How Many Innings In College Softball?

Softball is a game that is much similar to baseball. It is played on a field having base lengths of 60 feet. It is played with a ball larger in circumference than the baseball and is around 28-40 cm in circumference. Softball can be played at various levels: College level, club level, and professional level. This game was first played in 1887 in the United States. The game includes two teams having 9-10 members each. The number of umpires can lie between one to seven. Due to smaller fields and the players close to the home plate than the baseball, Softball moves at a much faster pace. Let us know ‘How Many Innings In College Softball?’.

How Many Innings In College Softball?

There are seven innings played in a college softball game. But if the two teams end in a tie after seven innings, then extra innings will be played. Each of the innings amongst the seven is divided into two halves: a ‘top half’ and the ‘bottom half’-

  • Top half-

In the top half, the away team ( the team playing outside of home ground ) usually bats first and the home team fields first. The away team tries to score as many runs as possible and the home team’s duty is to make three outs. When the batting team’s three players get out, the top half will end.

  • Bottom half

After the top half ends, the bottom half starts in which the role of teams gets exchanged. The home team will bat and try to complete the target runs, and the away team will field and try to make three outs.

The same continues for all the seven innings and if at the end, there is a tie, then an extra inning will be played.

How extra-inning works?

In the extra inning, a player is placed on second base to run and that will help to end the game as soon as possible. If the away team has scored three runs in the top half of the eighth inning ( extra inning ) and the home team scored two runs in the bottom half, then the away team would be considered the winner of the game.

Duration of a college softball game

If the game does not end in a tie, then it will take about two hours to complete the game. In case, there is an extra inning to be played, then the time is not certain and could go any longer.

Two types of softball played-

Two rules are formed generally to play softball that is Slow-pitch softball and the other is Fast-pitch softball-

  • Slow-pitch softball-

In Slow-pitch softball, there are only ten players allowed on the ground. In this type, ‘bunting’ (is a technique in which the batter intentionally strikes the ball with a bat to tap it in the infield) and ‘stealing bases’ (It happens when the base runner advances to the base of which he is not entitled and pitcher pitches the ball to the home plate) are not allowed.

  • Fast-pitch softball-

In this type of softball, nine players are allowed on the ground at once. One can recognize from the name that the pitch is fast in this softball. It is the most common form of softball in a few regions of the United States. Fast-pitch softball allows bunting and stealing bases.

Important rules for college softball-

There are quite many rules to play softball but some of the most important rules are described below-

  • Running the bases-

There are in total four bases in the softball game: first base, second base, third base, and the home plate. Each runner has to step on all the bases to score runs. As long as the players are standing on the base, they are safe and cannot be considered out.

  • Strike out-

A batter is considered out after ‘three strikes’. The Strike zone is the region between the batter’s bottom part of the shoulder and the knees. The umpire has to check whether there is a strikeout or not. If the ball falls in the strike zone after the third time, then the batter is considered to be out.

  • Motion of throwing the ball-

In softball, the pitcher should throw the ball in such a motion that the hand comes throwing the ball from below the hip. The pitcher has to contact his feet with the pitcher’s plate before throwing the ball.

  • Innings and players in a game-

There should be seven innings in a  college softball game with nine players on each team.


A college softball game has seven innings in total. An extra-inning will take place if there is a tie in the game. It would take around two hours to complete the college softball game but more time can be accumulated if an extra-inning is to be played.

Frequently asked questions-
  • What is the longest duration of a softball game up to date?

Ans- The longest duration was 6.5 hours between Utah and Creighton in softball.

  • In which countries softball is the most popular?

Ans- USA and Japan are the two countries where softball is the most popular.