Many of you may wonder why baseball games start at odd times. In baseball games, creating time means when the first pitch is done.
You will see that baseball games start at 5 to 7 minutes after the hour, like 1.05 or 1.07.
Well, first things first MLB league baseball game starts odd time is because of these reasons.
- Most players stretch and warm-up.
- Extraordinary pregame activities
- Declaration of starting lineups
- Respecting a fan, military service member, exceptional former players
- Extra time for working fans
- TV networks agreement obligations
- Commercial breaks
Why do baseball games start at 7 minutes past?
Though It means it starts 5-8 minutes later rather than starting at the exact hour. So, it is inevitable that it will cross your mind why baseball games start at odd times.
The answer to this question is pretty simple. Because of pre-game rituals and festivities, a baseball game starts at odd times.
Pregame festivities are usually the national anthem, lineup, first pitch, etc. Also, the odd starting provides television time to broadcast game introduction and a commercial break.
Anthem, ceremonial first pitch, player introduction, etc., activities start at the top of an hour. Mostly, it takes up to 5-8 minutes, and then the game begins.
Pregame activities and policies of television broadcast will not be the same every time.
It will differ from game to game and team to team. After these rituals, the first pitch starts.
Throughout the article, we will demonstrate the reasons behind baseball games starting at odd times.
Why do Baseball Games Start at Odd times?
Major league baseball games start 5 to 8 minutes past the hour or half-hour.
There are some specific reasons behind it. Firstly, it allows time for the festivities that are performed before a game.
Secondly, television channels broadcast game introduction and commercial breaks.
These are the main 2 reasons behind this :
- Provides time for pregame festivities like the national anthem, ceremonial first pitch.
- Allows time for television to broadcast game introduction and a commercial break before the first pitch.
There are other reasons like warming up and stretching before the game, announcing the starting team lineup, etc.
1. Pregame Activities:
Pregame activities are part of a baseball game. It includes the national anthem, team lineup, and player introduction, ceremonial first pitch, etc.
You may also see these pregame rituals in other sports. These activities start at a straight hour in a baseball game and end in 5 to 8 minutes.
And so the game starts at an odd time, like 1.05 or 7.08.
- National Anthem:
Playing the national anthem is an integral part of pregame activities.
- Ceremonial First Pitch:
Ceremonial First Pitch is a long-established ritual of baseball games.
A guest of honor throws a ball to indicate the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game.
Initially, the guest threw a ball from his place to the home team catcher or pitcher. But now, the ritual is slightly changed.
The guest stands in the pitcher’s mound and throws the ball towards home plate. Usually, a player from the home team receives the pitch.
Generally, someone influential or famous performs this long-standing ritual of baseball games.
- . Player’s Introduction:
It is usually displayed on the video board. The introduction of the players is shown in this.
Weird starting time such as 7.05 or 7.08 provides a window of time for the teams to perform pregame festivities at the top of the hour. But this is not the only reason for the weird starting time.
- Showing Honour to a Formal Player or Military Service Member:
Baseball is a game with many traditions. Honoring a particular former player or a military person is one of the traditions.
Baseball players show respect to one of their formal players before each game. Besides, they also might establish honor to a military member.
This is also part of the pregame festivities of baseball.
2. Television Broadcasting:
This is likely to be the main reason for the odd starting time.
The game starts at 7.05 or 7.08, allows the television to start the broadcast at the top of the hour, and provides a quick game introduction and commercial breaks.
Actually, this benefits the game and the league.
In recent years, baseball has become boring among fans as they are losing interest in this game.
Most people think baseball is a slow and boring game. This caused fan disengagement. Having long baseball games and long seasons are some main reasons.
Television broadcasts can get fans engaged.
Viewership is the most important thing for any game. So starting a little late will allow time for the fans to get engaged.
Therefore, television broadcasting game introduction and commercial breaks are valuable.
This broadcast also helps economically. Money is a driving factor for all sporting leagues.
The longer the tv broadcasting goes, the more money they will make out of it.
So, the extra 7 or 8 minutes of broadcast brings more money, while this time may seem minor to you.
Broadcasting commercial advertisements or breaks seems to be economically helpful.
Another Reason: Allowing Working Fans Extra Time
Another reason baseball games start at odd times is to allow those fans some time who might be late because of work schedules.
This provides them with some extra time to drive along the roads and get a parking spot. They can also grab a beer and a hotdog.
In America, the workday lasts until 5.00 or 6.00 pm on average.
So starting the game at an odd time, like 7.05 or 7.08, will allow them extra time to drive to the ballpark and find their seats before the first pitch.
