Premier League (speedway)

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Premier League
League Information
Sport Speedway
Formerly British League
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Founded 1995
Governing Body    The Speedway Control Bureau (SCB)
Website SpeedwayGB
League Facts
Current Champions Somerset Rebels
Most Championships Edinburgh Monarchs (3)
No. of Teams    12
Current Competitions
Premier League
Premier League Cup
Premier League KOC
Premier League Fours
Premier League Pairs
Premier League Riders' Championship
Current Teams
Berwick Bandits
Edinburgh Monarchs
Glasgow Tigers
Ipswich Witches
Newcastle Diamonds
Plymouth Devils
Redcar Bears
Rye House Rockets
Scunthorpe Scorpions
Sheffield Tigers
Somerset Rebels
Workington Comets

The Premier League is the second tier of speedway in the United Kingdom and governed by the The Speedway Control Bureau (SCB), in conjunction with the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA). The Premier League was founded in 1995 when the two divisions of the British League were amalgamated. In 1997, the Elite League was created as a new top tier with the Premier League becoming the second tier.

As of 2014, there are currently 12 teams competing in this tier of British Speedway, contesting 6 competitions for silverware. These competitions are Premier League, Premier League Cup, Premier League KOC, Premier League Pairs, Premier League Fours and the Premier League Riders' Championship.

History[edit]

The Premier League was founded in 1995 by the amalgamation of the two divisions of the British League, becoming the single professional tier of speedway in the UK. In 1997, the Elite League was formed as a new top tier, with the Premier League becoming the second tier. Since it became the 2nd tier in the sport, no team has ever won back to back titles. The League took a standard League format from its creation in 1995 until 2005. In 2006 & 2007, the Play-Offs were devised which the top 4 (8 in 2006) finishing teams in the League contested in a Knock-Out competition, with the winner of the Play-Offs crowned the Premier League Champions. From 2008 onwards, the Play-Offs remained however the prize was changed. Instead, the team that finished top in the league would be crowned champions, and then the top 4 finishing teams would qualify for the Play-Offs. The winner of the competition would then go on to race against the bottom Elite League team in the Promotion/Relegation Battle. Since its inception, no Premier League team has been successful in gaining Promotion this way. There is no longer promotion to the Elite league.

The format was revised for the 2011 Season. All teams met each other once home and once away, with the League then splitting into two groups using a pre-set formula based on their relative standings at the cut-off point of 10 home/ten away matches to determine the remaining 12 (6 home/6 away) fixtures for each side.[1] The League fixtures were expanded due to the Premier Trophy being defunct for the 2011 Season.

The Team that finished 1st in the League were crowned Premier League Champions, with the top 4 teams further competing in the Premier League Play-Offs.

In 2012 a pre-league League Cup tournament will be contested, initially on a round robin basis by Northern and Southern mini-leagues, with the top two teams from each going on to contest semi-finals. The top six teams in the Premier League proper will contest the league title via play-offs, while the next six teams at the end of the league matches will contest another trophy via a similar system.

Teams[edit]

Team building[edit]

At the start of each season, teams are built up to maximum points limit. The combined Calculated Match Average (CMA) of the seven riders declared in the team must not be higher than an agreed figure set at the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) Annual General Meeting. The Current Combined CMA stands at 42.50 and has been this figure since the 2009 season.

2014 teams[edit]

Team Years Active Team Years Active
Berwick Bandits 1997- Redcar Bears 2006-
Edinburgh Monarchs 1997- Rye House Rockets 2002-
Glasgow Tigers 1997- Scunthorpe Scorpions 2008-
Ipswich Witches 2011- Sheffield Tigers 1997-
Somerset Rebels 2002- Newcastle Diamonds 1997-
Workington Comets 1999- Plymouth Devils 2011-
Peterborough Panthers 2014-

Former teams[edit]

