The next regular season schedule has been released, and baseball will begin on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017.
For the first time in Bull League history, the regular season game schedule reached the 100-game threshold. Previously, the league used 82-game seasons (from 2007 until 2016), 80-game seasons (from 1995 until 2006), and even 30-game seasons (1991 to 1993).
The expanded schedule will allow for more intense division rivalries, as teams will play the four others within their division a total of 14 times each.
The Lake League action starts right off the bat with defending Bull Cup champions, Ohio Oxen, visiting the Montreal Metros for four games to open the season. Bull Cup runners-up, Calgary Inferno, are starting the season off in Anchorage against the Aces, the team that was formerly the San Diego Seagulls.
The Canadian Victoria Day holiday falls on May 22, and the Kingston Cannons will be in action against the Battle Creek Attack for an early 1:05 pm ET start, a game which will be available via YouTube broadcast.
All Star Voting begins June 15, with the First Year Player Draft slated to take place the following Saturday, June 17.
Another special event date in the league are the US/Canada rival matches on June 18, to honor the 205th anniversary of outbreak of the War of 1812. Chicago Pit Bulls take on the visiting Kingston Cannons, while Montreal Metros will invade the Boston Brawlers, and the Chicoutimi Cinquantes take on the New York Minutemen in Manhattan.
For Canada Day, July 1, the featured holiday game will be the Chicoutimi Cinquantes hosting the Hamilton Crusaders. The July 4, American Independence Day featured game is New York Minutemen at home to the Ohio Oxen (for the Lake League) and the Anchorage Aces taking on the visiting California Tidals.
The All-Star Game is scheduled for Monday, July 17, with the Lake League All-Stars at the American Eagle League All-Stars. The All-Star game is preceded by an inter-league rivalry game, featuring a 4-game home and home series between AEL and LL teams, with these match-ups for 2017:
- Boston Brawlers vs Calgary Inferno
- Chicoutimi Cinquantes vs Dallas Lawmen
- Kingston Cannons vs Denver Highlanders
- Montreal Metros vs Jacksonville Ravens
- New York Minutemen vs Norfolk Sharks
- Battle Creek Attack vs Anchorage Aces
- Chicago Pit Bulls vs Arizona Cowboys
- Hamilton Crusaders vs California Tidals
- Ohio Oxen vs Nevada Speeders
- Toronto Nomads vs Seattle Salts
Among those match-ups, Chicago is a former AEL team but is playing Arizona, an AEL team that formed in 2012, the year the Pit Bulls moved to the Lake League. Ohio Oxen and Nevada Speeders are both league founding teams, with histories dating back to 1991. Ohio and Nevada have played each other twice in the Bull Cup championships, in 2006 and in 2009, with the Oxen winning both series (6-1 cumulative record).
The regular season ends September 5, with all teams playing division rivals in their last four games.