How Long Does a Softball Game Last?

Softball Game

If you have just started taking an interest in this sport, or maybe you were invited to a game or want to know the extremes of the game or want to know about how long a softball game last. So if you’ve any confusion regarding softball then you’re at the right place.  Take a deep dive and get answers to all your questions.

Most of the games have defined times when the match will end such as football, ice hockey, and basketball. On the other hand, softball doesn’t adhere to such rules, leading to changes in the game’s start and finish periods.

A professional softball game is a little bit longer than a baseball game but not as long as a football match. Professional softball ends in three and a half hours. The number of innings of each team decides how long the game will last. The duration of the game could be either lengthened or shortened by adding additional time limits.

What Determines How Long Does a Softball Game Last?

The average length of this game is 1.5 hours. But of course, it is not necessary that it will always end at the same time, it can fluctuate depending on the age group, special rules, league, or type of softball.

The standard innings of a softball game is seven, although a game can also be set for 3-7 innings. An inning ends when both teams have reached three outs. If there’s still a tie then in seven innings a tiebreaker rule will apply.

But still, this game can be longer or shorter. For instance if a  match ties at the end of regulation time, then extra shots are played, resulting in exceeding of time.

The softball game consists of 7 innings or more at high school, college, university, and professional levels. If you accurately want to know how long a softball game last then understand the innings better to estimate the duration of the game.

What are Innings in Softball Game?

If you have ever watched or are interested in volleyball, football, or basketball, you would be aware of periods, halftimes, and rounds. But baseball and softball are different because these games have innings. So innings are the fundamental unit in softball play.

As we have mentioned above, the standard number is seven in the softball match but can range from 3 to 7.  Each of the innings is split into two halves. In the first half, one team will bat and defend in the second half of the inning and it will go on. When the batting team reaches three outs then the turn will end. However, there are exceptions that can have an impact on the length of the game.

The run rule is one of the exceptions in this game. This rule states that if one team is winning by a certain number of runs then that team is declared the victor even if the innings are remaining or even if the game duration has not been arrived this is called the “Run Rule”.

Thus, sooner the game will end if the team performs better than the other team.

And even if the run rule is not applied, but one team is performing outclass and reached third base quickly then the game will be ended in just seven innings.

The actual number of runs and innings differs depending on the rule set. For instance, if a team leads by 10 runs just after five innings then the game is ended in most of the high school matches.

And the run-ahead rule for USA girls is 15, 12, or 8 runs after 3, 4, or 5 innings, respectively.

But if the match ties after a close contest in the seventh shot then a tie-breaker procedure will start and will continue to the extra innings until one team wins.

In various leagues, the length of the game is set. When the timer expires you have to stop the game, no matter how many shots are played. You will see such time limits during tournaments when many games are scheduled for the same day and same location.

For example during the off-season softball is preferred to play indoors in cooler climates. Typically they are played in sports domes. There are not too many sports domes in each town or city, so a time limit is set to open up ways for everyone to participate in this game. The game played in dark ballparks also causes an issue for the player or empire also due to the darkness it’s difficult to see, resulting in the ending of the game.

Are there extra innings in softball?

Of course, if the game is tied then the team plays additional innings after the additional number of shots are ended. After a full shot, play continued until one team scored more runs. To start the extra shot, the offensive team’s last batter will run at second base.

The batting team member is put on second base to start the inning. In this way, the team can score and make the game end. Once the batting club has three outs, the opposing team starts with a player at second base.

when the team has scored three outs then that team is declared the winner with the highest score.

What is the mercy rule in softball?

The mercy rule is the one in which the game could terminate before the innings are completed. One of the teams has set a difficult score which is difficult to surpass by the opponent team then the mercy rule kicks in. This rule is applied to end the match early and it prevents the team from more humiliation.

If one team leads by 15 runs after three shots of play, 10 runs after four, or 7 runs after five, the mercy rule applies. Slow-pitch softball uses the mercy rule when there is a margin of 20 or 15 runs after four innings. In college softball, the mercy rule is 8 runs after 5.

If one of the teams is set by eight runs after 5 shots then the game is ended at the collegiate level. So depending on the competition, participating teams, and league, mercy rule changes at the high school level.

For instance, if one of the teams of high schools has a lead of 20 runs after the third inning then this team is declared as the winner.


Playing and watching softball are activities that can lift up your mood to high levels. This blog gives you a clear and deep insight into how long a softball game last. This clarification is vital whether you’re a supporter, player, coach, or parent. We also define the rules that are applied in the softball game.

It can also be shorter so, if you have something crucial to attend then keep in mind that softball is an action-packed game, it’s better to do the verification first about the league rules and players’ ages. So it will help you a lot. It’s absolutely worth watching or attending a softball game.

How Long Does a Softball Game Last?