Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
December 12, 2011 - Carolina League (CarL)
Carolina League: The former head of the Kinston (NC) Indians from the High Class-A Carolina League is still trying to find a team to replace the Indians after the team was sold and moved to Zebulon (NC) to become the Carolina Mudcats for the 2012 Carolina League season. The Carolina League team replaces a Carolina Mudcats team from the 2011 Double-A Southern League that moved to become the Pensacola Blue Wahoos for the 2012 Southern League season. Kinston will most likely be without a team in 2012. There had been discussion in the past about moving two teams from the High Class-A California League to the Carolina League, but there are still several hurdles to overcome with that move.
Western Major Baseball League: Canada's WMBL has announced that starting with the 2013 season it will operate strictly as a summer-collegiate league consisting only of current college players. The 2012 season will be the final season that over-aged players will be allowed to play in the league. The WMBL operated in 2011 with 13 teams based in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Arizona Winter League: The North American League (NAL) will again operate a month-long AWL season starting on February 4, 2012 with at least ten teams playing games in Yuma (AZ). The AWL was started in 2007 by the Golden Baseball League until the GBL became part of the NAL last year.
Independent Basketball Association: The IBA now lists the New York Albany Legends team, which played as part of the International Basketball League for its past two springtime seasons (2010-11), as an IBA member. A proposed Champaign (IL) team, once listed as the Champaign Fifty-Two, is no longer listed and a proposed Springfield (IL) team is no longer listed as the Springfield Shock. The six-team IBA is currently playing its first fall-winter season and also plans to operate a spring schedule.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: A team called the Center Court All-Stars, based in the Washington (DC) area, has replaced the ACPBL's Chesapeake Tru Hope Trailblazers team for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. The owner of the Center Court All-Stars also owns the Metropolitan All-Stars of the Eastern Basketball Alliance, but the Metropolitan All-Stars recently disappeared from the EBA 2011-12 standings.
United Basketball League: A team called the Austin Rhythm reports that it is a UBL expansion team for the 2012 season.
Continental Basketball League: After three 2011 teams left the CBL to join the new Tobacco Road Basketball League, the CBL's Florida Flight (Kissimmee) team reports that it has dropped out of the CBL after only one season. It is uncertain as to what league the team will join in the future.
Women's Universal Basketball Association: The WUBA, which is affiliated with the men's Universal Basketball Association, started its inaugural 2011-12 season last weekend. A five-team Southern Conference includes the Atlanta Lady Assault, GIE Morrow Lady Disciples, Metro Atlanta Lady Sparks, Southern Generals, and Tennessee Lady Dragons. The league is also supposed to include a four-team Ohio-based Northern Conference with the Cincinnati Slam, Seven Hills Fury, Queen City Gamblers, and Sharonville Flight.
Indoor Football League: The IFL franchise based in Bloomington (IL) will be called the Bloomington Edge when it starts play in 2012. New ownership completed a purchase of last season's Bloomington Extreme franchise and changed the team's name. A local Ford dealership is one of the team's sponsors and the name comes from the Ford Edge sport utility vehicle. The former Bloomington Extreme played three seasons (2006-08) in the former United Indoor Football before switching to the IFL for the 2009 season.
American Indoor Football: The new AIF, which plans to start play in 2012, has officially announced two new Western Conference teams called the Sacramento (CA) Eagles and the Las Vegas-based Sin City Blackjacks. A team based in Stockton (CA), possibly the Stockton Wolves, is planned for the Western Conference, along with a previously announced team called the Arizona Outlaws, based in Prescott Valley.
Continental Indoor Football League: The CIFL has announced its 2012 season schedule will include six teams. The league recently announced new teams called the Chicago Vipers and Evansville (IN) Rage will be part of the 2012 season. Other teams include the returning Dayton Silverbacks and Indianapolis Enforcers, the new Port Huron Patriots, and the Saginaw Sting from last season's Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL). A proposed team called the Muncie (IN) River Monsters, whose owner left the UIFL after the 2011 season, will not be part of the 2012 CIFL. The Chicago Vipers replace the CIFL's Chicago Knights team, which started out as the Chicago Cardinals based in Villa Park for the 2010 season and moved its home to Rockford (IL) during the 2011 season.
