2024 NPB Regular Season Rule Changes Suggested From Japanese Baseball Rules Committee To League and Team Officials 

(Source: Nippon Professional Baseball)

Matthew Tallarini 

The Nippon Professional Baseball officials are looking over a proposal of rule changes along with documented regulations for the league in their 2024 regular season from the Japan Baseball Rules Committee. 

All the 12 NPB owners and the Japan Baseball Rules Committee will have to propose to the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association for other rule regulations to be approved for the 2024 NPB regular season, which will begin on March 29. 

The Baseball Federation of Japan which is part of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Asia sector oversees any actions from the Japan Baseball Rules Committee involved in the governed proximity of the sport in the country. 

The Japan Baseball Rules Committee proposed to the NPB officials of all 12 teams and league representatives for the upcoming regular season to add bigger bases, extra inning tiebreaker with ghost runners starting at second base and no outs, and as well banning the shift in the infield into their rulebook for the 2024 NPB regular season.  

No parties have agreed to certain rule changes regarding adding bigger bases, a ghost runner on second base to start the 10th inning with no outs, and banning the infield shift. 

Es Con Field, which is home to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, will have to expand their backstop to 60 feet behind home plate and did not have the right field dimension requirements in its’ first season in 2023. 

The Central League and the Pacific League have to agree with other conditions with Nippon Professional Baseball officials on initiating these rule changes. 

The Central League will open on Friday, March 29, with each team having a three-game series through Sunday, March 31. The Yomiuri Giants will open up on the road at Koshien Stadium against the 2023 Japan Series champion Hanshin Tigers. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows will travel to Nagoya, Japan, to take on the Chunichi Dragons at the Vantelin Dome. The Yokohama DeNA BayStars will start the season on the road against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium.

The six Pacific League teams will play on Friday, March 29, with each team playing a three-game series through Sunday, March 31. The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles will travel to the Belluna Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan, to take on the Saitama Seibu Lions. The Chiba Lotte Marines will go to Es Con Field to take on the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and the 2023 Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes will go on the road to Fukuoka, Japan, to play the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks at the PayPay Dome.

All 12 NPB teams will start their training camps prior to the start of the 2024 regular season in the middle of January. 

Game times have yet to be announced for the Pacific League, Central League, and Interleague games for the 2024 regular season. 

The NPB league officials received the Japanese Baseball Rules Committee proposal also with the regulations of the JBRC PDF document attached on the league’s website. 


Google translation from Google Chrome can also interpret from Japanese to English on the rule regulations that were proposed from the Japanese Baseball Rules Committee to NPB officials.

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