Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
January 5, 2009 - Golden Baseball League (GBL)
United League Baseball: The future of the ULB is uncertain as the league has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The prospects of the league were in doubt after the 2008 season when the league operator tried to transfer two franchises in Amarillo (TX) and San Angelo (TX) to the Golden Baseball League, while abandoning four others in Alexandria (LA), Edinburg (TX), Harlingen (TX) and Laredo (TX). Two former league founders with an equity position in the league were granted an injunction to prevent the ULB from selling teams or merging with another league pending a further court case.
Golden Baseball League: The GBL will be adding the new Tucson Toros and Victoria (British Columbia) Seals in 2009, along with a possible new team in Tijuana (Baja, Mexico). The Tucson Toros will likely take the place of the Reno Silver Sox franchise. If the Silver Sox stayed in Reno, they would have to battle for fans with the new Reno Aces team in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Ironically, the PCL team moved from Tucson (Sidewinders) to make that market available for the GBL. At one time there was talk of moving the Silver Sox to Carson City (NV). A group in Medford (OR) was trying to develop support for a GBL franchise. Medford lost the affiliated Southern Oregon Timberjacks of the short-season Class-A Northwest League in 2000. After Medford lost its affiliated team, the defunct Western Baseball League had considered placing an independent team in the city.
Premier Basketball League: The PBL has started its second season of play with 13 teams in 3 divisions. The Atlantic Division includes the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Rainmen, Manchester (NH) Millrats, Montreal Sasquatch, Quebec Kebekwa (Kebs), and Vermont Frost Heaves; the Eastern Division has the Augusta (GA) Groove, Buffalo Stampede, Rochester (NY) Razorsharks and Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs; and the Central Division features the Battle Creek (MI) Knights, Chicago Throwbacks, Detroit Panthers, and Mid-Michigan Destroyers (Bay City). Only Chicago, Rochester and Wilmington played in the 2008 PBL season, as the other 2009 teams are either expansion teams or joined from another league.
American Basketball Association: The Alaska Dream (Anchorage) has cancelled its 2008-09 season and is now listed as a 2009-10 team. A team called the Los Angeles Slam has played some games against ABA competition during the current season and is considered a fill-in team for the ABA. The Slam plans to play six to ten games against ABA competition this season with results counting in the record for the ABA teams. The Los Angeles Slam will reportedly become an ABA expansion team in 2009-10.
World Basketball Association: The WBA was called the WBA Pro Basketball League in 2008 and is now listed as the WBA Exposure League as it prepares for its 2009 season that starts in May. The league has eight markets listed for 2009, but only three-Buford (GA) Majic, Decatur (AL) Court Kings and Memphis Blues-were part of the six-team 2008 season. Missing from the list are the Cartersville (GA) Baseline Warriors, Mississippi Hardhats and the Tri-State Crudaders.
United Basketball League: The UBL has a schedule posted for its second season that starts in April 2009. The league plans to have seven teams participating in the regular season and in various tournaments through mid-July. Currently listed in the Northern Division are the Arkansas Warriors (Little Rock), Oklahoma OnPoint Hoops (Oklahoma City) and Tulsa Tornadoes. The Southern Division has the Central Texas Stars (Killeen), Springfield (MO) Thrill, Texas Outlaws (Mesquite) and UBL Texas Wranglers (Dallas). United States Basketball Association: The USBA has its inaugural season schedule listed with 14 teams playing a 30-game schedule from April 1 to June 27, 2009. The league's Charleston (SC) Cadets team is now listed as the Charleston Stars.
Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacifico (CIBACOPA): The CIBACOPA, Mexico's Pacific Coast Basketball League, is preparing for its 2009 season that starts February 27. The league plans to have ten teams in two five-team divisions. The Northern Division will include the Fuerza Guinda Nogales, Mineros de Cananea, Ostioneros de Guaymas, Rayos de Hermosillo, and Trigueros de Ciudad Obregon. The Southern Division will include the Caballeros de Culiacan, Coras de Nayarit, Frayles de Guasave, Pioneros Los Mochis and Lobos UAD Mazatlan.
