(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Changes in schedule Dutch Major League Baseball-season
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) -
The schedule of the regular season in the Dutch Major League has been adjusted.
Instead of Thursday, April 23, the new season will now open on Thursday, April 16 and will end one week later than originally scheduled.
The schedule-makers of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) announced the changes of Tuesday (March 10).
On March 2, it was announced by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) that the WBSC Baseball Final Olympic Qualifier, to be played in Taiwan, was moved from April 1-5 to June 17-21 due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
As the Netherlands National Baseball Team is one of the participating teams in the event, two rounds of games (a total of 24 games) in the Dutch big league-schedule had to move to another date.
The 3-game series from August 13-16 was moved to the new Opening Weekend of April 16-19.
The weekend games (April 18-19) of DSS/Kinheim against Silicon Storks and from HCAW against Quick Amersfoort were reversed.
The 3-game series from June 11-14 has been moved to September 3-6, which now will be the final weekend of the season.
The games between Curaçao Neptunus and HCAW on September 5 and 6 were reversed as opposed to the original schedule.
The 3-game series from June 18-21 has been moved to August 13-16.
On August 13 and 15, the games between Curaçao Neptunus and DSS/Kinheim were reversed.
The same happened in the other 3-game series between these two teams on May 2 and 3.
As a 3-game series is moved to the period of April 16-19, the scheduled exhibition games for that weekend are cancelled.
However, on April 17-19, the 38th edition of the In Memoriam Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament is also scheduled to be played at the site of host HCAW in Bussum.
Also scheduled to participate were Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates, Curaçao Neptunus and RusStar Moscow from Russia.
At this moment, it is not yet known whether the annual event will be moved to another date.
The re-scheduling of games in the big league also resulted in some reversal of games in the 'Overgangsklasse', the second highest league.
The games that were reversed are Sparks Haarlem vs. Omron Pioniers (April 18-19), Neptunus Tridents vs. HCAW 2 (August 14 and 16), Omron Pioniers vs. Twins Oosterhout 2 (August 15-16) and Sparks Haarlem vs. HCAW 2 (September 5-6).
After completion of the regular season, the four best teams would continue to play in a 3-week Championship Pool, while the bottom-4 would meet in the Relegation Pool.
Instead, a best-of-five Play-Offs and best-of-five Play-Downs will now be played, as was the case last season.
This will take only two weeks to complete.
The winner of the regular season will meet the fourth placed team of the regular season, while the other Play-Off will be played between the numbers two and three.
In the Play-Downs, number five plays against number eight and the sixth-placed team meets number seven.
The winners of the Play-Offs will qualify for the best-of-seven Holland Series, which will then open as scheduled on Thursday, September 24 and end (when all games are needed) on October 11.
The losing teams of the Play-Downs will meet in a Play-Downs Final Series to determine the team that will play against the champion of the 'Overgangsklasse' in the Promotion/Relegation Series.
While this last series is currently listed as a best-of-three, most teams are in favor of a best-of-five.
New Schedule Regular Season
Schedule Exhbition Season