Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
August 3, 2009 - Frontier League (FL)

BASEBALL

Frontier League: The Frontier League's 2011 expansion franchise based in Woodstock (IL), just northwest of Chicago, will be called the McHenry County K-Nines. The nickname comes from a combination of the "K" used as a strikeout symbol in scoring and the nine innings for the length of a game. The league currently has the Windy City ThunderBolts south of Chicago in suburban Crestwood.

Northern League: The Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League are reportedly moving to the Northern League for the 2010 season. The Northern League currently has three teams-the Joliet Jackhammers, Gary SouthShore RailCats and Schaumburg Flyers-based in the Chicago metropolitan area and will add another in 2010 with the expansion Lake County (IL) Fielders. The Northern League could grow from six to eight teams in 2010 and is planning further expansion in 2011. The RiverHawks joined the Frontier League in 2002 when the Springfield (IL) Capitals were sold and moved to Rockford.

BASKETBALL

Premier Basketball League: The PBL has hired a director to develop the league in Canada as it plans to expand into additional Canadian markets. In its 2009 season, the PBL had three Canadian teams called the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Rainmen, Montreal Sasquatch and Quebec Kebekwa (Kebs), but Montreal is not expected to return in 2010. The city of Moncton (New Brunswick) has been mentioned as one of several potential Canadian markets. Also, efforts are being made to add PBL teams in Las Vegas and Lawton-Fort Sill (OK) for the upcoming 2010 season.

American Basketball Association: The ABA's San Diego Wildcats franchise has come under new ownership and the team has been renamed the San Diego Surf. The league had an Anaheim-based team called the Southern California Surf in its second season of 2001-02. An entertainment group was reportedly trying to bring an ABA franchise to Columbia (SC), but has now switched it to Greenville (SC). The group plans to have three ABA teams in the next five years and has not ruled out Columbia in the future. The ABA had a proposed team called the Columbia Rottweilers for the 2006-07, but it never started play. A semi-pro team called the Greenville Hoopsters played a game against the ABA's Georgia Gwizzlies in February 2009 and had hoped to eventually join the ABA. The Shreveport Stallions team has been moved from the Southwest Division and is now listed as a 2010-11 ABA expansion team.

Eastern Basketball Alliance: The EBA plans to add new teams called the Newark (NJ) Patrons, the Maryland Suns (Bowie) and the Warren (OH) Buzz for its upcoming 2010 season. A Queens-based team called the New York Blaze will be added in 2011.

FOOTBALL

United Football League: The UFL has reportedly registered several potential team nicknames for its four franchises that will play in the inaugural 2009 season. Some of these names include the Las Vegas Locomotives, New York Sentinels, Orlando Tuskers and San Francisco Rockfish. An official announcement of the nicknames will be made in the near future.

Arenafootball2: The Florida Firecats were proclaimed ineligible for the playoffs by the af2 due to non-payment of certain fees owed to the league. An owner with interests in several af2 franchises is reportedly spearheading a new 32-team league that would merge teams from the af2 and the Indoor Football League. If a scaled-back version of the Arena Football League emerges next season, it was reported that it could include some of the current af2 markets.

United National Gridiron League: The UNGL has announced the Alabama Blackbirds, Miami Scorchers and Ohio Marauders as names for three of its proposed eight franchises that hope to start play in 2010. The Alabama team is expected to be based in Birmingham and the Ohio team in Akron. The league plans to announce the names of the other teams in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia in the near future.

Independent Indoor Football Alliance: The IIFA hopes to expand next season and have a two-division alignment. The league had five participating clubs in 2009 and recently added the Oklahoma Titans to its expansion list that also includes the Bay Area Buccaneers, Arlington Aviators and Tarrant County Diablos. The Buccaneers were based in Pasadena (TX) and part of the inaugural 2008 IIFA season. The league failed in an attempt to develop a North Carolina division that was planned for 2009.

HOCKEY

North East Professional Hockey League: The NEPHL franchise proposed for Kingston (RI) is listed as the Rhode Island Storm and plans to start play in the league's inaugural 2009-10 season.

National Hockey League: The NHL has approved a new ownership group for the Phoenix Coyotes that will assure the franchise remains in Phoenix for now. The league rejected a purchase offer by a Canadian buyer who planned to move the franchise to Hamilton (Ontario).

Midwest Hockey League: The MWHL has announced it will operate a franchise in Fort Wayne (IN) for its inaugural season that will start in November 2009. Last week the A-level MWHL announced a franchise for Madison (WI).

All American Hockey League: The AAHL has announced that its proposed Lapeer (MI) Thunder franchise has been sold and will move to Fraser (MI) as the Detroit Hitmen. Lapeer is in the Flint area, which is home to the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League. The Generals recently announced the team would return for the 2009-10 IHL season. The AAHL had a Fraser-based team called the Detroit Dragons in its inaugural 2008-09 season, but the team folded at mid-season in January 2009.

Major League Roller Hockey: MLRH has announced the formation of the MLRH2 league that will start play in November 2009. The MLRH2 will be a more affordable version of its recently completed MLRH Pro Tour, with less travel. The league plans to fill the gap between the full-pro designation and current non-checking leagues. The MLRH2 will be used to identify players for the proposed MLRH Pro League, which originally was to start in the fall of 2009 and apparently will now start in the summer of 2010.

SOCCER

National Indoor Soccer League: A new investor has purchased the Milwaukee Wave franchise, which was part of the 2008-09 Xtreme Soccer League. The investor is confident the team will be playing in an expanded NISL for the 2009-10 season. The NISL operated with five teams last season-the Baltimore Blast, Massachusetts Twisters, Monterrey La Raza (Mexico), Philadelphia Kixx and Rockford Rampage. The league has had discussions with potential ownership groups in Dallas, Harrisburg (PA) and Cincinnati, along with other locations. The NISL and the XSL started play for the 2008-09 season, having evolved from the Major Indoor Soccer League that folded after its 2007-08 season. The XSL previously announced it will not be playing a second season in 2009-10.

Professional Arena Soccer League: The Stockton Cougars have signed a one-year lease that will allow the club to continue playing as part of the PASL-Pro league for the upcoming 2009-10 season. The league plans to add the San Diego Sockers for 2009-10 and has been looking at adding other cities like Tacoma, Louisville and Kansas City. A final schedule is expected by late August.

OTHER

World Combat League: Although the eight-team WCL has not yet announced any events for 2009, the league has two new teams called the Canadian Huskies and the British Invasion that replaced the Denver Fury and Texas Dragons in the league lineup. The other six teams are the Los Angeles Stars, Miami Force, New Jersey Tigers, New York Clash, Oklahoma Destroyers and St. Louis Enforcers.

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 2008-09 version can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/6218580.%20%20Dan%20can%20be%20contacted%20at%20dankrieger@leaguesteamsnicknames.com.


• Discuss this story on the Frontier League message board...

Frontier League Stories from August 3, 2009


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.


Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew