New Women's British Basketball League Launched In The U.K.
The British Basketball League and England Basketball announced the next stage of developing the women's game through the launch of the Women's British Basketball League. The WBBL will form the top flight of women's club basketball in the U.K. from the '14-15 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 10, the WBBL will commence in Sept. 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 (BBL). MVP reported the initial line-up will include sides -- all awarded franchises from the outset -- from England and Wales, although "other teams can apply to join" in '15 with Glasgow Rocks thought to be interested. It "will also have no relegation with no automatic promotion from the lower tiers." BBL Chair Ed Percival said, "Everyone in the BBL is committed to making the WBBL a success. All our clubs have very significant grassroots development program, and basketball is a sport that is very attractive to boys and girls." However, the development "stops short of creating the kind of semi-professional set-up envisaged following the Olympics when a working party was established by British Performance Basketball" in '11.
WBBL CLUBS: The clubs in the WBBL are Barking Abbey, LSBU Brixton Topcats, Cardiff Met Archers, Leeds Carnegie, Loughborough Riders, Manchester Magic, Team Northumbria, Nottingham Wildcats, Sevenoaks Suns and City of Sheffield Hatters (MVP, 6/5).