Baseball Australia has confirmed four organisations have been granted provisional licences for the inaugural professional women’s baseball league, which will kick off in 2021.
The Adelaide Giants, Baseball Victoria, Brisbane Bandits and Canberra Cavalry will field teams in the league’s inaugural season after being granted licences following an exhaustive process over the past few months requiring detailed submissions from each prospective team.
The four provisionally licenced teams will take part in exhibition games and test new rules over the next 12 months ahead of full licences being granted and the league officially launching during the 2021 financial year.
Baseball Australia chief executive, Cam Vale, said ALeagueofHerOwn.com.au, which raised more than $30,000 towards a target of $250,000, had played an important role in ensuring the launch of a women’s league.
“There has been an outpouring of support from the baseball community and for that, we’re extremely grateful,” Vale said.
“Behind the scenes we’ve been able to use this support to push our case with sponsors, government agencies and broadcasters, not to mention teams, to ensure we’re launching a viable and sustainable league.”
All four teams will now play a key role in the design and construction of the league and its format.
They will play exhibition games against each other and a women’s All-Star Game is also slated ahead of the Boral Australian Emeralds heading to the 2020 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup.
The venue and timing of the All-Star Game will be confirmed after the WBSC announces details of the World Cup.
Vale said the next goal would be to announce a schedule, rules and format of the inaugural women’s season following next year’s April 10-17 Australian Women’s Championships in Canberra.
“Next April’s Australian Women’s Championships in Canberra loom as the most important in recent history,” he said.
“Players will have the opportunity not only to push for selection on the Boral Australian Emeralds’ World Cup roster but of one of the four women’s league teams.
“It’s a very exciting time for women’s baseball in our country.”
Vale said the league’s name would be opened to the baseball community to contribute suggestions as well as what key innovations fans would like to see considered.
Auckland, Geelong-Korea, Perth and Sydney opted against being involved in the league’s foundation season but want to be considered for future expansion opportunities.
International teams similar to the Geelong-Korea concept will also be considered for future expansion.
Melbourne did not make a submission due to the timing of its change in ownership.