WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- The Futures Collegiate Baseball League has officially laid the plans for its 10th summer of operation in New England. Commissioner Joe Paolucci announced the league’s 2020 composite schedule on Monday.
The Futures League features seven teams for 2020, including the incoming New Britain Bees and four-time champion Worcester Bravehearts along with the Brockton Rox, Nashua Silver Knights, North Shore Navigators, Pittsfield Suns and Westfield Starfires. The Bristol Blues are no longer a member of the league.
After welcoming its 2,000,000th fan in history last summer, the Futures League looks to maintain its momentum as New England’s most popular summer collegiate league. The league drew a total of 254,297 fans during the 2019 regular season, while the annual All-Star Game brought another 3,296 to historic Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Mass. According to Ballpark Digest, the 1,331 fans per game ranked the league third among across summer collegiate baseball in the United States.
“The Futures League offers the very best fan experience in all of New England collegiate summer baseball,” Paolucci said. “We are very excited for our 10th season and grateful to our fans and the communities that support us.”
The regular-season schedule will run from Wednesday, May 27 until Sunday, August 2, with the playoffs immediately following through Sunday, August 9. A highlight of the summer will be league debutant New Britain hosting the annual FCBL All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14.
While the regular season will once again run for 56 games, the 2020 schedule will feature two halves and a subsequent new playoff format. Just four teams will qualify for the playoffs, with both the semifinal and championship rounds now being contested as best-of-three series.
The first half of the regular season will conclude on Tuesday, June 30, with the first-place team at that point locking up the No. 1 seed for the playoffs in August. The second-half champion will be the No. 2 seed. The remaining two playoff spots will go to the teams with the next two best records combined.
The first-of-its-kind “Home Run Derby Wins It” tiebreaker returns for its fourth year in 2020. Once again, all Futures League games tied after one extra inning will be decided with a shootout-style home run derby. The team that hits the most home runs during a three-minute round wins the game. A two-minute round and, if still necessary, a one-minute round would follow in the event of a tie.
Click here to view the complete 2020 schedule.