High school baseball players lined up on the field
The national high school baseball championships started in 1915, and high school baseball teams gather from all over Japan. It is held the latter half of August when the weather is hottest in Japan. Because games are played in Hanshin Koshien Stadium, the tournament is often called “Koshien”. All high school baseball players dream of playing in this stadium. Those who are very serious about this dream practice very hard in junior high school so that they can enter high schools that have a track record of playing well in this championship.
Baseball teams are selected in regional tournaments before playing at Koshien, with 49 high schools selected to represent each prefecture (There are 47 prefectures in Japan, and two teams are selected from Tokyo and Hokkaido respectively).
In the 2018 championship, over 1 million people went to watch games at Koshien. Every game is broadcast on TV and written about in newspapers. The winner of the tournament is awarded with a “crimson champions flag”.