Basketball England announce conclusion of 2019/20 NBL season

Team Solent Kestrels and Ipswich have been crowned Division One winners following a decision on the conclusion of the curtailed 2019/20 NBL regular season.

Solent completed an incredible unbeaten campaign on the Men’s league that also saw the team claim the National Cup and reach the Final of the BBL Trophy, whilst Ipswich took the WNBL by storm to go 15-2, improving on their sixth-place finish from a year ago to grab the regular-season title.

The announcement follows the premature conclusion of the NBL regular season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Basketball England have released details on how all NBL and Jnr. NBL competitions have been finalised for the 2019/20 season.

After analysis of a number of potential scenarios, it has been decided that for games cancelled due to the early end to the season, the number of points on offer would be divided equally between the two teams involved. This means one point per team for senior fixtures and two points per team for junior fixtures. This is covered further in the FAQs below.

This process applies to fixtures that were scheduled between 13 March (the date on which Basketball England suspended the playing season) and the end of the regular season. Games that were postponed before March 13 and had not been rearranged have been voided.

Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett said: “After an uncertain and turbulent few weeks, we are pleased to announce the final standings for the NBL.

“All our leagues represent the amazing efforts of players, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents and guardians. The effect of the COVID-19 has had an extraordinary impact on us all and we were determined to find the fairest way to conclude the 2019/20 season.

“I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our league winners and recognise the efforts of our basketball community during what has been an unprecedented time.”

The following league winners have now been confirmed:

League

League Winner

League Runner Up

Division One Men

Team Solent Kestrels

Thames Valley Cavaliers

Division One Women

Ipswich

Anglia Ruskin University

Division Two Men - South

Essex Rebels

London Westside

Division Two Men - North

Team Newcastle University

Myerscough College

Division Two Women - South

Cardiff Met Archers

Brighton

Division Two Women - North

Worcester Wolves

Derbyshire Diamonds

Division Three East

Northamptonshire Titans

Anglia Ruskin University

Division Three North

Lancashire Spinners

Newcastle Eagles U23

Division Three Midlands

Doncaster Eagles

City of Birmingham Rockets

Division Three South West

Oxford Brooks University

RCT Gladiators

Division Three South East

Richmond Knights

London Lewisham Thunder

 

There will be no Play-offs in either the senior or junior divisions.

Following the announcement of NBL and WNBL regular-season stat leaders last week, individual end-of-season awards have now been scheduled for the week commencing 6 April, with Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and MVP awards for all senior divisions.

Division Three awards will go live on Monday 6 April, with WNBL Division Two following on Tuesday 7. NBL Division Two honours will be announced on Wednesday 8, WNBL Division One on Thursday 9 before the week concludes with NBL Division One on Friday 10.

Coach of the Year will go live at 10am, Team of the Year at 12pm and MVP at 2pm on each of the above dates.

Final regular-season standings are available for all leagues by clicking the button below. Please be aware that only the final positions and points have been adjusted to be correct, and win/loss numbers won’t accurately reflect a team’s final points.

A number of FAQs have also been listed below.

.

Why was this outcome decided as the fairest way to conclude the 2019/20 season? +

We understand that hundreds of our teams have invested a huge amount of time, effort, passion and finance into the season and for the final standings to be decided anywhere but on the court is tough to accept. Unfortunately, that is not an available option right now.

As over 90% of league fixtures had already been concluded and most teams only had one or two games remaining, it felt unfair to void the season entirely.

Equally, if we had based the standings on just the first half of the season when teams had only played once, this would have required voiding thousands of games that already been played between 1 January and 13 March.

The method we have used allows as many games as possible to be counted towards the final standings.  Importantly, teams that have already completed their schedules don’t have too great an advantage over those that haven’t.

Why didn’t you end the season on 13 March, when games were originally postponed? +

This was unfair to teams that were still finishing their schedules (as some teams had played all their games by 13 March) and could have done so had play not been postponed. With the adopted method, these teams still receive some points towards the final standings.

How do teams receive points for the games remaining? +

As we can’t 100% predict who would have won any game still left to be played, the fairest way to allocate the points from these fixtures was to equally divide what was on offer with the two teams involved.

For senior fixtures, teams receive two points for a win, and zero points for a loss. As such, both teams received one point each.

For junior fixtures, teams receive three points for a win, and one point for a loss. As such, both teams received two points each.

These additional points have been added to the league tables and the standings displayed are final for 2019/20.

When teams are tied in points, how is this decided in the final standings? +

This will be done the same as any other season. If two teams are tied on points, a head-to-head tiebreaker in the game or games between just those two sides will be used.

For ties between three or more teams, a mini-league table involving just the results between the sides involves will be used.

For junior leagues, why not just award 1 point to each side as this is usually what a team gets for playing a fixture? +

This option doesn’t accurately reflect the performance of teams at the top of the league, as it could be reasonably assumed that the top teams are likely to win the outstanding games. Therefore, missing out on 2 league points means the league isn’t an accurate reflection of where teams should be finishing, and getting two points rather than just one seemed a fairer solution.

Why weren’t all postponed fixtures treated the same? +

The splitting of points only applies to games scheduled between 13 March and the end of the season.

For games that had been postponed before 13 March and still didn’t have a rearranged date, there was no way of knowing if these games would have taken place. As such, they have been voided.

How will promotion and relegation work for 2020/21? +

This will be handled as it is every season, with teams invited to make an application for promotion when they apply to enter the NBL for 2020/21.

For next season, relegation will be applied to the bottom two teams for leagues of 12 or more and just the bottom team in leagues of 11 teams. This also applies to leagues that had 12 or 11 teams when the season began, even if a team or teams have since withdrawn.

The above doesn’t apply for NBL Division Three, WNBL Division Two and Jnr. NBL Conferences as these divisions are filled based on the number and geographical location of the entries received.

As always, all applications for promotions will be treated on a case by case basis and will be judged on finishing position in 2019/20 as well as the ability to meet the standards of the league above.

I belong to a new club that wants to enter NBL for 2020/21, who should I contact? +

New team packs will soon be available for any side expressing an interest to enter the NBL next season. In the interim, please email nationalleague@basketballengland.co.uk to register your interest.