Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
December 19, 2011 - Canadian American League (Can-Am)
Interstate Baseball League: The new developmental independent Gulf Coast Baseball League has been renamed the Interstate Baseball League. The IBL has suspended the proposed Sarasota Dragons team for failure to follow league procedures. The league is trying to get a new ownership group to take over the Sarasota territory and has one other team called the Hattiesburg (LA) Hounds that was announced back in September 2011. The IBL hopes to start play in May 2012 with at least six teams along the Gulf Coast and north into Arkansas and Georgia.
Can-Am League: The Brockton (MA) Rox of the Can-Am League will not return for the 2012 season due to financial issues, but could try for a return in 2013. The Brockton ownership wants to establish a 2012 team in the summer-collegiate Futures Collegiate Baseball League. The Can-Am League will be playing an interlocking schedule with the American Association in 2012 and needed an odd number of teams. The league was prepared to add a seventh team in Canada for 2012, but with the loss of Brockton, the league will operate with just five teams. The Brockton Rox started play as part of the 2002 Northern League Eastern Division and played two seasons (2003-04) as part of the Northeast League, which evolved until the Can-Am League for the 2005 season.
North American League: The proposed new NAL franchise in Fort McMurray (Alberta) is moving forward with plans for a new ballpark and a possible 2013 start. The league's Chico Outlaws might not be part of the 2012 NAL season. The team has yet to sign a ballpark lease for its home at Chico State.
Eastern League: A Boston-based firm put in a bid for a long-term lease at the stadium in Ottawa for a possible relocated Double-A Eastern League team. The league gave permission for the firm to explore the Ottawa market for one of its existing franchises to relocate for the 2013 season.
South Atlantic League: The ownership of the Hagerstown (MD) Suns in the Low Class-A South Atlantic League has warned that the team would consider relocating, if the city does not commit to stadium renovations.
Pacific Coast League: The city of Boise (ID) is considering construction of a new downtown ballpark that could be built for a Triple-A PCL team. The city is currently home to the Boise Hawks in the short-season Class-A Northwest League. One possible candidate could be the Tucson Padres, if a proposed new ballpark in Escondido (CA) falls through.
International Basketball League: The IBL has announced that the Florida Winning Ways, which joined as one of the league's short-schedule or "branding" teams in 2011, has been renamed the Orlando Venom and will play a full schedule as part of the 2012 IBL season.
Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacifico: The CIBACOPA, Mexico's Pacific Coast Basketball League, will start its 2012 season on March 9. As of now, the league has 11 teams with the addition of the Caneros de Navaolato. The Trigeros de Ciudad Obregon and Lobos UAD de Mazatlan, which sat out the 2011 season, will again sit out and try to return in 2013.
Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional: The Volcanes de Toluca have been kicked out of the LNBP, Mexico's top basketball league, so the league will finish its 2011-12 season with 13 teams. The team had an 0-36 record in a 40-game season and was unable to carry enough players on its roster.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced that a new team called the Kitsap Admirals, based in Bremerton (WA), will be part of the Northwest Division in the 2012-13 season.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: Due to circumstances surrounding a forfeit by the Tru Hope Trailblazers against The Enterprise last weekend, The Enterprise has decided to leave the ACPBL. The team has been removed from the ACPBL schedule and South Division standings.
Women's United States Basketball Association: The WUSBA is still trying to get off the ground and plans to start play in April 2012 with 20 teams aligned into 4 five-team regional divisions. The league announced that it will not have a team in Kentucky because it had difficulty finding a home venue for a proposed team in Lexington or Louisville.
American Indoor Football: A new team called the Ontario (CA) Warriors has been added to the AIF, which plans to start play in March 2012. As of now, the AIF Western Division includes Ontario, the Arizona Outlaws, Sacramento Eagles, Sin City Blackjacks (Las Vegas), and Stockton Lightning. The Eastern Division currently has the Cape Fear Heroes (Fayetteville, NC), Harrisburg Stampede, Maryland Force, and Virginia Badgers.
