IBL aims for June start, approves significant changes ahead of 2021 season

CAMBRIDGE – The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is excited to announce some significant developments following the league’s monthly meeting held earlier this week.

IBL looks at June start date

At the meeting, held by virtual conference call, the league set a target date of June 1 to begin its 102nd season. Historically the schedule begins the first weekend in May and this change was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league is sticking with a 36-game schedule. Instead of declaring a champion around the Labour Day weekend, the IBL playoffs will end around the end of September.

Final changes are being made and the 2021 schedule will be released in the coming days.

Minimum Standards Adopted

The Major Council passed a motion to approve minimum standards for the member clubs to adhere to for the 2021 season and beyond. These standards, which include an incentive for teams, audit fan experience, on-field baseball operations, umpires and marketing and multimedia sections.

The approval Monday night formalizes and entrenches the minimum standards program which began four years ago.

Regular Season Extra Inning Rule Adopted

Also at the meeting, the league approved a proposal from the director of umpires to adopt a new extra-inning rule during the regular season. Starting this year, the IBL will follow the MLB extra-inning rule that began during the 2020 season.

During extra innings, the team at bat will begin with a runner at second base. The runner will be the last at-bat out from the previous inning.

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL), in its 102nd year of operation, is the best baseball league in Canada, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The IBL is the fifth-longest continually operated baseball league in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following their MLB careers. The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Welland, and Hamilton. For more information, visit www.theibl.ca.