How Many Intentional Walks Are Allowed Per Game?

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.

With so much going on in an average Major League Baseball game, it can be easy to lose track of the small details. What’s the batting order? What’s the score? How many hits did that guy get last night?. In this article, we will see about ‘How Many Intentional Walks Are Allowed Per Game?’.

How Many Intentional Walks Are Allowed Per Game?

How Many Intentional Walks Are Allowed Per Game?

In Major League Baseball, each game has a home team and an away team. The away team bats in turn until three players have made plate appearances, at which point both teams’ batting orders are turned over. A maximum of nine players on each team’s batting order (the lineup) are allowed to bat during their respective innings. For example, if there were 28 outs in a game with two outs per inning, then only six innings would be played; because there cannot be more than 18 batters in any inning.

What is an Intentional Walk in Game?

What’s an intentional walk, anyway? Well, it turns out that intentional walks are actually very rare—so rare that you have to keep track of them yourself! Intentional walks are only allowed when the catcher catches four balls in the same at-bat. Then, he will allow his pitcher to pitch to another batter without allowing them to swing.

In baseball, an intentional walk is a deliberate act by which a batter is sent to first base by throwing four balls outside of the strike zone. The player who is intentionally walked may take as many pitches as he wishes; however, if he swings at a pitch and misses or swings at a pitch and makes contact with it and does not hit it into fair territory (e.g., foul ball), then any runners on base are permitted to advance one base without liability to be put out. The turn at bat of an intentionally walked player ends after such a pitch; no further pitches will have legal consequences for him or his team. Intentional walks do not count as plate appearances; thus, they do not affect batting averages. 

However, because they do count as at bats when calculating other statistics such as slugging percentage and OPS, players can get hits in their final plate appearance while being intentionally walked. The Major League Baseball rule book specifies that the pitcher shall deliver four consecutive balls outside the strike zone in order to issue an intentional walk. Any combination of balls that could result in a strike constitutes an intentional ball unless there has been an intervening wild pitch or passed ball. An unintentional wide pitch that passes through the strike zone must be counted as a ball before being considered an unintentional wild pitch.

Batting Order

If a pitcher is on second base with fewer than two outs, you can avoid an intentional walk by keeping him in order to have a better chance of scoring a run. In such situations, managers typically bat their top hitter (usually third or fourth in the lineup) ahead of their pitcher. This ensures that if any runners get on base or there are any fielding errors during their plate appearance, they will be able to score without requiring additional batters. At most levels of baseball, if a batter hits into a double play with fewer than two outs and no runners on base—other than himself—the batting order moves up one spot in your lineup. For example, let’s say you’re leading off an inning with your first baseman batting and he strikes out. Your next hitter comes up, but because of the strikeout, his spot in your batting order has moved from No. 2 to No. 3.

Bonus Bases Awarded

It’s not just walks. There are three different types of intentional walks: (1) a walk issued by a pitcher in order to give his team an advance on second base; (2) a walk issued by a manager for strategic reasons; and (3) an intentional walk awarded as part of an agreed upon rule between two opposing teams. In each case, one full base must be awarded to all runners ahead of where they would have been had there been no bases on balls. Additionally, if there was more than one runner on base when an unintentional walk was called, then no additional bases are awarded unless there are two outs or fewer.

The 3rd Base Coach and Manager

The third base coach is allowed to signal to his pitcher, in lieu of delivering an intentional base on balls. When he’s ready to signal, he’ll stand up and/or wave his hands above his head. The signal is also an intentional walk, which means that runners can advance at their own risk; they don’t have to tag up. No one, not even a player at bat or on deck, can be put out if a runner advances on an IBB (Intentional Base On Balls) or IBS (Intentional Balk). Intentionally walking a batter will result in one of your three pitches being wasted for that batter for that inning only.

The Home Plate Coach and Manager

While there are plenty of rules guiding runners on base, two specific individuals in baseball’s rulebook have a few rules of their own: home plate coaches and managers. These individuals are allowed some additional leeway compared to other players on their team; they aren’t required to wear protective headgear while on field, for example, nor must they remain within a certain distance from home plate. Both coaches and managers can make substitutions at any time—even during an at-bat—without having to ask for permission from a referee or umpire. And if both men leave the bench at any point during a game, neither has to be replaced with another player.


After consulting with several experts in baseball history, we learned that there is no rule regarding how many intentional walks are allowed per game. It is ultimately up to each team to decide if they would like to use their pitcher’s arm for an intentional walk or risk sending them back into the game. However, there are some rules regarding what can happen during an intentional walk.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What is an intentional walk?

An intentional walk, also known as a free pass, is when a pitcher deliberately throws pitches outside of the strike zone to bring about a base on balls for any baserunner(s) on base. 

  • What are some reasons for intentional walks?

Intentional walks may be used in situations where there’s no one on base or with two outs and a runner at third base. The purpose of intentionally walking someone is to set up a double play or force out at home plate. 

  • How many intentional walks can be issued per game?

There’s no limit to how many times you can issue an intentional walk in a game; however, you must have runners on first and second bases with less than two outs before issuing one. 

How Many Intentional Walks Are Allowed Per Game?
Scroll to top