After months of preparations, negotiations, and surveys among hoofdklasse clubs, the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) announced today in an online press conference that the Dutch hoofdklasse will become a closed circuit.
The Dutch baseball Hangout also received an invitation for this press conference, but unfortunately, yours truly couldn’t get a day off from work.
Anyhow, the KNBSB and the hoofdklasse clubs have agreed on a multi-year development for the Dutch hoofdklasse. This should lead to an improvement and a professionalization of the participating teams and the league itself. The result should be more attractive games of a higher quality.
It has been decided that eight clubs, Quick Amersfoort, L&D Amsterdam Pirates, HCAW, DSS/Kinheim, RCH-Pinguïns, Hoofddorp Pioniers, Oosterhout Twins, and Curaçao Neptunus will be the teams to play in the hoofdklasse. But… it has been decided that Silicon Storks will be accepted as ninth team in 2022. To participate in the hoofdklasse, a club has to meet certain standards. Not only at the sportive level but also at other levels. Those levels will be described in an agreement that will be signed by all participating clubs.
All of this requires an integrant plan and an extensive regulation of the competition. Currently the KNBSB is working on this plan at it will contain several important items needed for the improvement of the quality of the league. One can think of top sports, the staff and the development of talents. Also the promotion and commercial sponsorship will be a part of this. With minimal quality demands and conditions the participating teams will be evaluated.
The closure of the Dutch hoofdklasse doesn’t mean that club cannot accede or leave the league but only based on minimal demands regarding quality.
As a result of the changes, the KNBSB has decided to extend the transition period. As a result it will not end on November 15 but on November 30.
In the past months, several rumors about a new Dutch hoofdklasse, floated around, especially about the number of teams. For now, that number will be limited to nine but one may expect that the league will be expanded to ten in the near future.