Also, it must be remembered that professional baseball is played almost every day as it has a tight 162-game schedule.
So the majority of the audience will rush to the stadium after their work time. So the extra 5 to 8 minutes allow them to reach in time.
How long do baseball games usually last?
You know, baseball games often last for 3 hours and 4 minutes—Ans can usually be played at odd times.
Why do MLB baseball games always seem to start at seven minutes past the hour or half-hour?
The reason MLB baseball games always seem to start at seven minutes past the hour or half-hour is television.
Yes, the television, because you might know each television network comes live with the team’s gaming contract. The more time they get, the more chance of displaying commercials come into play.
Or start of the game and top hours until the new deal to start them at 7:08
Why do baseball playoffs at 7 after and 37 after?
Though, it’s scheduled with the tv network. It means tv networks start on the hour or half-hour.
Let say if baseball starts at 7, the tv program will come on the air. So, even if you have been late for 3 seconds, then chances are you’ll miss the homer.
The philosophy of displaying the game after 5 to 7 minutes is money or opening promotional ads.
Why are there so few MLB baseball games starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday?
There might be 2 reasons that make the MLB baseball game start at 1:00 pm on Saturday,y and that are:
- The money
- FOX has the game of the week
What determines the start time for MLB games?
Well, the league’s heads, clubs, coaches, the upper areas determine the start time for MLB games.
So, sometimes tv contractor manages setup time by making Saturday decisions that benefit both parties.
Why do MLB games start so late?
Baseball games usually don’t have any expected starting time.
It all depends on the ending of pregame festivities. The most frequent starting times are 7.05 or 7.07 (shown as Eastern Standard Time).
On the weekends, there are many games scheduled. So the starting time will vary like 1.05, 1.07. It shows that most games start 5 or 7 minutes past the hour.
On working days, it usually starts at 7.07 or 7.08. This extra time allows working people to come before the first pitch
Do Baseball Games Start Timely?
Despite having an odd starting time, the question may arise, “Do baseball games start timely?” The answer is “No, not always.”
It is not uncommon for a baseball game to start 2-5 minutes late. It is due to pregame discussion of a team or between umpire and manager that may make the first pitch delayed.
Usual Duration of a Baseball Game
In 2018, a baseball game lasted for 3 hours and 4 minutes on average.
Due to the long duration, baseball faced criticism from fans. Most people think this game is tedious and lengthy.
There are also some reasons for this game lasting so long. Several steps have been taken by Major League Baseball to shorten the length of games.
Also, they have taken many practical steps to make the game entertaining and increase fan engagement.
Over these recent years, these steps are showing promising signs also.
Is Stretching And Warming Up Before Game Important
Before any MBL match, players usually warm up and stretch to circulate blood.
This will help them gradually get stronger as they have a match to play. Again, it will also help them to prevent any injuries.
What are the Reasons for Baseball Games to Start Late?
Mainly the time zone difference is the reason for the late start.
For example, if you are on the east coast and the game is played on the west coast, the 7.00 pm game will be aired at 10.00 pm in your area.
This may be a problem for some fans who can’t stay up late to watch games.
Do Any Other Games Start at Odd Times
Other professional games like ( basketball, football, cricket, etc.) usually don’t have odd starting times like baseball.
Usually, they start at a regular time, like at the exact hour or half an hour.
Some Post-Game Festivities of Baseball
Earlier, we talked about some pregame festivities of baseball games. But some activities are performed after the game.
One of the most common post-game festivities is fireworks. It is very familiar and almost always occurs on weekends.
This also attracts the fanbase. Fans enjoy this and often bring their family along.
Sometimes, teams arrange an in-stadium post-game show that is even broadcast by television channels.
This has a significant impact on attracting fans to stick around after the game ends.
We may be familiar with the odd starting times of a baseball game, but many people don’t know why baseball games start at odd times.
Television contract obligation is the main reason behind it. Besides, this also allows teams to perform pregame activities.
Last but not least, we can’t forget about the working fans who come to watch the game after their work.
The game starting late is an advantage for them to come before the fun begins.
James Anderson loves sports and writes about them. He is a sports ethicist who has studied ethical issues in sport for over 20 years. James is also an avid runner, cyclist, and skier.
Words from the Author:
‘’I have been writing about sports for over 20 years, and I am a sports ethicist by trade. My work has always focused on the ethical dimensions of sport, and I have studied it in depth both academically and practically. In addition to being an avid runner, cyclist, and skier myself, I love all types of athletics from baseball to gymnastics.’’
1 thought on “Why Do Baseball Games Start at Odd Times?”