Covid-19 impact on Baseball

Find the latest information about how Covid-19 is affecting all major baseball leagues – MLB, KBO, LMB, NPB, ABL, LVBP Along with the  – Suomen Baseball, Czech – Extraliga and more

Australia: ABL – New Season2020 expected start on November 12
The 2019/2020 Australian Baseball League season was the tenth ABL season. The season was held from 21 November 2019 to 9 February 2020. Melbourne Aces won their first-ever title after defeating Adelaide Giants in the final series with 2-0.

Cam Vale the Australian Baseball chief executive said time was on our side to finish on time with finals series, but only just. The final game took place on February 2

We had penciled in a November 12 start of the 2020/21 ABL season and we’re planning for that, but anything could change rapidly” – Vale Said.

While there is much uncertainty over what the future holds across the globe and to all sports, we definitely have a period of time to assess the situation,” he told.

Austria: ABL – No clear date just yet
Small group training (up to 10 people) possible from May 18. Following this, the ABF (Austria Baseball Federation) decided to allow Slowpitch softball from June 5th in order to allow teams the opportunity to prepare for the baseball season start.

The start of the regular baseball season along with the fastpitch softball in Austria will have to wait, although there is no date on when it will be possible to start the season. European and baseball associations have already canceled all tournaments scheduled for 2020. For the national teams, it means waiting for 2021.

Colombia: LCBP – Season 2020/21 expected to start  between November 25 and 25 in two cities Barranquilla and Cartagena
Vaqueros de Monteria won 2019/2020 Colombian Professional Baseball League (LCBP) after they win the series 4-1 against Gigantes de Barranquilla

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and the uncertain future of many sports. The president of the Professional Baseball Division, Pedro Salzedo entity that the start of the new season  2020/2021 is confirmed.

Barranquilla and Cartagena will be the venus for the next Professional Baseball League tournament that is scheduled to start in mid-November this year and to finish in late January 2021. This was announed on 19 May by the president of the Colombian professional League, Pedro Salzedo

The tournament will start between November 25 and 25, 2020, and should end on January 20 – 24 of 2021. That will of course depend on whether it is held in one or two venues. If it’s one venue the season will be shorter and would start in mid-November, but if it is on two venues it will start in early November. The season will have 40 or 20 matches depends on how things are going” – He added.

Cuba: Cuban National Series – Season 2020/2021 expected to start in September
Matanzas won the final series against Camaguey with 4-2. Serie Nacional ended with the fourth Matanzas win on 1, January 2020.

The Cuban National Series could start in September and to end in January, according to a recent statement by Ernesto Reynoso,  the national director Of the Baseball Federation of Cuba – The start of the season might be behind closed doors.

The sports activities suspension in Cuba is until July 31, clubs hope to resume training after it for a period to six weeks in order to be ready for the start of the season in early September and to finish the season in January.

Czech Republic: Extraliga – Season started after a delay due to Covid-19
The season started on May 22 with round 1 and 3 scheduled games.  Ostrava bean Draci Brno 3-0, Eagles Prague won their game against SaBaT Prague with 15 – 3, and Technika Brno won against Blansko with 12 – 9. No spectators were allowed.

Three will be some different this season: there will be no spectators and the season will be shorter than the previous due to time limit.

After four rounds played Hrosi Brno are leading with 4 wins, Draci Brno – second and Technika Brno stand third with 3-1.

Dominican Republic: LIDOM – 2020/21 season could be canceled
Fall-winter baseball season 2020/2021 could be suspended. Only three times tournaments have been suspended in the history of Dominican Baseball.

The deterioration of the economic environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic might force the suspension of the autumn-winter 20/21 season in Dominicana.

There is more than one option and more than one proposal” – Vitelio Mejia, the president of the Dominican League of Professional Baseball has said, about the type of season they could have.

Some of the proposals we have suggested to cut the regular season, others about changing the playoff system for a year” – Mejia added.

Only three times the baseball in Dominicana has been canceled, all three times because of political reasons. The fall of Rafael Trujillo, forced the cancellation of the  1961-62 and 1962-1963 seasons and the 1965-66 tournament didn’t happen due to the April Revolution.

