North American Hockey League

Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
March 21, 2022 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)


Minor League Baseball: After operating in 2021 with regional league names, Major League Baseball announced it will revert to traditional league names for the 11 affiliated leagues that make up Minor League Baseball. This includes 120 teams with 30 teams at each of four levels - Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A. The 20-team Triple-A East is now the International League and the 10-team Triple-A West is the Pacific Coast League. The 12-team Double-A Northeast is now the Eastern League, the 8-team Double-A South is the Southern League, and the 10-team Double-A Central is the Texas League. The 12-team High-A Central is now the Midwest League, the 6-team High-A West is the Northwest League and the 12-team High-A East is the South Atlantic League. The 8-team Low-A West is now the California League, the 10-team Low-A Southeast is the Florida State League and the 12-team Low-A East is the Carolina League.


Independent Women's Professional Basketball League: In addition to a previously announced Texas Tour to be held in June 2022 with four Texas-based IWPBL teams, the IWPBL announced a Midwest Madness event in July 2022 will feature three IWPBL teams called the Chicago Breeze, Indiana Bandits and Memphis Blaze.

American Basketball Association: The semi-pro ABA announced six more expansion teams called the Little Rock Hawgs, Silver State Tigers (Henderson, NV), Oil City (PA) Roughnecks, Mass Wolves (Cape Cod), Colorado Crossovers (Colorado Springs) and Florida Blazin Tigers (Tallahassee area) have joined for the 2022-23 season.

Canadian Elite Basketball League: The minor professional CEBL's Edmonton Stingers recently played two games in Calgary as part of group play in the Basketball Champions League Americas tournament. League officials were encouraged by strong attendance at the games and Calgary is being considered for future CEBL expansion, possibly by the 2024 season. The CEBL is growing from seven to ten teams in 2022 with three new teams added. Of the ten CEBL teams, only three teams (Edmonton Stingers, Fraser Valley Bandits and Saskatchewan Rattlers) are currently located in the western provinces of Canada.


American West Football Conference: The semi-pro indoor AWFC started its 2022 season this week with six teams playing games through June 18, 2022. Of the five teams from last season, the Yakima Canines did not return for failing to meet certain league requirements. A league-operated travel-only team called the Washington Elite was created to replace road games from Yakima's 2022 schedule. The AWFC also added a new team called the San Diego Red Tails, but this team will play out of the City of Industry (CA) in the Los Angeles area and was renamed the SoCal Red Tails. The other AWFC teams include the Idaho Horsemen (Nampa), Oregon High Desert Storm (Redmond), Tri-City Rush (Kennewick, WA) and the Wenatchee Valley (WA) Skyhawks.

Fan Controlled Football: The 7-on-7 indoor fan-interactive FCF finalized the names of the eight teams that will be participating in the league's second season that is supposed to start next month. The four teams from last season will return and include the Zappers, Glacier Boyz, Beasts and the recently renamed Wild Aces team that is now the Shoulda Been Stars. The four new teams include the Bored Apes FC, Kingpins (originally Gutter Gang), Knights of Degen and 8OKI. All games will be played at an arena in Atlanta.

Major League Football: The long-proposed developmental springtime MLFB plans to start play this spring and currently posted the names of four teams and potential locations: Arkansas Attack, Ohio Force, Texas Independence and Virginia Armada.


North American Hockey League: The men's Tier-II junior-level NAHL announced the Minnesota Magicians (Richfield) team has been sold and will move to Eagle River (WI) where it will be renamed prior to the 2022-23 season.

Professional Women's Hockey Players Association: The tour-based PWHPA, which was formed in 2019 when many of the world's elite women hockey players decided to boycott the National Women's Hockey League (now the Premier Hockey Federation), is reported to be moving closer toward its goal of creating a new full professional women's league in North America. Although there is no timeline for the new league, the PWHPA has been partnering with several National Hockey League teams for its tour events and discussions are ongoing with major sponsors and some NHL teams about the new league.

United States Premier Hockey League: The men's Tier-III junior-level USPHL announced a new team called the Columbia (SC) Infantry will place teams in the league's 2022-23 Premier and Elite divisions.

Western U.S. Tier-I Junior Hockey League: A new unnamed men's Tier-I junior-level hockey league based in the western United States is being organized for a proposed start with six teams in the 2023-24 season. The Midwest-based United States Hockey League is the only top Tier-I junior hockey league in the country. Several western National Hockey League teams (Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks) have endorsed the new league.


National Premier Soccer League: The men's elite-level amateur NPSL announced the Magia FC, based in Miami Gardens (FL), as a late addition as a 2022 expansion team for the South Region.

National Women's Soccer League: The professional NWSL announced its regular-season schedule will run from April 29 through October 2, 2022 with all 12 teams aligned in one table and each team playing a 22-game schedule. This weekend, the league started the Challenge Cup portion of the 2022 season with teams aligned in three four-team regions and regional round-robin play ending April 24. The Challenge Cup semi-finals and championship game will be the first week of May, after the regular season has started.

USL Super League (United Soccer League): The USL announced the new women's Division-II professional USL Super League will start play in August 2023 and will play a fall-to-summer calendar to align the league with the women's international soccer calendar. The schedule will feature a mid-season winter break and a summer off-season. The USL Super League hopes to start with 12 teams.


Athletes Unlimited - Volleyball League: The Athletes Unlimited indoor professional women's Volleyball League started its second five-week season this week with four teams again playing all games at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas through April 16, 2022. Each team plays three games per-week with players earning points for team wins and individual performances. Teams change each week with the top four athletes in the standings serving as captains and drafting their new teams for the next week. A similar concept is used for other Athletes Unlimited women's leagues in softball, field lacrosse and basketball. The softball league will start its third season later this year, the lacrosse league will start its second season this year, and the basketball league completed its inaugural season last month.

Premier Rugby Sevens: After holding its inaugural pilot tournament in Memphis this past October, the PR7s recently held player tryouts in Charlotte, Southern California and British Columbia as it prepares to start a men's and women's seven-player rugby league this summer. The league plans to hold events in cities across North America with men's and women's teams playing 14-minute games in single-day tournaments. The PR7s currently has four teams (Loonies, Headliners, Loggerheads and Experts) that have both men's and women's teams, while two other teams (The Team and Locals) have only men's teams. The league will crown both a men's and a women's champion at the end of the season.

Dan Krieger is the creator of the Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report, which has been tracking changes in the sports world's leagues, teams and nicknames since April 2007.

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