Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
April 1, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL)
American Association: The Sioux Falls (SD) Pheasants team in the independent AA has changed its name to the Sioux Falls Canaries. The Sioux Falls team was previously called the Canaries, but new ownership changed the team's name to the Pheasants prior to the 2010 season. The Sioux Falls Canaries were an original member of the Northern League in 1993 and moved to the AA when it was formed with several other Northern League teams for the 2006 season.
Atlantic Baseball League: A vote on the proposed new ballpark in Loudoun County (VA) that is to become home to the ABL expansion team called the Loudoun Hounds is set for next week.
Florida State League: A financing plan has fallen through on a proposed ballpark on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park (FL) that was to be shared by the college team and the Brevard County Manatees of the high Class-A FSL. The Manatees are currently based in Viera (FL), about 60 miles southeast of Winter Park.
New York-Penn League: The short-season Class-A New York-Penn League has officially announced plans to place one of its teams in Morgantown (WV) where a new ballpark would be shared with the West Virginia University baseball team. Construction on the new campus ballpark plans to start next year and is expected to be completed in time for the 2015 season. Last year, the league's Jamestown Jammers team, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, applied to relocate to Morgantown.
Northwoods League: The summer-collegiate Northwoods League announced a new local ownership group has taken over the Alexandria (MN) Beetles franchise, which has been renamed the Alexandria Blue Anchors for the upcoming 2013 season.
Tobacco Road Basketball League: The TRBL has revised its teams and schedule for its second season that starts next week. An East and West division will each include four full-schedule teams and one travel team. In addition, each division will feature an exhibition team with the Bull City Legacy (Durham, NC) in the East and the SC Allstars in the West. The Hub City Lakers (Spartanburg, SC) were previously announced as a full-schedule team, but are now listed as a 2014 provisional team along with the Blue Ridge Bison (Asheville, NC).
United Basketball League: The UBL has added what are called "cluster games" to its 2012-13 schedule and has revised its league alignment. New teams called the Southeast Missouri Terror (Dexter) and the St. Louis Scorpions are now listed in the league standings. Last season's Austin Rhythm was renamed the Round Rock Rhythm.
International Basketball League: The spring-summer IBL has listed its 2013 alignment that has the five full-schedule teams (Bellingham Slam, Japan Nippon Tornadoes, Portland Chinooks, Salem Sabres and Vancouver (WA) Volcanoes) in an International Conference and the five "branding" teams (East Bay Pit Bulls, Kitsap Admirals, LoneStar Strikers, Olympia Reign and Seattle) in a Continental Conference.
Central Basketball League: The proposed new Midwest-based CBL states it will have teams called the Bowling Green (KY) Hornets, Dayton Air Strikers, Middle Tennessee Storm (Nashville area), River City Panthers (Peoria) and St. Louis Hawks for its first season that starts in April 2013.
World Basketball Association Exposure League: The WBA has announced tryout dates and camps for its upcoming 2013 season that will start in June. The league is entering its 11th season and plans to have teams based in Atlanta, Gwinnett (GA), Gastonia (NC), Conyers (GA), Anderson (SC) and Rome (GA).
Continental Indoor Football League: The Marion (OH) Blue Racers of the CIFL and the Missouri Monsters (St. Charles) of the Ultimate Indoor Football League will play a cross-league game next weekend. The CIFL lost the Kane County Dawgs early in the season and the UIFL lost the Miami Sting just prior to the season, so teams have had to fill in games on their schedules.
National Football League: A group of Native Americans recently introduced legislation to Congress to try to cancel the trademark of the "redskins" nickname used by the NFL's Washington Redskins. The group says the nickname should not be allowed because it is offensive, but the Redskins claim the nickname was not meant to be offensive.
Stars Football League: The SFL has delayed the start of its 2013 season until next month as it considers possible expansion into Jacksonville (FL), Charlotte (NC) and Texas. The league's third season was supposed to start next week with five Florida-based teams.
