Expansion effort coming out of Beaumont

Posted February 9, 2013


Expansion effort coming out of Beaumont

One of Alberta’s fastest growing communities may have enough players interested in playing in a community baseball league.

Shortly after getting a framework of a schedule in place for 2013, league president Steven Pahl was contacted by Beaumont officials who said they have already secured 14 committed players.

The process of admitting a new team into the PBL is a bit blurry. PBL officials unofficially rejected ideas of Hobema, Cold Lake and St. Paul trying to enter the league. Beaumont would be geographically less of an issue.

But right off the bat, questions arise to what the schedule would like if the league had seven teams. Currently teams play 15 games with a balanced three game schedule versus every team. The league has not had more than six teams since 2004. At that time, the seven team league played a 14 game schedule with every team playing everyone twice, with two rivalry games to bring up to 14.

Would the PBL consider an 18 game season? Would they go with 12 and expand the playoffs to five or six teams? Or would they try and keep the schedule to 14-15 games.

The news was not greeted with open arms by all team reps immediately.

“I think it’s good for the league short term, but I hope they stick around if it’s true,” said one long-time PBLer. “If we get teams like Camrose juniors or Beaumont, they could jump ship after one or two years and we’re no better off.

I’d rather have more community teams.”

Teams would possibly receive an email or discuss at the upcoming spring meeting what Beaumont would have to do to secure entry into the league.

Due to the Chipman Crackerjacks attempt to enter the league several years ago, teams motioned for an additional security deposit for future new teams. However, Leduc and Holden are not believed to have paid such a fee, and in those to instances, it’s resulted in two successful franchises.

The Beaumont addition has sparked new questions whether other teams may be interested in joining before the March/April deadlines:

  • Sherwood Park has enough players, but no clear leadership for a second team in addition to their NCABL counterpart.
  • Fort Saskatchewan, although they mentioned interest, could not gain enough traction.
  • Camrose’s Dave Boreman has been rumoured to looking into numbers to see if the area could spawn a junior team, but whether they would want to play in a league or not remains to be seen.
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