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
Hanasaki Tokuharu
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 Koshien" (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.


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 until July, 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
Start time

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.


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.


(R) Replay
* Match went to Extra innings

Recent champions[edit]

Number Year Champion Runner-up Final Score
60 1978 PL Gakuen Kōchi Shōgyō 3–2
61 1979 Minoshima Ikeda 4–3
62 1980 Yokohama Waseda Jitsugyō 6–4
63 1981 Hōtoku Gakuen Kyōto Shōgyō 2–0
64 1982 Ikeda Hiroshima Shōgyō 12–2
65 1983 PL Gakuen Yokohama Shōgyō 3–0
66 1984 Toride Dai-ni PL Gakuen 8–4
67 1985 PL Gakuen Ube Shōgyō 4–3
68 1986 Tenri Matsuyama Shōgyō 3–2
69 1987 PL Gakuen Jōsō Gakuin 5–2
70 1988 Hiroshima Shōgyō Fukuoka Dai-ichi 1–0
71 1989 Teikyō Sendai Ikuei 2–0
72 1990 Tenri Okinawa Suisan 8–4
73 1991 ōsaka Tōin Okinawa Suisan 13–8
74 1992 Nishi Nihon Tandai Fuzoku Takudai Kōryō 1–0
75 1993 Ikuei Kasukabe Kyōei 3–2
76 1994 Saga Shōgyō Shōnan 8–4
77 1995 Teikyō Seiryō 3–1
78 1996 Matsuyama Shōgyō Kumamoto Kōgyō 6–3
79 1997 Chiben Wakayama Heian 6–3
80 1998 Yokohama Kyōto Seishō 3–0
81 1999 Kiryu Dai-ichi Okayama Ridai Fuzoku 14–4
82 2000 Chiben Wakayama Tōkaidai Urayasu 11–6
83 2001 Nichidai-san ōhmi 5–2
84 2002 Meitoku Gijuku Chiben Wakayama 7–2
85 2003 Jōsō Gakuin Tōhoku 4–2
86 2004 Komadai Tomakomai Saibi 13–10
87 2005 Komadai Tomakomai Kyōto Gaidai Nishi 5–3
88 2006 * Waseda Jitsugyō Komadai Tomakomai 1–1
(R) Waseda Jitsugyō Komadai Tomakomai 4–3
89 2007 Saga Kita Kōryō 5–4
90 2008 ōsaka Tōin Tokoha Kikugawa 17–0
91 2009 Chukyōdai Chukyō Nihon Bunri 10–9
92 2010 Kōnan Tōkaidai Sagami 13–1
93 2011 Nichidai-san Kōsei Gakuin 11–0
94 2012 ōsaka Tōin Kōsei Gakuin 3–0
95 2013 Maebashi Ikuei Nobeoka Gakuen 4–3
96 2014 ōsaka Tōin Mie 4-3
97 2015 Tōkaidai Sagami Sendai Ikuei 10-6
98 2016 Sakushin Gakuin Hokkai 7-1
99 2017 Hanasaki Tokuharu Kōryō 14-4
100 2018 TBD (Tournament in progress)

2017 tournament[edit]

Table lists all the High Schools participating in the 2017 tournament.[2]

Area City/Town High School Name Previous Appearance Total Appearances
North Hokkaido Takikawa Takikawa Nishi 1998 3
South Hokkaido Sapporo Hokkai 2016 38
Aomori Aomori Aomori Yamada 2009 11
Iwate Morioka Morioka Daigaku-Fuzoku 2016 10
Akita Akita Meiō 2009 9
Miyagi Sendai Sendai Ikuei 2015 26
Yamagata Yamagata Nihon Daigaku Yamagata 2013 17
Fukushima Date Seikō Gakuin 2016 14
Ibaraki Tsuchiura Tsuchiura Nihon Daigaku 1986 3
Tochigi Utsunomiya Sakushin Gakuin 2016 13
Gunma Maebashi Maebashi Ikuei 2016 3
Saitama Kazo Hanasaki Tokuharu 2016 5
Chiba Kisarazu Kisarazu Sōgō 2016 6
East Tokyo Tokyo Nishō Gakusa Daigaku Fuzoku 2014 2
West Tokyo Akiruno Tōkaidai Sugao 2000 3
Kanagawa Yokohama Yokohama 2016 17
Yamanashi Kōfu Yamanashi Gakuin 2016 7
Niigata Niigata Nihon Bunri 2014 9
Toyama Takaoka Takaoka Shōgyō 2015 18
Ishikawa Wajima Nihonkōkū Ishikawa 2009 2
Fukui Sakai Sakai N/A 1
Nagano Matsumoto Matsushō Gakuen 2008 36
Shizuoka Fujieda Fujieda Meisei N/A 1
Aichi Nagoya Chukyō Daigaku Fuzoku 2015 28
Gifu ōgaki ōgaki Nihon Daigaku 2014 4
Mie Kuwana Tsuda Gakuen N/A 1
Shiga Hikone Hikone Higashi 2013 2
Kyoto Kyōto Kyōto Seishō 1998 3
Osaka Daitō ōsaka Tōin 2014 9
Hyōgo Kōbe Kōbe Kokusai Daigaku Fuzoku 2014 2
Nara Tenri Tenri 2015 28
Wakayama Wakayama Chiben Wakayama 2015 22
Tottori Yonago Yonago Shōin 2000 7
Shimane Matsue Kaisei 2014 10
Okayama Okayama Okayama San-yō N/A 1
Hiroshima Hiroshima Kōryō 2014 22
Yamaguchi Shimonoseki Shimonoseki Kokusai N/A 1
Kagawa Sanbonmatsu Sanbonmatsu 1993 3
Tokushima Naruto Naruto Uzushio 2008 7
Ehime Matsuyama Saibi 2013 5
Kochi Susaki Meitoku Gijuku 2016 19
Fukuoka Kitakyūshū Tōchiku 1996 6
Saga Karatsu Waseda Saga N/A 1
Nagasaki Hasami Hasami 2001 3
Kumamoto Yatsushiro Shūgakukan 2016 3
Oita Beppu Meihō 2015 6
Miyazaki Nobeoka Seishin Ursula 2005 2
Kagoshima Ichiki kushikino Kamimura Gakuen 2012 4
Okinawa Naha Kōnan 2015 11

In film[edit]

The 2014 hit Taiwanese film Kano is based on the true story of a high school baseball team from the Kagi Nōrin (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, Taiwanese Hoklo and Hakka Han Chinese and Taiwanese aborigines. The team won three games to make it to the championship game before losing 4–0 to Chukyō Shōgyō 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]


  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