National Cup removed from 2020/21 NBL schedule

The National Cup will not take place during the 2020/21 season. 

The decision has been taken following discussions with Basketball England’s Leagues and Competitions Advisory Group and the working groups for NBL Division One and WNBL Division One. 

The move aims help avoid potential fixture congestion following the scheduled October season start for senior leagues and the November start for Jnr. NBL.  

All teams that have paid to enter the National Cup will receive that portion of their fee back. 

Last season's National Cup Finals were held at the University of Essex

A prestigious competition

Basketball England’s Senior Delivery Manager Gail Richards said: “It’s a disappointing move to have to make given the prestige of the National Cup and the fact it has been running for so many years. 

“With an already compressed calendar due to Covid-19, there are clear risks to welfare with an overloaded schedule. 

“Teams already have a number of double-header weekends to ensure that we can end the season on time in April and May.  

“With further possible Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns and the potential for bad weather postponements, we believe running the knockout competition would place too much strain on clubs, players, coaches and officials. 

“As such, we feel it is the right decision to prioritise the regular season and play-offs and support all our clubs and members in that aim.” 

The National Cup is the NBL's oldest competition

Risk reduction

There are inherent risks with double-header weekends, including increased potential for player injury. Creating an overly congested season heightens that risk. 

Uncertainty around venue availability also raises concerns about some clubs' ability to complete their 2020/21 league schedule and potential post-season games.

There is some flexibility regarding the date for end-of-season finals, but the intention is to close the season in April and May. After that time, venue availability once again becomes a factor as education sites move towards exam season. 

If your club requires any assistance in accessing court time to train and play, or to source an alternative venue for the season, please use the button below to get in touch.