deviation from what would be expected? I have not been aware of a method called t-tests to determine whether a sample’s highest value is higher than expected. Most likely, a Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic exists that could be useful. The theorem of central limits allows us to try nonetheless.

Assume that the collection of each team’s game lengths about the league average has a normal distribution. By definition, the mean will be 0, and we determined the standard error of the mean for 3.2 minutes. This would imply that the average game time for 68% of all teams in the competition should have been within 3.2 mins of the league average.

Remember that a random sample’s percentiles are roughly uniformly distributed, so we may anticipate that the highest value in an example of length 32 will fall somewhere around the 97th percentile. This has a roughly 1.88 z-score.

Therefore, we would anticipate that the squad with the greatest number of games would have around 1.88⋅ 3.2=6 minutes more than normal or 1.88 x 3.2. Given that both the Red Sox and the Yankees are substantially larger than this, something is probably causing the Red Sox, along with the Yankees to play lengthier games constantly. That is, it is most likely not solely the result of chance.

Baseball Game Length in the Future

The league’s initiatives to address the length of baseball games are bearing fruit at the start of the 2023 season. So far, games have been cut by twenty minutes in duration. We’ll have to wait and see if this affects the number of viewers and popularity.

So, even though our initial question was, “How long is a baseball game?” “How long should the game of baseball be?” could be a better question.


In conclusion, the article has attempted to give you information about “HOW LONG IS A BASEBALL GAME”. I hope the language in this post is clear and understandable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) How long does a baseball game last?

Ans. A baseball game may last anywhere from one to three hours, but this is the typical length. It’s crucial to remember that while some games can last as little as two hours, others can go on for four hours or longer!

Q2) Does a baseball game go on forever?

Ans. The games continue until a victor is declared. The game has the potential to last indefinitely. One game from four decades ago nearly made it. The most extended baseball game ever was played between two teams around April 18, 1981.

Q3) In how many games is baseball played?

Ans. 162 games, Major League Baseball (MLB) regular timetable typically consists of 162 games spread out over around six months for each of the thirty teams throughout the American League (AL) & National League (NL), for a total of 2,430 games, including the postseason.

Q4) How many innings in baseball?

Ans. Baseball is a sport where two groups of nine baseball players compete. The game has nine innings, and each is split into two halves.



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