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
96 2014 Osaka Tōin Mie 4-3

2014 tournament[edit]

Table lists all the High Schools participating in the 2014 tournament.[2]

Prefecture City/Town High School Name Year of Previous Participation Total Number of Participation
Hokkaido Kushiro Bushukan N/A 1
Hokkaido Sapporo Tokai Daiyon 1993 5
Aomori Hachinohe Hachinohe Gakuin Kosei 2012 7
Iwate Morioka Morioka Daifu 2012 8
Akita Senboku Kakunodate N/A 1
Yamagata Yamagata Yamagata Chuo 2010 2
Miyagi Rifu Rifu N/A 1
Fukushima Date Seikou Gakuin 2013 11
Ibaraki Toride Fujishiro 2011 3
Tochigi Utsunomiya Sakushin Gakuin 2013 10
Gunma Takasaki Kendai Takasaki 2011 2
Saitama Kasukabe Kasukabe Kyoei 2005 5
Chiba Ichihara Tokaidai Boyo N/A 1
Tokyo Chiyoda Nishogakusha Daifu N/A 1
Tokyo Suginami Nichidai Tsurugaoka 2008 3
Kanagawa Sagamihara Tokaidai Sagami 2010 9
Yamanashi Kofu Tokaidai Kofu 2012 12
Niigata Niigata Nihon Bunri 2013 8
Nagano Saku Saku Chosei 2012 6
Toyama Toyama Toyama Sho 2004 16
Ishikawa Kanazawa Seiryo 2013 17
Fukui Tsuruga Tsuruga Kehi 2009 6
Shizouka Shizuoka Shizuoka 2011 23
Aichi Nagoya Toho 2008 16
Gifu Ogaki Ogaki Nichidai 2013 3
Mie Matsusaka Mie 2013 12
Shiga Hikone Ohmi 2008 11
Kyoto Kyoto Ryukokudai Heian 2012 33
Nara Gojo Chiben 2011 17
Osaka Daito Osaka Toin 2013 8
Hyogo Kobe Kobe Kokusai Daifu N/A 1
Wakayama Wakayama Shi Wakayama 2004 4
Okayama Okayama Kanzei 2011 9
Hiroshima Hiroshima Koryo 2010 21
Tottori Yazu Yazu 2010 8
Shimane Matsue Kaisei 2011 9
Yamaguchi Iwakuni Iwakuni 2007 5
Kagawa Sakaide Sakaide Sho 1994 8
Tokushima Naruto Naruto 2013 9
Ehime Saijo Komatsu N/A 1
Kochi Susaki Meitoku Gijuku 2013 16
Fukuoka Kitakyushu Kyushu Kokusai Daifu 2011 5
Saga Saga Saga Kita 2012 4
Nagasaki Nagasaki Kaisei 2011 17
Kumamoto Yamaga Johoku 2008 4
Oita Oita Oita N/A 1
Miyazaki Nichinan Nichinan Gakuen 2011 7
Kagoshima Kanoya Kanoya Chuo N/A 1
Okinawa Naha Okinawa Shogaku 2013 7

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