Finland: SBSL – SM-sarja Season scheduled for June 12 while Fat Lizzard League  is set to start on June 13

The official season for SM-sarja is scheduled to start on June 12 at Myllypuro with Expos v Puumat. Pirates will play vs Tigers two times on June 14 in Lahti.
The SM-Sarja season is set to start on June 12 and to finish on September 27 with the final game. 

The Finish Baseball and Softball Association and the Fat Lizard Brewing sign a deal for partnership. This partnership is financially significant for the baseball league and will help us to improve – Baseball and Softball Manager, Ville-Herman said.

The Fat Lizard League clubs Four teams will compete from June and will have a total of 14 games in the regular season until September. In August the teams will enter the Finish Championship Series, playing eight regular-season matches in the Fat Lizard League August – September. The two top teams in the regular season will advance to the finals, to determine the champion – with best of three systems of play.

France: Division 1 – Season 202  Canceled due to Covid – 19 pandemic
On Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – The French Baseball and Softball Federation decided to cancel all national baseball and softball competitions for the year 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A decision certainly difficult to take but has become inevitable after the Prime Minister’s announcements of April 28, 2020 and because of the health situation in which the country was.

Germany: Bundesliga – Expected to start late-June
On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Government announed further easing measures to limit the Covid-19. With training return soon be possible. Unfortunately, a date for the start of the season in the DBV (German Baseball and Softball Association) leagues cannot be given at this time, but it’s expected to start in late June or early July. From the DBV’s point of view, in order to start competitive sports, it would be vital to allow spectators. As soon as such easing takes place, we will specify the plan for the resumption of season.

Italy: Serie A1 – Official start date June 13
The 10 teams divided into two Groups A and Group B Baseball season is set to start with Round 1 on June 13 and to finish in September or October.

Japan: NPB – Regular season will begin on June 19, pre-season started
The 2020 NPB pre-season
has been delayed several times because of the Covid-19 outbreak. At first preseason games were scheduled to be played without fans, with opening day set for March 20, this date has been delayed several times. Pre-season started in early June 2020.

Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Will officially start the season on June 19 without spectators, and in shortened schedule.
The 2020 season will start without spectators, though the league will continue to monitor the situation in hopes of allowing fans later in the season.

The start date was set for March 20 before the Covid-19 outbreak, forced the authorities to postpone it to June.

We’ve caused a lot of problems and worry for the players, staff, and, most importantly the fans with our constant change of the schedule” – Atushi Saito, NPB Commissioner said during an online conference.

According to Satio, the season will be completed after 120 games, instead of 143 normally played previous seasons.

Regular Season first-round games on June 19
Fukuoka Softbank Hawks v Chiba Lotte Marines
Orix Buffaloes v Rakuten Golden Eagles
Seibu Lions v Nippon Ham Fighters
Yakult Swallows v Chunchi Dragons
Yokohama Baystars v Hiroshima Carp
Yomiuri Giants v Hanshin Tigers

Lithuania: LBL – Season will officially start on June 13
The official start of the 2020 season will take place on Saturday, 13 June
with the match between BK Vinius v Utenos Titanai in Vilnius, Jomanto park. The next game is scheduled for June 16 and will face Kaunas Green v Kaunas B.

Mexico: LMB – Best-case Scenario October
“For a month we have been discussing possible scenarios if the Covid-19 pandemic lasts much longer than expected. We have three main scenarios -Optimistic, realistic, and a pessimistic one.  – Said Omar Canizales, the president of the (LMP) Mexican Pacific League – The longest playing league in the winter season.

in the first Optimistic scenario, the health situation in the country will allow the normal start of the season in October, even if we have to handle the significant economic impact because of the Covid-19. in the Realistic case, we could have clash with the schedule of the summer league, but still able to finish the season normally. In the Worst scenario, the pandemic spread and forces just to start on a later date than usual and play a shortened season” – said, Canizales.

Netherlands: Hoofdklasse – Expected to start mid-June
Due to the extension of measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Government. The KNBSB had to make several adjustments to the schedule. The extension of the measures means that the Dutch Major League (Hoofdklasse) along with Golden League will not start before June 9. The Baseball Federation has decided that there will be no promotion and relegation during this season.

Panama: PROBEIS – Season is set to start in December
The Panamanian Professional Baseball League (PROBEIS) – Has approved a schedule to start the season in December in order to name the team who will play in the Caribbean Series. Still, possible changes on the schedule are possible.

