NBL Division 1 split into pools with shortened season amidst COVID-19 uncertainty - Hoopsfix.com

NBL Division 1 split into pools with shortened season amidst COVID-19 uncertainty

NBL Division 1

NBL Division 1 will see its season reduced by seven games as the league will be split into Northern and Southern pools to reduce travel.

The move, first reported by Oaklands Wolves’ Dave Ryan, three weeks ago, has now been confirmed by Basketball England, who believe it to be “a more manageable and cost-effective approach for the 14 teams involved”, in response to the challenging logistical and financial situation presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NBL Division 1 standings will remain calculated and displayed as one table but teams will play the majority of their games based on their pool to minimise travel, playing twice against opponents from their own pool (home and away) and once against opponents from the other pool (home or away).

Teams will now play 19 games instead of the previous 26.

The seven-team pools are as follows:

Pool A – Northern
Bradford Dragons
Derby Trailblazers
Leicester Warriors
Loughborough Riders
Nottingham Hoods
Oaklands College
Team Newcastle

Pool B – Southern
Barking Abbey
Essex Rebels
Hemel Storm
Reading Rockets
Solent Kestrels
Thames Valley Cavaliers
Worthing Thunder

“We will continue to work closely with the teams ensure the season can be played as safely and competitively as possible during what are clearly difficult times for everyone involved,” Gail Richards, BE Senior Delivery Manager for Leagues, Competitions and Events, said.

The newly drafted fixtures have been rescheduled from 28 November onwards, with all games previously postponed this season integrated into the new structure.

The season will be completed in full by 15/16 May 2021.

Other things of note:

  • Oaklands College (North Pool) will play crossover fixtures against South Pool opponents first|
  • Essex Rebels’ games have scheduled to take place from January onwards because of lack of access to their home facility
  • Some teams have double-header weekends. BE has grouped those travelling further distances to play two away games in a nearby locations with potential for overnight stays to minimise travel
  • Standard game rearrangement rules apply

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