The NPB established the Game Operation Committee to work on ways to promote baseball and reduce the time it takes to play games. The committee met for the first time in Tokyo on February 26th. Officials from NPB teams, the NPB Umpires Department, and the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) were also present at the meeting.
NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki spent time visiting teams during spring camp and listening to opinions from managers and coaches on what could be done to reduce game times. Among some of the suggestions: fewer outings by groundskeepers at stadiums with artificial turf, no throwing the ball around the infield, allowing teams to intentionally walk hitters without having to throw four balls. The NPB is also planning to ask players for their opinions.
The league is hoping to establish guidelines to shorten game times for the 2016 season.
The NPB held an executive committee meeting in Tokyo on March 2. A number of topics were discussed, including:
- The league with the better winning percentage during Inter-league play will get first pick during the draft this year. If the Central League and Pacific League finish with the same number of wins and losses, the tie will go to the league that has the larger runs scored to runs allowed differential. If the two leagues are still tied, then a winner will be randomly selected in a drawing.
- Yokohama's Lourdes Yunielkis Gourriel and Seibu's Chun-Lin Kuo will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award.
- Hand guard regulations were created: twenty centimeters or less in length and twelve centimeters in width. They must be either black or the same color as the team undershirt.
- Approved the participation of the Shikoku Island League in Phoenix League.
- The Game Operation Committee, tasked to reduce the time it takes to play a game, provided an update of their work and confirmed the importance of gaining an understanding from the players.