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National Pro Fastpitch Suspends League Operations

(Graphic by National Pro Fastpitch)

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) announced Sunday that it is suspending league operations, effective immediately.

The league, which would have entered its 17th season in 2021, canceled both its 2020 and 2021 seasons due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and softball's inclusion in the Tokyo Olympics. 

"The cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, necessitated by the combination of the COVID pandemic and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, has effectively shut off all sources of league revenue and necessitated the termination of league staff and other essential services," said a league statement. "At this point, resumption of activity is impossible to predict."

The professional softball league's cancellation of its 2020 season related to "an inability to access testing as well as an uncertainty on the cost of that testing; access and allowance inside potential venues; lack of adequate infrastructure required to travel from market to market, live, practice and compete each day of the season in various markets while maintaining the assurance of player safety and good health," according to a statement.

NPF featured five squads, including three teams—the Cleveland Comets, Canadian Wild and Aussie Peppers—that were largely made up of players who represented Mexico, Canada and Australia, respectively, at the Tokyo Olympics. The other two NPF teams included the league's oldest active franchise, the Chicago Bandits, as well as the California Commotion. The California squad was set to make its NPF debut in 2020.

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