The JPBPA convened for their annual player convention in Osaka on Thursday. The issues that were discussed:
- Takahiro Arai (HAN) will remain chairman of the labor union (fourth term). Hirokazu Ibata (CHU) will remain as board chairman of the association (second term).
- Beginning next year, first and second year junior high school students will be required to play a baseball-like sport as part of the school curriculum. The JPBPA decided they will assist teachers in creating materials for the courses/sport.
- Catch-ball Classic is a game where a group of nine players play catch to see how many times they can throw a baseball back-and-forth within a two-minute window. The nine players line up in a two rows of four and five and face each other; each time one player catches the ball and throws it, they move to the back of the line; this is done repeatedly until the two minutes are up. [ Youtube: 1, 2 ] The JPBPA played Catch-ball Classic during Baseball Christmas in Iwaki this year and would now like to expand it into a tournament.
- The JPBPA also discussed whether or not they should participate in the 2013 WBC and could not come to a final resolution. Said Arai, "We received a plan [from the NPB] that sounded positive, but it does not resolve any of our concerns." Toru Matsubara, JPBPA head of the secretariat, added, "They are looking at constant [revenue], but some are worried if that is really true. They would have to show us things like contracts [to prove it]."
UPDATE @ 9:31am - Sports Hochi hints that the players may be stuck on why they were allowed to have full advertising/merchandising rights during the Olympics and not during the WBC.
UPDATE @ 2:26pm - Munenori Kawasaki (SOF) stepped down from his post as vice chairman of the labor union.