Average game length 3 hours, 6 minutes…Japanese baseball joins the ‘pitch clock’ revolution, but discussions begin to ban extreme shifts

Over the past few years, Major League Baseball has made a concerted effort to shorten the length of games. There is a perception that baseball is a boring sport with a lack of dynamism due to its three-hour game time, which is longer than other professional sports, and the league has been aggressively trying to change that.메이저놀이터

There is a strong perception that the long game length is out of step with the times and hinders Major League Baseball’s competitiveness. Attendance has been declining and broadcast ratings have been falling, creating a sense of crisis.

This season, Major League Baseball has succeeded in shortening the length of games. Last year, the average game lasted 3 hours and 3 minutes, and this year it’s down to 2 hours and 37 minutes. That’s 26 minutes, or one to two innings. This is due to the introduction of the pitch clock.

The pitch clock encourages pitchers to throw fast and batters to hit fast. If the pitcher does not start pitching within 15 seconds after receiving the ball from the catcher if there are no runners on base or 20 seconds if there are runners on base, it will be a ball. If the batter is not ready to bat within eight seconds, it is one strike.

The “pitch clock” revolution may be coming to Nippon Professional Baseball soon. The Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (NPB)

Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) and Miyagi (Orix) are two of the rising aces of NPB. They were born in 2001. SportsNippon headquarters affiliation

Yomiuri’s 23-year-old ace Dogo pitches. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
The Giants began considering the introduction of a “pitch clock” at their owners’ meeting on Tuesday, Japanese media reported.

Seibu Lions President Takashi Goto told Japanese media, “The long game time is a hindrance for non-baseball fans. We need to shorten the game time.”

Commissioner Sadayuki Sakakibara emphasized the need to speed up the game, saying, “Unlike other professional sports where the game time is fixed, baseball is not a game where you can go to eat on time.” However, he said he would not blindly follow Major League Baseball’s lead and would take time to discuss the issue.

He pointed to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final between the United States and Japan. “When Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout went toe-to-toe, it took an average of 27 seconds per pitch, but I didn’t think it was long,” he said.

The pitch clock is likely to be introduced at the 2026 WBC.

The NBF will also consider banning extreme shifts, where a team puts three runners between first and second base, and expanding the basepaths on defense.

Junichi’s 20-year-old Young Gun Takahashi. Photo credit: Junichi Dragons SNS
The average length of a game in Nippon Professional Baseball this season is 3 hours and 6 minutes (9 innings, 3 hours and 11 minutes including extra innings). That’s down 3 minutes from 3 hours and 9 minutes last season.

It has been decreasing by 2-3 minutes every year. It was 3 hours and 16 minutes in 2019, 3 hours and 13 minutes in 2020, and 3 hours and 11 minutes in 2021.

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