Glove and Bat

Doubleheaders in Baseball: Types Scheduling and Rules

Introduction to Doubleheaders

For baseball enthusiasts, the term “doubleheader” is not an unfamiliar one. The phrase is used to describe a unique event in the sport that involves two games played by the same teams in one day.

It’s a spectacle that offers an extended opportunity to witness competitive play while testing the endurance of both players and fans. Doubleheaders have been a part of baseball history for over a century, but many still don’t fully understand the logistics and scheduling behind them.

This article will provide an illuminating insight into doubleheaders, including their history, types, and rules.

Factors Affecting Doubleheader Scheduling

Doubleheaders are scheduled for various reasons, including weather, game availability, and level. However, weather is one of the biggest factors that determine the scheduling of doubleheaders.

Rain delays can wreak havoc on game schedules, and in many cases, the only option is to play a doubleheader the next day. Game availability also plays a major role.

For instance, when teams are unable to schedule games at other times during the season, due to other constraints, they often arrange doubleheaders to get the required number of games in. Similarly, when teams are playing a series, if one game of the series is postponed due to weather or other reasons, the teams will schedule a doubleheader on the day in which the game is rescheduled, playing both games in a single day.

While the level of the teams may not seem like a significant factor, it does determine the type and length of the doubleheader. For example, minor league teams often play doubleheaders consisting of two seven-inning games.

Meanwhile, in Major League Baseball (MLB), the standard doubleheader consists of two nine-inning games.

History of Doubleheaders in Baseball

Doubleheaders date back to the early days of baseball and have their origins in railroad terminology. Train transportation is how teams traveled to play games in different cities, and scheduling was challenging due to the limited travel capabilities of the time.

As a result, teams would often play two games in one day, with the second game played under the lights. This format allowed traveling teams to maximize their playing time, as their time in the city was limited.

Types of Doubleheaders in Baseball

1. Twi-Night Doubleheader

A twi-night doubleheader is played when games are scheduled to start later in the day.

These types of games typically happen during the summer when the sunlight lasts longer. The first game starts at 5 pm while the players get a break before the second game commences at 8 pm.

The unique aspect of this doubleheader is that a single ticket can be used to gain entrance to both games. 2.

Classic Doubleheader

A classic doubleheader starts early in the afternoon, usually around 1 pm, and consists of two nine-inning games. There are no lights for the second game, and the unique aspect of the classic doubleheader is that fans can watch both games on the same ticket.

3. Day-Night Doubleheader

A day-night doubleheader is played as two separate baseball games on the same day.

The first game starts in the early afternoon, with a break of maybe two hours between the two games, then the second game begins in the evening. This type of doubleheader is rare and is usually scheduled when one of the games from the series is canceled due to a rainout.

4. Tripleheader

A tripleheader is the most exceptional form of the doubleheader, consisting of three nine-inning games played back-to-back.

It’s the rarest and usually scheduled only during the occasional charity event or when teams are behind schedule for a full season.

Doubleheader Rules

All doubleheaders consist of two games. In the minor league, typically, both games are played in seven innings, while in MLB, both games consist of nine innings.

In terms of rotations, teams will use their regular rotations for both games of the doubleheader, using the same starting pitchers for each game. However, in cases of pitching emergencies, they may replace one pitcher with another.

If a player is ejected in the first game of a doubleheader, the player is allowed to participate in the second game unless the ejection was warranted by physical action. In the latter scenario, the player is replaced, and they cannot participate in the second game.


Doubleheaders are a unique experience for both players and fans in the world of baseball. Weather and game availability significantly influence the scheduling of doubleheaders.

Different types of doubleheaders exist, ranging from twi-night to classic doubleheaders, as well as the rare tripleheaders. The rules of doubleheaders allow and disallow players based on physical involvement and the length of games.

Understanding the history and different types of doubleheaders enables baseball enthusiasts to appreciate this unique aspect of the sport fully.

Reasons for Doubleheaders in Baseball

Doubleheaders are a unique event in baseball that offers an extended opportunity for both players and fans to witness competitive play. Aside from being a spectacle, doubleheaders serve several purposes in the sport.

Below are some of the primary reasons for doubleheaders in baseball:

Weather-related Postponements

One of the most common reasons for doubleheaders in baseball is weather-related postponements. Bad weather such as heavy rain, snow, or thunderstorms often causes game cancellations, which can affect a team’s schedule and disrupt the league’s schedule.

In most cases, the game must be made up, and the only way to do so is by playing a doubleheader. When inclement weather affects the scheduled game, baseball officials will initially try to reschedule the match for a later date with the objective of meeting the required game quotas that each team is expected to play in a season.

However, this can lead to scheduling conflicts as the game has to be played on a day off. Alternatively, officials may decide to reschedule the game as part of a doubleheader, either as a Classic or as a Twi-Night Doubleheader.

Power Outages and Safety Concerns

In rare cases, power outages or safety concerns may be the reason for a doubleheader. These situations are usually unplanned, and officials are compelled to play a doubleheader as a solution.

For instance, in 2019, a power outage during a game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets caused the game to be postponed, leading to a doubleheader the next day. Similarly, in 2015, after protests following the shooting of Freddie Gray, then Baltimore Orioles player Chris Davis commented on the importance of doubleheaders, stating that, “It’s one of the small things that baseball can do in such a big situation to give the city something to look forward to.

Hence, in response to the safety concerns at the Orioles’ home game, the game was postponed, leading to a doubleheader, which served as a temporary escape in a tumultuous situation.

