The West Coast League will be adopting a new split season format beginning in 2016 to determine its first-round playoff pairings. The WCL season will be split equally into two parts, with the winner from each division of each half securing a playoff berth. The 54-game league schedule will be divided into a first and second half, each 27 games long.
“This is a successful playoff format that many leagues across the country use and we feel it will be a great fit for the West Coast League. It allows two teams and their fans to be able to plan for postseason in advance and it also gives teams who didn’t have the best beginning to the season a fresh start after the midway point of the year,” said WCL interim president Holly Jones.
The first-half winner from each division will get the chance to have home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. If one team wins both the first and second half, the team with the second best overall record in the division will earn the second spot.
Using the split season format is common in minor league baseball where the majority of leagues utilize it to determine their postseason participants. Pro leagues such as the Northwest League, California League, and Pioneer League use the split season playoff format.
“Having seen up close how well the split season format has been received by the Northwest League I am definitely a supporter of the West Coast League making this move,” said Gresham GreyWolves owner Jerry Walker, who also owns the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The twelve-year-old, eleven-team, professionally-operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences – not to mention the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and over 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the big leagues such as MLB home run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay) and James Paxton (Seattle). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 last season. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.