The Girls Professional Baseball League (GPBL) announced some major changes on Thursday.
The GPBL will now be called the Japan Women's Baseball League (JWBL).
New Teams and New Season Format
The Kyoto Asto Dreams, Hyogo Swing Smileys, and Osaka Brabee Honeys will be no more.
There will essentially be two seasons. That means there will also be champions.
Victoria Series (regular season)
Teams: West Flora and East Astraia.
Western Japan Opening Day: March 30, 31 at Wakasa Stadium Kyoto
Eastern Japan Opening Day: April 20, 21 at Meiji Jingu Stadium
The two teams will play a twenty-four game season that is split into two halves (twelve games each, split between Western Japan and Eastern Japan). Each team will be able to carry up to thirty players, but only eighteen will be eligible to play on any given day.
Tiara Cup (tournament)
Teams: West Flora, South Dione, East Astraia, and North Reia.
Opening Day: April 13, 14 at Kochi Municipal Baseball Stadium
The four teams will battle it out over a two-day tournament. Games will take place in sixteen different locations across Japan.
The four teams competing in the Tiara Cup will be made up of players from the two teams in the Victoria Series. West Flora will be split into West Flora and South Dione. East Astraia will be split into East Astraia and North Reia.
Below is footage from the press conference (as posted by the JWBL).