An inning, or innings, is a fixed-length segment of a game in any of a variety of
sports – most notably cricketand baseballduring 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 Englishfor 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 1600s 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.
In cricket, a team's innings usually lasts until 10 of the 11
batsmenin 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).
First-class cricketand Test cricket, each side has two innings. In one-day cricketand 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".
* [http://icc-cricket.yahoo.com/about-icc/rules-regulations.html International Cricket Council Rules and Regulations]
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 "Play!" 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 inningsuntil 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.
* [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2007/04_starting_and_ending_game.pdf Major League Baseball Starting and Ending a Game (see 4.10)]
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Look at other dictionaries:
innings — In cricket, innings is both singular (the first innings) and plural (the best of his three innings). In AmE, the word used in baseball has a singular form inning and a plural form innings … Modern English usage
innings — ► NOUN (pl. same) (treated as sing. ) Cricket ▪ each of the divisions of a game during which one side has a turn at batting. ● a good innings Cf. ↑a good innings … English terms dictionary
Innings — Ein Innings im Cricket ist ein Spieldurchgang, währenddessen eine Mannschaft die ganze Zeit das Schlagrecht besitzt. Im Cricket ist dieser Begriff zugleich Einzahl und Mehrzahl (ein Innings, zwei Innings, …). Ein Spiel besteht aus ein oder… … Deutsch Wikipedia
innings — UK [ˈɪnɪŋz] / US noun [countable] Word forms innings : singular innings plural innings a) a period in a cricket match during which one player or one team tries to score runs (= points) b) the number of runs (= points) a player or team scores… … English dictionary
Innings — Lexique du cricket Le cricket est un sport qui dispose d un lexique complexe : les termes techniques et expressions qu on y emploie de manière spécifique sont nombreux. Sommaire : Haut A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q … Wikipédia en Français
innings — [[t]ɪ̱nɪŋz[/t]] N COUNT (innings is both the singular and the plural form.) An innings is a period in a game of cricket during which a particular team or player is batting. The home side were all out for 50 in their second innings … English dictionary
innings — noun plural innings 1 (C) the period of time when a cricket team or player bats (bat2 (1)) 2 he/she had a good innings BrE informal used about someone who has died to say that they had a long life: It s sad. Still, she was 89 she had a good… … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
innings — in|nings [ˈınıŋz] n plural innings 1.) the period of time in a game of ↑cricket when a team or player ↑bats 2.) he/she had a good innings BrE informal used about someone who has died to say that they had a long life … Dictionary of contemporary English
innings — noun (plural same or informal inningses) [treated as sing.] Cricket each of the divisions of a game during which one side has a turn at batting. ↘a player s turn at batting. Phrases have had a good innings Brit. informal have had a long and… … English new terms dictionary
innings — [ˈɪnɪŋz] (plural innings) noun [C] a period in a CRICKET match during which one player or one team tries to score RUNS … Dictionary for writing and speaking English