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Increase in inter-league games between EL and WL approved

by on Jan.13, 2011 @ 8:08 pm, under NPB

The Eastern League (EL) steering committee and managers met for a meeting in Tokyo today and decided that the number of inter-league games on the schedule can be increased (Western League teams were already in agreement), so long as the additions are submitted before the end of March.

The EL is already scheduled to play 108 games this season.  But teams that want to give their players more playing opportunities will be allowed to schedule extra inter-league games (as needed).  This could lead to an uneven number of games played by each team, but every team in the EL has agreed to accept the differences since it'll be in the name of developing players.  For those wondering, it seems the additional games will be considered official.


The Pro / Amateur Regulations Committee also held a meeting in Tokyo today and decided that beginning in 2011, wooden bats can be no larger than 6.6cm in diameter (down from 7cm).  The committee based their decision on studies that were conducted by the MLB that pointed to thicker bats breaking much more easily than thinner bats.  The study also found that shards from thicker bats also traveled further than shards from thinner bats.

While Japanese bat makers haven't created many wooden bats with diameters over 6.6cm, the committee also decided to provide players with a 1-year grace period, just in case.

The committee also decided:

...to make modifications to rule 5 in the handbook (Balls in Play, Dead Balls), specifically with regards to the rule about balls becoming dead the minute a fielder steps foot in the dugout.  The update will allow the play to continue, provided the fielder doesn't fall into the dugout.  They also decided to remove additional notes (原注 and 注) under rules 5.10f, 6.05a, and 7.04c.

...to require that all teams use the same sand to "kneed" baseballs with before regular season games.  This is to remove the "shine" from baseballs.