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Despite Sugar Land defection, Atlantic League plans 2020 season

Atlantic League 2018There are still many decisions to be made on the 2020 independent-baseball season, as the three major circuits grapple with a patchwork of state and local regulations. Despite a Sugar Land Skeeters defection, the rest of the Atlantic League is planning for play this year.

The American Association and the Frontier League still are exploring options for 2020 and monitoring changes in local regulations that would allow some sort of season. (And laying in plans as well: the St. Paul Saints and parent Goldklang Group were one of the first organizations to detail a COVID-19 mitigation plan when play resumes.) Summer-collegiate leagues have implemented regional play and, in the case of the Texas Collegiate League, partnered with MiLB teams to expand play. On Wednesday the Sugar Land Skeeters announced play for their own four-team independent baseball league at Constellation Field, with Pete Incaviglia and the father-son duo of Roger and Koby Clemens managing.

The rest of the independent Atlantic League will pursue plans for a 2020 season, as President Rick White issued the following statement:

“The Atlantic League continues to seek options to conduct its 2020 Championship Season. Each club is collaborating with state and local officials to develop plans that protect the safety of fans, employees, and uniformed personnel, including during interstate travel from club to club.

Wednesday’s announcement by the Sugar Land Skeeters demonstrates the ongoing efforts to provide baseball in each ALPB community. The State of Texas currently permits gatherings up to fifty percent of a sports venue’s capacity, unlike the mandates in other ALPB states.

Nevertheless, the other ALPB clubs continue to make every effort to play the 2020 Championship Season while constantly monitoring COVID-19 developments in their states and counties. We acknowledge the limited time in which to make decisions regarding a 2020 season. Additional official announcements will be forthcoming from the Atlantic League office.”

Still, the clock is ticking. The Northwoods League will launch regional play on June 15 and July 1 in Wisconsin and Illinois, the Texas Collegiate League/MilB team collaboration launches June 30, while the Skeeters plan begins July 3.

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