To break a tie, an extra-inning is called for by the officials of the game. This is often referred to as the bonus baseball. Technically, the sport consists of nine regular innings only. These innings are divided into halves. Usually, the visiting teams are allowed to bat first, before the home team gets their chance.

How Bonus Baseball Works?

During the game, if two teams tied a score at the end of the regulated innings, two rules are stipulated under bonus baseball. First, the play will continue until the visiting team manages to score more runs compared to the home team. It should be completed by the end of the extra inning. The second rule is, the home team gets to score the winning run even if the inning is not completed. Since the visiting team bats first and the home team gets to bat the next, the second rule does not allow that the visiting team gets to score more runs before the inning ends.

Once a bonus baseball is awarded to the two teams, the batting order, availability of the players, substitute players, pitchers remains the same. To avoid exhausting the team during the extra winning, baseball coaches are encouraged to display caution to their substitute players while they are playing the regular innings. If the substitute players are exhausted, and the game requires to do more extra innings, the team would end up forfeiting the game if they are unable to provide the required nine players on the field.

Longest Bonus Baseball Games

Bonus baseball games came to be to break the tie of two teams who manage to get the same score. During the Minor League Baseball tournament, the longest extra innings ever recorded was in 1981. It lasted 33 innings between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings.

Another extra innings tournament was the Major League Baseball on May 1, 1920. During the national games, Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins had a 1-1 tie. They ended up playing 26 innings and lasted for 3 hours and 50 minutes. The two teams played until it was too dark to see the ball on the field.