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Night game

This article is about sports practiced at night. For the novel, see Night Game (novel). For the film, see Night Game (film).

A night game is a sporting event that takes place, completely or partially, after the local sunset. Depending on the sport, this can be done either with floodlights or with the usual low-light conditions. The term "night game" is typically used only in reference to sports traditionally held outdoors. Although indoor sporting events often take place after local sunset, these events are artificially lighted regardless of the time of day they take place.


The use of floodlights in cricket matches has helped to bring much investment into the game both at a national and an international level since it began in 1977. Today floodlit (day/night) cricket is played in most of the test playing nations although some nations have only started hosting day/night matches in the last 10 to 12 years. Many important tournaments like Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 have become success due to night games.

Cricket was first played under floodlights on Monday, August 11, 1952[1] in England which was watched by several million people on their television sets. Since then every test playing country has installed floodlights in their stadiums. Traditional Cricket floodlights have a long pole on which lights are fixed. This is done because many times the ball travels too high when a batsman hits it and high lights are needed to keep the ball in sight. But many cricket stadiums have different types of floodlights like ANZ Stadium in Australia, stadiums in New Zealand etc. The DSC Cricket Stadium in Dubai recently installed Ring of Fire[2] system of floodlights which is latest and smartest system of floodlight in the world.


Although night games played under artificial illumination dated back to the 1880s and were introduced in minor league baseball in the late 1920s, they were initially dismissed as an unwelcome gimmick by the big-league clubs. The first big-league team to play games at night was the 1930 Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues, who often played against the House of David baseball team, who carried portable lights mounted on trucks along with their team bus. [3][4] The first night game in Major League Baseball history occurred on May 24, 1935 when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1 at Crosley Field.[5] The original plan was that the Reds would play seven night games each season, one against each visiting club.[6] Night baseball quickly found acceptance in other Major League cities and eventually became the norm; the term "day game" was subsequently coined to designate the increasingly rarer afternoon contests.

The last non-expansion/non-relocated team to play all their home games in the daytime were the Chicago Cubs; they played their first official night game in Wrigley Field on August 9, 1988, and beat the New York Mets 6–4.[7] The Cubs still play the fewest home night games of any major league club (35 per season, as of 2014).

The first night All-Star Game was held at Philadelphia's Shibe Park in 1943, while the first World Series night game was Game 4 of the 1971 Series at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. All All-Star Games since 1969, and all World Series games since Game 6 of the 1987 Series, have been played at night.

American football

The term has also been adopted by other outdoor stadium sports such as American football. The first night football game was played in Mansfield, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1892 between Mansfield State Normal and Wyoming Seminary. The world's first night football game ended bitterly at halftime in a 0–0 tie.[8] In 1893 at the Chicago's World Fair, the Chicago A. A. played a night football game against West Point. Chicago won the game, 14–0. The game lasted 40 minutes.[9] On Friday November 21, 1902, the Philadelphia Athletics of the first National Football League defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club, 39–0, at Maple Avenue Driving Park in the first ever professional football night game.[10] The first night football game west of the Mississippi was played in Wichita, Kansas in 1905 between Cooper College (now Sterling College of Sterling, Kansas) and Fairmount College (now Wichita State University).[11]


File:LeMans PitStop2.JPG
The pits of Le Mans at dawn.

Automobile races at night can take on two different forms. Sports car races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and rally races such as Monte Carlo Rally manage to continue running through the night by having the competing cars utilize headlights.

The backstretch of Daytona at night.

The alternate possibility involves installing a system of flood lights along the circuit to illuminate it for cars that do not have headlights. The lights must be designed to diffuse light over a large space to reduce glare on both windshields and a driver's visor. Systems such as this have been common in short track racing for many years. The night NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile track in Tennessee is among the most popular events of the season. The first modern oval track over 1 mile (1.609 kilometers) long to install a lighting system was Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992.[12] NASCAR sanctioned races have been held at night for many years due to systems like these. MotoGP held its first night race at Losail International Circuit in 2008. Formula One held its first night race at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.


  1. ^ First D/N Cricket match by Cricinfo
  2. ^ "Dubai Sports City". 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  3. ^ Siriano, Chris. The House of David". 2007, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 0-7385-5082-5, pg. 108-109
  4. ^ Bruce, Janet. The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball. 1985, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0343-3, p. 69-71
  5. ^ "Night Baseball Comes to the Majors". Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  6. ^ Hy Hurwitz, "Cronin Urges More Clubs to Put Player Names on Uniforms" The Sporting News, May 3, 1963, page 4.
  7. ^ "Wrigley Field History". Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  8. ^ Mansfield, Pennsylvania - It happened one night - First Football under lights - Mansfield PA 1892
  9. ^ Pruter, Robert (2005). "Chicago Lights Up Football World" (PDF). LA 4 Foundation. XVIII (II): 7–10. 
  10. ^ Janowski, Diane. "History sometimes happens unnoticed: First Ever Night Football Game". New York History History (New York State History Books and Music). Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  11. ^ "FIRST LIGHT (1900 – 1929)". Coleman Company. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ "History" Retrieved 8/30/08

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