In January you could read here already that the number of participants of the Euro League Baseball was down to four. Back then it was still questionable if L&D Amsterdam Pirates would participate. But today it was announced that the club from Amsterdam will not participate, still because of a ban applied by the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation).
There will be an Amsterdam based team participating but it will be a team that contains players and coaches from various American and European competitions. This move was needed to have four teams in the league. Next to this Amsterdam based team, Draci Brno from the Czech Republic and Haar Disciples and Regensburg Legionäre from Regensburg will participate in this European competition.
With Curacao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates retreating, the competition became less interesting for the eyed Italian participants Fortitudo Bologna and San Marino.
But next to the lack of Dutch clubs, the logistic and financial risks were too big for the two Italian clubs. For most of the other participants that pulled back (Bonn Capitals, Rouen Huskies and Templiers de Sénart) the financial risk was too much since the league did not manage to strike a deal with a major sponsor.
As witten in the blog post from January, the first season will be a pioneering one to see what is possible and where things can be improved.
In October last year it was decided by the founders and the members that the competition would be played in a shorter and different format. Instead of a bi-weekly schedule with four games, it will be a weekly schedule with two games played on Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the mean time the founders of the league must look around for sponsors and get on speaking terms with the KNBSB again, to make it possible for Curacao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam to participate in the league next year. If that will happen, the Italian clubs may step in again and others will follow.