In this post, I will talk about the CPBL: a brief history, how the league works, a quick guide to the stadiums and how to buy tickets.
There are various amateur leagues, which I will talk about elsewhere.
Brief history of the CPBL
The CPBL or Chinese Professional Baseball League is the name of the professional baseball league here in Taiwan. The league was founded back in 1990 and numbers of teams have fluctuated over the years. There have been historic scandals, the creation of a short-lived second league in the late 90s-early 2000s but as of 2018, there are 4 teams.
Two teams from 1990, are still around: Uni Lions and Chinatrust Brothers who were originally known as Brother Elephants.
The other two are Lamigo Monkeys, based in Taoyuan and Fubon Guardians based in New Taipei. Both of these sides have played elsewhere, undergone name/ownership changes since their establishments in 2003/1993 respectively.
The most successful team are Uni Lions with 9 championships, Brothers have won 7, Lamigo 6 and Fubon 3.
How does the league work?
Each team, plays the other 3 a total of 40 times over two 60 game phases either side of the All Star Break.
The winner of each phase is guaranteed a place in the Taiwan Series.
—If different teams win each phase, they play a 7 game series in 2 3 2 format, the side finishing ahead in the standings after 120 games gets home advantage and hosts weekend games.
—If the same team wins both phases, then 2nd/3rd in the 120 game standings play a 5 game, 2, 2, 1 series. The winner of that series then plays, the winner of both phases who will hold both home advantage and 1-0 lead. The Taiwan Series is then played over 6 games in a 2, 2, 2 format.
Teams typically play a 2 game series on Tuesday and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday against one team, then a three-game series Friday, Saturday, Sunday against another.
Any games cancelled in midweek are rearranged until after the last scheduled games of the phase. A Friday cancellation means the game moves to Saturday at 1:05. Then Sunday 1:05 if cancelled again. Any Saturday cancellations afte rearranged for Sunday 1:05, any games not played from Friday, Saturday, Sunday are rearranged for the end of the phase.
If the game is abandoned during the 1st inning, it will restart at a later date. If the game reaches the 2nd inning, it will resume at a later date from the current point in play. If the home team has batted 5 innings or is winning in the middle of the 4th, and play cannot continue, the result stands.
There are 2 minute breaks between innings, but between the 5th and 6th, the break is 6 minutes long. For the 2019 CPBL schedule, check out this link: League schedule
桃園 = Taoyuan, 台南 = Tainan, 洲際 = Taichung IC, 澄清湖 = Chengcing Lake, Kaohsiung, 新莊 = Xinzhuang, 天母 = Tianmu and 花蓮 = Hualien.
Stadiums in Taiwan
There are 17 stadiums in Taiwan that either host or have hosted either semi professional/professional baseball in Taiwan. A total of 10 of these stadiums will host games in 2019.
Rather than describe them, here is a link to my map
For most games, buying in advance is unnecessary but it can be helpful to get a ticket before you go. At Lamigo Monkeys, it gives you a 50 NT discount on matchday prices. A small sum but it gets an extra beer to enjoy the game a little more!
You can buy Lamigo, Brothers and Fubon tickets on FamiPort in Family Mart stores. You can buy Uni Lions and Brothers tickets at 7 Eleven.
If you get stuck, Google Translate will let you take photos and translate the Chinese. There can be some trial and error involved, that is how I learnt to use the machines in the first place! Even I still press the wrong buttons, in most cases staff in these stores will offer their help. Print out the receipt, give it to the cashier and they will give you your ticket.
I’m going to show you how to use the FamiPort machine, I will be using Lamigo Monkeys as my example for this.
I’m going to show you how to use the iBon machine, I will be using Uni Lions as my example for this.