Comprehensive Guide to How Many Innings in Softball? 2023

Comprehensive Guide to How Many Innings in Softball? 2023

Softball is a popular sport in many countries around the world and is enjoyed by players of all ages. Many people are not aware of how many innings are in softball or what the differences are between each of the levels. This guide is here to help you understand the basics of softball innings and the variations between each level.

This article will provide an overview of the different levels of softball, from youth leagues to professional leagues, and provide an in-depth look at how many innings are typically played at each level.

It will also explain the importance of knowing how many innings are in softball and how to use that knowledge when playing the game. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this article will help you better understand the ins and outs of the popular team sport.

1. Little League: 6 innings

Little League is the most popular type of softball for children. Little League teams typically play six innings, just like in Major League Baseball. However, there are special rules for Little League that help to keep the game fair and safe for all players. For example, Little League games often have a pitch count limit for each inning, which is designed to protect young arms from overuse. Little League also has a mercy rule which calls for the game to end when one team has a lead of more than 10 runs after four innings.

2. High School: 7 innings

High School Softball is the next step up from Little League and usually the first involvement in competitive softball. High school softball is usually composed of seven innings, although some schools use six innings. Each team gets three outs per inning, and the team with the most runs at the end of the game is the winner. Teams can also choose to end the game if they have achieved a 5-run lead after four innings. All other innings are played until the conclusion of the 7th inning.

3. College: 7 innings

At the college level, the game is often referred to as “7 innings.” This is because each game is made up of seven individual innings. Each inning is composed of two halves, the top and bottom. While the length of an inning is not set, a typical college softball game is usually between 7 and 9 innings long. The home team is always the last to bat in an inning. College softball has many of the same rules as professional softball but with a few additional restrictions. For example, college softball has a mercy rule which eliminates the need for extra innings if a team is up by 8 or more runs after five innings.

how many innings in softball

4. Professional: 9 innings

Professional softball is the highest level of the game, and the rules for this level are governed by the National Pro Fastpitch Association. The games at this level are 9 innings long and are structured similarly to professional baseball games. Professional teams sometimes use a designated hitter, and teams are allowed to substitute players during the game. The rules also allow for unlimited substitutions of runners or base stealers and up to two warm-up pitches between innings. Professional games are officiated by two umpires, one behind home plate and one in the field.

5. International: 7 innings

5. International: 7 Innings: The international level of softball is the most competitive level, and the game is played in 7 innings. At this level, the game is played in full, with no limits on the number of runs that can be scored. The game length can vary, depending on the level of competition, but typically games last between 2-3 hours. In international softball, the last batter of each inning must be retired before the inning can end.


In conclusion, the number of innings in softball can vary depending on the level of play. Youth leagues often play 6 innings, while high school and college games typically consist of 7 innings. Professional leagues will normally play 9 innings. Regardless of the level, understanding the number of innings in softball will help players prepare to perform their best in each game.

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