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Why does baseball have nine innings?

Where does the nine innings come from in baseball. Is it because of the number of players?

4505 day(s) ago

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Unlike basketball, which was a purposely invented sport with a well-documented history, baseball came about from a series of evolutions taking place over hundreds of years. It is agreed that modern baseball is a derivative of other bat-and-ball games from England, most noticeably the games called rounders and cricket. A very similar sport was also played in Russia, called Lapta. It was very similar to baseball but no direct lineage can be traced like that of rounders and cricket.

English immigrants to America brought a version of rounders with them that became known as town ball. Eventually, town ball evolved into what is known today as baseball, but the rules were very different then. The first known recorded rules of baseball were put together by Alexander Cartwright in 1845. This draft was known as the Knickerbocker Rules, and they went through several changes as the years progressed. The Knickerbocker Rules did not specify a set number of innings to be played. The length and winner of the game was determined by the first team to reach 21 aces, now called runs. The concept of the inning existed in the Knickerbocker Rules, with offense and defense changing hands when the leading team made three outs. The next inning began when the second team made three outs. Because the game was played to a set score, it was impossible to determine how many innings a game would last. It was possible for a game to end after only one inning if a team scored 21 aces.

The rules governing innings changed in 1857 when a convention was called. Twenty-five teams sent delegates to discuss and amend the official rules of baseball before they formed the first official league the following year. Although the game was changed to be based on nine innings, no reason for the change is known today. Some say it was to limit the time of a game. Others say the nine innings come from the number of players on the field or from the rules of rounders which specified nine roundings were required to win.

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