English Basketball League

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English Basketball League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016–17 English Basketball League season
Sport Basketball
Founded 2003
No. of teams 107
Country England England
Continent European Union FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent
Team Northumbria
Level on pyramid 2-5
Domestic cup(s) National Cup
Official website englandbasketball.co.uk

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 over 450 junior clubs taking part in leagues for under-18s, under-16s and under-14s.[1]

From 1972 until 1987 the National Leagues were the only league system in England, but this changed in 1987 when key British clubs at the time formed a breakaway league. Today, the National Leagues constitute the second, third, fourth and fifth levels of men's competition in England, and also make up the lower tiers of competition in the United Kingdom alongside the less celebrated Scottish Basketball Championship. For a period between 2003 and 2015, competitions were restructured and prefixed with the letters EBA, but the league was rebranded once again as the National Basketball League in time for the 2015/2016 season.

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.

Senior Competitions[edit]

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 conferences of around 12 teams, divided into North and South groups. All other teams affiliated with the NBL compete in Division 4, which is divided into regional conferences of between 10-14 clubs.

The Playoffs - The top eight teams in each division compete for the season's final showdown and last piece of 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). The playoff final is conducted at a neutral venue. The 2016/2017 Division 1 playoffs saw the hometown Manchester Magic defeat Loughborough Student Riders 73-53 at the Belle Vue National Basketball Performance Centre.

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 2016/2017 finals were held at the University of Worcester Arena, and saw Team Northumbria top Solent Kestrels 73-56.

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 2016/2017 tournament, taking the final 81-53 against London Lituanica at the University of Hertfordshire Arena.

Patrons Cup - The Patrons' Cup is played for by all men's Division 2 teams on a similar basis to the NBL Trophy. Team Newcastle University claimed the 2016/2017 Cup, beating Kent Crusaders 77-65 at the University of Hertforshire 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 2016/2017 final took place at the University of Hertfordshire Arena and saw Sussex Bears narrowly edge the Birmingham Elite 58-57.[2]


Men's Division 1[edit]

Men's Division 1 team line-up for the 2017/2018 season.[3]

Locations of the 2017/2018 Division One teams
Locations of the 2015–16 Division One teams
Team City Home Venue Capacity Notes
Bradford Dragons Bradford, West Yorkshire Bradford College 200
Derby Trailblazers Derby Noel-Baker School 500
Hemel Storm Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire Sportspace 800
Kent Crusaders Gillingham, Kent Medway Park 300 2016/2017 D2 League Champions
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
Manchester Magic Whalley Range, Manchester Amaechi Basketball Centre 1,000 2016/2017 D1 Playoff & National Trophy Champions
Reading Rockets Reading, Berkshire Rivermead Leisure Complex 600
Team Newcastle University Newcastle-upon-Tyne Tyne Metropolitan College 300 2016/2017 Patrons Cup Champions
Team Northumbria Newcastle-upon-Tyne Sport Central 3,000 2016/2017 D1 League & National Cup Champions
Solent Kestrels Eastleigh, Southampton Fleming Park Sports Centre 700
Worthing Thunder Worthing, Sussex Worthing Leisure Centre 600

Men's Division 2[edit]

Men's Division 2 team line-up for the 2017/2018 season.

Team Home Venue Notes
Derbyshire Arrows Killamarsh Sports Centre
Essex Leopards Brentwood Centre Relegated from Division 1
Ipswich Basketball Club Copleston High School
Liverpool Basketball Club Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College
London Greenhouse Pioneers Academy Sport Westminster
London Westside Kensington Leisure Centre
Middlesex LTBC University of Brunel Promoted from Division 3
Nottingham Hoods Nottingham Wildcats Arena
Sussex Bears Sir Robert Woodard Academy Promoted from Division 3
Team Birmingham Elite Promoted from Division 3
Thames Valley Cavaliers Uxbridge College
Westminster Warriors Capital City Academy Relegated from Division 1

Men's Division 3[edit]

Men's Division 3 team line-up for the 2017/2018 season.

North South
Team Home Venue Team Home Venue
Birmingham Mets Birmingham Metropolitan College Cardiff City (basketball) Cardiff City House of Sport
Coventry Tornadoes Coventry Sports Centre Cardiff Archers Archers Arena, Cardiff
Doncaster Danum Eagles Danum Academy City of London Pride City of London Academy
Loughborough Student Riders II LU Netball Centre Essex Blades University of Essex
Manchester Giants II Trafford Powerleague Arena Greenwich Titans Crown Woods Academy
Myerscough College Spinners Myerscough College Newham Neptunes UEL Sportsdock
Sheffield Hallam Sharks Sheffield Hallam Northants Tauras Northampton School for Girls
Stoke-on-Trent Knights NULC Academy of Sport Oxford Brookes University Oxford Brookes University
Team Sunderland CitySpace Swindon Shock New College
Team Wolverhampton Walsall Campus Sports Centre Solent Kestrels II St Mary's Leisure Centre
University Of Chester Tyne Metropolitan College
Worcester Wolves II Worcester Arena

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Youth League Structure 2017/2018" (PDF). Basketball England. 
  2. ^ "National League Fixtures & Results". Basketball England. 
  3. ^ "National League Structure 2017/2018" (PDF). Basketball England.