National Spring Football League: The proposed minor professional NSFL, which was originally planning to start next month with eight teams, has added four new teams, but apparently has pushed back its start until 2014. The new Florida Tide (Orlando) and Kentucky Thoroughbreds (Louisville) were added to the East, while the Arizona Racers (Goodyear) and Portland (OR) Aggression were added to the West.
American Hockey League: The National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues have informed the Peoria Civic Center, which has been home to the Blues' Peoria Rivermen AHL affiliate since the 2005-06 season, that the AHL team will be leaving Peoria after the 2012-13 season. The Blues will apparently sell the Rivermen to the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, who will try to move the team to nearby Abbotsford (British Columbia). The Blues could enter an affiliation with the AHL's Chicago Wolves, whose affiliation with Vancouver runs through the 2012-13 season. If the AHL's Abbotsford Heat, the current NHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, does not move to another location as speculated, Vancouver could keep its affiliate in Peoria. The NHL's Minnesota Wild could be interested in the Peoria market for its AHL team and the ECHL has expressed interest in Peoria, if it is abandoned by the AHL.
Central Hockey League: A group trying to bring a CHL team to Casper (WY) was unable to raise enough money to acquire a franchise and update the local arena in time for the 2013-14 season. The group will try again for the 2014-15 season. The CHL had some success in operating the Quad City Mallards this season and the franchise will return next season as the league continues to search for a permanent owner. The league plans to add the expansion St. Charles (MO) Chill and a yet-to-be-named Brampton (Ontario) team in 2013-14. The Brampton name-the-team contest has eliminated the Smash and Bengals nicknames from consideration and is left with the Arrows, Bandits, Beast, Blizzard, North Stars, Renegades, Vipers and Wolverines.
Metropolitan Junior Hockey League: The Tier III MJHL announced the North Jersey Avalanche (Hackensack, NJ) will place a team in the league for the 2013-14 season.
United States Premier Hockey League: The proposed new USPHL, which was formed by four teams from the Tier III Eastern Junior Hockey League, plans to have teams playing at three different levels-the 16U and 18U Midget Level and a 20U level under USA Hockey's Senior League. The USPHL states that its members with teams in the Tier III Eastern Junior Hockey League and Tier III Empire Junior Hockey League will still have team competing in those leagues in 2013-14.
Premier Ligue de Soccer du Quebec: The PLSQ, or the Quebec Premiere Soccer League, plans to have seven teams when it starts its second season in late April 2013. The five teams from last season called the FC L'Assomption, AS Blainville, FC Brossard, FC Boisbriand, and Saint-Leonard FC will return and the league has added new teams called FC Gatineau and CS Mont-Royal Outremont (Outaouais region). The PLSQ is the first semi-professional league in Quebec and was organized by the Quebec Soccer Federation.
Major Series Lacrosse: The Senior-A MSL, an elite-level summertime indoor lacrosse league based in Ontario, recently announced its 2013 schedule that will again feature six teams. The Ajax Rock team plans to move to Oakville for the 2013 season, but approval is still pending from the Ontario Lacrosse Association. The other five returning teams include the Brampton Excelsiors, Brooklin Redmen, Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks, Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs. The season runs from late May to late July. At the end of the season, the MSL champion plays the champion of the British Columbia-based Western Lacrosse Association for the Mann Cup.
Western Lacrosse Association: The Senior-A WLA, an elite-level summertime indoor lacrosse league based in British Columbia (Canada), announced its 2013 schedule that will run from mid-May to late July 2013. The league will have the same seven teams as last season-the Burnaby Lakers, Coquitlam Adanacs, Langley Thunder, Maple Ridge Burrards, Nanaimo Timbermen, New Westminster Salmonbellies, and the Victoria Shamrocks. At the end of the season, the WLA champion plays the champion of the Ontario-based Major Series Lacrosse for the Mann Cup.
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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