Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about the BBL and British basketball as a whole? The most frequently asked questions are answered here, so chances are you can find what your looking for in this section. 

Below is list of questions - from who and what the BBL is to issues of rules and how to become a player. However, if you still can't find the answer to your question please feel free to email us at mail@bbl.org.uk or call us on 0116 2681341 x 112. 

 

WHAT IS THE BBL?

The BBL - British Basketball League - is an independent company owned by its member clubs, which runs the top men's professional league in the UK. Each club has an equal shareholding in BBL and has a representative on the BBL Board of Directors, thus is a part of all decision-making. There is a central BBL office, from which league-wide administration, marketing and media is undertaken, although the clubs are spread across the country.

 

WHO ARE THE BBL MEMBER CLUBS? 

The BBL clubs are spread far and wide throughout the UK, from as far south as Plymouth to as far north as Glasgow. Each BBL club - or franchise as it is known - operates in it's own distinct area and there is only one club per franchise area. This allows each club to maximise it's commercial and media value within their local community. 

The current BBL franchises are as follows: 

Bristol Flyers

Cheshire Phoenix

Durham Wildcats

Glasgow Rocks

Leeds Carnegie

Leicester Riders

London Lions

Manchester Giants

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

Plymouth University Raiders

One Health Sharks Sheffield

Surrey United

Worcester Wolves

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BBL & EBL?

The BBL is the only fully professional league in the UK and runs separately to the EBL - English Basketball League - which is the next tier down. EBL consists of several divisions of both men's and women's basketball, but there are only few full-time professional players. EBL - both men's and women's divisions - come under the umbrella of the national federation England Basketball who also have responsibility for for coaching and officiating development and for general club development.

 

WHY IS THERE NO PROMOTION/RELEGATION FROM BBL?

Firstly, the BBL is based on franchises, similar to the US system in sport. There is no promotion and relegation between the BBL and EBL and EBL clubs cannot join the BBL based on their performances in official competition alone. However, EBL clubs and any other organisations can apply for a franchise from BBL. 

The franchise system is used because of the significant difference in cost/adminstration of running a team in the BBL to running any other team in the UK. The franchise system tries to provide financial security and protect investment into clubs by removing the threat that comes with relegation/competition within the franchise area. 

The sports franchise concept is becoming more understood in the UK and there are those who feel that it could well be the way forward for sports such as football, particularly in the Premiership in the future. 

Meanwhile, the Men's EBL consists of several divisions (EBL Division One being the top level), which works on the principle of having promotion and relegation between the divisions.

 

HOW DO CLUBS JOIN THE BBL? 

By applying to the BBL Franchise Committee (franchises@bbl.org.uk) with a detailed business plan. For any application to be successful, venue details, proof of an acceptable level of financial backing, plus a sound business plan would be required, thus showing that the franchise was likely to be a sustainable enterprise. The business plan must cover a certain period of time, thus demonstrating the long ­term potential of the business.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT BBL COMPETITIONS PLAYED? 

The primary competition is the BBL Championship, in which all BBL teams play each other three times over the course of the season. Two points are awarded for a win, but no points for a defeat and all games must result in an outright winner (ie. five-minute periods of overtime are played if the game is tied until a winner is found). 

At the end of the regular season the top eight teams in the BBL Championship progress to the post-season to play in the BBL Championship Play-offs. Unlike other European leagues and the NBA, the BBL Championship is considered the primary competition and its winner the number one team that season. This is because of the length of the regular season and the number of games played during it, compared with the restricted number of play-off games in BBL. 

There are two knock-out competitions that run alongside the BBL Championship. One is the BBL Trophy, in which the BBL clubs are joined by guest clubs in a straight knockout competition culminating in the BBL Trophy Final. 

There is also the BBL Cup, which is a straight knock-out competition involving just the BBL clubs which culminates in the BBL Cup Final. 

For more information regarding BBL Competitions please visit the Competitions section of the BBL Website

 

HOW CAN I GET TO A GAME? 

For regular season BBL Championship games, as well as the early rounds of the BBL Cup, BBL Trophy and BBL Championship Play-offs, tickets are available from the home club. Details of travelling directions, ticket prices and how to contact the club are available from this website. 

