101th Japanese National High School Baseball Championship In Progress at Koshien

101th National High School Baseball Championship got underway at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture on August 6, 2019.

Over the course of 16 days including 2 days of rest, the 49 best high school baseball teams in Japan take the field to determine a national champion. In the build-up to the tournament, smaller tournaments are held throughout all of Japan’s 47 prefectures (somewhat analogous in terms of political power to a U.S. state) to make sure the top teams make it to Koshien Stadium, although due to their size and the number of high schools there, the prefectures of Tokyo and Hokkaido are divided into two areas and thus send two teams to the tournament.

Total number of high schools registered with the Japan High School Baseball Federation is 416 with 143,867 players as of May, 2019

The Summer Koshien Tournament is full of emotions, young men putting it all on the line for the chance to be known forever as a champion. Following the end of each matchup, the players on the losing side — some of whom are in tears for their run being over — scoop up a handful of infield dirt to take home as either encouragement to get back to Koshien the following year or, for seniors, as a way to have one more memory of their high school careers.