Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
October 22, 2012 - Professional Lacrosse League (PLL)
Can-Am League: The Can-Am League is still trying to place a new team in Worcester (MA) for the 2013 season and extended its deadline to the end of this month for a possible new ownership group to join. The league revoked the membership of its Worcester Tornadoes franchise near the end of the 2012 season for failing to pay its bills. If a deal cannot be worked out for 2013, the league would accept Worcester in 2014. A summer-collegiate baseball league is reported to be interest in the Worcester market for 2013.
Northwest League: The new Hillsboro (OR) team in the short-season Class-A Northwest League has chosen Hillsboro Hops as its name. The nickname comes from "hop" as a baseball term and from the hop plant. The league's Yakima (WA) Bears franchise was relocated to the Portland area where a new ballpark is under construction for the Hops' first season in 2013. This marks the return of pro baseball to Portland after the Portland Beavers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League moved to Tucson after the 2010 season.
Frontier League: The Frontier League has announced its schedule and team alignment for the 2013 season. The league will again feature 14 teams split into seven-team East and West divisions. The only change from last season will be the addition of the Frontier Greys travel team in the East to replace last season's London Rippers/Road Warriors team. The London (Ontario) Rippers expansion team ran into problems during last season and was replaced by the Road Warriors travel team in late July. The newly renamed travel team takes its name from the Zanesville (OH) Greys team, which played in the first four seasons (1993-97) of the Frontier League.
American West Baseball League: The owner of the North County Cannons (San Diego area) team in the proposed new AWBL has reportedly paid a franchise fee to be part of the league's inaugural 2013 season. The team will play its home games at Cal State University-San Marcos. The AWBL currently has three other teams listed: the Fullerton (CA) Flyers, Long Beach (CA) Splash and Yuma (AZ) Panthers.
Pecos League: After finishing the 2012 season on the road due to attendance, lease, and financial issues, the Pecos League has announced its Roswell (NM) Invaders team will return in 2013. The Invaders are to be part of a new Southern Division with the White Sands Pupfish (Alamogordo, NM), Alpine (TX) Cowboys, and Las Crucas (NM) Vaqueros.
West Coast League: The owner of the new summer-collegiate team in Victoria (British Columbia) has announced the team will be called the Victoria HarborCats when it starts play in the 2013 WCL season.
National Basketball Association: The city of Seattle and King County have given final approval on an agreement to build a new basketball and hockey arena that could become home to an NBA team and also a National Hockey League team.
National Basketball League of Canada: The management of the NBL-Canada's Laval (Quebec) Kebs team, which was called the Quebec Kebs and based in Quebec City for the 2011-12 season, has apparently been taken over by the league due to financial issues.
American Basketball Association: The Lake Charles-based Louisiana Gators team, once listed as a 2013-14 ABA expansion team, is now listed as part of the league's Southwest Central division for 2012-13.
Championship Professional Indoor Football League: The new CPIFL franchise based in Salina (KS) has announced it will be part of the league's inaugural season in 2013. The team is currently holding a name-the-team contest. The addition of Salina gives the new league nine teams with a tenth and final team for 2013 expected to be announced next week. The other CPIFL teams include the Bloomington (IL) Edge, Kansas City (MO) Renegades, Lincoln (NE) Haymakers, Mid-Missouri Outlaws (Sedalia), Kansas Koyotes (Topeka), Tulsa (OK) Defenders, Sioux City (IA) Bandits, and Wichita (KS) Wild.
American Indoor Football: The AIF plans to place an expansion team in York (PA) for its upcoming 2013 season. The league hosted a 2012 regular-season game in York. The new team will be holding a name-the-team contest.
United Football League: The four-team outdoor UFL announced it will postpone the second half of its 2012 season until the spring of 2013. Each team had played four games of an eight-game schedule, but the league had insufficient funds to continue at this time. The UFL plans to finish the 2012 season in the spring of 2013 and return with a fall schedule in 2013.
Central Hockey League: The CHL has started its 2012-13 season with all ten teams aligned into one Berry Conference. Of the 14 teams from last season, the Fort Wayne Komets and Evansville IceMen left the CHL to join the ECHL, while the Dayton Gems, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, and Laredo Bucks discontinued operations. The CHL added the new Denver Cutthroats expansion team for 2012-13. Due to ownership issues with the Quad City Mallards (Moline, IL), the CHL has had to step in to help the Mallards get ready for this season. The Mallards had to postpone the start of its season until next weekend. A potential purchase of the Mallards was said to be trouble over debts incurred by the prior owner.
Canadian Women's Hockey League: The CWHL, which is considered the top level of women's hockey in North America, has started its 2012-13 season with five teams called the Alberta Honeybadgers, Boston Blades, Brampton (Ontario) Thunder, Montreal Stars, and Toronto Furies. The Burlington (Ontario) Barracudas team was folded by the league after the 2011-12 season. Team Alberta was renamed the Alberta Honeybadgers for the 2012-13 season.
Ligue de Hockey Nord Americaine: The Quebec-based LNAH, or North American Hockey League in English, has started its 2012-13 season with seven teams called the Cornwall (Ontario) Riverkings, HC Carvena Sorel-Tracy, Riviere-du-Loup 3L, Saguenay Marquis, Saint-Georges de Beauce CoolFM, Thetford Mines Isothermic, and Trois-Rivieres Caron & Guay. The only change from last season was the relocation of the Windsor (Quebec) Wild team to Cornwall.
Professional Inline Hockey Association: The PIHA has started the 2012-13 schedules for both its PIHA Pro league and its PIHA Minor league. Each league is aligned into an Eastern Conference with an Appalachian and an Atlantic division and a Western Conference with a Rocky Mountain and Gateway division. The PIHA Pro league has 15 teams while the PIHA Minor league has 20 teams.
Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido: Mexico's professional indoor soccer league known as the LMFR, which is affiliated with the Professional Arena Soccer League in the United States, has announced the Rio Grande Valley Flash of Hidalgo (TX) will be part of the 2013 LMFR season as well as the 2012-13 PASL Pro season. The Flash was based in Mexico as the Monterrey Flash and one of eight teams in the 2012 LMFR season. Late last month, the owner of the Monterrey Flash decided to move the Flash to Hidalgo and join the PASL Pro league for 2012-13.
Professional Lacrosse League: The Jacksonville Bullies, one of only three PLL teams playing in the league's inaugural fall 2012 season, have suspended operations for the remainder of the season and will try to reorganize for a return in 2013. The league is left with only two teams called the Charlotte Copperheads and Reading (PA) Rockets. The league was also using an independent team called the Syracuse Stingers as an exhibition team during the 2012 season.
Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX): The Ontario-based CLAX has officially announced the move of its Peel Avengers team, which shared the Brampton market with the Brampton Inferno in 2012, to the city of St. Catharines in the Niagara Region.
World TeamTennis: The WTT announced a pharmaceutical company called Mylan as its new sponsor, so the league is now the Mylan World TeamTennis.
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.
• Discuss this story on the Professional Lacrosse League message board...
Professional Lacrosse League Stories from October 22, 2012
- 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.