Team Years Active Other Information
Leicester Lions 2011–2013 Moved up to Elite League.
Birmingham Brummies 2007–2010 Moved up to Elite League.
Kings Lynn Stars 2003–2010 Moved up to Elite League.
Stoke Potters 1997–2010 Moved down to National League.
Isle of Wight Islanders 1997–2008 Moved down to National League.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 2006–2008 Moved down to National League.
Reading Racers 2008 Loss of Stadium.
1997–2005 Moved up to Elite League.
Exeter Falcons 1997–2005 Closure.
Hull Vikings 2000–2005 Closure.
1997–1998 Moved up to Elite League.
Arena Essex Hammers 1997–2003 Moved up to Elite League.
Swindon Robins 1999–2003 Moved up to Elite League.
Trelawny Tigers 2001–2003 Closure.
Peterborough Panthers 1998 Moved up to Elite League.
Oxford Cheetahs 1997 Moved up to Elite League.
Long Eaton Invaders 1997 Closure.
Newport Wasps 1997–2007, 2009-2011 Closure

Champions[edit]

Season Champions Second
1995 Eastbourne Eagles Bradford Dukes
1996 Wolverhampton Wolves Peterborough Panthers
1997 Reading Racers Long Eaton Invaders
1998 Peterborough Panthers Reading Racers
1999 Sheffield Tigers Newport Wasps
2000 Exeter Falcons Swindon Robins
2001 Newcastle Diamonds Hull Vikings
2002 Sheffield Tigers Newcastle Diamonds
2003 Edinburgh Monarchs Sheffield Tigers
2004 Hull Vikings Workington Comets
2005 Rye House Rockets Berwick Bandits
2006 Kings Lynn Stars Sheffield Tigers
2007* Rye House Rockets Sheffield Tigers
2008 Edinburgh Monarchs Somerset Rebels
2009 Kings Lynn Stars Edinburgh Monarchs
2010 Edinburgh Monarchs Newcastle Diamonds
2011 Glasgow Tigers Sheffield Tigers
2012 Scunthorpe Scorpions Somerset Rebels
2013 Somerset Rebels Edinburgh Monarchs

* Although the Sheffield Tigers did not finish 2nd in the League, The Premier League Play-Offs in 2006 and 2007 decided the champions and runners up. In 2007, Sheffield Tigers finished 4th but got to the Final, eventually losing to the Rye House Rockets.

Premier League Play-Offs[edit]

The Play-Offs were founded in 2006 and are run as a Knock Out Competition. The Play-Offs are usually the last competition of the run during the Premier League season and are contested in October.

Format[edit]

The first format was the top 8 teams from the Premier league going through to the Play-Offs. The Eventual winner of the Play-Offs were then declared Premier League Champions with the other finalists being declared Runner-Up. In 2007, the format was changed to the top 4 contesting the play-offs to decide the League Champions.

Once again in 2008, the format was changed. This time the league winners were crownded Champions of the Premier League. Therefore the Play-Offs were now to decide which team from the Top 4 would go on to contest the Bottom Elite League team in the Promotion/Relegation Battle. No Premier League team has yet been successful in the Promotion/Relegation battle.

In 2011 the Play-Off's weren't run, although they returned a year later in 2012 with Scunthorpe Scorpions victorious over the Somerset Rebels.

Winners[edit]

Season Winners Runners-up Promotion/relegation battle
2006 Kings Lynn Stars Sheffield Tigers n/a
2007 Rye House Rockets Sheffield Tigers n/a
2008 Edinburgh Monarchs Kings Lynn Stars Lost to Wolverhampton Wolves
2009 Edinburgh Monarchs Kings Lynn Stars Lost to Belle Vue Aces
2010 Newcastle Diamonds Sheffield Tigers Lost to Ipswich Witches
2012 Scunthorpe Scorpions Somerset Rebels n/a
2013 Somerset Rebels Edinburgh Monarchs n/a

Premier League KOC[edit]

The Premier League KOC was founded in 1968 under the name British League Division Two KOC, however since the Premier League was formed as the 2nd tier of British Speedway in 1997, it has come to be known as the Premier League KOC. The Competition usually runs throughout the premier league season and the final usually takes place in October.

Premier Trophy[edit]

The Premier Trophy was first contested in 1999. The Competition is usually run before the Premier League starts in April and May. The finals are usually contested in June/July. The competition was dropped from the 2011 calendar due to the expansion of the Premier League fixtures.

Premier League Riders' Championship[edit]

Premier League Pairs[edit]

The Premier League Pairs was first contested in 1975. It was first run as the Premier League Pairs when the 2nd tier was renamed the Premier League. The Competition is usually run the night before the British GP. The current location for the contest is at the Oak Tree Arena, the home of the Somerset Rebels.

Premier League Fours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rye House: Rockets Name 2011 Team". BSPA. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 

External links[edit]