The league held a meeting every Tuesday, as we live in uncertain times, making the situation very complicated. We have content communication with the Caribbean Confederation, but everything depends on how things are going worldwide with the Covid-19, not only in Panama” – Said David Salayandia, the president of PROBEIS.

Puerto Rico: LBPRC – Expected to start November 15
The board of directors of the Puerto Rico PRoffesional Baseball league had several online meetings to discuss the entire situation with the Covid-19 outbreak and possible dates for the start of the season.

“Our goal is to start on November 15” –  Juan Flores Galarza, the president of the LBPRC has said.

South Korea: KBO – League started on May 5 without fans
The 2020 KBO League season was originally scheduled to start on March 28, 2020. The starting date had to be changed due to Covid-19, the Korea Baseball Organization announed in March 2020 that all the pre-season games would be canceled, and the start of the season would be delayed until April.

KBO’s pre-season games began on 21 April. The regular season started on May 5.

Spain: Division de Honor – Season postponed until further notice
The 2020 Division the Honor will be the 35th season of the top Spanish Baseball league.  The start of the season was postponed due to Covid-19 outbreak. Season 2020 will have 9 participants (Antorcha Valencia) promoted to the Divison de Hono after winning the previous season in Primera Division (second tier)

Taiwan: CPBL – Season resumed in April 11 behind closed doors
After the season started on April 11, on May 9 fans were allowed for the first time after the Covid-19 outbreak with a total of 1000 allowed on a single game. Since May 15, Taiwan’s CPBL decided to increase the number from 1,000 to 2,000 per game. Taiwan was the first baseball league to allow fans on matches.

Current League Standings June 6
1. Rakuten Monkeys MP30 W19 D0 L11 – 0.633
2. Chinatrust Brothers MP32 W17 D0 L15 – 0.531
3. Fubon Guardians MP30 W14 D0 L16 – 0.467
4. Uni Lions MP34 W13 D0 L21 – 0.382

United Kingdom: BBL – Expected date unknown
League managers have been meeting on a regular basis in order to plan the start of the new season when the lockdown is lifted. Three scenarios to start and finish the league:

Scenario 1: Shortened 6 or 8 weeks season to start as soon as lockdown is lifted
Scenario 2: Tournament play at venues where teams can come together over certain weekends
Scenario 3: This scenario will apply if teams can’t raise enough players because of players or their families self-isolating then tournaments where the available players are mixed and matched via a draft.  – According to British Baseball League official FB

USA: MLB – Expected to start in early July
The MLB 2020 will happen, but unclear with how many games. The season starts originally set to start on March 26, was delayed due to Covid-19. MLB owners have come to an agreement to play 82 games a regular season, instead of traditional 162 games, according to the reports.

Training is expected to begin in early-June with games from regular season set for early July, behind closed doors.

Players recently reached an agreement with MLB to lower their salaries along with number of other compromises due to Covid-19 affect on the sport” – Tony Clark has said.

On Friday, May 29 Major League Baseball announed that this year’s Draft will be held on June 10 – 11
The 5 round draft will start on Wednesday, June 10 at 19:00 ET, live on MLB Network and ESPN  – with the first 37 pics
The Coverage will continue on Thursday, June 11 on MLB Network and ESPN 2 at 17:00 ET and will continue with the start of the second round pick – 38 and run through the end of the fifth and final round. A total of 160 pics will be made in 2020 Draft.

Draft Order 2020:
1. Tigers
2. Orioles
3. Marlins
4. Royals
5. Blue Jays
6. Mariners
7. Pirates
8. Padres
9. Rockies
10. Angels
.62.D

Venezuela: LVBP – Season 2020-2021 might be canceled
The president of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP), Giuseppe Palmisano, admitted that the 2020-2021 season might no happen because of the Covid-19 outbreak along with the economic crisis the country.

Due to the ongoing economic crisis and the Covid-19 outbreak, there is a possibility that there will be no 2020-2021 season – Palmisano has said in an interview for MEridiano Television.

Initially, the 2020-2021 season had November 15 as scheduled start date, but because of the coronavirus, all sports leagues in the country were put on hold, mostly because if they take place they will under strict sanitary measures and without fans.