And it's not golf.
Tim Rohan of the New York Times looks at the very serious experiment by Major League Baseball to speed up Arizona Fall League games by experimenting with shot clocks and other proposed rules. While some of the ideas seem extreme, the effort to recognize the pace issues with the sport must be admired.
Thirty years ago, in 1984, a major league game averaged 2 hours 35 minutes. This season, the average game time crept above three hours for the first time (3:02). In the playoffs, the average length of a nine-inning game has jumped to about 3:26 — including a 2-1, nine-inning contest the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers played that somehow lasted 3:40.
It is games like those — a long time to complete a contest in which not all that much happened — that has Major League Baseball worried that the sport is losing its appeal to a younger generation more attuned to the immediacy of the Internet.
Bud Selig, who is retiring as baseball’s longtime commissioner, would never publicly admit to that concern, but in September he did appoint what was formally titled the Pace of Game Committee to find ways to quicken the sport. Then came the decision to use the Arizona Fall League — six teams in all — as a laboratory.
**Thanks to reader Phil for reminding me of the NBA's experiment with 11 minute quarters a few days ago. The NY Times story from Andrew Keh.