Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
August 1, 2022 - ECHL (ECHL)


Pecos League: The independent Pecos League lists Vallejo (CA) as a proposed market for a 2023 team. A team called the Vallejo Admirals has been part of the California-based Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs since the 2013 season, but the Admirals and the league have not played since the 2019 season due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Pecos League has been developing a presence in California and after the 2019 season purchased a Pacific Association team called the San Rafael (CA) Pacifics, which started play in the Pecos League's 2021 season.

The Western League: The independent fall-winter Western League, which is affiliated with the independent Pecos League and recently merged with the fall-season Desert League, announced its 2022 season will run from September 20 to November 5, 2022 with all games to be played at Sam Lynn Park in Bakersfield (CA). The Western League currently lists four teams.

Independence League Baseball: The summer-collegiate Independence League, which was created with seven teams that left the summer-collegiate Expedition League after the 2021 season, is wrapping up its inaugural 2022 season. The league added three new teams and played this season with ten teams aligned in a five-team Great Plains Division and a five-team Nebraskaland Division.

Expedition League: The summer-collegiate Expedition League played its 2022 season with only four teams because seven teams left after the 2021 season to form the new Independence League Baseball for the 2022 season. A month before the 2022 season, the Expedition League's Sioux Falls (SD) Spearfish team was replaced by the North Iowa Ragin' Roosters, based in Bancroft about 150 miles east of Sioux Falls. The team played games in Bancroft and some in Sioux Falls. During the first week of July, the Red River Pilots (Grand Forks, ND) team disbanded and the North Iowa Ragin' Roosters decided to stop playing. With only two teams left, the league ended the 2022 season about a month early with the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs (Minot, ND) defeating the Pierre (SD) Trappers on July 10 for the championship.


Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional: Mexico's top professional basketball league known as the LNBP recently started its 2022 season with ten teams each playing 20 games from July 21 to September 21, 2022. The league had ten teams last season, but the Panteras de Aquascalientes and Leñadores de Durango did not return this season. Two teams called the Mineros de Zacatecas and the Correcaminos Ciudad Victoria, both of which last played in the 2020 season, have returned for the 2022 season.

Professional Basketball Association: The PBA is currently playing its 2022 spring-summer season and planning for its 2022-23 fall-winter season starting in November with the addition of teams called the D.C. Crank (Washington, DC) and the Madison County (AL) Mambas. The PBA's new PBA D-League will start play nationwide in November and four more D-League teams called the Dothan (AL) Sharpshooters, Arizona Rams (Mesa), Alnwick Cardinals (Maryville, TN) and Dunedin (FL) Flight were added.


XFL: When the XFL returns in February 2023 with eight teams, the league announced it will use Arlington (TX), which will be home to one of the teams, as a central location for all XFL team practices and in-week training during the season. Teams will then travel to individual markets for weekend games.

Indoor Football League: The ownership of the ECHL's Tulsa Oilers hockey team will operate a new IFL team starting with the 2023 season and a name-the-team contest has been announced. The city had previous indoor teams called the Tulsa Talons and the Oklahoma Defenders. The Talons played in all ten seasons (2000-09) of the minor arenafootball2 (af2) and one season (2010) in the reorganized version of the Arena Football League before relocating to San Antonio. The Defenders played one season (2012) in the American Professional Football League and two seasons (2013-14) in the Champions Indoor Professional Football League before folding.

Major League Football: The proposed new developmental MLFB announced it will not move forward with its inaugural 2022 condensed season due to funding issues. The league was holding a four-team training camp in Mobile for its first season when several reports surfaced of unpaid lodging expenses. The MLFB was scheduled to start the 2022 season on August 9 with teams called the Alabama Airborne (Mobile), Arkansas Attack (Little Rock), Ohio Force (Canton) and Virginia Armada (Virginia Beach). Each team was to play two home games and two away games through August followed by a championship game on September 6. The league planned to switch to a full spring schedule next season.


ECHL: The National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers announced the signing of a new affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets for the 2022-23 season. This leaves the ECHL's Wichita Thunder seeking a new NHL affiliation. The ECHL's Kansas City Mavericks, who had been affiliated with the NHL's Calgary Flames, signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with the NHL's Seattle Kraken.

North American 3 Hockey League: The Tier-III junior-level NA3HL, which is affiliated with the Tier-II North American Hockey League, announced its 2022-23 schedule and alignment earlier this month. The NA3HL will again have 34 teams aligned in six-team Central, East and West divisions and eight-team South and Frontier divisions. The only off-season change was in the South Division with the relocation of the Oklahoma City Ice Hawks to Albuquerque as the New Mexico Ice Wolves. Oklahoma City had obtained a Tier-II NAHL team called the Oklahoma Warriors in the off-season with the relocation of the NAHL's Wichita Falls (TX) Warriors. Each NA3HL team will play 47 games from early September 2022 to early March 2023.


National Independent Soccer Association: The Division-III professional NISA announced it has dropped the Valley United FC (Phoenix) from the remainder of the 2022 season schedule, which runs through mid-October, and removed the team from the league standings. In May, the league alleged several illegal immigration and employment activities by the first-year team. The team went on a 30-day hiatus in mid-June while an investigation continued, but the league and the team agreed it was now best for the team to suspend all operations. Also, the NISA officially announced the Detroit-based Gold Star FC has been accepted into the league and the team expects to start play in 2023.

USL Championship (United Soccer League): A funding issue related to increased costs on a proposed new soccer stadium in Pawtucket (RI) for a Division-II USL Championship team seems to have been averted. Funding intended for infrastructure at the stadium site will be shifted to actual stadium construction costs. Original plans called for stadium completion in 2023.

Canadian Soccer League: The men's semi-pro CSL is playing its current 2022 season with six Ontario-based teams called the Toronto Falcons, Continentals FC (Vaughn), York Region Shooters, Serbian White Eagles, Scarborough FC and BGHC1 (Brantford Galaxy/Hamilton City 1). All games are played at the 2,200-seat Centennial Park Stadium in Toronto. The CSL season runs from late May to early August with each team playing ten games.


Athletes Unlimited - Softball: The Athletes Unlimited women's professional softball league started its third season of play this week and again features four teams playing all games at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont (IL). The five-week season runs until August 28, 2022. Similar to the other Athletes Unlimited women's sports leagues in rugby, basketball and volleyball, players earn points each week by the team and individually. The top four players (by point totals) each week become captains, who then draft new teams (Blue, Orange, Gold and Purple) for the next week's games.

Premier Rugby Sevens: The 2022 PR7 rugby season, which featured four rugby clubs (Loonies, Headliners, Loggerheads and Experts) each with a seven-player men's team and a seven-player women's team participating in a schedule of tournament-style events, closed out its 2022 season this weekend with all teams participating in a championship event at the Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Austin. The 2022 regular-season consisted of the four men's teams and four women's team participating in events at the MLS stadium in San Jose on July 9 and at the MLS stadium in Washington (DC) on July 16.

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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