Wed, 15 Jul 2020

Japanese baseball season to start June 19

Field Level Media
26 May 2020, 02:19 GMT+10

Pro baseball in Japan will begin its season on June 19, approximately three months later than scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be no fans in the stands when the Nippon Professional Baseball league opens play.

"I am very pleased we could settle on an Opening Day," commissioner Atsushi Saito said Monday in a virtual news conference. "But we will prepare. It is important to proceed carefully to protect the players, the people connected with the game and their families. We have created detailed guidelines so we can safely hold games."

He said there is no timetable for fans returning to games.

"We have been solely focused on whether or not we could even hold games without fans," he said. "When the situation gets better, of course we will be able to think about fans at games, but we are not having detailed discussions about it. When we get to that stage, then we will carefully consider the necessary guidance to do so."

Teams will play 120 games, but the league is expected to overhaul the planned schedule to minimize travel. Preseason games will begin June 2.

--Field Level Media

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