The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks summer baseball team will join a more competitive league after the Future’s Collegiate Baseball League dropped its opposition this week to the Shark’s exit from the league where the team started, a team owner said.

The Sharks, 2018 co-champions in the FCBL, became mired in a court dispute last September after they submitted a request to switch into the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The FCBL filed suit against the team, citing a financial hardship imposed on the league by the Sharks departure and arguing that the move violated league bylaws

But Sharks managing partner Scott Lively said the Future’s League agreed Wednesday to withdraw their case.

“We didn’t pay a dime to settle this case,” Mr. Lively said Saturday. “Clearly the lawsuit was going was weak, and they [the FCBL] dropped it. I would definitely consider our settlement victorious.”

The Sharks were one of the original four teams in the FCBL. After winning a championship in 2013, the team made capital improvements to their ballpark - which also functions as the regional high school’s baseball field - that included pro-style netting, handicap-accessible bathrooms, and a seated grandstand.

While the FCBL had seven teams, the NECBL now has 13 teams, divided into two divisions throughout New England. The Sharks will play in the southern division with teams from Danbury, Mystic, New Bedford, Newport and Ocean State, although they will have games against teams in the northern division as well. The NECBL has a 44-game schedule, spread out over June, July, and the beginning of August. It is a wood bat league.

Mr. Lively cited the team’s consistently competitive seasons and desire to connect more with Major League Baseball as reasons for the switch.

“It’s truly a chance to step up to a much more sophisticated league with better exposure,” Mr. Lively said. “This allows us a broader stage. The idea of being really tied in to Major League Baseball was very appealing to us.”

Historically, the NECBL has often ranked as one of the top-ten collegiate baseball leagues in the country, and one of the top three in New England. They have had over 100 players go on to the major leagues, including current Washington Nationals first-baseman Matt Adams, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, former Twins closer Joe Nathan, and Rockies catcher Chris Ianetta.

Mr. Lively said the Sharks recruited players this fall with the league switch in mind, looking for top-level Division 1 talent across the country to match the heightened competition.

“You’re going to see more D1 players in the NECBL. My understanding is that our roster is fully booked and we are ready to go,” he said. “We had intended to do this since September. I think we are going to be very competitive in the NECBL, even though I know it is a more competitive league. It’s going to be exciting to watch.”

Even though the Sharks have a full roster, they are always looking for host families for their players. Anyone interested in housing Sharks players for the summer should email general manager Russ Curran at

Mr. Lively, a year-round Edgartown resident who was part of the Sharks original management group, had trouble containing his excitement about the change.

“It’s a really good move for us all in all,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how exciting it is for us to grow our team unencumbered and continue our mission of giving Islanders baseball to be proud of on a national scene. It’s a big deal.”