Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
October 29, 2012 - Central Hockey League (CHL)
American West Baseball League: The new ownership of the Yuma (AZ) Panthers in the proposed new AWBL announced five nickname choices for a name-the-team contest that ended this past week. The nicknames included the Desert Bats, Desert Rats, Dust Storm(s), Sandstorm(s), and Scorchers. The Panthers are the former Yuma Scorpions team that was part of the 2011 North American Baseball League. The Scorpions sat out the 2012 NABL season, changed its name to the Panthers, moved to the AWBL and recently came under new ownership before ever playing a game as the Yuma Panthers.
Pecos League: The independent Pecos League, which operated with six teams in 2012, is looking to expand with the addition of a proposed new team called the Las Vegas (NM) Train Robbers. Las Vegas (NM) is about an hour east of Santa Fe. The new team could be added to a new four-team Northern Division that would include returning teams called the Santa Fe (NM) Fuego and Trinidad (CO) Triggers, along with the new Taos (NM) Blizzard team. The league is also trying to add a new team called the Pecos (TX) Bills to its Southern Division, which would also include four other returning teams for 2013.
Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League: The seven teams that made up the Hamptons Division of the 2012 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League have split with the ACBL to create its own Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League for 2013. Since the ACBL was part of the National Alliance of Collegiate Summer Baseball, which gets support from Major League Baseball, the new HCBL hopes both the NACSB and MLB will sanction the new league.
American Professional Basketball League: The new APBL, which evolved from last season's Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League (ACPBL), will have 16 teams for its inaugural 2012-13 season that started this weekend. The four-team Southern Conference Colonial Division has the Bay Area Shuckers (Severn, MD) from the ACPBL, the Nova Hawks (Chantilly, VA) and Winchester (VA) Storm from the 2011-12 Eastern Basketball Alliance (EBA), and the new West Virginia Monarchs (Martinsburg). The four-team Southern Conference Patriot Division has the Beltway Bombers (LaPlata, MD) from the ACPBL, the Metro All-Stars (Washington, DC) from the EBA, and new teams called the Capital City Express (District Heights, MD) and Rockville (MD) Victors. The four-team Northern Conference Eastern Division has previous 2011-12 ACPBL teams called the Hudson Valley (NY) Kingz, Manhattan (NY) Pride, North Jersey Pros (Passaic), and The Destroyers (Wilmington, DE & Philadelphia). The four-team Southern Conference Gateway Division has New York metropolitan teams called the New York City Jaguars from the EBA, the New York City 524 from the ACPBL, and two new teams called the Brooklyn Firebirds, and Tri-State Energy. A 2011-12 ACPBL team called the Garden State Rebels (Newark) had to cancel plans to join the new APBL.
Tobacco Road Basketball League: The TRBL has granted provisional approval to four new teams for the league's second season in 2013 with a decision on final approval due in December. The teams include the Blue Ridge Bison (Hendersonville, NC), the Silver Lakers (Spartanburg, SC), the Cobras (Greensboro, NC) and a travel team called HoopForLyfe from Charlotte (NC). Last season's two travel teams called the Queen City Express and Big Texas have found home venues and will play full schedules in 2013.
National Basketball League of Canada: After the NBL-Canada took over its Laval (Quebec) Kebs team last week, the league has now terminated the Laval Kebs and will establish a new franchise in Montreal next week. The Kebs were based in Quebec City for the 2011-12 season and had tried to move to Laval.
Independent Basketball Association: The IBA started its 2012-13 winter season last weekend with ten teams: the Battle Creek (MI) Knights, Dayton (OH) Air Strikers, Gary (IN) Splash, Holland (MI) Dream, Kankakee County (IL) Soldiers, Kenosha (WI) Ballers, Lake County Stars (Deefield, IL), Lansing (MI) Capitals, Rockford (IL) Riverdawgs and St. Louis (MO) Trotters. The IBA started last year with a 2011-12 winter season and also plays a spring season, the first of which was played in 2012. The 2012-13 winter season runs through mid-January 2013.
Eastern Basketball Alliance: The EBA has announced a team called the Bad News Ballers, based in Newport News (VA), has been added for its upcoming 2013 season.