Lone Star Football League: The new LSFL has announced a schedule for its inaugural 2012 season that will include 8 teams, each playing a 12-game schedule from late March to late June. Teams include the Abilene Ruff Riders, Corpus Christi Hammerheads, Houston Stallions, and Rio Grande Valley Magic (Hidalgo) from last season's Southern Indoor Football League; the Amarillo Venom and West Texas Roughnecks (Midland) from last season's Indoor Football League; plus, two new teams called the Laredo Rattlesnakes and Mesquite Bandits. The LSFL also has a dormant team called the San Angelo Stampede Express, which played two seasons (2009-10) as part of the IFL and sat out the 2011 season.
Central Plains Football League: The outdoor eight-man CPFL has expanded to 18 teams for its upcoming 2012 outdoor season. The semi-pro league has teams based in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa.
Lingerie Football League: The women's indoor LFL has narrowed its list of new potential United States markets to six for next season-Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Portland (OR). Teams called the Atlanta Steam and New England Euphoria were planned for the 2009-10 season, but had problems finding home venues and never started. The LFL had a previous New York City area team called the New York Majesty, which was based on Long Island for part of the 2009-10 season.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL has added a team called the Delaware Federals to complete the remaining home games for the seven other FHL teams that were scheduled against the Vermont Wild. The Wild folded after only ten games in the 2011-12 season.
American Inline Hockey League: The AIHL has started its 2011-12 season with 36 teams in 8 regional divisions called the New England, Mid Atlantic, Colonial, Great Lakes, Pacific North, Pacific South, Southwest, and Gulf Coast. Each club operates a top-level Elite team and a Minor team. The AIHL started play in 2008-09.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The USL PDL has announced new teams called FC Tucson, Connecticut FC Azul (Hamden), and Worcester (MA) Hydra FC will be part of the 2012 season. FC Tucson was established more than a year ago and played an independent schedule in 2011. Worcester had a previous PDL team called the Worcester Kings that played two seasons (2002-03). Connecticut and Worcester will be rivals for the recently announced Boston Victory SC.
Women's Professional Soccer: The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has agreed to sanction the WPS for Division I status for the 2012 season, despite having only five teams. The sanctioning is reportedly dependent on the league adding a sixth team in 2013 and having at least eight teams by 2014.
The league claims to have potential expansion franchises-one each on the East Coast, the West Coast, and in the Midwest.
North American Soccer League: The NASL's FC Tampa Bay has come to an agreement with the apparel company that owned the Rowdies nickname, so the club has changed its name to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The owners tried to bring the Tampa Bay Rowdies name back when the team was created for the 2010 season, but had to switch to FC Tampa Bay due to a nickname dispute. A team called the Tampa Bay Rowdies started play in the original NASL in 1975 and folded after the 1984 season. The NASL was again granted Division II status by the United States Soccer Federation for the 2012 season and plans to play with eight teams. The new San Antonio Scorpions FC will replace last season's Montreal Impact team, which moved up to Major League Soccer. The other seven teams will return from last season. Another group in San Antonio is still working to bring a United Soccer Leagues PRO (Division III) franchise to the city, despite the fact that the San Antonio Scorpions will start play in the 2012 NASL.
Canadian Lacrosse League: The new minor-professional CLAX plans to start its inaugural 2012 season next month with six Ontario-based teams. The league will also operate a Junior CLAX for players 10 to 19 years old with groupings for Pee Wee, Bantam, Midget, and Prospects. The league will also have four to five teams in its Masters division for players of any age or ability. Junior games will be played prior to CLAX games and Masters games will be played afterward.
North American Lacrosse League: The new minor-professional indoor NALL, which plans to start its inaugural 2012 season with five teams, will reportedly add a sixth team based in the Boston area for 2013.
Boston recently lost the Boston Blazers team from the National Lacrosse League after the 2011 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian American League Stories from December 19, 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.