What causes a baseball game to end?

Introduction to Ending Baseball Games

Baseball games come to an end in a variety of ways. Most games end due to the home team having a higher score than the away team, but there are several other scenarios that can cause a game to end. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different scenarios in which a baseball game can come to an end, including innings limits, rainouts, forfeits, and ties.

Innings Limits

Innings limits are perhaps the most common way for a baseball game to end. There are different rules for innings limits depending on the level of play. For example, Major League Baseball games have no set innings limit, while college games usually have a nine-inning limit. High school games may have a seven-inning limit, while Little League games often have a six-inning limit.

Innings limits are often set to ensure that games don’t last too long and to make sure that players get adequate breaks between innings. If the home team is ahead when the innings limit is reached, the game will end. If the away team is ahead, the home team will get one last chance to score and take the lead in the bottom of the inning.


Rainouts are another common way for a baseball game to end. Rainouts happen when the field becomes too wet or too dangerous to play on due to wet weather. Rainouts can also be caused by lightning strikes or other severe weather conditions.

When a game is rained out, the teams will usually try to reschedule the game for another date. If a rainout occurs in the middle of an inning, the game will be resumed on the same date, with the teams picking up in the same inning they left off in. If the game is rained out before it starts, it will usually be rescheduled for another date.


Forfeits are another way for a baseball game to end. Forfeits occur when one team is unable to field enough players to play the game. For example, if a team only has nine players and the game requires ten players, the team will forfeit the game and the other team will be declared the winner.

Forfeits can also occur if a team does not show up for the game or if a team exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct. Forfeits are usually considered the last resort for ending a game, as the teams should try to work out any issues before resorting to ending the game early.


In some cases, a baseball game can end in a tie. This usually happens when the score is tied when the innings limit is reached. In this case, the game will be declared a tie and both teams will be awarded one point in the standings.

Ties are rare in Major League Baseball, as there is no innings limit. However, ties can occur in college and high school games due to the innings limit.

Extra Innings

In some cases, the game can go into extra innings if the score is tied after the standard number of innings has been played. Extra innings can be played in Major League Baseball, college, and high school games, depending on the rules of the league.

In extra innings, the teams will continue to play until one team takes the lead. If the score is tied after a predetermined number of extra innings, the game will be declared a tie. The number of extra innings allowed varies depending on the level of play.

Mercy Rules

Mercy rules are rules that are put in place to end a game early if one team is ahead by a large margin. Mercy rules are common in youth baseball leagues, as they prevent teams from running up the score and keep games from getting too lopsided.

In most youth leagues, the mercy rule is triggered when one team is ahead by 10 or more runs after five innings. When the mercy rule is triggered, the game will end and the team that is ahead will be declared the winner.


Umpires have the final say in when a game ends. The umpires can end the game at any time if they deem it necessary, such as in cases of weather or an injury. Umpires can also end the game if a team is exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct or if the field is deemed unsafe.

Suspended Games

Suspended games are games that are stopped due to weather or other reasons, but are not considered to be finished. Suspended games can be resumed on the same day or on a later date, depending on the league rules.


In conclusion, there are several different ways for a baseball game to end. In most cases, the game will end when one team has a higher score than the other or when the innings limit is reached. Rainouts, forfeits, ties, extra innings, mercy rules, umpires, and suspended games are all other ways that a game can end. It’s important to know the rules of the league you’re playing in so that you know how a game will end.