Last night, it was announced that the British Basketball League would be undergoing 4 major changes to the structure of the domestic season.
New format agreed for BBL from next season by league bosses. Understand that:— Mark Woods (@markbritball) May 8, 2023
🏀BBL Cup axed. Trophy moves to January and without non-league clubs.
🏀Best of 3 series for Playoff quarter and semi finals. Top 8 qualify.
🏀All Star Game set to return for 1st time since 2011.
One is the removal of the BBL Cup, the domestic competition which featured a knockout-format tournament between British Basketball League teams.
The next is the removal of non-league teams in the BBL Trophy, which many have voiced their opinions on. Traditionally, the BBL Trophy had always allowed NBL D1 teams to enter and compete against the BBL teams, giving players the opportunity to compete against the best talent in the UK at the professional level.
The BBL will also be changing the structure of the play-offs next season. Teams will compete in a Best Of 3 series rather than the current structure of the highest aggregate score over two games, home and away. The final change is the addition of a British Basketball League All Star game, something that has not happened for the 1st time since 2011.
Whilst the removal of NBL D1 teams from the BBL Trophy is a very controversial move, the other changes show nothing but signs of growth of the game at the professional level. The new play-off structure makes the games much more competitive and simpler come post-regular season time. The removal of the BBL Cup allows for teams and players to really focus in on winning the league and/or the Trophy as well as any other international competitions that they may be involved in i.e. the London Lions with the EuroCup or the Bristol Flyers with the ENBL. Finally, an All Star game provides the fans with not just another basketball game, but a chance to see their favourite players compete against each other, not to mention the marketing potential it could have for the league itself.
Overall, these changes are just another indication that at the professional level, British Basketball seems to finally be moving in the right direction.