It is time for “Play ball” to echo across Europe, with the D1, France’s top division, set to begin play today. In doing so, the D1, along with the Spanish Baseball League, become the first European leagues to start their 2023 domestic seasons.
The D1 will see 10 teams competing in two groups in a 24-game regular season, with the top two squads teams from each group qualifying for the best-of-three semi-finals that are scheduled to be played the weekend of September 2-3.
The best-of-five French championship series is scheduled to end no later than September 17.
Group A includes: Montigny, La Rochelle, PUC Paris, Rouen, and Stade Toulousain.
Group B includes: Montpellier, Metz, Nice, Savingy, and Sénart.
The clubs will also be competing in the Challenge de France cup competition, the winner of which qualifies for the 2024 Confederation Cup, Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Four doubleheaders are on the Opening Day docket, with the defending champion Rouen Huskies, who have won seven straight championships, and 16 of the past 17 titles, opening up at home — if the weather allows — against the Montigny Cougars.
The last French club other than Rouen to celebrate a national championship, the Sénart Templiers, who lifted the trophy in 2014, open the season in much nicer conditions — spring warmth and dry under partly sunny skies — in Nice.
For more coverage of the D1 throughout 2023, visit the D1’s official homepage on the website of the French Baseball and Softball Federation, or check out Benjamin Witte’s Le Base Blog for independent coverage of the league and all things tied to French baseball and softball. MrBB
D1 OPENING DAY SCHEDULE
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