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Union of European Leagues of Basketball
Sport Basketball
Founded 1991
CEO Spain Eduardo Portela (1998- )
No. of teams Teams from 14 member leagues
Countries FIBA Europe member associations
Continent European Union FIBA Europe (Europe)
Official website www.ULEB.com

ULEB (acronym of the French Union des Ligues Européennes de Basket-Ball, in English, Union of European Leagues of Basketball) was founded in 1991, with the aim to help in the cooperation and development of European professional club basketball leagues. Its headquarters are located in Barcelona, Spain.


ULEB was founded in June 1991, by the three of the top European national professional basketball leagues of France (LNB), Italy (LEGA), and Spain (ACB), which were then joined in 1996, by HEBA (Greece). In 1999, the BLB (Belgium), BBL (United Kingdom), and LNBA (Switzerland) were added.

The group then expanded with the BBL of Germany, DBL (Netherlands; then known by the Dutch initialized FEB), and PLK (Poland) in 2001. The ABA (Adriatic League) was added in February 2002, while October 2002 brought in the ABL (Austria). Following that, in June 2003, came the membership of the LKL (Lithuania), then the 2004 membership of the NBL (Czech Republic), and in July 2005, the BSL of Israel joined the ULEB. In 2011, the PBL of Russia also became a member.[1]

In 2000, Euroleague Basketball Company decided to break away from FIBA Europe and begin the new Euroleague competition with the Euroleague 2000–01 season. That first season of the Euroleague featured a five-game series final (instead of the traditional one-game final), but that was dropped after one year. FIBA Europe, that same year, also formed its own league, called the SuproLeague, but after just one year it was dissolved, as the Euroleague Basketball league became the accepted new top tournament in Europe. The Korać Cup and Saporta Cup tournaments were also dissolved and joined into a new tournament, originally called the ULEB Cup, and now known as the Eurocup.

Rule changes[edit]

Euroleague Basketball Company also broke away from FIBA Europe, and adopted rules closer to the NBA, with the NBA's jump ball and 24-second rules being the first to be adopted, in 2002 and 2003, respectively. The hope was that the Euroleague would play with rules which would favor players and spectators.

In 2004, Euroleague Basketball adopted more rules changes which made their game more similar to the NBA. It adopted the NBA jump ball rule (no possession arrow, unlike in FIBA Europe rules), as well as NBA-type rules regarding the position of the ball in the final two minutes, following a time out (center line), and block and charge fouls within 1.22 metres (4.0 feet) of the basket. Italy's controlling club basketball body, Lega Basket, also adopted an instant replay rule, which eventually led to the Italian League's championship being decided by instant replay, as a field goal made in the final second of the game which determined if a team had won, or had been forced to a deciding game, had to be reviewed for minutes by officials.

In 2005, Euroleague Basketball decided to work in conjunction with FIBA Europe, with the competition rules being made more uniform in nature. For example, the Euroleague and Eurocup, which are organized by Euroleague Basketball Company, and the FIBA EuroBasket and FIBA EuroChallenge, which are organized by FIBA Europe, would have the same rules. So Euroleague Basketball replaced the NBA-type rules, eliminating the jump ball and block-charge arc. FIBA Europe then later reintroduced the block-charge arc, effective in 2010, for international national team competitions, and in 2012, for national domestic leagues; at the same time, the trapezoidal-shaped lane area, that was historically used by FIBA Europe, was replaced by the rectangular-shaped lane area that is used in the NBA. In addition to this, the 3 point line was moved out from a distance of 6.25 metres (20 feet 6 inches), to a distance of 6.75 metres (22 feet 2 inches).

ULEB member leagues[edit]

Currently, there are 14 ULEB member leagues.[2]

Country(ies) Domestic League Membership Year
Spain Spain
Italy Italy
France France
Greece Greece
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Belgium Belgium
Switzerland Switzerland
Germany Germany
Poland Poland
Netherlands Netherlands
Lithuania Lithuania
Czech Republic Czech Republic
Israel Israel
Russia Russia

ULEB Presidents[edit]

The ULEB has had only two Presidents since its inception:

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]