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Taiwan team disqualified from Pony junior baseball championship after bat dispute

Japan team alleges Taoyuan City team used illegal bat, league rules in favor of Japan

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Taouyuan City team wins Pony U14 championship but disqualified over bat infraction. (CNA photo)

Taouyuan City team wins Pony U14 championship but disqualified over bat infraction. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After defeating the Japanese team in the Pony Asia-Pacific Zone Baseball Tournament on Saturday (July 1), the Taiwan team was disqualified from the championship held in Fukushima, Japan, for allegedly using an illegal bat.

A Taoyuan City team defeated a Japanese team in the championship round by a score of 7-1, but the Japanese team alleged that the Taoyuan City team used an illegal bat, per FTV. A conference of umpires and officials concluded the violation did occur, and the Taoyuan City team lost its right to proceed.

The Taoyuan City team protested the ruling. Taoyuan City team manager Jiang Kui-kuan (江奎寬) said that the bats used by the team had been certified prior to the competition.

The eight teams in the Asia-Pacific region held a meeting to discuss the matter, in which three teams from China and one from Hong Kong sided with the Taiwan team, while teams from Japan, the Philippines, and Australia did not agree with the Taiwan team’s championship qualification.

While more teams supported Taiwan, the final decision was in the hands of the tournament's two leaders, who both ruled in favor of Japan. In the end, the Taoyuan City team was found to have violated the rules, and thus, the Japanese would be crowned champions.

Upon hearing the news, members of the Taoyuan City team became emotional and shed tears. The Taoyuan team has appealed to the tournament's headquarters regarding the decision and is waiting for a reply.