by Dan Krieger
January 14, 2013 - Atlantic League (AtL)
Pacific Association: The owner of the San Rafael (CA) Pacifics from the 2012 North American League (NAL) has created a new league for 2013 called the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, which basically replaces the NAL's North Division. The new league will have the same teams as the 2012 North Division and will include the Pacifics, the Sonoma County Grapes travel team, and the two Hawaii-based teams called the Na Koa Ikaika Maui and Hawaii Stars. The Pacifics and Grapes will also play 24 inter-league games against teams from the Arizona-based Freedom Pro Baseball League, while the two Hawaiian teams will play inter-league games against teams from the Baseball Challenge League of Japan. The new league is searching for a permanent home for the Grapes team with Vallejo (CA) and Ukiah (CA) as possibilities. There was no word on the remaining Texas-based teams from the NAL's 2012 United Division. Those teams could become a separate league called United League Baseball, which was the name of the league that was merged into the NAL for the 2011 season.
Pecos League: Although the independent Pecos League plans to replace its Las Cruces (NM) Vaqueros team with a partial travel team called the Carlsbad (NM) Bats, the league plans to operate a developmental league based out of Las Cruces during the month of June 2013. The Pecos Developmental League will feature teams called the Las Cruces Vaqueros and Desert Valley Mountain Lions. These teams will play games against each other and against nearby summer-collegiate teams. The league would like the Carlsbad Bat to play 15 home games and the team could play some home games in Artesia (NM) and Hobbs (NM).
Atlantic Baseball League: Middlesex County (NJ) plans to explore building a minor league ballpark for a team modeled after the Somerset (NJ) Patriots of the independent ABL. The owner of the Somerset Patriots tried to establish a team in Middlesex County about five years ago, but a proposed ballpark in the Monroe Township failed to get off the ground.
Independent Baseball League: The proposed new IBL reports its has three Ohio-based teams in Bowling Green, Marion and Springfield set to start play in June 2013 as part of the league's inaugural season. The league plans to announce its fourth team and currently has Oakland County (MI), near Detroit, listed as a potential location.
Freedom Winter League: The independent Freedom Pro Baseball League, which played its inaugural season in 2012 with four teams, has announced the new Freedom Winter League that will be based in the Phoenix area and run from February 13 to March 13, 2013.
Eastern Basketball Alliance: After losing four of its teams from last season to the American Professional Basketball League, the EBA added four new teams for its recently started 2013 season. The Northern Division includes the returning Harrisburg Horizon, New York Primetime and New York Wizards along with the new Westchester Flyin Dutchmen. The Southern Division has the returning Washington (DC) Madness and three new teams called the Bad News Ballers (Newport News, VA), Maryland Bayriders and Richmond Rebels.
Bikini Basketball Association: The proposed new BBA, which plans to start play with eight women's teams in 2013, has replaced its Hollywood Hotties team with a new team called the Illinois Hearts. It appears the Heart will be based in Chicagoland, which also has the BBA's Chicago Crave team.
Independent Basketball Association-Premier Basketball League: The IBA, which will be called the IBA-PBL after a recently announced merger with the Premier Basketball League, has announced a Charleston-based team called the West Virginia Miners will be part of its upcoming 2013 Spring Season. A team called the Grand Rapids (MI) Cyclones, which originally planned to join the American Basketball Association, has reported the team will try to join the IBA-PBL.
Central Basketball League: The new Cincinnati CBL team is called the Cincinnati Crusade, not the Crusaders as reported last week.
Western Indoor Football Association: The WIFA, which recently announced plans to return for a 2013 pro season, has also announced the new WIFA2 that will serve as a developmental minor league to the WIFA.
Legends Football League: The Lingerie Football League has been re-branded as the Legends Football League. The LFL has current leagues in the United States and Canada and is trying to get LFL-Australia off the ground this year. Future plans include additional leagues in Europe and Asia.
Alliance Indoor Football League: The Kearney (NE) Hawks and the Muncie (IN) Bandits travel team, two of the ten teams that were to be part of the semi-pro AIFL's inaugural 2013 season, have reportedly already dropped out of the league.
United States Premier Hockey League: The proposed new USPHL, which is attempting to create another national junior-level hockey league along with a new prospects league for players at the Midget level, has added three more teams called the Bay State Breakers, Connecticut Yankees and Portland (ME) Pirates to the junior-level league. The USPHL was first announced in late November 2012 with four teams that are currently part of the Tier-III Eastern Junior Hockey League. Of the latest three new teams, Bay State and Portland are part of the EJHL, while the Yankees operate two Midget-level teams.
North American Hockey League: The Wenatchee (WA) Wild of the Tier-II NAHL is again seeking permission from USA Hockey to switch to Canada's junior-A British Columbia Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. The Wild attempted to move to the BCHL for the 2012-13 season, but it was not approved due to a delay on a decision by USA Hockey. The Wild is trying to minimize travel costs and the BCHL has a number of teams in closer proximity than the NAHL.
North American Soccer League: The NASL has announced the schedule for its 2013 Spring Season that will run from April 6 to July 4, 2013. Spring Season teams will include the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton (Eddies), Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota Stars FC, San Antonio Scorpions and Tampa Bay Rowdies. This marks the first year of the league's new split seasons, as a Fall Season will run from August to November 2013. The Puerto Rico Islanders and the expansion New York Cosmos are expected to join for the 2013 Fall Season.
Rugby Super League: The RSL disbanded as a national league this past summer and all remaining teams will play as part of the 2012-13 D1 level of competition. There will be a Super League Cup tournament sometime during the D1 season. The RSL clubs felt it was too hard to maintain both a Super League squad and a D1 squad. The RSL started play as an elite-level club league in the 1997 season.
Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX): The Ontario-based indoor CLAX has started its second season in 2013 with seven teams. The Brampton Inferno, Iroquois Ironmen and Ohweken Demons returned and the Durham Turfdogs, which played its games in Oshawa in 2012 along with the Oshawa Machine, were renamed the Oshawa Turfdogs. The 2012 Oshawa Machine relocated to become the Toronto Shooting Stars, while the 2012 Peel Avengers moved to St. Catharines as the Niagara Lock Monsters. The league added a seventh team called the Barrie Blizzard as a 2013 expansion team. The 2013 season runs from January to early April.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "The Leagueology Almanac 2011-12", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is currently available at www.amazon.com.