Baseball: NPB OKs temporary use of Fighters' new park despite flaw

Nippon Professional Baseball decided Monday to allow games next season at the Nippon Ham Fighters' new ballpark, Es Con Field Hokkaido, despite it not meeting regulations for the minimum distance between home plate and stands to the rear.

The NPB made the exception at an emergency meeting involving representatives from all 12 teams but asked Nippon Ham to carry out renovations the following offseason to bring the ground into line with the rules.

The net in front of the first row of seats behind home plate must be at least 60 feet (18.288 meters) from the base, roughly three meters farther away than the new park's stands.

Nippon Ham's top executive Koji Kawamura apologized for the club's insufficient communication with NPB during the meeting.

© Kyodo News