(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)
First Dutch baseball & softball exhibition games cancelled
AMERSFOORT / AMSTERDAM / BUSSUM / HOOFDDORP / OOSTERHOUT / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) / HOBOKEN (Belgium) -
The first scheduled exhibiton games for teams that will play this season in the Dutch big league baseball and softball have been cancelled.
As of now, all games through Sunday, March 14 have been scrubbed due to the current measures against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
On February 15, the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) announced that the start of the regular seasons in the highest divisions have been postponed.
As of now, the baseball-season in the highest league will open on Thursday, April 29 instead of Thursday, April 8.
The highest women's softball-league opens on Saturday, May 1 instead on Saturday, April 17.
No announcements were made regarding the start of the other competitions in Dutch baseball and softball.
The competition-affairs-section of the KNBSB is discussing the season and the start of the competition regularly with the participating teams.
At the moment, there are rumors about plans to first play a Cup-competition Baseball, which will start on April 29.
The regular baseball-season then opens at the end of May.
However, these plans are currently unconfirmed, as discussions continue.
The first baseball exhibition games were to be played this weekend (March 6 and 7).
On both days, reigning champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and vice-champion Curaçao Neptunus were to meet each other.
On Saturday in Rotterdam, on Sunday in Amsterdam.
Last year, the two teams met in the Holland Series.
Pirates won the first two games, then the best-of-seven Championship Final was halted due to new and stricter measures against the coronavirus.
No champion was declared for the 2020 season.
Pirates captured the title in 2019 after a historic comeback, winning four games in a row against Neptunus, which then had won the first three games.
Also this weekend, Quick Amersfoort was to play twice against Twins Oosterhout, Saturday at home, Sunday at Twins.
On its site in Bussum, HCAW was to play two games against its second team.
Next weekend, L&D Amsterdam Pirates and HCAW were to face each other twice, while Curaçao Neptunus was scheduled to play two games against Hoofddorp Pioniers.
Twins Oosterhout had two games scheduled against Hoboken Pioneers from Belgium with Sunday's game to be played in Hoboken.
Quick Amersfoort only had a Sunday-home game scheduled against Silicon Storks.
For coming weekend, only two softball-games were scheduled.
On Saturday, March 13, Amsterdam Pirates was to play a double-header at home against Hoofddorp Pioniers.
As of now, the first exhibition game in baseball is now scheduled for Friday-evening, March 19 when L&D Amsterdam Pirates will play at home against DSS/Kinheim.
However, it is expected that the current curfew as measure against the coronavirus will be extended, which will mean that this game cannot be played.
Three games are then scheduled for the following Saturday.
The first exhibition games in softball are now scheduled for Saturday, March 20 when Amsterdam Pirates plays a home double-header against Olympia Haarlem.