- National Teams
Basketball England have announced there will be no promotion and relegation between any National Basketball League divisions this coming season, whilst also confirming the league structures.
Following a meeting of Basketball England’s Leagues and Competitions Advisory Group, where the group discussed feedback from clubs across the leagues, the unanimous decision was made to suspend movement between divisions for one season in a bid to mitigate the challenges caused to the sport by COVID-19.
“This has been a difficult decision, taking into account many implications that the removal of promotion or relegation may cause for teams,” Gail Richards, BE’s Senior Delivery Manager, said.
“However, a lot remains unknown and issues may arise over the course of the season. The members of the Advisory Group, which is made up of highly experienced figures from both senior and junior levels of the sport, felt that the most sensible and fair course of action would be to remove promotion and relegation within all competitions.
“This is also something that has been seen in a number of other sports following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The decision is intended to ease the pressure on teams, should they be put into a position that is beyond their control and we will continue to work with clubs to make sure the season is still as enjoyable and productive as possible for all involved.”
A number of factors went into the decision, including the need for flexibility during the season because of the possibility of a second wave of infection and further lockdown restrictions, the potential for individuals within the basketball community to contract COVID-19 or needing to self-isolate, meaning teams are unable to compete at full strength, have to postpone fixtures or are unable to complete their season, the potential loss of income for clubs because of restricted attendances or sponsorship and overseas players being unable to travel.
Meanwhile, the NBL entry process for the new season has closed and the league structures finalised, with five teams from across the leagues taking up the option of a season-long league sabbatical (Liverpool Basketball Club – NBL D2 Men, Brighton Cougars – NBL D2 Women South, Myerscough College – NBL D2 Women North, Eastside Eagles – U14 boys regional, U16 boys conference).
NBL Division 1 looks as follows, with Team Newcastle and Essex Rebels having been promoted and Westminster Warriors and Liverpool having been relegated:
Barking Abbey Academy
Team Newcastle University
Team Solent Kestrels
Thames Valley Cavaliers