The steering committee for the 85th Spring Koshien met in Osaka today and decided that a total thirty-six schools will participate in the thirteen-day tournament that is now slated to begin on March 22, 2013. They also decided that a special Tohoku slot will be added as part of the 85th anniversary of the tournament.
Four additional high schools will participate in the tournament next year. The Tokai region will get one extra school at three and the Chugoku / Shikoku regions will send three schools each instead of five together. The 21st Century slots will expand to four from three: one team from the West, one from the East, and two open slots. And finally, in addition to the usual Jingu slot will be the special Tohoku slot (reserved for a team from Tohoku).
Additionally, the selection pool for the 21st Century slots will be expanded from the final eight to the final sixteen from each of the fall regional tournaments.
Schools will be selected on January 25, 2013 and brackets will be set on March 15. Each will take place at Mainichi Shimbun headquarters in Osaka.
Source: Sponichi 9/12/2012