- National Teams
The British Basketball League (BBL) will allow teams to have up to four work permit players next season according to Leicester Riders’ Managing Director Russell Levenston.
Previous rules saw a maximum of three ‘certificate of sponsorship’ players – those that require a visa as a foreign worker, used on Americans in the vast majority of cases – per team, but it will now increase by one, though the maximum of five non-British players per game remains.
🗣 @RidersBball's Russell Levenston (@RidersBball) reveals the league rule change on the Hoopsfix Podcast, explaining it should help with competing in Europe and improve the product on the floor. #BritishBasketball pic.twitter.com/RCFYZo7GVg
— Hoopsfix 🇬🇧🏀 (@Hoopsfix) May 14, 2020
This effectively means the extra Americans most teams will be recruiting will be at the cost of a European’s spot, not one of a British player. It is expected to lead to a higher level of talent in the league domestically as well as increase the potential for teams to be able to compete in Europe.
“I think that’s a step forward for us in terms of being able to compete with European teams where most of them have 5 or 6 allowance for international players,” Levenston said of the rule change on this week’s Hoopsfix podcast.
“I think that would help a club compete in Europe. I personally think, if we want to be competitive in Europe and have similar models, why not have five, why have the Europeans and the Americans (split), what’s the difference between a European player or an American player?”
“We need to protect the British players – I think that’s really really important because we need to make sure we’re a British league that’s developing British players and provides opportunities for British players but overall we need to have the best product possible on the floor and be competitive as possible.”