I'm kind of late, but I found a little bit more information about CBL this year. The CBA website released a full schedule of baseball tournaments that will take place this year. CBL will start 5/23 to 8/31 within 6 cities. Does that mean there will be 6 teams this year? Probably, but I'll wait for more information to validate it (ensuring I don't give you false info!). There's also another tournament called CBL group B that will take place from 6/27 to 7/12. Wish I could tell you more, but I guess we'll have to wait for another press release. The website updates really slow!
Here's the full schedule for those who are too lazy to click the web and translate!
National Youth Baseball Winter Camp
National Baseball Championship
National Youth Baseball Championships
China Baseball League
5.23 - 8.31
National referee training
National team training camp preparing for the World Universiade
Tianjin, South Korea
China Baseball League Group B
National Students League Baseball
National Youth Baseball Championship Group A (U12)
National Youth Baseball Championships AA group (U15)
Junior high school
National Youth Baseball Championships AAA group (U18)
Senior middle school
National Youth Baseball Camp
National team training camp preparing for the Asian Championships
United States, Taiwan
National coaches training (social sports instructors)
Hey everybody! Can you believe it's March already? Time sure does fly...Anyway, not a lot going on in China, but spring training started and A-Rod got a base hit today! I wish I could post more news or some editorial, but school is getting in the way of that. I do apologize for not updating weekly, but spring break just started for me, so I will try my best to dig some yummy dirt.
CBL weibo posted an interesting interview with Chen Xu 陈旭, the Minister of Administration of Sports Management of Baseball and Softball (I think that's correct?). He talked about CBA adding more members to the committee to help promote the game in China. A lot has to do with venue construction, domestic competitions and marketing (business stuff...boring).
As for CBL, getting a major sponsorship has been a big challenge for them. The main reason the league went defunct before was because of the lack of sponsorship. I spoke with an IBAF umpire in China, and I assure you there will be a season this year. I still cannot validate how many teams there will be or when the season will start, but I will jump on that right away when I find out.
Here are some fun statistics from the interview:
Only 12 provinces have some sort of official baseball organization (13 if you count Hong Kong).
There are 931 registered professional players - not sure if they count developmental players. Seems kinda low...
A estimate of 510 amateur baseball clubs and most of them are from universities. I think I've done a good job covering a couple...
And finally, an estimate of 5 million fans in China! The public interest in baseball is still pretty weak compared to other sports, but 5 million is better than no fans...
Well, that's the gist of it. I really appreciate some individuals reaching out to me and asking me about amateur teams. Unfortunately, I have no contact with them, but that's definitely on the bucket list! I also haven't successfully interviewed any ballplayer or anyone from the industry yet. It will happen someday, I promise! Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great night! Baseball is back and 2015 will be a great year!