Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
January 9, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Northwest League: The city of Milwaukie (OR) in the Portland area will hold a meeting next week to provide updates on the planning for a proposed ballpark and decide whether to move forward. The ballpark could become home to a relocated team in the short-season Class-A Northwest League.
Atlantic Baseball League: The developers of a proposed ballpark in the Boston suburb of Malden will be presenting their plans to the city next week. Although the group wants to place an ABL franchise in the new ballpark, it is unsure whether an ABL application would be accepted since the league's Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish franchise is only about 160 miles away. A proposed Malden team could end up as part of the Can-Am League.
Independent Baseball League: The proposed new IBL is trying to get off the ground in 2012, but has only announced that its first team will be located in the Detroit area. When the league was first proposed in 2011 it wanted to have teams in close proximity to minimize travel costs. Possible locations under initial consideration were Muncie (IN) and the Ohio cities of Cleveland, Bowling Green, Galion, and Tiffin.
Ultimate Baseball League: The proposed new UBL originally announced that its first two teams would be based in Canton (OH) and Johnstown (PA) and wanted to start play in 2011 with four to eight teams from New York to Georgia and east of the Mississippi River. In 2011, the league announced plans to switch to a September 2012 start and announced that teams would be based in Florida for 2012 with the season ending in December.
Atlanta Exposure Basketball League: Exposure Hoops USA, which has operated the Iowa Basketball Exposure League for the past two years and added the Boston Basketball Exposure League in the summer of 2011, plans to add a similar short-season developmental league in 2012 called the Atlanta Basketball Exposure League.
Eastern Basketball Alliance: The EBA has posted its complete 2011-12 season schedule that runs through the month of March. The schedule does not include a previously announced new team called the Brooklyn Pride and the team has been removed from the Northern Division. The league now has nine teams with a four-team Northern Division and a five-team Southern Division.
Independent Basketball Association: A proposed IBA team called the Springfield (IL) Shock was not part of the league's inaugural 2011-12 fall season. The Springfield IBA team is now listed as the Springfield Statesmen.
United Football League: The UFL commissioner has stated that the fate of the league for 2012 depends on its ability to add two expansion teams and grow to six teams. The cities of Jackson (MS), Chattanooga (TN), and Portland (OR) were previously mentioned as expansion possibilities. The league's Las Vegas Locomotives franchise had been considering a move to Salt Lake City.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL's new Danville (IL) Dragons franchise has made a plea for more fan support in the form of season tickets and sponsorships or else the team might be forced to shut down. The city had a previous team called the Danville Demolition that lasted only the 2007 season in the American Indoor Football Association. There have been rumors of some other expansion teams not being able to start as planned in 2012. The league has stated it plans to operate two travel teams during the 2012 season.
American Professional Football League: The semi-pro indoor APFL has announced its 2012 season schedule that will feature eight teams each playing a 12-game schedule from late March to late June. The league also announced it will be split into two divisions, most likely with the Council Bluffs (IA) Express, Mid-Missouri Outlaws (Sedalia), Sioux City (IA) Bandits, and Springfield (MO) in the east and the Kansas Koyotes (Topeka), Oklahoma Defenders (Tulsa), Cheyenne (WY) Warriors, and Colorado Lightning (Monument) in the west.
Stars Football League: The outdoor SFL is preparing for its second season and plans to add three new Florida-based teams in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Cape Coral/Fort Myers. The Cape Coral/Fort Myers team will be called the Twin Cities Swampdogs, while the names for the other teams will be announced later. The SFL had four teams play a short season this past summer. Two of those teams were based in Florida-the Fort Lauderdale Barracudas and the Daytona Beach Racers.
Women's Football Alliance: The WFA has announced a team called the Utah Jynx, based in Salt Lake City, will be part of the 2012 season. The Jynx played an eight-game independent schedule in 2011.
National Hockey League: The realignment plan approved by the NHL last month to move from two three-division conferences to just four geographic divisions will not be implemented for the 2012-13 season. The players' association refused to agree to the changes. The league is expected to maintain its current alignment for next season.
National Premier Soccer League: A San Diego-based team called Tiburones United FC will be a member of the 2012 NPSL. The Tiburones recently reached a partnership with a new women's team called the Red Diamonds FC in the Women's Premier Soccer League. As part of this partnership, the WPSL team will play their games prior to the men's NPSL games during the 2012 season.
Women's Professional Soccer: The president of the Los Al Vikings soccer club (Los Alamitos, CA), which was part of the 2011 Women's Premier Soccer League, has organized an off-season independent team called the Los Angeles Vikings comprised of the top women professional players that will play some games against national teams from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The president has expressed interest in developing a WPS franchise for the 2013 season, but the WPS wants any western expansion to include a group of teams to minimize travel costs. The Los Al Vikings will continue to play as part of the WPSL in 2012 as it prepares to move to a full professional status.
United Soccer Leagues - Premier Development League: The PDL Great Lakes Division will lose the Indiana Invaders and Akron Summit Assault for 2012, but will add a new team called the Chicago Inferno.
Women's League Soccer: The men's Des Moines (IA) Menace team in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League has organized a women's team by the same name in the amateur-level WLS. The women's Menace team will join the Chicago Breeze, Cincinnati Lady Saints, FC Indiana, Fort Wayne SC, and the Indiana Invaders in the second season of the WLS.
North American Lacrosse League: The new professional indoor NALL, which was supposed to start its inaugural 2012 season on January 19 with five teams based in the United States, ran into some problems when some of the teams wanted to switch to an August-to-November season to take advantage of a possible television contract. Other NALL members were still trying to operate as originally planned with a season running from January to April.
National Lacrosse League: The indoor NLL has started its 2012 season with nine of the ten teams returning from last season. The league lost the Boston Blazers franchise from the Eastern Division, which will operate with the Buffalo Bandits, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, and Toronto Rock. The Western Division includes the Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush, Minnesota Swarm, and Washington Stealth.
Canadian Lacrosse League: The new all-Canadian minor professional indoor lacrosse league known as the C-LAX has started its inaugural 2012 season with six Ontario-based teams playing at three venues. The Brampton Inferno and Peel Avengers will play home games in Brampton; the Durham Turfdogs and Oshawa Machine will play home games in Oshawa; and the Iroquois Ironmen and Ohsweken Demons will play home games in Ohsweken.
USA Rugby League: The USARL has announced a new club called the Baltimore Blues will be part of the league's 2012 season.
American National Rugby League: The AMNRL has announced an expansion team called the Atlanta Legion will be part of the league's 2012 season. After sitting out the 2011 season, the Fairfax Eagles team plans to return in 2012 as the Northern Virginia Eagles. A 2011 team called the Delaware Vipers, which did not complete its 2011 schedule, will not return in 2012.
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.
National Lacrosse League Stories from January 9, 2012
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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.