The North Central Alberta Baseball League has already suspended the official start of the 2020 regular season. The May 10th openers have given way to the possibility of an abbreviated regular season with a projected opening day of June 14th. Uncertainty over this later start still looms large as the corona virus continues to worry authorities due to the growing number of cases in Alberta. Despite these uncertainties, the NCABL has unveiled a three pronged strategic plan in the hope of salvaging the season. With the first of these options now behind them, the League has its hopes hinging on two possible starting dates. Should the League not deem the June 14th date to be a viable opening date, a third and final option would have the League begin the regular season on or about July 15th. Should the League proceed with the third option, regular season play would extend until the end of August with the post-season running into the first half of September. Commissioner Riopel does not see an August start to the regular season as a viable last choice for the League. “Our 53rd consecutive season is definitely under viral attack”, he mused.
In other major news from League Office, it was learned that rivalries were about to change within the League with the departure of the reigning League Champion Edmonton Blackhawks. Adding the sudden departure this Spring of the Stony Plain Mets, who were hoping to retool for the 2020 season, will spell new opportunities for those returning franchises who have not yet tasted postseason success. The Sherwood Park Athletics will be denied a third opportunity to dethrone their rivals, the Blackhawks; while the St. Albert Cardinals might not have to jump over their nemesis, the Red Lions, to reach the post season for the first time. Despite the impending threat from a long lasting pandemic, seven clubs have registered for the 2020 campaign. The returnees include the Edmonton Athletics, Edmonton Primeaus, Parkland Twins, St. Albert Cardinals, Sherwood Park Athletics, and Westlock Red Lions. The Fort Saskatchewan Reds, a new entry, will bring the total number of franchises to seven. With or without a regular season, the above clubs will be officially registered as members of the North Central Alberta Baseball League for the 2020 season.