Is there room for the 2021 World Port Tournament?

Nothing official has been announced yet, but with the hoofdklasse baseball calendar of 2021, which has a very tight schedule thanks to an Olympic Qualifier Tournament and eventually the Olympic Games, one can wonder if there is room to play the tournament.

With the current hoofdklasse schedule, which is provisional for now, the World Port Tournament is not even mentioned.

Schermafbeelding 2020-11-22 om 14.54.21The Dutch hoofdklasse season will start on Thursday April 8 and wil run until July 15.
Games 21, 22, 23 and 24 will not be played by Curaçao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates as both teams will participate in the European Champions Cup then. Later in the season, those games have to be made up. As the participants of all scheduled games are not mentioned yet, the best thing to do is to have Neptunus and Pirates facing each other in those games 21, 22, 23 and/or 24 so the rest of the hoofdklasse games can continue.

Then, Mid-June, there will be a training session for team Kingdom of the Netherlands as preparation on the Olympic Qualifier Tournament, followed by the OQT itself. In that period, no hoofdklasse games will be played.

IF the Dutch will make it to the Olympic Games, there will not be any hoofdklasse games from Thursday July 22nd until August 7th as there will be another training session, followed by the Olympics. In the same time span, the U23 European Championship will be played, so many hoofdklasse clubs will miss those players too. Besides that, if the Dutch will make it to Tokyo, some make up games for Curaçao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates will be scheduled in the period in which the World Port Tournament is scheduled to take place.

If the Dutch won’t make it to the Olympics, the WPT could take place as scheduled from June 26 through July 3 as the make up games for Neptunus and Pirates will be played on July 22, 24 and 25. But… according to the hoofdklasse schedule, a road game of L&D Amsterdam Pirates is planned on June 26…

From July 12, the playoffs will start and that will be a very tight schedule since the competition needs to be ready before the 2021 European Championship, which will take place from September 11 until September 19. Before that tournament, team Kingdom of the Netherlands will have another four day training session.

Only if the Dutch will not be qualified for Tokyo, the World Port Tournament can take place if some make up games will be moved. But the question is if that is possible with the very tight schedule. One can be very negative and say “the WPT can go on since the Dutch will not qualify for Tokyo”, but those games still need to be played. And since all participating countries will be allowed to use minor leaguers, everything will be possible.

Even if the Dutch will not Qualify for the Olympics, you can wonder if it is a wise decision to let the World Port Tournament take place. Since the hoofdklasse schedule is very tight and there is some room needed for eventual make up games in case of rainouts (since the Dutch weather can be a big spoiler), it may be better to skip the tournament and move it to 2023.

Of course this won’t be nice for all the volunteers and it would be a wast of all the time that has been spent to organize the tournament but it would be an emergency measure.

I wish those persons within the KNBSB, who have to make the decision, a lot of strength and wisdom for it won’t be an easy decision to make.

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