In response to the introduction of a rule in the Major League Baseball this season that prohibits defensive shifts in which infielders change their defensive positions extremely, we were considering whether to introduce it in Japan from next season, but it was expected that the introduction would be postponed, according to interviews with people involved.
From this season, Major League Baseball has banned extreme defensive shifts, such as the shift of five players guarding the infield and the infielder going out to the grass of the outfield to defend it, as was the case with Shohei Ohtani last season,
introduced a rule that infielders must have two players on each side of the second base.
Since Japan's baseball rules often reflect rule changes in the major leagues one year late, Japan has been considering whether to introduce them from next season.
According to the officials, ▽ In Japan, there are no extreme shifts like in the big leagues, and ▽ Unlike the big leagues, the break between the infield and the outfield, which is a guideline for the shift prohibition, varies depending on the stadium in Japan,
and it is difficult to unify the rules. Both amateur baseball and amateur baseball are expected to be postponed next season.
In addition, in order to reduce contact play on the bases, which was introduced at the same time as the ban on shifts in the major leagues, the rule of increasing the size of each base, except the home base, by 5 inches per side, or about 2.1 cm, will be postponed next season for both professional and amateur bases. These will be formally decided at the joint pro-am and amateur Japan Baseball Rules Committee meeting on 1 June.
On the other hand, we will continue to investigate and analyze the "pitch clock" that was introduced in the big leagues this season to limit the time between pitches.