Win, Lose or Draw: NPB games to end after 10 innings. Season will be 120 games

Win, Lose or Draw: NPB games to end after 10 innings. Season will be 120 games
17/06/2020
Among other changes, the NPB regular season will consist of 120 games, instead of the usual 143, and the Pacific and the Central Leagues will stage different postseason formats.

The Executive Committee of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) confirmed that the 2020 season will begin on Friday, 19 June, behind closed doors and with some changes to the game.

The regular season will consist of 120 games, instead of the usual 143, in both the Pacific and the Central League.

No ties in baseball?

Games tied after 10 innings will be declared as draws during the regular season. Previously, NPB ruled games during the regular season were an official tie after 12 innings.

Teams will be allowed to register 31 players (5 foreigners) and active rosters will consist of 26 players (4 foreigners).

NPB's Central League and the Pacific League will have different postseason formats.

The Central League has eliminated the Climax Series. This means that the team in first place after the regular season will advance to the Japan Series.

Kazuhide Kinefuchi, director-general of the Central League, told the Japan Times that the decision to eliminate the Climax Series was due to the fact just two clubs (the Yomiuri Giants and Chunichi Dragons) play in domes.

The Pacific League will still have the top two finishers from the regular season compete in a series, which will begin on 14 November. It will be a five-game series, with the first-place club granted a one-win advantage.

The Japan Series is scheduled to start on Saturday, 21 November.

NPB also approved a new protocol in order to comply with the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.