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Preventing Pitching Injuries in Players: Ehime Mandarin Pirates baseball team signs research cooperation agreement with Juntendo University


The Ehime Mandarin Pirates (Ehime prefectural baseball team) and Juntendo University signed a research cooperation agreement, a first for an independent league, that aims to establish conditioning methods to prevent pitching injuries and to improve players' competitiveness.

The signatories pose for a photo after signing the agreement. From left to right: Juntendo University Associate Professor Atsushi Kubota, JASMS Director Daiichi Suzuki, and Ehime Mandarin Pirates Representative Director Isao Yakushijin

The Shikoku Island League Plus is an independent professional baseball league that operates in the four prefectures of Japan's Shikoku region. Four teams are currently participating in the league, including the Ehime Mandarin Pirates. The Shikoku Island League Plus also has many exchange games with Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) teams, and the level of players aiming for the NPB has improved. As one of the team's philosophies, the Ehime Mandarin Pirates promote the development and improvement of the competitiveness of players who are aiming for the NPB. Until now the team had been developing players under the leadership of the team's director, coaches, and trainers, but there had been issues in terms of medical and scientific support.

In April 2021, Juntendo University established the Juntendo Administration for Sports, Health and Medical Sciences (JASMS, headed by Dr. Daichi Suzuki) to further strengthen the organic collaboration between sports and medical science, which is one of Juntendo University's strengths, and to accelerate activities aimed at solving social issues from the new perspective of sports medicine and health. JASMS is also focusing on improving athletic performance by utilizing the strengths of sports medicine and science, and in baseball has a track record of working with NPB teams.

With the signing of this research cooperation agreement, research under JASMS supervision will be conducted on Ehime Mandarin Pirates players, providing conditioning support and to prevent injuries, mainly pitching injuries, and to improve players' competitive performance. In addition, the Ehime Mandarin Pirates will aim to further improve its environment so that it can produce as many NPB players as possible.

Specifically, Professor Yuuji Takazawa and Associate Professor Atsushi Kubota of the Institute of Health and Sports Science & Medicine at Juntendo University will investigate, analyze, and provide feedback on pitching movements by using wearable devices for players in the Ehime Mandarin Pirates. Through periodic liaison meetings, data sharing, and opinion exchanges, they will aim to establish the best year-round conditioning method for preventing pitching injuries and for improving players' competitiveness.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd.( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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