The title may look weird and it is. The highest German Baseball league will have two different starting dates and it all has to do with COVID-19.
The Southern Division of the 1. German Baseball Bundesliga will start play on Thursday April 1st (no April Fools joke). The Southern Division will play 28 games in the regular season with a home and road round divided over fourteen playing days. This is possible because the states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and Rhineland Palatinate regard the top German baseball league as professional sport. As a result, the teams from those areas will be allowed to start earlier with the season than their Northern counterparts.
In the North on the other hand, the start of the season is limited due to several local rules. As a result, the start of Northern Division is planned for the weekend of May 8/9. Due to these limitations, the North will only play a single round of fourteen games divided over seven weekends. This is because some of the Northern Division teams only just started practicing due to the corona rules.
Nothing has been decided about the format of the playoffs and play-downs. A separate video conference will be held to decide if the quarter finals and semi finals will be played against opponents of the other division or against teams from the own division. The DBV (German Baseball Federation) is mulling on letting the teams that finish in the places 3 – 8 play more games even though they have been eliminated from participating in the championship. In this way, these teams can play more games, which is good for ticket sales and the sales of food and drinks items. Also the 9 -16 finishers (play-downs) might be given the opportunity to play extra games.
Promotion and relegation to and from the 1. Baseball Bundesliga will skipped for the 2021 season because of different situations between the Northern and Southern divisions. Promotion to and from the 2. Baseball Bundesliga will be possible.
Despite this news, the schedule at the website of the 1. Baseball Bundesliga has not been adapted yet.