GLENCOE – It’s official. The Waconia Lakers, who boast one of the best records in the Crow River Valley League so far this season, will be ineligible for the 2019 postseason.
During a special state board meeting with the Minnesota Baseball Association June 30, the state board upheld the ruling by the Crow River Valley League that the Waconia Lakers were using an ineligible player this season.
Waconia was using a player it signed this season who could not provide proof of residence in Waconia’s radius. The player played in six league games this season before it was brought to the attention of the CRVL.
With the state board’s decision, the Waconia Lakers are no longer eligible for postseason play in 2019, and any player on the Lakers’ roster can’t be drafted by other teams in the CRVL for the state tournament.
The issue of Waconia’s player was brought to the attention of the league during the playoff roster meeting June 24. Representatives of the St. Boni Saints filed an official protest to the CRVL, saying the address for a Waconia Lakers player was not correct.
During the league meeting, the CRVL teams voted 11-0 in favor of the player being ineligible as his address did not match where he was living at the time.
The Waconia Lakers met with the state board June 30 to appeal the league’s decision, but the board ultimately sided with the CRVL, making the Lakers ineligible for the 2019 postseason.
With the state board’s decision final, another CRVL meeting took place July 1 in order to determine how the league would finish off the rest of the regular season and the postseason.
The league voted and passed that the Waconia Lakers would not receive any further punishment other than was what given by the state board. The state board ordered the Waconia Lakers would forfeit the six games the player played in, and finish out the season as scheduled. Waconia agreed to finish out the regular season, despite not being eligible for the postseason in 2019.
In the six games the illegal player played in, Waconia won five of them. The Plato/Waconia game was the only game the player played in that the Lakers lost. Thus, Brownton, Carver, New Germany, Glencoe, and St. Boni were awarded a win. With Waconia’s forfeits, their 9-2 record drops to 4-7.
When it comes to playoffs, things are different now too for the CRVL. With only 12 teams now eligible for the postseason, the CRVL had to figure out how it would go about the CRVL playoffs. The league ultimately decided that the winners of the CRVL North and South divisions would receive a bye into the Region 7C Tournament. This is consistent with how the league has determined it in previous years.
The teams with the next two best records, regardless of division, would also receive a bye into the Region 7C tournament. The two division winners will be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, while the next two teams will be the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds.
The rest of the eight playoff eligible teams will then play best of three-game series to determine the final four spots in the Region 7C Tournament.
Waconia will finish out the regular season as scheduled and future games will count in the CRVL standings. After the 2019 Class C State Tournament, the Lakers will meet with the state board again and ask to be reinstated for the 2020 season. If reinstated, the Lakers will be on probation for two years with the state board.