National Cup cancelled to ease schedule load -

National Cup cancelled to ease schedule load

National Cup

Basketball England have announced the National Cup will not take place during the 2020/21 season to avoid fixture congestion due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision has been taken following discussions with Basketball England’s Leagues and Competitions Advisory Group and the working groups for NBL Division One and WNBL Division One.

The move aims help avoid potential fixture congestion following the later-than-usual scheduled October season start for senior leagues and the November start for Jnr. NBL, reducing the likelihood of double-header weekends and reducing risk of injury.

Uncertainty around venue availability also raises concerns about some clubs’ ability to complete their 2020/21 league schedule and potential post-season games.

“It’s a disappointing move to have to make given the prestige of the National Cup and the fact it has been running for so many years,” Basketball England’s Senior Delivery Manager Gail Richards said.

“With an already compressed calendar due to Covid-19, there are clear risks to welfare with an overloaded schedule.

“Teams already have a number of double-header weekends to ensure that we can end the season on time in April and May.

“With further possible Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns and the potential for bad weather postponements, we believe running the knockout competition would place too much strain on clubs, players, coaches and officials.

“As such, we feel it is the right decision to prioritise the regular season and play-offs and support all our clubs and members in that aim.”

All teams that have paid to enter the National Cup will receive that portion of their fee back.

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