First played in the United States as an alternative indoor version of baseball, softball has expanded around the world as a fun and engaging sport. Easy to pick up and very hard to master, it has a proud history as an exciting and engaging game. In addition, strange and crazy things can sometimes come out of the game that you might not expect. Like, for example, a 96-hour long match! Let’s take a look at this sport, answer the question how long is a softball game, and how the longest match ever recorded at 96 hours and 4 minutes is even possible.
BASICS OF THE GAME
Typically, softball is played with a set of rules similar to baseball. Played on a smaller field with a larger ball, softball consists of 7 innings compared to baseball’s 9 innings. This tends to make games quicker, more engaging, and places greater emphasis on the importance of every inning. In addition, all pitches have to be under armed pitches. Despite this limitation, softballs can hit remarkable speeds when pitched by a professional pitcher. Played frequently in the United States and Canada, it is also enjoyed around the world as a fun pastime and even competitive event.
HOW LONG IS A SOFTBALL GAME?
There are many different ways a team can win. For the softball game to come to an end, one team has to win. So for example, if one team has a large lead over the other, then the game can be called after as few as 2 or 3 innings. However, one team will have to have a clear advantage at that point. For most games, the average length of a game is 7 innings, with one team having the advantage over the other. The vast majority of games end after the 7th inning, providing an average length of time for the game.
THE LONGEST SOFTBALL GAME EVER
Rarely, the score will be tied after the 7th inning. When this happens play is resumed until an inning ends with one team in the lead. Of those games that go beyond a 7th inning, the majority end in the 8th inning, and almost all games end by at least the 9th inning. Now this is where it gets interesting. If there is no house rule in place, gameplay will continue indefinitely until one team ends the inning with a score above the other.
In Charlottetown Canada, this didn’t happen for 96 hours and 4 minutes! Setting a world record for the longest time a softball game was ever played, the two teams battled it out for several days as one tried to get the upper hand over the other. Every 6 hours, every player got a 30 minute break and 20 players had to be on the field at all times. Now, it should be noted that the longest softball game ever was staged to raise money for charity. Other competitive matches have been known to last for up to 31 innings.
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