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Japan to follow ball-strike count

Kyodo News

Japanese baseball umpires decided Monday to change the order in which they call the count in the game.

The umpires will start counting balls first, and then strikes, in the upcoming season as used in the major leagues and international tournaments.

Until now in Japan a full count was 2-3, instead of 3-2.

“We’ve decided to change the order because of an increase in international game appearances by Japanese professional players,” said Osamu Ino, head of Nippon Professional Baseball umpires.

Japanese baseball is also discussing having just one official ball supplier from the 2011 season.