Leagues | Story | 12/26/2018

PGNIL set to launch Session II

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Perfect Game

See also: Session I Indoor Champs, MVPs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – With the 2019 Perfect Game National Indoor League Session I champions being crowned on Dec. 16, 2018, the 2019 PG NIL Session II is set to begin its six-week run on Jan. 3 with at least 13 indoor facilities in nine states participating.

The PGNIL got its start in December 2015 using what was at the time emerging HitTrax technology that has continued to evolve, and the league has continued to enjoy growth during each subsequent winter season. The facilities involved in Session II are located in Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, and Utah.

Perfect Game Cedar Rapids Facility & NIL Director BJ Fish oversees the league’s operation from his office here and reported that just about 400 players participated during Session I; he expects that number to nearly double during Session II.

The league’s regular season begins on Jan. 3 with the different age-groups playing on different days of the week, as determined by the facility. Players are invited to sign-up for league play at the participating locations and the facility will divide them into teams, usually with three to five players per team.

The age-groups for Session II are 18u (2019, 2020 grad year); 16u (2021, 2022); 14u (2023, 2024) and 12u (2025, 2026 and younger). Each host facility will crown an age-group champion, which will then move on to regional and, ultimately, national single-elimination bracket-play; the National Playoffs are scheduled for Feb. 16-17.

“It’s obviously a good thing for these players to be able to compare themselves with and see how they stand up against other players from throughout the country,” Fish said. “We’re having each players’ stats go directly to their (PG) Profile Page … in addition to the League Leaderboard on the Event Page.”

The Perfect Game Indoor Facility in Cedar Rapids stands as the flagship venue for the league, but the staff and players at Diamond Sports Authority (Grimes, Iowa), Dothan Baseball Club (Dothan, Ala.), Player’s Edge (Wayne, N.J.) and Southworth Hitting (La Vista, Neb.) have been especially supportive, according to Fish.

The other facilities currently on board for Session II are Bomber’s Bunker (Troy, N.Y.), D-Bat Lincoln (Neb.), D-Bat Sioux Falls (S.D.), D-Bat Herriman (Herriman, Utah), Dusty Rogers Baseball Academy (Dubuque, Iowa), MVP Sports Academy (Lake Zurich, Ill.), Starters Sports Training (Shakopee, Minn.), The Summit Athletic Center (Marlborough, N.H.).

Four champions emerged from play during Session I with the Dothan Baseball Club (DBC) taking three of the titles. The age-group winners were the DBC Dragons Navy (18u); DBC Dragons Royal (16u); DBC Dragons Grey (14u) and the NJ Axemen 2025 from Player’s Edge (12u).

2020 Jake Killingsworth (18u), 2021 Chase Allsup (16u) and 2023 Bryson Howard (14u) from the three DBC Dragons teams, and Liam Riley (14u) from the NJ Axemen were named the Most Valuable Players in their respective divisions. A complete rundown of the Session I championships can be found by following this link.

When Fish reaches out to these other facilities and explains the premise upon which the PGNIL was created, he finds that most are eager to get involved because the people running the facilities realize that it creates more opportunities for young players, especially those from the cold-weather states.

The HitTrax technology records detailed hitting statistics for everyone to see  on the PG Leagues home page, in addition to the player’s Profile Page. A player’s individual page provides a comprehensive collection of his or hers PG history, complete with events attended, scouting reports, statistics, awards, videos and articles.

“Other than having fun with your friends – which is the most important thing – they can look at different aspects of their game and be able to take something away from that,” Fish said in December 2017. “They can look at these numbers and take basically anything out of it and focus on certain things that they can work on; that’s the beauty of the HitTrax machine.

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