Time Right For A Showdown?
Posted February 23, 2011
With the annual PBL Spring Meeting approaching, one of the items rumored to be on the agenda the possible creation of a committee between the PBL and the Battle River League to coordinate the All Star game.
This committee could also open the door to the possibility of a championship showdown between the two leagues. With there being no Senior A Provincials in Alberta this series would seem to fill the void as it would determine the best team from the two premier “A” caliber leagues in the province.
The idea of a PBL – BRL series is not new, but it seems that the timing for it could finally be right. Despite the proximity of the two leagues and the fact that the leagues share the same rural origins, they have historically been strangers to each other.
Teams might meet once in a while at the occasional tournament, players might move and have to switch leagues, but for the most part contact has been limited. This has started to change in the last decade as the All Star game gave the two leagues the chance to come together once a year and battle each other.
Also in a bizarre twist of fate the defection of the PBL’s favorite whipping boy, the Camrose Axemen, to the NCABL has helped “peel back the iron curtain”, as Kris Kushnerick likes to say, as the Axemen roster is littered with players that also play for their home town squads in the PBL and the BRL.
All this increased contact between the two leagues in recent years has done nothing but increase the appetite on both sides for a championship series.
Of course there would still be a lot of logistics to work out. The BRL had discussed moving to wood bats for this season, but if they decide against it, then that would be one obstacle. Also where and when to have it would be another.
Would the winner of All Star game get to host the series? Would it be a home and home? Or would the game be played in Camrose as it is somewhat of a central location for both. Also the composition would have to be discussed.
Would it be a best of three between the two league champs, or could it be a tournament between the top two or four teams from each league which would mimic a provincial championship. There is still a lot of work to do on the subject, but the timing could finally be right for a East Central Alberta Showdown.
February 23, 2011 by Jason Buzzell