For centrally staged events (ie. major finals), tickets are available from the venues box office. 

For further information and tickets for any club or BBL Final event, please visit the tickets section of this website.

 

WHAT IS BBL PLAYER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?

In the summer of 2011 the BBL Clubs voted to change the player eligibility for BBL Competitions (to take effect in the 2012-13 season) to provide more opportunities to British players.

The new eligibility allows teams to play a maximum of five over-18 non-British players per game, of which a maximum of three can be work permitted. All remaining spots on the team have to be filled by British passport holders.

The criteria replicates a similar model to other European Basketball Leagues, but with greater emphasis on protecting positions for national (British) players, and is a further demonstration of committment by the BBL towards the development of British players.

Other Basketball League's examples (as at May 2011):

GERMANY

Minimum of 4 German players if 10 or 11 players are in the score sheet and 5 if the team registers 12. For 2011-2012 season, the ratio will be 4 players if 10 in score sheet, 5 for 11 and 6 for 12. The rest can be foreigners, regardless of their nationality. There will no distinction between Americans, Europeans, etc

GREECE

Each team can register a maximum of 6 foreign players in the score sheet, with no more than 3 players from outside Europe.

ITALY

3 foreign players, regardless of their nationality, in a 10-man roster, plus 2 from FIBA Europe countries and 5 home grown players, one of which can be naturalized.

SPAIN

In the ACB competition, team can have 11 or 12 licenses. For 11-player rosters:

- Minimum 4 players eligible for the National Team

- 2 players from non-FIBA Europe countries ( non mandatory )

- The rest of players, from FIBA Europe countries

TURKEY

Minimum of 5 Turkish players in the roster. Each club is entitled to sign up to 8 foreign players, but no more than 6 under contract at the same time

 

HOW CAN I GET TO PLAY FOR A BBL CLUB? 

Players are usually recruited by the Head Coach from each team either via external recruitment or via promotion from the club’s development programme. The League does not hold league-wide tryouts so, in the first instance, players are invited to submit their CV/Resume to clubs directly. The contact details for each of the 13 BBL clubs are as follows: 

Bristol Flyers

andreas.kapoulas@sgscol.ac.uk

Cheshire Phoenix

andy.green@cheshirebasketball.co.uk

Durham Wildcats

richard.warburton@durhamwildcats.org.uk 

Glasgow Rocks

info@glasgowrocks.co.uk

Leeds Carnegie

enquiries@leedscarnegiebasketball.co.uk

Leicester Riders

info@leicesterriders.co.uk

London Lions

enquiries@londonlionsbasketball.com

Manchester Giants

stevemansfield@manchestergiants.com 

Newcastle Eagles

office@newcastle-eagles.com

Plymouth University Raiders

info@plymouthraiders.com

One Health Sharks Sheffield

joel.mills@mls.gb.com 

Surrey United

events@londonunited.eu

Worcester Wolves

info@worcesterwolves.org

All non-EU (European Union) players without the right to work in the UK need a work permit and will have to meet the criteria set down by the UK Government. If you do require a work permit to work in the UK and don’t meet the criteria set down to receive a Governing Body Endorsement then unfortunately you won’t be able to play in the BBL – regardless of how good you are. For further information visit http://www.englandbasketball.co.uk/articles/article.aspx?aid=17&pid=100

If you meet the criteria, should a BBL club wish to sign you then the club will handle the entire work permit application process (including Governing Body Endorsement) prior to your arrival in the UK ie you do not need to make any application yourself prior to finding a club.

Reasons for Non EU players not requiring a work permit can include, marriage to a British or EEA citizen, Commonwealth citizenship with British heritage (ie British grandparent) etc. Please establish whether you are entitled to this status prior to submitting your CV.

 

I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY FOR A BBL TEAM BUT WANT TO PLAY AT A LOWER LEVEL. WHERE CAN I FIND DETAILS OF MY NEAREST TEAM?

 

 

All BBL Clubs run lower level teams so contact your local club for more information. Alternatively you can find your local registered club via the following link:

England Basketball: http://www.englandbasketball.co.uk/findAclub/

Scotland Basketball: http://www.basketballscotland.co.uk/find-a-club/