Indoor Football League: The IFL announced the schedule and league alignment for its 2013 season. After operating with 16 teams in 2012, the IFL will operate with only 10 teams divided into a five-team United Conference and a five-team Intense Conference. The league lost seven teams from 2012, but added the Cheyenne (WY) Warriors from the American Professional Football League. The Everett Raptors, Omaha Beef, and Reading Express teams folded. The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks moved to the Professional Indoor Football League, the New Mexico Stars moved to the Lone Star Football League, and the Wichita Wild and Bloomington Edge moved to the new Champions Indoor Professional Football League. A proposed 2013 expansion team called the Charlotte Speed decided to switch to the PIFL for 2013. The IFL's Allen Wranglers team came under new ownership and was renamed the Texas Revolution for 2013.
Lone Star Football League: The owner of the Odessa-based West Texas Roughnecks in the indoor LSFL has put the franchise up for sale with a 30-day deadline to complete a sale. The future of the franchise could be in jeopardy if a new buyer is not found soon.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League: The new CPIFL team based in Salina (KS) has narrowed the list of potential team nicknames to three-the Storm, Bombers or Shock. The new name is expected to be announced next week.
Central Hockey League: The CHL has taken over operations of its Quad City Mallards franchise based in Moline (IL). Due to uncertainty over the team's ownership, the Mallards were forced to delay the start of their 2012-13 season by one week. The league continues to search for a new team owner after a potential sale fell through last week.
Southern Professional Hockey League: The SPHL has started its 2012-13 season with the same nine teams as last season. These include the Augusta (GA) RiverHawks, Columbus (GA) Cottonmouths, Fayetteville (NC) FireAntz, Huntsville (AL) Havoc, Knoxville (TN) Ice Bears, Louisiana IceGators (Lafayette), Mississippi RiverKings (Memphis area), Mississippi Surge (Biloxi) and Pensacola Ice Flyers.
Columbus, Fayetteville, Huntsville, and Knoxville have been part of the SPHL since its inaugural season in 2004-05 season.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL has started its 2012-13 with six teams called the Cape Cod Bluefins (Hyannis, MA), Danbury (CT) Whalers, Danville (IL) Dashers, Dayton (OH) Demonz, Thousand Islands Privateers (Watertown, NY), and Williamsport (PA) Outlaws. Gone from last season are the Akwesasne Warriors (Cornwall, Ontario), Brooklyn Aviators, and a Delaware Federals travel team. The new Dayton Demonz team, originally the named the Devils, was added for 2012-13. Last season's New Jersey Outlaws moved from Wayne (NJ) to Williamsport (PA) and the Thousand Island Privateers moved from Alexandria Bay (NY) to Watertown.
National Hockey League: The NHL's New York Islanders have announced the team will move to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season. The current lease in Nassau County on Long Island expires after the 2014-15 season. The team will keep the New York Islanders as its name. There has also been some speculation the NHL will undergo expansion to 32 teams in the future. Expansion teams could be added to Quebec City and Markham (Toronto area) where new NHL-style arenas are under development.
New Women's Soccer League: The head of the United States Soccer Federation stated the final details of a new women's professional soccer league are being worked out and an announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks. The USSF is trying to replace the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), which folded after its 2011 season. Former WPS teams called the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC (New Jersey) are expected to be part of the new league.
Professional Arena Soccer League: The Ohio Vortex of the PASL has relocated from Canton (OH) to the Lorain County and the town of Oberlin, about 80 miles northwest of Canton. The Vortex has been a member of the PASL and based in Canton for the past three seasons.
National Lacrosse League: In December 2012 the Calgary Roughnecks and Colorado Mammoth of the indoor NLL will be playing an exhibition game in Langley (British Columbia) near Vancouver. The event organizer is hoping to place a new NLL team in the Langley Events Centre. The NLL had a team called the Vancouver Ravens that lasted three seasons (2002-04) before suspending operations.
Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX): The new St. Catharines (Ontario) team in the 2013 season of the indoor CLAX will be called the Niagara Lock Monsters. The team played last season as the Peel Avengers and shared the Brampton market with the Brampton Inferno.
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.
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