There will be a few major changes to the CAN-AM College League, the Bull League’s junior North American college circuit, for the 2018 season, as the preseason gets underway today.
First and foremost, the league has restructured into two divisions of four conferences, and several teams have been disbanded, with a few added in.
The net change is that the league is now down to 24 teams, from 26. Last year, the Canada Conference consisted of 8 teams, the largest of the four conferences. The Ontario College of Art and Design team (OCAD Architects) has now effectively folded and been brought back as a new club, the Canada Border Services College Portcullises, based out of Rigaud, Quebec.
Over in the Southern Conference, the Brownsville Border Runners has been relocated to the US Border Patrol Academy in Arizona, and will now be that agency’s cadet baseball team. Both teams are now in a new conference, the Academy Conference, and are joined by NCAA teams Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen, along with two other military colleges, the Royal Military College (Canada) Paladins, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (UK) Blues and Reds.
The six-team Academy Conference replaces the Caribbean Six conference, which saw all of its teams but one folded and removed from the CAN-AM league. The one hold out was the Caribbean English School Thunderbolts, which moved to The Bahamas, and joined the Southern Conference as its only non-US team.
A few other teams shifted around, and for those who followed the league last season, the biggest absence will be 2017 CAN-AM champions, Freeport University Rum Runners. They had defeated Assiniboine U’s Rivermen in the CAN-AM World Series final.
The regular season opens February 28, but teams are now breaking camps and coaching staff are reviewing lists and rosters, getting ready for the brief 50-game schedule that will see them play into April, just before the Bull League draft.