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Bandits Tue Aug 28 2012
Sunday's storms may have caused some minor inconvenience to the Cubs and White Sox, who both suffered rain delays -- but the damage was devastating for the Chicago Bandits pro softball team. The defending champs were 3-0 in the National Pro Fastpitch playoffs, including a 2-1 win over Florida's USSSA Pride in the first game of the three-game championship series, when the torrential rain caused the cancellation of game two, which led to the decision by league Commissioner Cheri Kempf to cancel the championship altogether. Rather than pick a winner based on one game, the league opted to leave the championship vacant for the season.
"Obviously, the best solution would have been to delay the competition to Monday. However, one team would have suffered significant losses to their roster, due to travel plans, making the postponement and continuation unfair to say the least," Kempf said in a statement. "Unfortunately, our policies do not provide for naming a winner in the event the series is not completed."
As it turns out, six Bandits players had travel plans, including pitcher Monica Abbott, who was set to leave for Japan where she also plays. At least one Pride player was also headed to Japan. However, on her blog Tuesday, Abbott wrote that "I, Monica Abbott was never contacted about changing my flight or plan and would have done so in a heartbeat. There was no communication done with myself or the other Bandits."
Bandits team owner Brian Sokolis was also upset about the decision. "We could have put nine players on the field," Sokolis told espnW. Fans vented their frustration on the league's Facebook page as well as the Bandits' page.
The effects of this decision will no doubt reverberate through the community until next season starts. At the very least, you can be sure that NPF's "policies" will be updated to address championship rainouts in the future.