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West Coast League releases split schedule

West Coast LeagueThe summer-collegiate West Coast League released a 2021 schedule with two components in play, and no U.S./Canada games planned to begin the year.

The new schedule calls for the 10 U.S.-based teams to play a 48-game league schedule beginning on Friday, June 4, and ending on Thursday, August 12. The four Canadian teams in the circuit—the Victoria HarbourCats, Edmonton Riverhawks, Kamloops NorthPaws and Nanaimo NightOwls will play a Canada-only schedule, currently under development. (The Kelowna Falcons have withdrawn from play in 2021.) There’s clearly a hope international play can take place sometime down the road.

“I’m confident that this new schedule serves as a tremendous framework for what’s looking like an exciting return to WCL baseball in 2021,” said West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer via press statement. “Of course we’re disappointed that our U.S. teams won’t be visiting our Canadian teams, and vice versa. But we remain optimistic about a restorative 2021 season north of the border as well, especially with three new teams in wonderful markets.”

The decision by the West Coast League to operate on separate sides of the border is just the next step in the challenges faced by the sport at the beginning of the 2021 season. The Vancouver Canadians will begin the season playing out of Hillsboro, OR, while the Toronto Blue Jays will begin the 2021 MLB season at the team’s spring-training home in Dunedin, FL.

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