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Women's ABL on the agenda
10/25/2018 1:06 AM ET
(C) SMP IMAGES/BA MEDIA
(C) SMP IMAGES/BA MEDIA 

The process has begun to introduce a new Women's Australian Baseball League, as Baseball Australia continues its commitment to developing the sport.

The league, part of Baseball Australia's strategic commitment to growing women's baseball, will be considered following extensive stakeholder engagement and the formation of a working committee of stakeholders across both business and baseball.

Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said the new league would be a significant step forward for women's baseball in Australia.

"This is an important and necessary step forward for Australian Baseball and the growth and success of Women's Baseball," Vale said.

"The Baseball Australia Strategic Plan set last year prioritised women's baseball, and now following this year's Women's World Cup the time is right to drive this to the next level."

Vale said Baseball Australia had the advantage of learning from other sports that had recently launched women's leagues.

"The importance of wide-ranging consultation with women at all levels of sport and through business is a key outcome the Board of Baseball Australia wants to see before the creation of this league," he said.

"Consideration on the timing of the league, structure and format, innovation and input from broadcast partners are crucial factors to the league's success.

"One of the key goals discussed by the board was to ensure the Women's ABL is a sustainable and standalone league in its own right." 

Vale said the ABL teams had thrown their support behind a women's league at a recent meeting of owners.

"Played in Australia - but with both a domestic and international outlook - a Women's ABL would give Baseball Australia an opportunity to continue our growth as highlighted by the recently restructured and expanded Men's Australian Baseball League," Vale said. 

The approximate key milestones will include:

• Formation of a Women's Working Committee (November 2018)
• A roadmap and structure for the Women's ABL (March 2019)
• Australian Women's & Youth Women's Championships in Canberra (14-21 April 2019)

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.