Japan's men's softball league celebrating 50th season after 2020 shutdown

Japan's men's softball league celebrating 50th season after 2020 shutdown
After the cancellation of the 2020 season, the Japanese Men’s Softball League opened with 36 games.

The Japanese Men’s Softball League celebrated the opening of its 50th season this past weekend at Mitsugi Softball Stadium in Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 season, but the 2021 campaign got underway with 36 games played in four different fields.

A total of 18 teams played the first of a four-week season. The championship tournament will be staged from 13-14 November at Paloma Mizuho Baseball Field in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture.

Mie Prefecture Government Club won all five of their opening weekend games, placing them atop the standings. Defending champions Hirabayashi Metal won all four of their openers and sit in second place.

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The regular season will be played in four stages. The second stage will be played from 5-6 June, in Osaka. The last two stages are planned for 3-5 September and 16-17 October. The top five teams from the regular season will advance to the championship tournament.

Japan is currently the top-ranked nation in the men’s softball world, holding the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020 title and the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019 silver medal, after falling to No. 2 Argentina in a 10-inning thriller.

Global Game