Keio High School’s Victory Marks a Milestone for High School Baseball
On August 23, Keio High School emerged victorious in the 105th National High School Baseball Tournament, claiming their first championship in an astounding 107 years. The team’s triumph not only captivated the attention of many, but it also serves as a significant turning point for the world of high school baseball.
Manager Takahiko Morishi’s unique coaching approach, combined with the immense support from the Keio cheer team, contributed to the team’s remarkable achievement. As a result, expectations are high that the next tournament will witness a significant increase in the number of spectators. Keio’s victory has therefore become a pivotal moment in the history of high school baseball.
Despite the spotlight mainly focused on Keio High School, schools such as Okayama Sanyo High School, Tokyo Gakkan Niigata High School, and Ritsumeikan Uji High School also participated in this year’s Koshien competition, showcasing their talents on the grand stage.
Transitioning from the summer tournament, which has now concluded, attention shifts towards Liga Agresiva, a high school baseball league game held across various prefectures from late October until the end of November, when outdoor games are no longer permitted.
Liga Agresiva goes beyond being just a mere league game. With a strong emphasis on the players’ future and their everlasting love for baseball, innovative measures have been introduced to ensure their sustained passion for the sport.
A Shift Towards Wooden Bats
One notable change in Liga Agresiva league games is the mandatory use of “low durability metal bats or wooden bats.” In an effort to bridge the gap between high school and higher level competitions, the Japanese Takanoren will also adopt low durability metal bats starting next season. The conversations surrounding high-durability metal bats that led to home runs being produced in abundance during high school baseball tournaments have prompted concerns for players transitioning to college, adult, independent leagues, and professional play, where wooden bats are primarily utilized. Furthermore, players who excelled in Koshien often faced difficulties when encountering opponents using wooden bats in international under-18 competitions, leading to batting slumps. While the Japanese Takanoren implemented the low durability bat regulation to address this issue, it was preceded by other bat modifications.
Additional Measures to Support Players
Aside from bat regulations, Liga Agresiva has implemented stricter rules on overusage of pitchers’ shoulders and elbows by imposing a “number of pitches limit.” Moreover, the league follows the principle of “everyone participates,” granting players equal opportunities to take part in matches. Unlike strong schools where some club members may miss out on games throughout their three years, Liga Agresiva ensures every player gets a chance to contribute. Additionally, the league has introduced a “re-entry system,” allowing players who initially withdrew from the game to rejoin if circumstances permit.
As Keio High School celebrates their historic win, their accomplishment symbolizes a new era for high school baseball, creating ripples of change that will undoubtedly shape the sport’s future.
On August 23, the summer Koshien final was held, and Keio defeated Sendai Ikuei to win the championship. Writer Akira Hiroo said, “Keio’s forest manager has questioned high school baseball, which runs on the principle of winning, and spread the importance of sportsmanship. Keio’s victory will be an opportunity to change high school baseball.”–.
Photo = Jiji Press Photo
Keio manager Takahiko Mori (left) answers an interview after winning the championship for the second time in 107 years = August 23, 2023, Koshien[Llun cynrychioliadol]
Keio’s victory will be a major turning point in high school baseball
The 105th National High School Baseball Tournament ended with Keio High School’s first win in 107 years. The large-scale support of the Keio cheer team and the unique teaching method of manager Takahiko Morishi has become a big topic, and the number of spectators is likely to be significantly higher than the previous tournament. I believe it will become point.
Although it didn’t get much attention, Keio High School, Okayama Sanyo High School, Tokyo Gakkan Niigata High School, and Ritsumeikan Uji High School participated in Koshien this summer.
As I introduced in this column, Liga Agresiva is a high school baseball league game held in each prefecture from the end of October, when the fall tournament ends, until the end of November, when outside games are prohibited.
It’s not just a league game. In addition to thinking about the future of high school baseball players, various ideas have been devised so that players can continue to love baseball forever.
A game with a wooden bat
First of all, league games are supposed to use “low durability metal bats or wooden bats.” The Japanese Takanoren will also use low-durability metal bats from next season, but in high school baseball so far, baseball players mass-producing home runs with high-durability metal bats have become a hot topic.
Such players have struggled with bat gaps in college, adult, independent leagues, and professionals who use wooden bats. Also, in under 18 world tournaments where wooden bats are used, it was often seen that players who were active in Koshien were unable to catch the pitchers of other countries and struggled with the batting slump. The Japanese Takanoren switched to a low durability bat to eliminate the gap, but it was a revision of the bat before that.
Then, they introduced a “number of plots limit” which is much stricter than the Japanese Takanoren standard. The purpose is to prevent athletes from overusing their shoulders and elbows.
In addition, as a general rule, “everyone participates” was the basis. It is not uncommon for club members to miss a game for three years at a strong school, but Liga Agresiva always gives every player a chance. Also, many leagues have introduced a “re-entry system” that allows players who have withdrawn from the game to re-join.
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