The history of the Powerline Baseball League is carved in memories gone by, through farmer’s fields and bars of small town north central Alberta.
In 1933 the Powerline Baseball League (known then as the Powerline League) was formed. The original communities of Bardo, Ketchamoot, Kingman and Round Hill came together to form the league after baseball was played locally in exhibition games at tournaments and picnics since the turn of the 20th century. The first PBL baseball game was potentially played on Tuesday May 23, 1933 when Ketchamoot defeated Kingman 3-1 in Ketchamoot.
Round Hill baseball team (1933)
The area also saw the formation of two other baseball leagues that year, the Gas Line Baseball League was created in Holden during a meeting on May 22,1933 and comprised of Holden, Ryley, Tofield and Viking. On May 29, 1933 the first Gas Line Baseball League game saw Tofield defeat Holden 5-3 in Tofield. Further west, the Breezy Baseball League came to be in 1933 with the Armena Owls, Dinet West, Sulitjelma and Hay Lakes making up the league.
The unofficial oral history had the Powerline Baseball League spanning back to the late 1940s, when areas started to join the Rural Electrification Associaion. Teams from Daysland, Bruce and Holden were playing baseball as far back as 1907 - 1909 and teams from the Camrose area are documented as to have played in ball tournaments dating back to 1913. The last official document of the PBL was put forward by Mike LeClaire. It stated league fees in 1956 were $4. Read more about some of the historic PBL league meeting moments. From then until early 1990s, teams played for the original PBL trophy. Unfortunately, that trophy was stolen, and a new one was made documenting as far back as current players could remember.
Since then, this site has kept standings and tried to document the winners and stories that make this the greatest and oldest league in Alberta. Uncovering the history of the PBL is an ongoing process. If you have any stories or photos we would love to hear from you to add to the PBL's long history.
The following list was submitted by long-time PBL veteran Mike LeClaire from Bardo’s notebook. We thank him for both his contribution to the league and this info.
1956 the league fee was $4
1956 the No Import player rule was adopted. Teams were to had lineup cards to the opposition at the end of every game to keep track of players
1961 Tuesday and Thursday ball was adopted with 6:30 start times
1963 the league fee was raised to $15 and the championship team would be awarded $30
1963 an 18 man roster was to be handed in after the 3rd league game and the managers of each team may alter 3 players at the end of regular season
1963 the 3 game series playoff format
1963 ½ hour grace period for the start of league games, if a team could not field a team by 7pm they’d forfeit
1963 home team supplies the home plate ump and the visiting team supplies base ump
1963 playoff semi final games teams have to pick neutral umps. The playoff final games umps would come from outside the league.
1964 games were moved to 7pm start time
1964 protest rule brought in – protest must be made within 48 hours accompanied with a $5 fee
1964 rule was brought in that if tied at the end of a playoff game, the game would be a wash and the 2 teams would decide the date of the next game and it would be played on the second place teams diamond (other teams diamond)
1964 fees reduced from $15 to $10 – $30 paid out to championship team as well as crests. Also league fees were due after the 3rd league game due to teams not paying previous years.
1965 the 3 game rule took place – players must play 3 games in order to qualify for playoff games
1965 any player who is a member of another ball club cannot play in the league or playoffs
1965 umpire fees are to be $5
1966 home team pays for base umps in finals and the league pays for home plate ump
1968 fees raised to $12.50
1968 the league would supply 6 balls to the championship team after the completed series
1969 new playoff format 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3
1969 If a tie was to happen in the standings a sudden death game would be held at a neutral site, the gate would be split with both teams and the umpires would be supplied by the league
1970 league to supply the balls for the finals only
1970 start time would be 6:30pm no later than 7pm
1970 Special Meeting – players that play in other leagues may play in the PBL if they reside in the community or his occupation is within the participating community. But pitchers that play in other leagues may NOT play in the PBL
1971 Playoffs have to follow the Tuesday Thursday schedule
1972 Camrose Road Runners enter the league
1972 Players can only participate on 1 team only, if picking up players from other teams they must sign a release form and may not play with any other team
1972 Fees raised to $15
1973 Championship crests cost $30
1973 Admission for all games would be standard – 50 cents for over 12 and 12 & under free
1973 Runs for and against were brought in to break ties in league standing only
1973 Alberta Baseball Insurance issues were brought up no action taken
1974 PBL decided not to join Alberta Baseball – no benefit
1974 League fees raised to $25
1975 9 inning games to be played
1975 League fees raised to $45
1977 Fees were lowered to $20
1979 Camrose talks about entering 2 teams…………Camrose Road Runners and Camrose Cubs
1979 Tofield and Ryley wish to move league games 7 innings…………the rest of the league wishes to keep 9 innings.
1979 10 run rule after 7 innings
1979 fees were raised to $30
1981 League games will be 7 innings and playoffs will be 9 innings
Historical information provided on this page has been compiled and shared by Jason Buzzell, Kris Kushnerick and Mike Leclaire from a variety of sources including the Tofield Mercury and history books from Bruce, Daysland, Holden, Round Hill, Ryley and Tofield.