The Lake League (abbreviated as LL) is one of two subleagues that make up the major-level Bull League. It was formed in 1991, developing out of the former Central League, which had existed from June of 1989. Several of the original Central League teams were moved in 1991 to the American Eagle League, which has since been renamed to the Metropolitan League (ML).
At the end of each regular season a playoff series is held to determine a league champion. The winner of the LL Championship Series goes on to contest the Bull Cup Championship Series against the championship team from the AEL.
The league has used the designated hitter rule since forming in 1991.
The Lake League was formed in 1991 constituting six teams, all of which had originally been in the prior Central League in one form or another.
- Boston Brawlers (name and locale unchanged since 1991, had been the Boston Britons from 1989-1990)
- Brooklyn Tigers (moved to Chicoutimi, Quebec and renamed Chicoutimi Cinquantes in 1992, then folded with all players and coaching staff forming the Detroit Motorheads in April 2017 — folded after 2020)
- Montreal Metros (had been the Vancouver Metros prior to 1991, name and locale unchanged since then)
- New York Fastballs (several name and locale changes since 1991, and now called the New York Dragons)
- Ohio Oxen (name and locale unchanged since prior to 1991)
Expansion, renaming and relocation summary
- 1995: Kingston Battlements and Hamilton Industrials added as expansion teams
- 2010: Kingston renamed to the Kingston Cannons
- 2012: Chicago Pit Bulls join from the American Eagle League
- 2012: Battle Creek Attack added as en expansion team
- 2012: Hamilton renamed to the Hamilton Crusaders
- 2017: New York relocates from Buffalo, NY to New York, NY and renamed to the New York Dragons
- 2017: Chicoutimi Cinquantes folded, players and coaches re-form as the new franchise, Detroit Motorheads
- 2017: Hamilton Crusaders relocate to Rimouski and renamed to the Rimouski Fighting Moose
- 2017: Toronto renamed to Toronto Nomads
- 2018: Toronto and Rimouski moved to East division, Detroit moved to West division
- 2018: Kingston Cannons relocate to Miami, Florida location and became the Miami Storm
- 2018: Jacksonville Ravens to relocate and join West division as the Minneapolis Ravens
- 2019: Rimouski Fighting Moose relocated to Pittsburgh, becoming the Pittsburgh Iron Pigs
- 2020: Louisville Sluggers relocated to Milwaukee, becoming the Milwaukee Hops, remain in West division
- 2024: Milwaukee Hops relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and retained their nickname and division alignment
- 2026: Two expansion teams added to the league, one in each division: Green Bay and Detroit were awarded franchises
|East Division||West Division|
|Boston Brawlers||Boston, MA||1989||Chicago Pit Bulls||Chicago, IL||1989|
|Montreal Metros||Montreal, QC||1989||Grand Rapids Hops||Grand Rapids, MI||2012|
|New York Dragons||New York, NY||1989||Minneapolis Ravens||Minneapolis, MN||1991|
|Toronto Nomads||Toronto, ON||1989||Ohio Oxen||Cincinnati, OH||1989|
Lake League East Division
See article: Lake League East
- Boston Brawlers (founded in 1989 as the Boston Britons)
- Detroit expansion team (2026)
- Montreal Metros (founded in 1989 as the Vancouver Metros, relocated and renamed to Montreal Metros in 1991)
- New York Dragons (founded in 1989 as the New York Fastballs)
- Toronto Nomads (founded in 1989 as the Toronto Ducks, renamed in 2017)
Lake League West Division
See article: Lake League West
- Chicago Pit Bulls (moved from the American Eagle League in a realignment in 2012)
- Grand Rapids Hops (founded as the Battle Creek Attack in 2012 as an expansion team)
- Green Bay expansion team (2026)
- Minneapolis Ravens (founded in 1989 as the Richmond Ravens and later Jacksonville Ravens, moved from AEL East for 2018)
- Ohio Oxen (founded in 1989)
As part of the future planning, the Lake League is looking at potential sites for future expansion teams within the next few seasons.
By 2030 it is anticipated that the league could expand back to 2 divisions of 5 teams each, or possibly 2 divisions of 6 teams each, adding 2-4 new franchises.
Possible locations include:
- Detroit (a former team location)
- Green Bay
- Buffalo (a former team location)
- Kingston, ON (a former team location)
- Ottawa, ON
- Quebec City, QC
- Pittsburgh (a former team location)
Former Central League
The Lake League was created in 1991 to replace the former Central League. The new league would include teams from the Great Lakes states and provinces, along with other New England area states. The original Central League included teams from a wide geographic area, including the west coast. Of these ten original teams, four would move to the American Eagle League when it formed in 1991, although later in 2012, one (Chicago) would move back to what was by now the Lake League. The remaining three teams stayed in the American Eagle League: California, Nevada and Seattle.
The original Central League contained ten teams, also organized into an East and a West division, each with five teams. These teams were:
|Boston Britons||California Tidals|
|Brooklyn Tigers||Nevada Speeders|
|Chicago Knights||Ohio Oxen|
|New York Fastballs||Seattle Salts|
|Toronto Ducks||Vancouver Metros|
Logo2018 season. The former logo was retired at that time.
The logo evokes the sense of the Great Lakes and water, around which the teams are based.
- 1991-1993 Stats. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/archives/. Accessed: 8 April 2017.
- Bull Baseball League: History Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_100_index.html. Accessed: 8 April 2017.