Japanese High School Baseball Championship

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Japanese High School Baseball Championship
Sport Baseball
Founded 1915
No. of teams 49
Country  Japan
Most recent champion(s) Maebashi Ikuei
Most titles Chukyodai Chukyo (7 titles)
TV partner(s) NHK, ABC
Official website asahi.com
1st National High School Baseball Championship Ceremonial First Pitch, August 18, 1915
Koryo-High School Hanshin Koshien Stadium

The National High School Baseball Championship (全国高等学校野球選手権大会 zenkoku kōtō gakkō yakyū senshuken taikai) of Japan, commonly known as "Summer Kōshien" (夏の甲子園 natsu no kōshien), is an annual nationwide high school baseball tournament. It is the largest scale amateur sport event in Japan, even as soccer continues to gain more attention.

The tournament, organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation and Asahi Shimbun, takes place during the summer school vacation period, culminating in a two-week final tournament stage with 49 teams in August at Hanshin Koshien Stadium (阪神甲子園球場 hanshin kōshien kyūjō) in the Koshien district of Nishinomiya City, Hyōgo, Japan.

Background[edit]

The 49 schools taking part in the final tourney represent regional champions of each of the prefectures of Japan (with two from Hokkaidō and Tokyo). From mid-June to August, regional tournaments are held to decide who is sent to Koshien.[1]

The rules are the same as in the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament. It is a single elimination tournament with nine inning games. Games are declared official after seven complete innings in the case of suspension (due to weather, et cetera), except for the championship game which must be played to completion. For the regional tournaments, games are ended if one team leads by at least ten runs after five innings or seven runs after seven innings, except in the championship games. Designated hitters are not used. Four umpires are used, except for night games in which two outfield line umpires are added.

The first round pairings and byes are decided by lottery. 34 teams meet in the first round, and 15 teams with byes join at the second round (32 teams play in the second round). Therefore it takes either five or six wins for a team to win the championship. Until 2002, the four quarter finals were played in one day, but this was changed to two a day over two days to give the players time off. If rainouts continue for more than three days, four games are played in one day. This occurred in 2003, so the first time the quarter finals were played over two days was actually 2004. To accommodate the extra day, the long tradition of starting the tournament on August 8 was changed to start a day or two early.

Up to four games are played each day until the quarter finals. The starting times of each day's games is shown below. Following games are begun about 30 minutes after the previous game ends. Due to the fast pace of the pitching, four games in one day are usually completed before sunset.

Day of the tournament 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Round 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st/2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd Quarter Quarter Semi Final
Games
Start time
3
10:20
4
8:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
3
9:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
3
9:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
2
11:00
2
11:00
2
11:00
1
13:00

Extra innings[edit]

For tournaments previous to 1958 there were no extra inning limits for a game tied after nine innings of play. In 1933, Masao Yoshida had pitched a complete game during a 25 inning shutout in the semifinal, an all-time record. Yoshida had thrown 336 pitches during that game. After 1958, a rematch must be called after 18 innings. The first pitcher to pitch a complete game 18 innings was Eiji Bando in a 1958 quarterfinal game. Daisuke Matsuzaka became the last pitcher to pitch a complete game over 15 innings (17 innings in 250 pitches, 1998).

After 2000, all games that are tied after 15 innings are rescheduled for the following day. This first happened in the finals in 2006.

Traditions[edit]

The tournament theme song is "The Laurels of Victory Shine on You". Every five years, the tournament celebrates the anniversary, and a deep crimson is used for the championship flag.

For third year students, a loss at the tournament signifies an end to their high school baseball career, as there are no other major tournaments for the rest of their academic career. It is common for players to collect soil from the stadium as a souvenir. For third year students, the dirt is kept as memorabilia, whereas lower grade players often use it as motivation to return to the tournament.

Finals[edit]

(R) Replay
* Match went to Extra innings

Recent champions[edit]

Number Year Champion Runner-up Final Score
60 1978 PL Gakuen Kochi 3–2
61 1979 Minoshima Ikeda 4–3
62 1980 Yokohama Waseda Jitsugyo 6–4
63 1981 Hotoku Gakuen Kyoto 2–0
64 1982 Ikeda Hiroshima 12–2
65 1983 PL Gakuen Yokohama 3–0
66 1984 Toride Dai-ni PL Gakuen 8–4
67 1985 PL Gakuen Ube 4–3
68 1986 Tenri Matsuyama 3–2
69 1987 PL Gakuen Joso Gakuin 5–2
70 1988 Hiroshima Fukuoka Dai-ichi 1–0
71 1989 Teikyo Sendai Ikuei 2–0
72 1990 Tenri Okinawa Suisan 8–4
73 1991 Osaka Toin Okinawa Suisan 13–8
74 1992 Nishi Nihon Tandai Fuzoku Takudai Koryo 1–0
75 1993 Ikuei Kasukabe Kyoei 3–2
76 1994 Saga Shonan 8–4
77 1995 Teikyo Seiryo 3–1
78 1996 Matsuyama Kumamoto Kogyo 6–3
79 1997 Chiben Wakayama Heian 6–3
80 1998 Yokohama Kyoto Seisho 3–0
81 1999 Kiryu Dai-ichi Okayama Ridai 14–4
82 2000 Chiben Wakayama Tokai Urayasu 11–6
83 2001 Nichidai-san Ohmi 5–2
84 2002 Meitoku Gijuku Chiben Wakayama 7–2
85 2003 Joso Gakuin Tohoku 4–2
86 2004 Komadai Tomakomai Saibi 13–10
87 2005 Komadai Tomakomai Kyoto Gaidai Nishi 5–3
88 2006 * Waseda Jitsugyo Komadai Tomakomai 1–1
(R) Waseda Jitsugyo Komadai Tomakomai 4–3
89 2007 Saga Kita Koryo 5–4
90 2008 Osaka Toin Tokoha Kikukawa 17–0
91 2009 Chukyodai Chukyo Nihon Bunri 10–9
92 2010 Kōnan Tokaidai Sagami 13–1
93 2011 Nichidai-san Kōsei Gakuin 11–0
94 2012 Osaka Tōin Kōsei Gakuin 3–0
95 2013 Maebashi Ikuei Nobeoka Gakuen 4–3

