Canberra Cavalry will take part in the inaugural national women’s baseball league after the club was one of four teams granted licenses for the competition.
Baseball Australia has announced that the Cavalry, the Adelaide Giants, Baseball Victoria and the Brisbane Bandits will field teams in the new competition, which has been pitched to start in 2021.
All four teams will now play a key role in the design and construction of the league and its format, with the schedule and rules of the inaugural season to be announced following next year’s Australian Women’s Championships in Canberra.
Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale said the season won’t start until 2021 to give teams the best chance to build sponsor and government support to establish a sustainable team model. The exact dates of the season are still to be determined but the early indication is it will be held outside of ABL season.
Like the men’s ABL, a salary cap and minimum wage will exist as well as other conditions that govern players being paid fairly while maintaining a competition that gives each team a chance to be successful.
“There has been an outpouring of support from the baseball community and for that we’re extremely grateful,” Mr Vale said. “It’s a very exciting time for women’s baseball in our country.”
The four teams will play exhibition games against each other over the next 12 months as well as in a women’s All-Star Game ahead of the Australian Emeralds heading to the 2020 Women’s Baseball World Cup.
Mr Vale said the exhibition matches will allow players to not only push for selection on the Australian Emeralds’ World Cup roster but also one of the four women’s league teams.
A League of Her Own campaign was started to raise funds and awareness, and help bring professional women’s baseball to Australia. More than $30,000 to help launch the competition has so far been donated.
“Behind the scenes, we have 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,” Mr Vale said.
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.
Cavalry director Daniel Amodio said he is excited to see the sport grow throughout Australia.
“This is a huge milestone for the women baseballers in Canberra and throughout Australia,” Mr Amodio said. “It’s a true testament to the strength of the baseball community in the ACT and we’re thrilled to be one of the inaugural teams.
“The addition of a women’s team will fit in nicely as the Cavalry continue the growth of their sporting entertainment portfolio, which now includes the CBR Brave.”