Academy Leagues: Late season outlook as playoffs near

Just a few weeks remain in the 2023/24 EABL and WEABL regular seasons.

With the final Wednesday of action taking place on 6 March, only a handful of fixtures remain once teams are back from half term.

Only one of the four conferences have been locked in, with Charnwood claiming the WEABL North title, leaving plenty up for grabs elsewhere.

We take a look at how things are shaping up across the Academy landscape and what team still need to do in their remaining fixtures.

EABL North

Charnwood College Riders' (8-2) win against Derby on Tuesday takes them one step closer to claiming top spot in the North despite the heated chase from second place Myerscough College (7-2).

With the Riders owning the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two sides, last year's finalists 'Sco are going to need their rivals to drop points either at home to last place BMET (who have already beaten Charnwood this season as their lone victory of 2023/24) or in their final game against Derby to steal in for the regular season title.

That's also assuming Myerscough can navigate their final games with Manchester, BMET and Sheffield, which isn't a given by any means.

The Sheffield College (6-3), Derby College Trailblazers (6-3) and Manchester Magic (5-6) look set to contest the third and fourth seeds, with one of the three set to miss out on the playoffs entirely..

That looks to be Manchester as things stand, with one game remaining away to Myerscough, whilst Derby and Sheffield both still have games in hand elsewhere.

Unsurprisingly, Sheffield's trip to Derby next Wednesday (21/03) will be a big one in deciding how those teams stack up, with the winner still in with a chance of catching the title race should something miraculous happen down the stretch.

SGS College (2-10) have finished their season and currently sit in sixth, with BMET City of Birmingham Rockets (1-9) set to finish bottom unless they can win both of their final two games.

EABL South

The South is still a three horse race with The Canterbury Academy (8-2), Barking Abbey (7-3) and City of London Academy - Southwark (7-2) all in the mix.

Canterbury's trip to Barking on 28th February will be a big one, not just for the three points but also for deciding the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two sides.

If the defending champs can beat the Kent programme, placing both teams in three losses for the year, CoLA's last three games are all against teams below them in the standings (JMA, Itchen and Copleston) so winning out would see them swoop in for top spot.

Canterbury own the head-to-head with CoLA so if they can win their remaining games against Copleston and BA, they'll be champions regardless.

That trio will comprise seeds #1, #2 and #3, leaving red-hot JMA Reading Rockets (6-5) as the programme taking up the #4 spot after winning all of their last four games.

With just one contest left in their schedule, it is unlikely JMA will catch any of the teams ahead of them and the Rockets' can't be passed by fifth place Itchen College (3-6) due to the tiebreaker between the two teams.

Copleston High School (2-8) and Oaklands Wolves (2-9) make up the Conference's bottom two.


With just one regular season game to go, the final positions are locked in up North.

Charnwood College Riders (9-0) completed a perfect regular season and will head into the playoffs as #1 seeds.

The one game left to played is between Sheffield and Manchester. Manchester Mystics (4-4) own the tiebreaker with Nottingham Academy Wildcats (4-5) having won their season series 2-1, meaning win or lose, the Mystics will finish second with Nottingham third.

That just leaves winless The Sheffield College (0-8) to prop up the standings in the four team conference.


A huge clash between Copleston High School (8-0) and City of London Academy - Southwark (6-1) looms on the horizon to decide the South conference.

Copleston won 75-70 when the sides met in Suffolk in late January, meaning a CoLA victory by more than five points would give them the tiebreaker.

Both teams look unlikely to drop any of their other remaining fixtures, given their form this season, putting even more importance on that last day meeting.

The battle for third and fourth is between Oaklands Wolves (5-5) and last year's finalists Itchen College (4-3).

Oaklands are all done on 15 points but narrowly own the tiebreaker between the two sides, meaning Itchen need to win two of their remaining three games to climb into third.

Given two of their remaining three ties are against Copleston and CoLA, that feels like a big ask.

Fifth and sixth are confirmed, with JMA Reading Rockets (1-7) set to finish above Barking Abbey (1-9) regardless of how the final games go.

WEABL Playoff Play In

This season's WEABL competition will involve a play in round before the eight playoff teams are confirmed.

The two teams finishing #3 and #4 in the North, Nottingham and Sheffield respectively, will host the #5 and #6 teams in the South, who are also confirmed as JMA Reading Rockets and Barking Abbey.

Given the unequal split of teams between the North and South, this gives all teams a fair shot at the post season, and the two play in winners will join the top four teams in the South and the top two in the North as the #7 and #8 seeds.

These games are set to take place on 6th March, with the opening round of the playoffs for both the EABL and WEABL commencing on Wednesday 13 March.