The Saipan Major League Baseball Association's 2013 season is set to open this coming Monday, Feb. 11, at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
Six teams make up this year's field, which includes reigning champion Saipan Stevedore Co.-Northern Yankees, who will take on the Tan Holdings Brewers in a 2012 finals rematch on opening night at 6:30pm.
The other four teams include the St. Michaels Medical Response Angels, the IT&E Fielders, the D-9ers, and the Ol'Aces.
Games will take place nightly on Tan Ko Field on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30pm.
This year, league organizers have opened up the option for teams to use either wooden or metal bats, however next season will be restricted to wooden bats only to help CNMI players prepare for the 2014 Micronesian Games.
Lost costs of equipment-mainly due to broken bats-is the chief reason for the rule alteration; Guam and Palau have also made the switch recently during seasons like this one where there are no off-island tournaments.
The SML is also permitting local Little League players, ages 17 and above, to participate as position players during the season. Pitching will be prohibited.
Players who are at least 17, or turning 17 during the SML season, are eligible to suit up.
For more information, contact SML acting president Rose Igitol at 288-5426.