English Basketball League
|Current season, competition or edition:
2016–17 English Basketball League season
|No. of teams||94|
|Continent||FIBA Europe (Europe)|
|Level on pyramid||2-5|
|Domestic cup(s)||National Cup|
The English Basketball League are an organisation established in 2003 by England Basketball to replace the former administration, and currently operates professional, semi-professional, and amateur levels of the game. Senior levels include the men's leagues in a four-tiered pyramid structure, as well as the English Women's Basketball League. The senior leagues are supported by a junior structure for both male and female players, with leagues for under-18s, under-16s and under-14s.
From 2003 competitions were restructured and prefixed with the letters EBA but the league tables remained under the same name, that of the National League. This is effectively the second tier of men's basketball in the United Kingdom, along with the less celebrated Scottish Men's National League. From 1972 until 1987 it was the first tier and only league system in England but this changed in 1987 when key British clubs at the time formed a breakaway league.
The National Leagues include the second, third, fourth and fifth levels of men's competition in England. There is no promotion and relegation between the EBL National League and the British Basketball League (BBL), which operates a franchise system. Despite this, several teams have applied to make the step from EBL National League to the BBL in recent years, looking for greater competition and more exposure.
In time for the 2015-16 season, the English Basketball League was rebranded once again as the National Basketball League.
National Basketball League - The men's competition is headed by a 14-team Division 1, followed by a 12-team Division 2, both of which are open to clubs from across England. Below this, Division 3 is operated as two regional 12-team conferences, divided into North and South groups. All other teams affiliated with the NBL compete in the National Basketball Development League, which is divided based on the number of clubs applying for membership each year.
The Playoffs - The top eight teams in each division compete for the season's final showdown and silverware. The top four teams have home advantage against the lower placed sides in the quarter-final (1st v 8th, 2nd v 7th, 3rd v 6th & 4th v 5th). In Division 1, the semi-finals and final are held at a neutral venue in a Final Fours weekend. The lower divisions have only the final at a neutral venue.
National Cup - Open to all NBL teams and played on a straight knockout format at club venues with the final being held at a neutral venue. From 1972 until 2003 all teams competed in this competition including the first tier BBL teams. The 2014/2015 finals were staged at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, and saw Manchester Magic take the trophy 76-58 against the Reading Rockets.
National Trophy - Also known as the NBL Trophy, this is played for by all men's Division 1 teams. The teams play a round-robin competition followed by knock-out rounds. The Manchester Magic won the 2014/2015 tournament, taking the final 88-48 in against Leicester Warriors at Leeds Beckett University Arena.
Patrons Cup - The Patrons' Cup is played for by all men's Division 2 teams on a similar basis to the NBL Trophy. Lancashire Spinners took the 2014/2015 Cup, beating London Lituanica 118-86 at Leeds Beckett University Arena.
National Shield - Open to all men's teams in NBL Divisions 3 & 4 and run on a straight knock-out format with the final held at a neutral venue. The 2014/2015 final took place at Leeds Beckett University Arena and saw Team Newcastle University top Liverpool 68-59.
National Founders Cup - A round-robin competition organised on a national basis specifically for non-NBL clubs, i.e. amateur clubs who have not entered the national leagues. The 2014/2015 final took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, and saw Kent Crusaders III claim the title 80-64 against the Oxford Brookes Devils.
Men's Division 1
Men's Division 1 team line-up for the 2016–2017 season.
|Bradford Dragons||Bradford, West Yorkshire||Bradford College||200|
|Derby Trailblazers||Derby||Noel-Baker School||500|
|Essex Leopards||Brentwood, Essex||Brentwood Centre||1,200|
|Hemel Storm||Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire||Sportspace||800|
|Lancashire Spinners||Bury, Greater Manchester||Castle Leisure Centre||500|
|Leicester Warriors||Leicester||Braunstone Leisure Centre||400|
|London Lituanica||Newham, London||NewVIc College||300|
|Loughborough Student Riders||Loughborough, Leicestershire||LU Netball Centre||600||2015/2016 Division 2 Runners Up|
|Manchester Magic||Whalley Range, Manchester||Amaechi Basketball Centre||1,000||2015/16 League Champions|
|Reading Rockets||Reading, Berkshire||Rivermead Leisure Complex||600|
|Team Northumbria||Newcastle-upon-Tyne||Sport Central||3,000|
|Solent Kestrels||Eastleigh, Southampton||Fleming Park Sports Centre||700||2015/16 Division 2 Champions|
|Westminster Warriors||Brent, London||Capital City Academy||300|
|Worthing Thunder||Worthing, Sussex||Worthing Leisure Centre||600|
Men's Division 2
Men's Division 2 team line-up for the 2016–2017 season.
|Derbyshire Arrows||Killamarsh Sports Centre|
|Doncaster Danum Eagles||The Pods, Scunthorpe||Promoted from Division 3 North|
|Ipswich Basketball Club||Copleston High School|
|Kent Crusaders||Medway Park||Relegated from Division 1|
|Liverpool Basketball Club||Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College||2015/16 Division 2 Playoff Champions|
|London Greenhouse Pioneers||Academy Sport Westminster|
|London Westside||Kensington Leisure Centre|
|Newcastle University Knights||Sport Central||Promoted from Division 3 North|
|Newham Neptunes||UEL Sportsdock|
|Nottingham Hoods||Nottingham Wildcats Arena|
|Tees Valley Mohawks||Middlesbrough Sports Village||Relegated from Division 1|
|Thames Valley Cavaliers||Uxbridge College||Promoted from Division 3 South|