Length of games

I went to Frisco Classic over the weekend and really noticed the time it takes to play a college baseball game.
Some games went 4+ hours!!!

A baseball game should not take more than 3 hours.

Is this being addressed?

There used to be a “pitch” clock. Is this still in effect but not used in Frisco?

I’ll hang up and listen…


A Boston Globe study in 2015 reported that MLB games are at an all time high at 2 hours and 58 minutes.

MLB has recognized the issue and are looking at ways to speed up games.

You have to agree that a 4 hour baseball game is a bit excessive.

Any time you have high-scoring games, the times are going to be long. The college game always has been high-scoring. The bats, pitchers, defense, etc., all contribute to it.

Saturday’s games in Frisco had a combined 19 and 20 runs.

The games Friday were 3-0 and 1-0, and both lasted less than three hours.

Does college baseball still have the pitch clock?

Yes. It is 20 seconds, but the clock is turned off when a runner is on base.

It’s amateur baseball. And, it’s nine innings. I think it’s about what you would expect. You can’t turn the pitchers into veterans. They are still 18-19 years old. They are not going to throw all strikes.

I can remember sitting with Chuck Barrett one time and wondering what could be done to make college games go faster. He said you can’t turn an amateur game into professional baseball. Get used to it.

Now, there are times that you get two really quality pitchers going at each other on a Friday and Saturday night in the SEC. That could mean a shorter game. But that’s not the norm.

At this point in the season, the starters aren’t going deep in the game. They are building up their pitch count. So you have pitching changes and longer games. It’s just the way college baseball is in February and March.

The SEC uses a pitch clock but it is not a rule across all of college baseball. Which is probably why it was not used in Frisco. No pitch clock in the NCAA tournament, for instance. Pitch clock is in use in AA and AAA minor leagues, so it would have been available.

I consider myself a patient person, but a four-hour baseball game with interminable mound visits and 84 pitching changes stretches the boundaries of my patience. Even if it’s due in part to a 12-10 score. Baseball traditionalists ignore the fact that the “good old days” included many games that were concluded in less than two hours, never mind three or four, and many less mound visits, pitching changes, etc.

I became a baseball fan in the mid to late 60s. Then, I was a Cardinals fan. Games were mostly less then 2 hours, as Jeff notes. Of course, in 1968, Bob Gibson had an ERA of 1.12. The next thing you know the mound was lowered and those numbers changed, although Gibby didn’t change much. Just a side note, Gibby was headed for a similar ERA in '67. But then Roberto Clemente lined a ball to Gibby’s leg.

I was there and I remembered it differently from this story. I have always thought that he threw some test pitches, but when he threw to the next batter, he collapsed. Obviously, I didn’t remember it correctly. At any rate, the crack of the bat was not the bat, it was Gibby’s leg.

I think TV plays the biggest factor in game times, which is ironic because TV executives are the ones who want games times cut down the most. There are 90 to 108 seconds between half innings, depending on whether the game is on TV or just being streamed. That alone adds several minutes to a 9-inning game.


I enjoy all levels of baseball. Time isn’t an issue to me. I’ve always thought baseball was a game that allowed for much conversation with the people around you at the game. It’s a social experience for the fan. If they are wanting something short, just come a little later and leave early. I see that all of the time. Make it what you want it to be, a little shorter. If you watch major league baseball on TV, there are some markets that it’s pretty common. LA Dodgers baseball fans don’t come for the start. They arrive fashionably late, and they start leaving about the sixth inning. Guess traffic on the freeways does that to people. It’s like that at many other ballparks, although I do not see that much at St. Louis. Those folks are there for the first pitch and they mostly don’t leave early.

As I was reading this, I was thinking all you would have to do is put Mr. Gibson (that is what I call him) on the mound and the game would be short - very short. There would not be many pitching changes either. Mr. Gibson said the game is 9 innings so I go out there to throw 9. that is my job. Never will forget going to a Cub game in St. Louis while the Cubs were still in it with the Cards (important game). Mr. Gibson walked the first 3 batters (he had a few slow starts). The manager (who did not matter) got up and Mr. Gibson glared into the dugout (saying without having to say a word - “Don’t even think about it!!”) He threw 9 more pitches and walked to the dugout with 3 Ks. The Cards won in a shutout and I don’t know, but I bet the game was less than 2 hrs.

Now as Chuck said, that was MLB but it has a point. Catch the ball, throw it back as a strike and don’t monkey around out on the mound. You will get a much better defense when a pitcher does that.

Amen, Jim. Pitching quickly keeps the fielders on their toes and ready.

I was fortunate to see a Gibson Kolfax matchup in the 60’s
The only thing I really remember was realizing it was the 5th inning and it seemed like I had just sat down.