2013 tournament[edit]

Table lists all the High Schools participating in the 2013 tournament.[2]

Prefecture City/Town High School Name Year of Previous Participation Total Number of Participation
Hokkaido Obihiro Obihiro Otani N/A 1
Hokkaido Otaru Hokusho 2009 3
Aomori Hirosaki Seiai N/A 1
Iwate Hanamaki Hanamaki Higashi 2010 7
Akita Akita Akita Shogyo 2010 17
Yamagata Yamagata Nichidai yamagata 2006 16
Miyagi Sendai Sendai Ikuei 2012 24
Fukushima Date Seikou Gakuin 2012 10
Ibaraki Tsuchiura Joso Gakuin 2012 15
Tochigi Utsunomiya Sakushin Gakuin 2012 9
Gunma Maebashi Maebashi Ikuei N/A 1
Saitama Saitama Urawa Gakuin 2012 12
Chiba Kisarazu Kisarazusogo 2012 4
Tokyo Katsushika Shutoku 2004 5
Tokyo Machida Nichidai-san 2012 16
Kanagawa Yokohama Yokohama 2012 15
Yamanashi Yamanashi Hikawa 2009 4
Niigata Niigata Nihon Bunri 2010 7
Nagano Ueda Ueda nishi N/A 1
Toyama Toyama Toyama Daiichi N/A 1
Ishikawa Kanazawa Seiryo 2006 16
Fukui Fukui Fukui Shogyo 2010 22
Shizouka Kikugawa Tokoha kikugawa 2007 4
Aichi Nagoya Aikodai Meiden 2012 11
Gifu Ogaki Ogaki Nichidai 2006 2
Mie Matsusaka Mie 2008 11
Shiga Hikone Hikone Higashi N/A 1
Kyoto Fukuchiyama Fukuchiyama Seibi 2007 4
Nara Sakurai Sakurai N/A 1
Osaka Daito Osaka Toin 2012 7
Hyogo Nishiwaki Nishiwaki Kogyo N/A 1
Wakayama Arida Minoshima 1982 8
Okayama Tamano Tamano Konan 2001 3
Hiroshima Hiroshima Setouchi 1999 2
Tottori Tottori Tottori Johoku 2012 3
Shimane Gotsu Iwami Chisyukan 2004 8
Yamaguchi Iwakuni Iwakuni Shogyo 1985 4
Kagawa Marugame Marugame 1999 4
Tokushima Naruto Naruto 2012 8
Ehime Matsuyama Saibi 2007 4
Kouchi Susaki Meitoku Gijuku 2012 15
Fukuoka Kitakyushu Jiyuugaoka N/A 1
Saga Arita Arita Kogyo N/A 1
Nagasaki Sasebo Sasebo Jitsugyo 2010 5
Kumamoto Kumamoto Kumamoto Kogyo 2008 20
Oita Oita Oita Shogyo 1996 15
Miyazaki Nobeoka Nobeoka Gakuen 2009 7
Kagoshima Kagoshima Shonan 2008 18
Okinawa Naha Okinawashogaku 2004 6

In Film[edit]

The 2014 hit Taiwanese film Kano is based on the true story of a high school baseball team from the Kagi Agriculture High School (now known as National Chiayi University) team in Kagi (now known as Chiayi), Taiwan who qualified for the tournament for the first time in 1931 after never having won a game in its first three seasons. The team was made up of ethnic Japanese, Han Chinese and Taiwanese aborigines. The team won three games to make it to the championship game before losing 4–0 to Chukyo from Nagoya. This was the first of four appearances at the tournament for the Kano team, who later qualified in 1933, 1935 and 1936.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Takahara, Kanako, "Japan baseball stars first shine bright at Koshien", Japan Times, July 24, 2007, p. 2.
  2. ^ Asahi Shinbun Koshien page (japanese) http://koshien.asahi.co.jp/local/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°43′16.34″N 135°21′41.84″E / 34.7212056°N 135.3616222°E / 34.7212056; 135.3616222