, or innings
, is a fixed-length segment of a game in any of a variety of sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...
s – most notably cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...
during which one team attempts to score while the other team attempts to prevent the first from scoring. In cricket, the term innings
is both singular and plural and is always spelled and pronounced with the terminal "s". In baseball and softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...
, the singular form is inning
and only the plural takes an "s".
In many other sports, the length of the game is dictated by a clock and teams swap offensive and defensive roles dynamically by taking possession of a ball or similar item. In baseball and cricket, however, one team, said to be "batting", attempts to score "runs"—see run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...
and run (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, a run is the basic unit of scoring. Runs are scored by a batsman, and the aggregate of the scores of a team's batsmen constitutes the team's score. A batsman scoring 50 or 100 runs , or any higher multiple of 50 runs, is considered a particular achievement...
—while the other team, said to be "fielding", attempts to prevent the scoring of runs and get members of the batting team out
. The teams switch places after the fielding team has succeeded in getting a fixed number of players out, making a clock unnecessary.
In cricket, the term innings
is also used to refer to the play of one particular player (Smith had a poor innings, scoring only 12
). By extension, this term can be used in British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...
for almost any activity which takes a period of time (The Liberal government had a good innings, but finally lost office in 1972
, or You've had a fair innings, now it's my turn
, meaning "you have spoken for long enough, now let me speak"). It is also used in reference to someone who has died at a reasonably old age or lived a rich and rewarding life (Ah, well. John was 89. At least he had a good innings
). The baseball-derived parallel to this in American English is the term at bat
In baseball, an at bat or time at bat is used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. It is a more restricted definition of a plate appearance...
According to the Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...
, the term innings
has been used in reference to cricket since at least 1735. As cricket was a mature, highly organized sport in the 1600s in England, the term's origin could well precede this first recorded usage. The word inning
meaning 'a gathering in' is first recorded in 1522, and could be related.
In cricket, a team's innings
usually lasts until 10 of the 11 batsmen in the team are out
, leaving the not out
batsman without a partner and thus is unable to continue, or until another event intervenes (such as the captain of the team declaring
In the sport of cricket a declaration occurs when a captain declares his team's innings closed and a forfeiture is when a captain chooses to forfeit an innings. Declaration and forfeiture are covered in Law 14 of the Laws of cricket...
the innings closed for tactical reasons; or the time allotted for the entire game expiring).
In First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...
and Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...
, each side has two innings. In one-day cricket
Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket and in a slightly different context as List A cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket in which a match is generally completed in one day, whereas Test and first-class matches can take up to five days to complete...
and other abbreviated forms of the game
Short form cricket is a collective term for several modified forms of the sport of cricket, with playing times significantly shorter than more traditional forms of the game....
, an innings lasts only for a set period or for a certain number of overs
In the sport of cricket, an over is a set of six consecutive balls bowled in succession. An over is normally bowled by a single bowler. However, in the event of injury preventing a bowler from completing an over, it is completed by a teammate....
(typically 50). Note that "an innings" can mean either a particular side's innings (Sri Lanka made 464 in the third innings
[of the game]) or that of both sides (England had the better of the first innings, outscoring Australia by 104
), the difference being understood by context.
An individual innings usually lasts until the batsman is given out, or until the end of the team innings. Although batsmen bat together in pairs, this combination is never called an innings
: it is a partnership
or a stand
in baseball or softball consists of two halves. In each half, one team bats until three outs
In baseball, an out occurs when the defensive, or fielding, team effects any of a number of different events, and the umpire rules a batter or baserunner out. When a player is called out, he is said to be retired...
are made, with the other team playing defense. Each half-inning formally starts when the umpire calls "Play ball!". A full inning consists of six outs, three for each team; and a regulation game consists of nine innings. The visiting team always bats first in each inning, and the visitors' turn at bat is called the top
of the inning, derived from the position of the visiting team at the top line of a baseball line score
In baseball, the statistical summary of a game is reported in a box score. An abbreviated version of the box score, duplicated from the field scoreboard, is the line score...
. The home team's half of an inning is also called the bottom
of the inning, and the break between halves of an inning is called the middle
of the inning. If the home team is leading in the middle of the ninth inning, or scores to take the lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the game immediately ends in a home victory. Ending a half-inning is referred to as "retiring the side". A half-inning in which all batters are put out without taking a base is referred to as a "one-two-three inning".
If the score is tied after nine innings, the game goes into extra innings
Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie.Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine innings , each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat...
until an inning ends with one team ahead of the other. In Japanese baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball or NPB is the highest level of baseball in Japan. Locally, it is often called , meaning Professional Baseball. Outside of Japan, it is often just referred to as "Japanese baseball." The roots of the league can be traced back to the formation of the in 1934 and the...
, however, games end if tied after 12 innings (or, in postseason play in Nippon Professional Baseball, 15 innings). As in the case of the ninth inning, a home team which scores to take a lead in any extra inning automatically wins, and the inning (and the game) is considered complete at that moment regardless of the number of outs. This is commonly referred to as a "walk-off" situation, since the last play results in the teams walking off the field because the game is over. However, road teams can't earn a "walk-off" victory by scoring the go-ahead run in extra innings, unlike in American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
and ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...
where the team (either home or away) scores first in overtime automatically wins.
In US English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....
, baseball terminology is sometimes found in non-sports usage in a tense situation: "it's the bottom of the ninth [inning] (sometimes adding, "with two outs"),
meaning "there isn't much time to turn things around here".
Professional baseball games (both major and minor leagues) as well as college baseball games last nine innings. High school games and College softball
College softball is softball as played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education, predominantly in the United States. College softball is normally played by women at the intercollegiate level, whereas college baseball is normally played by men.As with other intercollegiate...
last seven innings and Little League uses six inning games.
- Major League Baseball Starting and Ending a Game (see 4.10)
- Baseball statistics
Statistics play an important role in summarizing baseball performance and evaluating players in the sport.Since the flow of a baseball game has natural breaks to it, and normally players act individually rather than performing in clusters, the sport lends itself to easy record-keeping and statistics...
- Seventh-inning stretch
The seventh-inning stretch is a tradition in baseball that takes place between the halves of the seventh inning of any game – in the middle of the seventh inning. Fans generally stand up and stretch out their arms and legs and sometimes walk around. It is a popular time to get a late-game snack as...