English National Cup (basketball)

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The English National Cup is an annual basketball knock-out competition held between professional, semi-professional and amateur teams from the various divisions of the English Basketball League. For most of the competition's history, the draw has featured the elite of English basketball, but teams from the British Basketball League currently do not compete in the National Cup, as they compete in their own separate competition, the BBL Cup.

The final is usually played midway through the season, at a neutral venue. The winners of the tournament are awarded the George Williams Trophy, which is named for the man who donated the original cup.

History[edit]

The competition was originally launched as the National Championship Cup in 1936,[1] as the first attempt to develop a regular national basketball competition in England. The cup was initially organized by the Amateur Basket Ball Association of England and Wales (ABBA), a forerunner of the current England Basketball organization. During World War II, the competition was put on hiatus, with the last pre-war winners, Birmingham Athletic Institute, retaining the trophy for the duration of the hostilities.

Since the introduction of the National Basketball League in 1972, the cup has gradually seen its influence on the English game wane, and the competition was renamed the National Cup in 1979 to avoid confusion with the league championship. A further blow to the competition was to follow in 2003, when the league was re-branded as the English Basketball League and new rules governing the use of import players were introduced across all England Basketball competitions. These changes led to conflict with the independent British Basketball League, which withdrew the support of all top-flight clubs and started their own breakaway competition.[2]

Format[edit]

The competition is a knockout tournament with pairings drawn completely at random – there are no seeds, with the draw for all the rounds up to and including the quarter-final taking place in May. When there are an uneven number of clubs in the draw, some pre-selected teams will receive byes into the next round, but in recent years the number of entries has exceeded 64, necessitating a preliminary round.

Past Winners[edit]

[3] [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Men's Competition History". pawprint75.co.uk. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "James slams National Cup wreckers". getreading.co.uk. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Men's National Competition Winners". England Basketball. Archived from the original on June 18, 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "England Basketball League Statistics". England Basketball. Retrieved 15 June 2014.