Wednesday, August 11, 2010

bj League expands to 16 teams

The 2010-11 bj League season gets underway in just over 2 months on October 16th. There are 3 new teams this year: Akita Northern Happinets; Shimane Susanoo Magic; and Miyazaki Shining Suns. This makes 16 teams in the league with each club playing 52 games. Most games are weekend doubleheaders, meaning that there are games on Saturday and Sunday with the same visiting team. However, no team uses the same venue for all home games. For example, the Niigata club has 9 different gyms in which they play. This makes following the team slightly more difficult, but it does allow for fans from different cities a chance to see a game. The Tokyo Apache have yet to determine where there games will be held.

The funny thing is that although there are now 16 teams, the divisions are not evenly split. There are 7 teams in the East and 9 in the West. I don't know why they can't move Takamatsu (on the island of Shikoku) to the East and even it up. Yeah, it's not geographically correct, but unbalanced divisions drive me nuts. It's simply easier to make the playoffs with 7 teams.

In Japan, there is a strict division between East and West though, and obviously it means more to have all the teams in the west playing each other, likely to keep travel costs down. Whatever the case, I'm going to try to get out to some of these places to catch some action.



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