By British Baseball Federation, www.britishbaseball.org
The British Baseball Federation has today published the 2015 schedule for the National Baseball League (NBL) and, in addition, launched a new concept for British Baseball, the BBF Cup, the first officially-sanctioned Cup Tournament to be run in the modern era.
Opening Day in the NBL on Sunday 12 April will consist of a pair of three-team match-ups.
In a tripleheader slated for Farnham Park, the Essex Arrows, London Mets and Bracknell Blazers will play each other, and the BBF is planning to work with BSUK to run a youth clinic on site, supported throughout the day by players from whichever team is not on the field.
The other Opening Day event will see the Herts Falcons, Southampton Mustangs and South London Pirates lock horns, with these games provisionally assigned to Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.
THE BBF CUP
The BBF Cup will involve games between teams from the National Baseball League (NBL) and the AAA South division, drawn at random as in football’s FA Cup. This should create some great match-ups between old foes as well as creating new rivalries.
Cup games will take place over three weekends during the season, with the Cup Final being played in September after the National Baseball Championships (NBCs).
The opportunity for the Federation to launch the BBF Cup has come about because of a reduced number of teams this year in the NBL, leaving room in the schedule for more games.
The BBF will make an announcement shortly on the scope of the BBF Cup in 2015, the dates involved, and how the competition will fit into the NBL and AAA South schedules.
The BBF Board hopes that the Cup competition will add interest to the season and draw fans from different areas to watch games between teams that don’t normally get to play each other. The Board will look to expand the BBF Cup to the other AAA divisions next season.
Meanwhile with just over two months to go until Opening Day for the National Baseball League on Sunday 12 April, it’s a good time to review goings-on from the off-season and look ahead to the 2015 campaign.
Six teams have been confirmed for the 2015 NBL, all of them returning from the 2014 season. The Essex Arrows will be looking to defend their national crown, and aiming to stop them will be the Bracknell Blazers, Herts Falcons, London Mets, South London Pirates and Southampton Mustangs.
The one absentee is the Southern Nationals, who have ceased to exist after winning the National Championship in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
For the full NBL regular-season schedule, which runs through Sunday 16 August, click here.