Altoona wins regional via forfeit
July 29, 2012 - Regional host Altoona Nittany Oil / Minit Mart were prepared to face New York's Long Island Lions on Monday morning for the AAABA regional championship, but due to a shortage of available players, the New York squad has forfeited the championship to Altoona. It is the second time in four years that Altoona has won the regional by forfeit. The last time came in 2009 against Philadelphia.
New York only registered 9 players on Friday and competed with only 11. According to Long Island manager Joe Salaniteri, four of those players were not available on Monday due to employment obligations back home. Originally, the regional was to have concluded on Sunday, but heavy rains on Friday forced tournament officials to extend the games until Monday. This left Salaniteri without a full squad, which forced the team to give up the championship. However, since they finished higher in the standings than both Brooklyn and Maryland State, the Lions have won the right to advance to the national championship in Johnstown next week. Coach Salaniteri hopes to have at least 16 players on his squad by then.
New York is likely to face a reprimand next season, both for forfeiting the final game, and for registering with only 9 players. (Teams must register with a minimum of 12) Additionally, Maryland State may face reprimands, as well, due to a curfew violation this year. All rulings will be decided at the next AAABA franchise meeting and so are currently only speculative. If precedent holds, both franchises may be returning to regionals next season.
CLARIFICATION: (July 30th 7:40pm) This is to clarify the "speculative rulings". Reports from tournament officials confirmed that violations occured, but whether penalties are warranted (and if so, to what degree) will not be determined until the next franchise meeting when the cases will be presented. This site's anticipation of return trips to the regionals is only speculation, but based on precedent from previous rule violations. The instances in question here may or may not warrant similar action.
Visit the Regional Page of this site for more information.