Strategic Time Out Meaning | Explained

Strategic time out meaning is self-explanatory. The teams in Indian Premier League (IPL), the only franchise league to have a strategy time out, get a chance to rework the game plan during the match, or it is used as a ploy to break the opposition’s momentum.

Strategic time out in IPL is similar to the time out concept used in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Introduced in 2009, it gives both teams a three-minute break each during the match to reformulate their strategies. The coaches can come from the dugout and discuss strategy and tactics with the players.

In IPL, the bowling side has to take the strategic time out between overs 6 and 10. Meanwhile, the batting side can only call for the strategic break between overs 11 and 16.

Strategic Time Out – IPL 2009 Season

The opening match of the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings saw the strategic time out used for the first time. The time out happened during the 10th over of each inning, lasting 7.30 minutes – a total of 15 minutes. The strategic break duration is more than the innings break time in the IPL, which is just ten minutes.

Fans were widely critical of the duration of the time out, accusing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of using the new concept for commercial gains only. Later, the BCCI reduced it to 2.30 minutes per team in an innings. The teams can call for a time out anytime in their stipulated overs.

In the IPL 2022 season, the strategic time out increased from 2:30 minutes to 3 minutes. The umpire will point to his wristwatch watch with raised hands to signal that the strategic time out has been taken. Intervals between innings and drink breaks are some of the other stoppages during the match.

Strategic Time Out IPL – the Good & the Bad

Strategic time out is used by the teams to re-evaluate their game plans during the game. If the bowling side struggles to stop the run flow in the powerplay, they will most likely take the time out immediately after the fielding restriction ends. It might affect the batting side’s momentum and result in a wicket or two.

The bowling side, too, could be affected by the batting side’s strategic time out in the middle overs. With wickets key to keeping the batting side quiet, the bowlers will search for breakthroughs. However, a break-in between the middle overs could help the batters energize and put the pressure back on bowlers. A few teams take the time out when a wicket falls.

‘Strategic Time Out Hampering Momentum’

Legendary Sachin Tendulkar was vocal about the duration of IPL strategic time out in the 2009 season. The then Mumbai Indians captain said the short break was affecting the momentum and the 450 seconds strategy break was a “bit too long”.

Chasing 169 against Deccan Chargers in the IPL 2nd edition, the Mumbai outfit lost their way after making a brilliant start in the first ten overs. Tendulkar was dismissed immediately after the strategic time, and Mumbai Indians fell short by 12 runs despite scoring 84 runs at the halfway point of the run chase.

Few players and coaches, too, pointed out that the strategic time out is a distraction and hampers the momentum. It prompted the BCCI to revise the strategic time out duration and bring a few other changes. With match timings suited to all kinds of fans, BCCI decided to reduce the duration of the strategic timeout.

Strategic Time Out Meaning – Global Leagues

The Strategic Time Out meaning doesn’t change, if it is implemented for other leagues. With the success of IPL and its new concepts, a few franchise leagues implemented the strategic break. Big Bash League introduced a 90-second break from the 2019-20 season. The batting side can take a strategic break anytime between the seventh and 13th overs of the innings. If the batting side decides not to use it, there will be a break at the end of the 13th over.

The bowling side can call for a 150-second time out in the England Cricket Board’s Hundred tournament. Like in IPL, the coaches can join the players on the field and discuss tactics during the break. The bowling side can opt for a time out whenever they want.

FAQs about Strategic Time Out Meaning

What is strategic time out in IPL?

A strategic time out is a break called by the teams to make necessary tactical changes during the match.

Who introduced strategic time out first?

In 2009, IPL launched the concept of strategic time out in cricket.

Can teams take strategic time out in the middle of an over?

Yes, a team can call for a strategic time in the middle of an over. In IPL, the bowling side is allowed to take the time-out between 6-10 overs, while it is between 11-16 overs for the batting team.

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