Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hello HarbourCats; Goodbye 3 1/2 hour games

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the differences in the style of play of the West Coast League versus the Victoria Seals' old circuit, the Golden Baseball League. As I outlined in the post, we'll be seeing a lot of low-scoring games featuring "small ball" at Royal Athletic Park next summer. An alert reader left a comment on the blog reminding me of the three-to-four-hour Seals games that we regularly suffered through -- a fact that had started to fade from my memory.

The anonymous reader also mentioned that he/she hoped that shorter games would be the norm in the West Coast League. Although neither league publishes the average length of their games, I decided to collect some stats to find out if that would indeed be the case when the HarbourCats come to town. For the WCL, I looked at the last 25 league games played in 2012. For the Victoria Seals, I reviewed the last 25 games that they played in 2010 (excluding 7-inning games played as part of a doubleheader).

According to my calculations, the average length of a Victoria Seals game was a whopping 3 hours and 19 minutes. The average length of a West Coast League game? A much more reasonable 2 hours and 49 minutes -- a full half-hour less than what we saw in 2009-10 and a hair shorter than the MLB average. Shorter, fast-paced games featuring strong fundamentals makes for awfully exciting baseball. Personally, I think that's a winning combination.


  1. I've always found it curious that people who profess to love the game would complain about sitting thru a longer game, (by 30 minutes?) than the average game of baseball. I don't remember SUFFERING through some of the longest games of the Seals history. Jamar Hill's 4 homer game certainly didn't evoke any rememberences of suffering. An extra inning affair, resolved by a Matt Kavanaugh game winner was simply a joyous ending to a wonderful game. I had no idead how long it took in hours.
    There are games out there with game clocks, but fortunately, baseball isn't one of them. Let's hope for some entertaining, competitive games, and not be so concerned with the clock. You just might miss some of the greatest parts of this wonderful game.

  2. Thanks for your comment, jack. I'll agree that the majority of Seals games were great entertainment and I have written at length about the joys of the game on the Victoria Baseball Seals Baseball blog. However, in my opinion, sitting in a chilly ballpark at 11:00 PM on a weeknight with the majority of the fans already on their way home isn't my idea of fun... especially if the game is a blowout. I'll happily take a 16-inning 3-2 game on a warm day anytime, but sometimes less is more.