Professional Baseball League
Current season, competition or edition:|
2016 JINZX season
May 6, 1924|
|No. of teams||18|
|Most recent champion(s)||tbd (xxth title)|
The Professional Baseball League (Shaelic: Jinbaeoa Zxebara), widely referred to as JINZX (pronounced /dʒinzɪks/), is the highest level of professional baseball in the country, consisting of 18 professionally-run teams from around the country. The teams play a 148-game regular season schedule, culminating in the Konuri ("Grand Series"). It is the second most attended professional sports league, and baseball competition, in the world, trailing only North America's Major League Baseball, drawing more than 28 millions fans annually. During the 2015 season, the league's 18 teams averaged 21,576 fans per game.
The league is considered superior to Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, and is widely regarded as the second best baseball league in the world behind Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. Major League Baseball (MLB) players, scouts, and sabermetricians describe play in the JINZX as "AAAA+"; slightly less competitive than in the MLB, but more competitive than NPB, the Mexican League, and AAA minor league baseball.
Teams are franchised, with designated market areas for purposes of media, branding, and competitive balance. They are individually owned and not centrally administered by the league. Owners are fully responsible for the operation and performance of their teams, and are expected to maintain the highest professional standards within their respective organizations. As in other Shaelic professional sports, only minority foreign ownership of teams is permitted. In 2015, JINZX by-laws limited foreign ownership to no more than a 15% stake in a given team. No foreign investor may hold a stake in more than one JINZX team. Development teams playing in KIRBAEZX and BIBAEZX are fully owned and operated by their parent clubs.
The 18 JINZX teams are organized into three geographic Zones (Shaelic: ližam), each comprised of six teams. Teams play an unbalanced 148-game regular season which starts in April and runs through September. Most series consist of three games, but four or five games series' are not unheard of. Doubleheaders are common in the Summer months. Teams play games until there is a winner, and there are no ties as in Nippon Professional Baseball. The top finishing team in each Zone qualifies for the postseason playoffs. Of the remaining 15 teams, the team with the best record (known as the Esoyéza) also qualifies. If two teams have identical records, the season head-to-head record is used to break the tie. For Esoyéza qualification, a one-game playoff is held to determine the qualified team.
The JINZX playoffs start no later than a week after the conclusion of the regular season schedule. All series are the best of seven games, culminating in the Konuri ("Grand Series").
JINZX organizes a minor league development system similar in form and function to the one found under Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It is currently a two-tiered system, designated as Kíra Baeonebe (equivalent to AAA/AA level) and Bikíra Baeonebe (equivalent to AA/A level). Each JINZX team owns and operates a franchise at each level.