Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
August 22, 2011 - North American League (NAL)
North American League: The NAL has decided to shorten its inaugural 2011 season by one week and it will end August 28. The Maui-based Na Koa Ikaika team has ended its regular season after the Lake County Fielders decided not to make the trip to Hawaii for a scheduled four-game series last week. The Na Koa Ikaika had 23 remaining road games remaining on its schedule and the team release all players. To fill in for its remaining home games, the Lake County Fielders accepted a challenge to play a nearby semi-pro team called the Kenosha Kings of the Wisconsin State Baseball League. The team that will actually play the Lake County Fielders for the rest of the season is called the Kenosha County Fielders, which will be comprised of players from the Kenosha Kings and players from other teams in the semi-pro WSBL.
Frontier League: A council member in Port Huron (MI) wants the city to consider construction of a 4,500-seat ballpark that would be home to a Frontier League franchise. Currently, there is no funding plan in place for the ballpark.
South Atlantic League: A developer has unveiled plans for a proposed new ballpark in Columbia (SC), which had been home to a SALLY franchise from 1983 to 2004. The Columbia Mets arrived in 1983 and the team became the Capital City Bombers in 1993. The Bombers moved to Greenville (SC) for the 2005 season and the team was eventually renamed the Greenville Drive. After the Bombers left town, plans for a new ballpark were developed, but never moved forward. If a ballpark is built in Columbia, it is uncertain as to which SALLY League team or team from another minor league would relocate to the city. Columbia currently has a summer-collegiate team called the Columbia Blowfish in the Coastal Plain League.
Pecos League: The six-team Pecos League has completed its inaugural 2011 season. Four of the 2011 teams-the Las Cruces Vaqueros, White Sands Pupfish, Roswell Invaders, Alpine Cowboys-are committed to return for the 2012 season. The 2012 season will have a minimum of 6 teams and a maximum of 12 teams in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. Final approval of teams will be made in January 2012.
National Basketball League of Canada: The new seven-team NBL-Canada held its initial player draft this weekend. The league has four totally new teams in Moncton (New Brunswick), Summerside (Prince Edward Island), Oshawa (Ontario), and London (Ontario). Three of these teams have announced nicknames-the Moncton Miracles, London Lightning, and Oshawa Power. The Summerside team will hold a name-the-team contest. The NBL-Canada season will run from October 29, 2011 to March 4, 2012. Each team will play a 36-game schedule.
Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional: The LNBP, Mexico's top professional basketball league, will play its 2011-12 season from September to December with playoffs starting in January 2012. The league plans to have 14 teams, which is down from the 18 teams that played last season. The league lost seven teams from last season, but added three other teams. Two of the new teams had been part of the league in past seasons-the Barreteros de Zacatecas in 2009-10 and the Correcaminos UTA Victoria in 2008-09. The third new team will be based in San Juan del Rio in the state of Queretaro.
American Basketball Association: A new Lafayette-based team called the Louisiana Stars has been added to the ABA's list of 2012 expansion teams.
Women's United Basketball Association: The new WUSBA has announced it will start its inaugural 2011 season on September 14 with eight teams, each playing a 24-game schedule. The league had originally planned to have 16 teams, but ran into venue problems in some of the locations. More teams will be added in the spring 2012 season. The eight 2011 teams include the Atlanta Platinum, Augusta Raging River, Birmingham Starz, Columbia Breeze, Chattanooga Royal, Charlotte Blue Wave, Jacksonville Surf, and Savannah Seahawks
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL has announced its seventh expansion team will be located in East Ridge (TN), a suburb of Chattanooga. The team will be added to the league's new South Division along with teams in Rome (GA), Tupelo (MS), and Florida. The new UIFL Florida Tarpons franchise will be based out of the Germain Arena in Estero (FL), which is about halfway between Fort Myers and Naples. The arena had been home to the Florida Firecats of arenafootball2 for nine seasons (2001-09). The defunct National Indoor Football League had a short-lived franchise called the Fort Myers Tarpons, which played a couple of games in the 2007 season. That team, along with the Florida Stingrays of the 2008 American Indoor Football Association, played at the Lee County Civic Center in Fort Myers.
