Japanese baseball is following in line of the major leagues and will standardize the balls used by the 12 teams from next season, Nippon Professional Baseball announced Monday.
The new Mizuno-manufactured balls are expected to carry less than the ones currently used by NPB’s 12 teams, who all have independent contracts with their suppliers. Eight of the 12 use Mizuno.
Major League Baseball uses one official ball made by Rawlings for all 30 teams.
The specifications of the new ball will be closer to that of the MLB ball. NPB hopes using the new balls on a regular basis will give Japanese players an edge in international tournaments like the World Baseball Classic.