High School Baseball Tournament to Be Held without Spectators

Sports

Osaka, March 4 (Jiji Press)--The Japan High School Baseball Federation decided Wednesday to move forward with preparations for holding the 92nd national spring invitational tournament behind closed doors amid the spread of the new coronavirus.

The decision was made at its extraordinary board meeting, held in the western Japan city of Osaka.

But as circumstances surrounding the viral outbreak could change quickly, the federation will make a final decision, including whether to hold the event as scheduled or call it off, at its extraordinary steering committee meeting March 11.

This year's spring high school baseball tournament at Hanshin Koshien Stadium in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, is slated to start on March 19. "The decision we'll make on March 11 may not be the absolute final one," Eiji Hatta, head of the federation, told a press conference, adding, "We may need to make a new decision depending on the situation."

It would be the first time for the spring competition or the national high school baseball championship in summer, also held at Koshien, to take place with no spectators in the stadium. The high school baseball tournaments at Koshien are among the most popular sporting events in Japan, with all games broadcast by public broadcaster NHK, or Japan Broadcasting Corp.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press