Schedule and Travel Crunch

The MLB season is a long and grueling one, and the game schedules are often tight. Hence, doubleheaders are a way to make up for lost games without distorting the overall schedule’s rhythm.

The tight game schedule can also lead to travel crunches, and doubleheaders can be used to enable teams to complete a series in a shorter time frame. In cases where teams are in different parts of the country but need to complete a series, doubleheaders can serve as a way to save time, enabling teams to get back home sooner.

Home-and-Home Doubleheader

A home-and-home doubleheader is a unique occurrence in baseball and occurs when two teams play a doubleheader at each other’s home ballpark. It’s an unusual situation but has its advantages for both teams involved.

Definition and Purpose


Home-and-Home Doubleheader is a situation where two teams play a doubleheader in which both teams play one game as the home team and one as the visitors. The purpose of this type of doubleheader is to even out any discrepancies between home and away team advantages.

Advantages of the

Home-and-Home Doubleheader

One of the main advantages of a home-and-home doubleheader is that both teams have the opportunity to experience the advantages of batting last. In baseball, the home team gets to bat the last inning, known as the bottom of the ninth, which provides a distinct advantage.

By switching between home and away, both teams get to experience this advantage, allowing for a fairer contest. Another advantage of the home-and-home doubleheader is scheduling flexibility.

For instance, if both teams are to play a series of three games, playing one day of playing doubleheader between the two ballparks can reduce the schedule from three days to two, which means less travel and more rest days. This scheduling flexibility ensures that players don’t overexert and are well-rested for their games.


Doubleheaders are an exciting occurrence in baseball. They commonly occur due to weather-related postponements, power outages, and safety concerns, and travel schedules.

Home-and-home doubleheaders are rare and allow for both teams to experience the advantages of batting last and offer scheduling flexibility. Regardless of the reason for doubleheaders, it is a unique way to witness more games in one day, have a thrilling experience, and savour baseball in all its glory.

Frequently Asked Questions about Doubleheaders

Doubleheaders are a unique event in baseball where two games are played on the same day. They have been a staple of baseball for over a century, but there is still a lot to learn about this unique occurrence.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding doubleheaders:

Longest Doubleheader Game in Baseball History

The longest doubleheader in baseball history was on May 31, 1964, when the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets played a game that lasted 7 hours and 23 minutes, which went into extra innings and lasted a staggering 32 innings. The previous record was held by the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who played a 26 inning game in May of 1920.

Duration of Doubleheader Game

Doubleheader games typically last for nine innings each, making it a total of 18 innings for both games. However, in minor league baseball, games may last only seven innings, making the doubleheader game 14 innings in total.

It’s important to note that if the first game goes into extra innings, the second game will begin shortly after the completion of the first game, with both teams allowed a break of approximately 30 minutes.

Player Lineup in a Doubleheader

The player lineup for a doubleheader is at the discretion of the team’s managers. Generally, the starting line-up will be the same for both games, but there is also likely to be some variation in some positions.

For instance, in the second game, the team may choose to rest some of their star players and play some reserves, giving them a chance to get some playing time and saving the star players for more critical games in the future.

Outcome Frequency of Doubleheaders

In doubleheaders, there are generally three possible outcomes. First, it’s possible that one team may sweep both games, resulting in a 2-0 outcome.

Alternatively, there may be a split: each team wins one game, resulting in a 1-1 outcome. Finally, if both games result in a tie, then the outcome is 0-0.

One Team Sweep If one team sweeps both games, it can have significant impacts on the standings, especially if it’s a divisional game. A team that wins both games takes two games away from the losing team but adds two to their own win total.

This can significantly impact a team’s ranking in their division. Split Result A split result is the most common outcome in doubleheaders, with each team winning one game.

In this outcome, neither team gains significant advantage, but it can have minor impacts on their win-loss record and their position in the standings.

Buying Tickets for Doubleheaders

Fans who want to attend a doubleheader game can purchase tickets usually as they would for any regular baseball game. In some cases, fans can purchase a single ticket for both games, such as in the case of a Twi-Night Doubleheader.

But, for a Day-Night Doubleheader, two separate tickets are purchased since the games are played at different times. Fans must also check their team’s website or other ticket vendors for doubleheader ticket availability.

Additionally, ticket prices for a doubleheader game may also be discounted compared to individual game tickets.


Doubleheaders are a unique occurrence in baseball that has been part of the sport’s history for over a century. The games are unique for their unpredictability, and the duration of the games can differ from the usual standard.

The player lineup and outcome frequency are decided based on the managerial decisions made by the team, and buying tickets for doubleheaders is similar to buying tickets for everyday games, with slight differences. Understanding more about how doubleheaders work can give baseball enthusiasts a better appreciation of this unique aspect of the sport.

Doubleheaders are a unique and essential aspect of baseball, dating back to the early days of the sport. They are typically scheduled due to weather-related postponements, safety concerns, or travel crunches.

There are different types of doubleheaders, including twi-night, classic, day-night, and even the rare tripleheader. Managers have control over the player lineup, and the outcomes can vary in the form of a sweep, a split, or a tie.

Fans can purchase tickets for doubleheaders, either as a single ticket for both games or two separate tickets for a day-night doubleheader. FAQs regarding doubleheaders include the longest doubleheader game in history, the duration of the games, player lineups, outcomes, and ticket purchases.

Understanding more about doubleheaders is essential for baseball enthusiasts. Doubleheaders offer more opportunities to watch games, save time, witness exciting contests, and appreciate the sport’s rich history.

Popular Posts