English Basketball League

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English Basketball League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2015-16 National Basketball League (England) season
Sport Basketball
Founded 2003
No. of teams 100 senior, over 300 junior
Country England England
Continent European Union FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent champion(s) Essex Leopards
Level on pyramid 2-5
Domestic cup(s) National Cup
Official website englandbasketball.co.uk

The National Basketball League (NBL) is a men's basketball league in England, covering professional, semi-professional, and amateur levels of the game. This is effectively seen as the second tier of men's basketball in the United Kingdom, along with the less celebrated Scottish Men's National League.

The English Basketball League was established in 2003 by England Basketball to replace the former National Basketball League, and currently operates several 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.[1] In time for the 2015-16 season, the English Basketball League was rebranded as the National Basketball League.

The leagues operated by the NBL form the second, third, fourth and fifth levels of men's competition in England, with the highest level consisting of the professional British Basketball League. There is no promotion and relegation between the NBL and the British Basketball League, which operates a franchise system. Despite this, several teams have applied to make the step from NBL/EBL 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 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. 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.[2]


Men's Division 1[edit]

Men's Division 1 team line-up for the 2015–2016 season.[3]

Locations of the 2015–16 Division One teams
Locations of the 2015–16 Division One teams
Team Home Venue Capacity Notes
Bradford Dragons Bradford College 200
Derby Trailblazers Noel-Baker School 500
Essex Leopards Brentwood Centre 1,200 2014/2015 League Champions
Hemel Storm Sportspace 800
Kent Crusaders Medway Park 300 2014/2015 Playoff Champions
Lancashire Spinners Castle Leisure Centre 500 Promoted from Division 2,
2014/2015 Patrons Cup Champions
Leicester Warriors Braunstone Leisure Centre 400
London Lituanica Newvic Colege 300 Promoted from Division 2
Manchester Magic Amaechi Basketball Centre 1,000 2014/2015 National Cup & National Trophy Champions
Reading Rockets Rivermead Leisure Complex 600
Team Northumbria Sport Central 3,000
Tees Valley Mohawks Middlesbrough Sports Village 300
Westminster Warriors Capital City Academy 300
Worthing Thunder Worthing Leisure Centre 600

Men's Division 2[edit]

Men's Division 2 team line-up for the 2015–2016 season.

Team Home Venue Notes
Brixton Topcats Brixton Recreation Centre
Derbyshire Arrows Killamarsh Sports Centre
East London All-Stars UEL Sportsdock Relegated from Division 1
Eastside Eagles London Leyton Sixth Form College
Ipswich Copleston High School
Liverpool Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College Promoted from Division 3 (North)
London Greenhouse Pioneers Academy Sport Westminster
London Westside Kensington Leisure Centre
Loughborough Student Riders Loughborough University
Nottingham Hoods Nottingham Wildcats Arena Promoted from Division 3 (North)
Solent Kestrels Barton Peveril College Promoted from Division 3 (South)
Worcester Wolves II Worcester Arena

Men's Division 3[edit]

Men's Division 3 team line-up for the 2015–2016 season.

North South
Team Home Venue Team Home Venue
Birmingham Mets Birmingham Metropolitan College Barking Abbey Crusaders Barking Abbey Academy
City of Sheffield Saints EIS Sheffield Barking & Dagenham Thunder Barking College
Derby Trailblazers II Noel-Baker School Brentwood Fire Shenfield Sports Centre
Doncaster Danum Eagles Danum Academy Brunel Ducks University of Brunel
Leeds Force Academy Allerton High School London United Harefield Academy
Mansfield Giants Oak Tree Leisure Centre Loughborough Student Riders II Loughborough University
Myerscough College Myerscough College Middlesex LTBC University of Brunel
Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights NULC Academy of Sport Northants Thunder Northampton School for Girls
Sefton Stars Fernhill Road Sports Centre Oxford Brookes University Oxford Brookes University
Birmingham Athletics BVSC Building Plymouth Raiders II City College Plymouth
Team Newcastle University Tyne Metropolitan College Team Solent Suns St Mary's Leisure Centre
Tees Valley Mohawks II Olympia Building, University of Teesside Thames Valley Cavaliers Haybrook College

Men's Development Leagues[edit]

Men's Development League team line-up for the 2015–2016 season.

North East North West South South East South West
Team Team Team Team Team
Derby Trailblazers III Blackburn College Spinners Folkestone Saints Anglia Ruskin University Birmingham Mets II
Gateshead Phoenix Calderdale Explorers Kent Crusaders II Cambridge Cats Bristol Flyers II
Kingston Panthers Carlisle Panthers London United II Dagenham Dragons Cardiff City
Nottingham Hoods II Kendal Warriors Reading Rockets II Essex Blades Cardiff Met Archers
Sheffield Hallam Sharks Liverpool II Southampton University Greenwich Titans City of Birmingham
Sheffield Sabres Manchester Magic II Sussex Bears Kings Lynn Fury Coventry Tornadoes
Sunderland City Predators Preston College Titans Thames Valley Cavaliers II London Thunder Oxford City
Tameside Woking Blackhawk Flyers Northants Taurus Oxford Stealers
University of Chester Southwark Pride Sporting Club Albion
West Herts Warriors Swindon Shock
TCAT Shropshire Warriors

Other club's websites[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Youth League Structure 2015/2016" (PDF). Basketball England. 
  2. ^ "National League Fixtures & Results". Basketball England. 
  3. ^ "National League Structure 2015–2016" (PDF). Basketball England.