AskDefine | Define inning

Dictionary Definition

inning n : a period of play in baseball during which each team has a turn at bat [syn: frame]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

  1. , mistaken to be plural of the time period, not the entries of the batters/batsmen.

Pronunciation

Noun

inning (plural: innings)
  1. A period of play in which members of a visiting baseball team attempt to hit a baseball pitched by the opposing home team until three players are called out, followed by a similar attempt by members of the home baseball team against the visiting team's pitching. There are nine or more innings in a regulation baseball game.
    It is a baseball tradition to sing "Take Me Out To the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch.
  2. (Softball) A similar period of play.
    We batted around in our half of the inning.
  3. A chance or opportunity to perform some deed or act.
    We are in just the second inning of our quest to enter this new market.

Extensive Definition

An inning, or innings, is a fixed-length segment of a game in any of a variety of sports – most notably cricket and baseball during which one team attempts to score while the other team attempts to prevent the first from scoring. In cricket, the term innings is both singular and plural and is always spelled and pronounced with the terminal "s". In baseball, the singular form is inning and only the plural takes an "s".
In many other sports, the length of the game is dictated by a clock and teams swap offensive and defensive roles dynamically by taking possession of a ball or similar item. In baseball and cricket, however, one team, said to be "batting", attempts to score "runs"—see run (baseball) and run (cricket)—while the other team, said to be "fielding", attempts to prevent the scoring of runs and get members of the batting team out. The teams switch places after the fielding team has succeeded in getting a fixed number of players out, making a clock unnecessary.
In cricket, the term innings is also used to refer to the play of one particular player (Smith had a poor innings, scoring only 12). By extension, this term can be used in British English for almost any activity which takes a period of time (The Liberal government had a good innings, but finally lost office in 1972, or You've had a fair innings, now it's my turn, meaning "you have spoken for long enough, now let me speak"). It is also used in reference to someone who has died at a reasonably old age or lived a rich and rewarding life (Ah, well. John was 83. At least he had a good innings.). The baseball-derived parallel to this in American English is the term at bat.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term innings has been used in reference to cricket since at least 1735. As cricket was a mature, highly organized sport in the 1600's in England, the term's origin could well precede this first recorded usage. The word inning meaning 'a gathering in' is first recorded in 1522, and could be related.

Cricket

In cricket, a team's innings usually lasts until 10 of the 11 batsmen in the team are out, leaving the not out batsman without a partner and thus unable to continue, or until another event intervenes (such as the captain of the team declaring the innings closed for tactical reasons; or the time allotted for the entire game expiring).
In First-class cricket and Test cricket, each side has two innings. In one-day cricket and other abbreviated forms of the game, an innings lasts only for a set period or for a certain number of overs (typically 50). Note that "an innings" can mean either a particular side's innings (Sri Lanka made 464 in the third innings (of the game)) or that of both sides (England had the better of the first innings, outscoring Australia by 104), the difference being understood by context.
An individual innings usually lasts until the batsman is given out, or until the end of the team innings. Although batsmen bat together in pairs, this combination is never called an innings: it is a partnership or a stand.

Baseball

An inning in baseball consists of two halves. In each half, one team bats until three outs are made, with the other team playing defense. Each half-inning formally starts when the umpire calls "Batter up!" A full inning consists of six outs, three for each team; and a regulation game consists of nine innings. The visiting team always bats first in each inning, and the visitors' turn at bat is often called the top of the inning, derived from the position of the visiting team at the top line of a baseball line score. The home team's half of an inning is also called the bottom of the inning, and the break between halves of an inning is called the middle of the inning. If the home team is leading in the middle of the ninth inning, or scores to take the lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the game immediately ends in a home victory. Ending a half-inning is referred to as "retiring the side." A half-inning in which all batters are put out without taking a base is referred to as a "one-two-three inning."
If the score is tied after nine innings, the game goes into extra innings until an inning ends with one team ahead of the other. In Japanese baseball, however, games end if tied after 12 innings. As in the case of the ninth inning, a home team which scores to take a lead in any extra inning automatically wins, and the inning (and the game) is considered complete at that moment regardless of the number of outs. This is commonly referred to as a "walk-off" situation, since the last play results in the teams walking off the field because the game is over.
In US English, baseball terminology is sometimes found in non-sports usage in a tense situation: "it's the bottom of the ninth with the home team behind," meaning "there isn't much time to turn things around here."
Professional baseball games (both major and minor leagues) as well as college baseball games last nine innings. High school games last seven innings and Little League uses six inning games.
inning in Danish: Inning
inning in German: Inning (Ballsport)
inning in Italian: Inning
inning in Portuguese: Entrada (beisebol)
inning in Japanese: イニング
inning in Polish: Innings
inning in Ukrainian: Інінґ
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