Women's British Basketball League launched
The British Basketball League (BBL) and England Basketball are pleased to announce the next stage of developing the women's game through the launch of the WBBL. Building on the England Basketball National League (EBL) Division One the WBBL will form the top flight of women's club basketball in the UK from the 2014/15 season.
Comprised of the existing eight Division One Women's EBL clubs, along with two newly promoted clubs to bring the league total up to ten, the WBBL will commence at the start of the new season in September 2014. The WBBL will seek to enhance the standard of women's basketball in the UK both on and off court. By introducing a more commercial and professional outlook to the elite level of women's basketball and by championing improvement in playing and coaching standards the WBBL aims to continue the upward performance curve that the women's side of the sport has been enjoying over the past few years.
England Basketball will continue to provide administrative and regulatory support through officials appointments, league discipline and FIBA relations for player clearances while the BBL will provide scheduling and results, marketing, commercial development, rights exploitation and promotion for the WBBL.
Huw Morgan, CEO of England Basketball, said: "Growth of the sport across the whole basketball market is something that England Basketball is very passionate about. Providing more girls and women with the chance to continue their journey to the top of the game is essential for both improving the performance of players on court today and creating an aspirational pathway for the players of tomorrow. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the BBL and women's clubs across the country in making this happen."
Ed Percival, the BBL Chairman, commented: "Everyone in the BBL is committed to making the WBBL a success. All our clubs have very significant grassroots development programme, and basketball is a sport that is very attractive to boys and girls. Thus we owe it to our young fans to ensure there is opportunity for young women to follow their dream and become as good as they can. We have seen in countries around the world the improvements on and off the court in women's basketball, and we felt the time was right to make this investment to grow the game further in the UK. Together with England Basketball we are committed to leveraging our various partnerships and resources to really make a difference to women's club basketball."
Betty Codona, OBE, of City of Sheffield Hatters Women's Basketball Club said: "This is a very exciting development and will be great for the women's game. It is a huge step in the right direction for helping to raise the standards of the women's game on and off the court. We have seen how the Great Britain women's team has improved immeasurably over the last six years or so, and now we want to ensure that improvement continues to be seen at every level starting with the top flight clubs across the UK."
The new WBBL Clubs
Cardiff Met Archers
City of Sheffield Hatters
LSBU Brixton Topcats
About the BBL
The BBL - British Basketball League - is an independent company, owned by its member clubs, which has run the top men's professional league in the UK since 1987. It operates a system of franchises over the UK stretching from Plymouth in the south west to Glasgow north of the border.
The BBL is a major contributor to the development of the sport at all levels and its member clubs place a large emphasis on work undertaken in their local communities.
The 2014/15 season will be the League's 28th and promises to be the most successful to date both on and off the playing court.
About England Basketball
England Basketball is the National Governing Body of the sport in England. With a key focus on growing the game England Basketball works with partners across the country to introduce more people to the sport, to enable basketball players to play more frequently and to facilitate more opportunities for people to get on court.
Based in Sheffield, the organisation also manages and administers the National Basketball League catering for both men and women, which provides competitive play for senior and junior players.
For more information on England Basketball please contact Craig Costello
or call 0114 2841073.
Image credit - John McGibbon Photography