07/28/2014 12:15 AM -
JULY 28, 2014
FOR IMMEDITATE RELEASE
The Western Major Baseball League’s 2014 regular season play is wrapping up and turning out to be one of the more challenging and exciting seasons in recent years. With unsettled weather, tight scores and rotating standing leaders, this is all making for a down to the wire race for playoff spots.
In 2014, there were over 20 games postponed due to weather. The challenges started with the season opener. The Melville Millionaires, the 2013 WMBL Champions, suffered damage to their field and scoreboard due to a storm and had to postpone the game with the Swift Current Indians. The first half of the season continued with rain postponements. Parts of Saskatchewan received over 200mm, forcing postponements, threatening playing fields, farm fields and flooding cities and washing out roadways. For a second year in a row, Medicine Hat had their field threatened by spring floods and all the other Alberta teams lost games to rain postponements. This resulted in the seconded half of the season having several double headers as teams made up games lost in the first half of the season.
With almost 30per cent of games winners being determined with a difference of less than two runs and games extending into extra innings fans have been treated to entertaining high calibre games. An example on June 25th the Yorkton Cardinals were set to host the Weyburn Beavers in a double header, to make up rain outs. The second game had to be rescheduled when the first game took 16 complete innings to determine a winner. The challenge to get games in grows and the excitement continues.
So, with everything considered, how will first round play off positions be determined?
Kevin Kvame, WMBL President lays it out. Currently the regular season will end on July 30th, if there are rain outs that have not been played and will effect what team makes it into the playoffs the league will make every effort to get those games in. But travel, time and, this year, weather could be determining factors. With only 3 days to go, all of the games are scheduled with a couple of make up dates included so the hope is to complete all 253 regular season games.
Here is how the playoffs operate:
· The league will be broken into 2 conferences of 4 teams each.
· The bottom team in each of the three divisions is eliminated leaving the 8 playoff bound teams. The winning percentage is used to determine final placement although a division winner can be ranked no lower than 2nd.
· Conferences are:
· The top club in the central division is placed into the conference with the lower ranked east or west division winner. The second place club is placed in the opposite division.
· The first round of playoffs in each conference will be a best 3 of 5
1st vs. 4th and 2nd vs. 3rd
· The winners of those series meet in a best 3 of 5 Conference final.
· The winners of the 2 Conference finals meet in a best 3 of 5 series determining the 2014 Western Major Baseball League Champions
Attendance in the 2014 season has exceeded 2013 season attendance. In 2013 the WMBL recorded over 134,000 fans (average league attendance per game was 550) that came to watch the games and enjoy the ballpark atmosphere and entertaining baseball. This year, with 12 games remaining in the last three days of the regular season, over 144,000 fans (average league attendance per game is 640) have come through the gates. Fans will be treated to top-level baseball as teams continue to battle for a playoff spot and run the race toward the League Championship.
If you think the regular season was exciting, don’t miss play off actions as the teams round the bases in the race towards the 2014 Championship. Playoffs will begin on August 1st.
Fans can purchase playoff tickets by contacting the teams directly. With a tight play off race an update will be issued on July 31 with additional information on who is inofficially , who is out, and who will be going where!
So there you have it, the Western Major Baseball League, Canada’s premier summer collegiate league: quality competition, quality coaching and a quality summer experience in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Okotoks, Medicine Hat, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon, Melville, Yorkton and Weyburn. For more information go to www.wmbl.ca
WMBL President V.P. Communications
(403) 320-2025 (403) 819-5341