Baseball has become the most popular sport in Japan ever since it was introduced by an American school teacher. In those days, people wore loincloths and hakama instead of uniforms. After the birth of professional baseball, there were six intercollegiate games and the All-Japan High School Baseball Championship until 1934, when professional baseball was introduced. Today, there are two professional leagues, the Se League and the Pa League, each consisting of six teams. The winning teams from each league will play each other in the Japan Series at the end of the season.
Although professional baseball has become the biggest spectator sport in Japan, its popularity as an amateur sport, especially in high schools and universities, is still persistent. In addition, many major companies sponsor amateur teams. In Japan’s two professional leagues, games are televised almost daily during the March-October playing season, with popular players becoming national heroes.
In terms of participation rates, baseball is the most widely played sport among elementary school boys. Elementary and middle school students (for safety, both use rubber balls). Competitions are generally regional in nature.
High school baseball is getting a lot of national attention. Every spring and summer, the best high school teams in Japan compete at Koshien Stadium in Hyogo Prefecture. Each year, nearly 4,000 teams participate in the qualifying round, and the top teams from 47 prefectures across the country compete for the national championship.
Koshien games are broadcast nationally on television and radio. Many classmates and family members of the players travel to Hyogo Prefecture to watch the game. Approximately 850,000 spectators will be in attendance during the tournament. In the hometowns of the teams competing in the finals, it’s not uncommon for business and road traffic to be disrupted among those gathered in front of the TV or listening to the radio.
In addition, many of Japan’s most talented high school players have foregone college to be scouted directly into professional teams. As a result, many of the top-level professional baseball players are made up of those who have played in Koshien.
He also has a lot of fans for college baseball. The famous university in particular has received enthusiastic support from students and alumni alike.
In addition, amateur teams run by companies take part in an annual national business competition. He uses a metal bat and has adopted the designated hitter rule. The top players on these teams are often drafted by professional teams early on and are expected to perform well the following season.
Japanese amateur teams compete in regional and international competitions, such as the annual Japan-U.S. Intercollegiate Athletic Meet.