MINOKAMO, Gifu -- A 16-year-old high school baseball club member here was struck with severe heatstroke after a coach forced him to do 100-meter sprints over a hundred times, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
A 26-year-old part-time teacher and baseball coach at the private Minokamo Senior High School apparently ordered the second-year boy to run 100, 100-meter sprints and then 30 more on Aug. 16, school Vice Principal Hiroji Funato told the Mainichi. The boy kept up the sprints until about 4:20 p.m., when he became groggy and collapsed. He was in hospital until Aug. 23, and returned to the school on Aug. 28 after a full recovery. He is set to rejoin baseball club practice on Sept. 10.
The club played a game on Aug. 14 that ended in a tie, leading the 33-year-old team manager to reprimand all the club members. The following day, the manager became angry at the "foolish attitude" of the victim, who is the team's leading pitcher. The 26-year-old coach then apparently accused the boy of being "insufficiently regretful," and ordered him to go through a special training regimen.
The school has concluded that the coach's actions were "excessive," and indefinitely suspended him. The manager has received a verbal reprimand.
"There were inappropriate instructions given," said Principal Koji Akasaki. "The student's health was not managed properly, and we are remorseful. We will use care to make sure nothing similar happens again."
Minokamo Senior High School is known for its strong baseball program, and it has made two appearances at the annual National High School Baseball Championship.