What is the CBL?


Rebranded in 2022, The College Basketball League (CBL) sits beneath the EABL and WEABL.

The CBL caters for 16-19-year-olds and provides a competitive outlet for educational-based basketball programmes, such as sixth form and further education colleges.

The league is driven by five delivery standards that guide practice and athlete support, with the competition split into two tiers, known as category two and category three.

The five delivery standards that govern the CBL are as follows:

1. Athlete Recruitment – safe, ethical, and responsible recruitment activity that provides the appropriate level of information and guidance to help the athlete thrive

2. Educational Partnership – the school/college is committed to elite sport and supports the programme in all their endeavours

3. Quality Leadership, Coaching and Athlete Support – linked to the qualifications, experience, and knowledge of the Academy staff

4. Facilities and Equipment – linked to the quality and level of facilities and equipment provided by the Academy

5. Athlete Welfare Provision – demonstrates the academic and athletic support on offer, including policies and process to support the basketball athlete

Category two and category three programmes

The CBL is divided into two levels based on the standards above. Entrants can apply to become a category two or category three programme and will compete against teams in their own tier.

By separating educational-based programmes via quality standards, the aim is to increase the level of on-court competition and move to a greater degree of parity between the programmes who enter each season.

Category two academies

Category 2 academies provide a substantial basketball development programme under the watchful direction of a Basketball England qualified coach (typically level three, but with some level two coaches).

The basketball offer at a category two academy includes a high degree of basketball contact (hours on the floor), dedicated individual advancement programmes, and an integrated academic and basketball education.

In support of this, a category two academy will have a Strength and Conditioning programme and access to physiotherapy, though this may be through an external provider.

Category three academies

Category three academies offer a wide range of developmental and progression opportunities to a broad base of aspiring basketball athletes.

The facilities on offer vary dependent upon the school/college and are supported by a Basketball England level two qualified coach (in some cases this may be a level three coach).

The head coach may have one or two assistant coaches and other support staff delivering strength and conditioning and rehabilitation session in support of athlete development.

Formerly the ABL

The CBL was rebranded from the Academy Basketball League (ABL) ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The ABL was former in partnership with AoC Sport for the 2015/16 season as a weekly competition to support the needs of potential elite athletes by giving them the opportunity to test their skills during the academic calendar.

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For competition related queries, please contact Basketball England’s Competitions Department by emailing [email protected].

For content and coverage related queries, please contact Basketball England’s Media Department by emailing [email protected].

For information about the talent pathway contact Basketball England Talent Pathway and Programme Manager Sam Messam by emailing [email protected].

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