England Basketball’s reshuffle continues with a proposal for a major overhaul of the national leagues, after an operational review with a focus group, Hoopsfix has learned.
Under the proposal, which was sent out on Friday, changes will potentially take place for the 2015-16 season, focusing on creating a competition structure for both performance and participation.
In the senior leagues, automatic relegation and promotion will take place between Division 1, 2 and 3, while Division 4 will be scrapped, instead being replaced with regionalised participation competitions, with a long term aim of increasing entries to expand the number of competitions and leagues available.
The governing body has recognised the “need for our leagues to become more professional in their approach and presentation”, and as a result a revised set of tiered standards will be brought into practice.
With the Juniors, the national league conference competitions will also be replaced with regionalised participation competitions, while the under-13 and under-15 national leagues will be removed, in line with competitions across Europe and the FIBA age groups, and providing more opportunity for players to play two years at each age group to aid development.
Additionally, the review group strongly recommended introducing an under-12 competition to enhance England’s talent pool and aiming to increase long term participation by giving players access to the game at an earlier age.
Youth Premier League status will also be achieved based on sustained performance and standards, not by choice.
Below is a copy of the email sent out from the governing body, along with the proposed structures underneath it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!
As basketball, more specifically our National Leagues, continues to show growth it has become increasingly evident over a number of seasons that the National League structure requires a review to reflect the needs of the current market and to ensure that our customers are being provided with the best product and our performance/talented athletes’ needs are met with a high commitment and competitive league.
A number of indicators over the last few years, principally feedback from clubs/teams, National Teams coaches and professionals, gave us the foundation for a review of the league structures which identified that changes were needed to ensure that our leagues offer the right platform for our performance participants whilst still offering a competitive outlet for development and participation.
In recent months a review of our current competitions structure has taken place, this formed part of our operational reviews.
The concept was to look at introducing a competitions structure focusing on Performance & Participation, with scope to develop further to increase reach by introducing local, more informal, opportunities at a lower level.
A focus group was set up with their role being to evaluate the options available and draft a final competitions strategy for implementation in the 2015/16 season.
The focus group, after reviewing the current structure identified the need to introduce a multi layered competitions structure (as illustrated in the three attached documents) which provides an outlet focusing on Performance and Participation, thereby allowing sustainable progress from grass roots participation to high level, high commitment professional clubs.
Subtle changes will be made at Men’s Division Four and the youth conference levels, with these leagues becoming more regionalised participation competitions (dependent on entries), with a long term aim of increasing entries to expand the number of competitions and leagues available. This in turn will provide improved local competition without the need for great expense, commitment or travel. Youth Premier League status will be achieved based on sustained performance and standards, not by choice.
The removal of the Under 15 and Under 13 competitions at National League level brings us into line with competitions across Europe and with the FIBA age groups. This also provides the opportunity for players to play two years at each age group which aids their development. There was strong feeling amongst the review group that introducing competition at the Under 12 level would not only enhance our talent pool, but increase overall long term participation by introducing players to the game at an earlier age.
As well as a review of the competition structure, it has been identified there is the need for our leagues to become more professional in their approach and presentation. The leagues are to be standards-led both on and off the court, appropriate for the level of competition, and a revised set of tiered standards will be brought into practice.
These changes will also offer a functional stepping stone for clubs looking to progress into the National League, facilitating a period of adjustment from local league to the increased standards of higher level competition of the development and performance leagues.
We ask that you review the attached documents and provide any feedback on the planned Competitions structure. Any feedback should be provided by Friday 15th August to EBLfeedback@englandbasketball.co.uk