Women's Blue Chip Basketball League: The semi-pro WBCBL has a new team called the C-Port Lady Hornets, based in Hinesville (GA), which will start play in May 2009.
United National Gridiron League: The UNGL, originally called the United National Football League, plans to hold its online player draft in the coming week as it moves towards its February 9, 2009 kickoff. The inaugural season will feature eight teams, but the league could grow to 22 teams. The UNGL was created to act as a developmental league for the National Football League among others. At one time, the league had Charlotte, Atlanta, Buffalo, Miami, Virginia Beach and Washington (DC) as possible team locations.
Arenafootball2 (af2): A group is reportedly interested in bringing an af2 franchise to the new arena in Wichita by 2010. The Wichita Stealth played in the league from 2001 to 2004. The city currently has the Wichita Wild playing at another arena in Park City (KS) as part of the Indoor Football League.
Independent Indoor Football Alliance: The Texas-based IIFA has added the new Triad Hotshots team to its North Carolina Division. The IIFA completed its inaugural 2008 season with seven Texas-based teams and has added the new North Carolina Division for 2009 with teams based in the Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham area. Other North Carolina Division teams previously announced were the Carolina Renegades, Carolina Blue Jays and High Point Ravens. The IIFA's Texas Division currently has eight teams listed for 2009.
American Hockey League: With the Philadelphia Phantoms losing its arena after the 2008-09 season, there had been rumors that the team could move to an existing arena in either Trenton (NJ) or Atlantic City (NJ), while waiting for a potential new arena to be built in either Allentown (PA) or Camden County (NJ). With the state of the economy and the difficulty in obtaining funding for arena construction, it appears that the Phantoms may be sold and moved to another AHL city like Springfield (MA). The Springfield Falcons' affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers expires after this season and Edmonton has been scouting other locations for its affiliate. This past summer, Edmonton had talked with Oklahoma City of the Central Hockey League about hosting its AHL affiliate.
Professional Inline Hockey Association: In addition to its Pro and Minor divisions, the PIHA has offered clubs the opportunity to operate teams in a Women's Division or a Masters Division, which is for players over 35 years of age. So far, the Women's Division has only four Colorado-based teams in a Rocky Mountain Division for the 2008-09 season. The Masters Divisions has a four-team Gateway Division with teams from the St. Louis area, along with three Colorado-based teams in a Rocky Mountain Division.
Major League Roller Hockey: The MLRH has finalized the six teams that will participate in its made-for-TV pro tour that starts this month in Grand Rapids (MI). The MLRH Pro Tour teams listed are the Boston Storm, Buffalo Wings, Chicago RollerSnakes, Florida Fusion, Michigan Thunder and Washington (DC) Power. The Pro Tour is considered a precursor for the restart of the MLRH's full professional league planned for this fall. The MLRH will also be filming matches for its Slamm Hockey series, which is a new made-for-TV and co-ed roller hockey league that features alternating lines of male and female players in full-contact roller hockey.
Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL-Pro now has only two teams listed in its Mexican Division-Caballeros de Hidalgo and Universidad Veracruzana. The division's third team, MRCI Oaxaca, is now listed under "Provisional, Expansion, Exhibition" with three other newly listed Mexican teams-Contructores de Chilpancingo, Tecolapan del Estado de Mexico and Shuma de Mexico. The standings do not yet list any games played by the Mexican Division.
National Lacrosse League: The NLL has started its 2009 season with 14 teams. One of the initial games will feature the New York Titans playing the Toronto Rock in Sunrise (FL) to gauge interest for the league in this market. The league views South Florida as a possible location for future expansion. The NLL got its start in 1987 as Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse, which was renamed to the Major Indoor Lacrosse League in 1989. The MILL was reorganized as the NLL for the 1998 season.
Dan Krieger is the creator of "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest version can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/2533047. Dan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Golden Baseball League Stories from January 5, 2009
- 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.