Western Pennsylvania Indoor Football League: The proposed new semi-pro WPIFL has evolved from last season's Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena (PISA) indoor football league. The WPIFL lists five teams that will start a ten-week season in January 2012. The teams include the A-K Valley Hurricanes, Mahoning Valley Tigers, Pittsburgh Heat, Pittsburgh Sabres, and Western PA Wildcatz. The league will play by the rules of the Ultimate Indoor Football League and wants to become a developmental indoor league for the UIFL. The WPIFL's Western PA Wildcatz team is reported to be an official affiliate of the UIFL's Johnstown (PA) Generals. The WPIFL is looking to expand into a national group of regional member leagues under the umbrella of the North American Indoor Football League, which is aiming to start in 2013 and is planning indoor leagues in Toronto and the Great Lakes region.
American Professional Football League: As of December 2011, the semi-pro indoor APFL lists seven teams that will be part of the 2012 season-the Cheyenne (WY) Warriors, Colorado Lightning (Monument/Denver), Council Bluffs (IA) Express, Kansas Koyotes (Topeka), Mid-Missouri Outlaws (Sedalia), Sioux City (IA) Bandits, and Springfield (MO) WolfPack.
Independent Women's Football League: The IWFL has granted a team membership to an owner interested in placing a team in Guam and the league has sanctioned a new Pacific Rim Division. These teams will most likely play six-player football, which the IWFL has called "Sixxes" football.
National Hockey League: The NHL announced a realignment plan that will be implemented for the 2012-13 season. The league will consist of two seven-team conferences with teams located in the Eastern time zone, an eight-team conference with teams in the Central and Eastern time zones, and another eight-team conference with teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. The conferences have not been named.
North American Hockey League: The Wenatchee (WA) Wild and the Topeka (KS) RoadRunners of the Tier II junior-level NAHL will host an exhibition game at a new 5,500-seat arena in Dodge City (KS) on December 14, 2011. The city has never been home to junior or professional hockey and the NAHL wants to determine if the market has potential for a future team.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The USL PDL has announced the Boston Victory SC has joined the league for its 2012 season.
United Soccer Leagues - W-League: The women's USL W-League is considering the development of a professional league, possibly at a Division II level and below the level of play in Women's Professional Soccer. The W-League is currently comprised of all amateur-level teams, but does allow for pro teams to participate. The league could return all 27 teams from last season, plus add new teams in Jacksonville (FL), Tampa, and Columbia (Central South Carolina Cobras). Four W-League teams have ties to men's teams in Major League Soccer. Three USL PRO (Division III) men's teams operate W-League teams and 13 clubs have both W-League teams and men's USL Premier Development League teams.
Women's Premier Soccer League: The commissioner of the WPSL has stated that the league plans to launch a professional soccer league in 2013. The United Soccer Leagues W-League is trying to start up a professional women's league and reportedly the owner of the magicJack FC, which was recently dropped by Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), also wants to start a women's pro soccer league. The WPSL currently has two teams-the Bay Area Breeze and Orange County Wave-considered to be full professional teams. The league's Boston Aztecs and New York Fury act as feeder teams to two pro WPS teams, the Boston Breakers and Philadelphia Independence, respectively.
Premier Arena Soccer League: The new Rocky Mountain Rattlers team in the PASL-Premier has changed its name to the Denver Dynamite. The team is based in Highlands Ranch (CO), just south of Denver. The PASL-Pro league had a team called the Denver Dynamite for two seasons (2008-10) and the PASL-Premier had a Dynamite Reserves team for the 2008-09 fall-winter season and the 2009 summer season.
Major Lacrosse League: The outdoor MLL recently held a player draft for its two new expansion teams, the Ohio Machine (Columbus) and Charlotte (NC) Hounds, which will start play in the 2012 summer season. All six teams from 2011 will return and the league will grow to eight teams.
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.
Carolina League Stories from December 12, 2011
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.