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  • Lloyd Rothwell

2023/24 ABL Season Returns to Six Teams




 


The Australian Baseball League has announced the 2023/24 season will see a return to a six-

team league with 2018 expansion teams Auckland Tuatara and Geelong-Korea to cease

operations. Auckland in particular had a strained relationship with the ABL over the past few

years, however a myriad of lockdowns and border entry conditions heavily impacted both

teams. Neither participated in the shortened 2020/21 season, and with the threat of further

Covid restrictions, the ABL ultimately suspended the 2021/22 season.


The 2022/23 season saw the Adelaide Giants win their first Championship in the ABL era,

defeating perennial contenders Perth Heat 2-1 in the best-of-three series. However, the league

struggled to get fans back to the ballpark. With the exception of Melbourne Aces, all teams

experienced lower than usual attendance, particularly the beleaguered Sydney Blue Sox who

struggled on and off the diamond under their new owners. Their tumultuous seasons has

ultimately led to another change in ownership. Fans are cautiously optimistic that a return to

baseball-centric owners will result in an improved fan experience for 2023/24.


With the withdrawal of the Tuatara and Geelong-Korea, the league has discarded the short-

lived conference system. All teams will play each other home and away in a 40-game season.

Opening Day is set for November 17, with the regular season concluding on January 21. The

top 4 teams will qualify for the post-season which starts on January 26. The top ranked team

will host the fourth ranked team in a best-of-three, with the second ranked team hosting the

third ranked team. The winner of each of these series will then vie for the Claxton Shield,

scheduled for the weekend of February 2-4.


2023/24 Opening Round



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