Definitions for honbasho
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word honbasho
any of the six official sumo tournaments
Origin: From 本場所
A honbasho is an official professional sumo tournament. There are six held each year, a system established in 1958. Only honbasho results matter in determining promotion and relegation for rikishi. A literal translation of honbasho is "main tournament". This term is used to distinguish these tournaments from display basho which are held as part of sumo tours, between the six major tournaments. Such display tournaments may have prize money attached but a wrestler's performance has no effect on his ranking. This type of sumo is often called hana-sumo as it is not taken as seriously by the wrestlers. Honbasho last for 15 days. Sumo wrestlers ranked in the top two divisions wrestle once each day, while those of the lower divisions wrestle seven times, approximately once every alternate day. The first aim for most wrestlers is to achieve kachikoshi, or a majority of wins, and thus ensure a promotion for the next tournament. In addition for each division there is a championship prize for the wrestler with the most wins at the end. A playoff on the final day is used to decide the winner in case of a tie. Unless a playoff is required, two wrestlers will fight each other no more than once in a whole tournament. The bout schedule is set by a committee of sumo elders a day or two in advance of a tournament day, and may be announced from the dohyō the day prior by a senior gyōji. Although there is no fixed method, for the first half of a tournament the top makuuchi division will generally pair the top maegashira ranks against the san'yaku wrestlers, with the rest of maegashira fighting among ranks closer in strength. The schedule second half of the tournament will have mainly san'yaku fighting each other, with the remainder of the ranks determined by their win-loss records up to that point. One consideration is to minimize the necessity for a tiebreaker bout, particularly if a contender for the yūshō is lower-ranked and has thus far faced only other lower-ranked wrestlers.
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