During the summer of 1901, two teams broke away from the three-year old Massachusetts League to organize a new league named the New England Basketball League, forcing the established league to change its name to the Massachusetts Central League. The struggle between the two organizations would go on for years with serious repercussions for both.
By early January of 1904, the early season optimism began to fade as attendance failed to meet the high salary demands of the league’s imported stars. The Massachusetts League began to unravel in mid-January when the players representing the Chicopee club resigned from the league to rejoin the New England League from which they had jumped the previous year. Attendance continued to plummet and the league collapsed altogether the last week in January.