Canadian Football League: The new Ottawa CFL franchise that plans to start play in 2014 will not use the Rough Riders nickname that was last used in 1996 by a former Ottawa Rough Riders CFL team. The league's Saskatchewan Roughriders, based in Regina, signed off on approval of a new Ottawa franchise only if the team would not use "Rough Riders" or any variation like "Ottawa Riders" as its team name. The team will most likely not be called the Ottawa Renegades, which was the city's most recent CFL franchise that lasted only four seasons (2002-05).
Lone Star Football League: A new indoor football team called the Frisco (TX) Falcons reports it will be part of a new Texas-based indoor football league in 2012 called the Lone Star Football League. Speculation has various Texas-based teams, which were part of the 2011 Southern Indoor Football League and the Indoor Football League, joining this new league. An announcement is expected later this month.
Ontario Junior Hockey League: The Upper Canada Patriots of the Junior-A OJHL has changed its name to the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. The Lakeshore Patriots team was formed for the 2008-09 season.
Central Hockey League: The CHL's Evansville IceMen worked out a lease agreement for the city's new downtown arena and the league announced its 2011-12 schedule that will include 14 teams.
Major League Roller Hockey: The MLRH plans to start its 2011-12 season on October 29 and has several new teams listed. These include the LA Blades, Anaheim Bullfrogs, and Kallusive Tap Out in the Pacific Division; the Arizona Arsenal in the Southwest Division; the Buffalo Excitement in the Midwest Division; and the Raleigh Dragons and CT Whalers in the Atlantic Division.
American Inline Hockey League: A new team called the Delco Demons, based in Springfield (PA), plans to play in the 2011-12 AIHL. The Demons will have teams at both the Elite and Minor level.
North American Soccer League: The new NASL franchise called the San Antonio Scorpions SC is preparing for its inaugural season in 2012. The league's current Montreal Impact team will be leaving the NASL in 2012, as it prepares to make the move up to Major League Soccer for 2012. The NASL hopes to add a new Ottawa-based franchise in 2014. The Ottawa team plans to share a new football stadium that is to be built for the city's new Canadian Football League franchise.
Canadian Soccer League: The CSL is well into its 2011 season with a 14-team First Division and a 14-team Second Division. Three new First Division teams include the Windsor Stars, Mississauga Eagles FC, and the Ottawa-based Capital City FC. The First Division is aligned into one table, while the Second Division has seven-team East and West divisions. Most of the First Division teams operate a corresponding Second Division team.
Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association: The new semi-pro MILA has been restructured and has been reduced from six to four teams for its inaugural six-week season that starts August 26, 2011. Previously announced teams for Louisville, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Naperville (IL) have been moved to 2012 expansion teams. The four-team lineup will include the previously announced O2 Outlaws (Chicago), based in Crystal Lake (IL) and operated by Oxygen Lacrosse, and the Grand Rapids (MI) Dragonfish. Two new additions include the Milwaukee Marauders, previously called Team Milwaukee as a 2012 expansion team, and a new team operated by the Columbus (OH) Lacrosse Club.
Major League Lacrosse: The outdoor MLL has officially announced its new Columbus-based franchise called the Ohio Machine will make its home at Selby Field on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University when the league starts in 2012 season next May. The six-team MLL will also add the Charlotte Hounds franchise for the 2012 season.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "leagueology almanac" known as "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest 2010-11 edition is available at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/leagues-teams-nicknames-the-leagueology-almanac-2010-11/15228513. Dan can be contacted at email@example.com.
North American League Stories from August 22, 2011
- WhiteWings Blowout Colts 11-2 - Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings
- WhiteWings Blowout Colts 11-2 - Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings
- Tied At The Top - San Angelo Colts
- Brian Macinnes Named CEO of Diamond Sports & Entertainment - NAL
- Vipers' Burns Named Pitcher of the Week - Calgary Vipers
- Colts' DH Nichols and Vipers' RHP Burns Named Players of the Week - NAL
- Outlaws' Stevenson Signed by San Francisco Giants - NAL
- Kenosha Bats Feast on Lake County Pitching - Lake County Fielders
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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