Japan Softball League to open on 3 April with mid-season break for Olympics

Japan Softball League to open on 3 April with mid-season break for Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled from 21-27 July, will be played during the mid-season pause. The second half of the JSL will start on 4 September with the finals scheduled for 6-7 November.

The Japanese Softball League (JSL) has announced the schedule of its 2021 season with a total of 132 games. The 12 JSL teams will play a double round-robin regular season, with the top five teams advancing to the Final Tournament. The first half of the season is slated from 3 April to 9 May, while the second half will be played from 4 September to 24 October. The finals will be played from 6-7 November at Fukushima Azuma Stadium, one of the venues of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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The usual pause in the middle of the JSL season will have a special meaning this year, with softball’s historic Olympic return in Tokyo Olympics, where Japan will look to defend their gold medal from the Beijing 2008 Games.

Opening Day of the 54th JSL season will be held on 3 April across three venues, including Tochigi Sports Park Main Stadium (Utsunomiya City), Baycom Baseball Field (Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture) and Blue Chip Stadium (Izumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture).

Last year, the JSL had to cancel the first half of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, several international players participated in the shortened JSL season, including Monica Abbott, Veronika Peckova (Toyota Red Terriers), Kaia Parnaby and Stacey Porter (SGH), Dallas Escobedo (Toyota Shokki Shining Vega), Keilani Rickets (Hitachi Sundiva), Ally Carda and Jailyn Ford (Honda Reverta), among others.

Bic Camera Bee Queen will present an even stronger pitching staff than last year, vying to win their third consecutive title with legend Yukiko Ueno joined by two-way player Yamato Fujita, who was acquired from Taiyo Yuden Solfille during the offseason. The two hurlers are expected to lead Japan’s pitching staff in the Tokyo Olympics.

Denso Bright Pegasus made another big splash during the offseason by signing 36-year-old superstar Eri Yamada. The captain of the Japanese Women’s National Softball Team left Hitachi Sundiva after spending her 18-season career with the team.

Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Softball