The Japan High School Baseball Federation (JHBF) announced on Monday that Seki Shoko High School (Gifu) recommendation for the 21st Century group was withdrawn by the Gifu Prefecture High School Baseball Association -- a 2nd year Seki Shoko high school baseball player apparently goaded a classmate to commit shoplifting.
The withdrawal will not have any affect on the final results of the 21 Century group since Seki Shoko was already eliminated as a possible candidate.
The JHBF also announced on Monday that 443 high school will be allowed to offer students baseball scholarship in 2010, up from 428 in 2009 (24 schools were added and 9 were removed).
In 2009, the JHBF decided to begin a trial that allowed participating schools to offer up to 5 students baseball scholarships. The trial is to be re-examined in 2012 for overall effectiveness.
The Tohto board of directors met on Monday and discussed the possibility of merging the 3rd and 4th divisions into one division. A commission to look into the specifics of merging the two divisions has been created and their first meeting will take place on January 21st.
There are currently 4 divisions in the Tohto league with 6 teams in each of the first three divisions and 3 in the 4th division.