For 2013, the Belgian Federation has published a new competition structure. Division 1 will play double headers on Saturday only, instead of the regular Saturday and Sunday games.
The KBBSF/LFBBS hopes to keep older players longer active, now they will have a lesser demand on their weekend time. Family and professional life is seen as a reason why players can’t dedicate the necessary time to their favorite sport anymore. Another hope is that D1 players will use their Sundays off for coaching and helping out with youth teams.
Also the usual playoffs have been dropped. Teams will play 3 double round robins, 42 games in total. Number 1 and 2 will play a Belgian Series best-of-5, in Saturday and Sunday games. Number 8 relegates automatically to division 2, and number 7 will have to play a best-of-3 against number 2 of division 2. The winner plays D1 the next season. The tie-breaker rule will also be introduced for all regular season games, including the single games on Saturday and Sunday.
Due to protest of several D1 teams, an exception on the doubleheader format is allowed. If both competing teams do not want to play a double header on one day, they will play their games on Saturday and Sunday. The protesting clubs don’t agree with the KBBSF/LFBBS’s vision, and have their doubt about playing 18 innings on one day. Besides doubts about the assumed sportive advantages, the doubleheader also has financial consequences. Limited financial support from public communities and the dropping sponsoring by companies, clubs have to rely partly on clubhouse income. The fear is that less game days will result in less financial means to keep all teams in competition.
According to the draft, the 2013 season will start on Saturday April, 13th. The first game of doubleheaders will start at 12h30, the second game a half hour after the first ends. Games on Saturday and Sunday will start at the usual time of 15h30. The Belgian series are planned for September, 21st and the following weekend days.