Results

Date R Kodus vs Võõrsil -
01/16 17:30 - [7] Cheshire Phoenix vs Glasgow Rocks [4] 107-87
01/16 17:00 - [2] Manchester Giants vs Plymouth City Patriots [10] 77-84
01/14 19:30 - [10] Plymouth City Patriots vs Surrey Scorchers [9] 82-73
01/14 19:30 - [4] Bristol Flyers vs Leicester Riders [1] 64-92
01/14 19:30 - [3] Sheffield Sharks vs Cheshire Phoenix [8] 56-77
01/02 17:00 - [2] Manchester Giants vs Newcastle Eagles [6] 88-82
01/02 17:00 - Glasgow Rocks vs Cheshire Phoenix PPT.
01/02 16:00 - London Lions vs Bristol Flyers PPT.
01/02 16:00 - [3] Sheffield Sharks vs Leicester Riders [1] 34-57
01/01 14:00 - [9] Surrey Scorchers vs London Lions [7] 78-77
01/01 14:00 - Surrey Scorchers vs Bristol Flyers PPT.
12/30 17:00 - [3] Manchester Giants vs Cheshire Phoenix [8] 80-76

The British Basketball League (BBL) is a men's professional basketball league in Great Britain and represents the highest level of play in the country. The league is contested by 10 teams, with representation from both England and Scotland. There are no clubs however from Wales or Northern Ireland. The BBL runs three additional knockout competitions alongside the BBL Championship; the BBL Cup and the BBL Trophy, and the end-of-season Play-offs.

The BBL sits above the National Basketball League or the Scottish Basketball Championship, which effectively form the second tier of British basketball. There is currently no automatic promotion or relegation between the English and Scottish leagues and the BBL because of the franchise system in use in the BBL, although several clubs have been successful in making the step up from the EBL in recent years.

The 10 member franchises of the BBL jointly own the league, and a chairman is elected by the teams to oversee league operations. The head offices are located in Leicester, where the country's oldest team, the Leicester Riders is also based.

In partnership with Basketball England, the BBL launched a women's league in 2014, branded as the Women's British Basketball League (WBBL).

History

See: List of British Basketball League seasons

Establishment (1987–1992)

The British Basketball League was formed in 1987, with leading clubs from the National Basketball League of England and Scottish National Basketball League. In 1988, Portsmouth F.C. won the inaugural BBL Championship title; the following year saw Kingston win the first of three back-to-back league crowns.

Early growth (1992–2002)

The 1990s also saw a growth in popularity and commercialism within the league. Games were televised and the league picked up sponsors such as Peugeot, Lego, Playboy and Budweiser, while attendances at games also increased. The Manchester Giants opened the 1995–96 season in front of a record 14,251 fans at the Nynex Arena against the London Leopards, a record crowd for a basketball game in Great Britain. It stood until 2006, when the NBA started staging games at the O2 Arena in London.

London clubs dominated the league, with London Towers, Crystal Palace and the Greater London Leopards all sharing success in the mid-1990s. In 1999, a Conference format similar to the NBA was introduced, with clubs split North and South. The two Conference champions met in a Championship series to decide the champions for the next three years.

Tougher times (2002–2012)

A single division format returned in 2002 and five different franchises won the Championship title in the five years after that. The new millennium, however, also saw a series of setbacks for the BBL. The collapse of ITV Digital cost the league financially, with many franchises struggling to recover from the lost revenue that the £21 million contract was providing. Long established franchises such as the Manchester Giants, Essex Leopards, Derby Storm, Thames Valley Tigers and Birmingham Bullets withdrew from the league, though new teams have been formed under the Giants and Leopards names. The membership crisis brought about the addition of new franchises such as Guildford Heat (formed by supporters of the defunct Thames Valley Tigers), and elected teams from the lower-tier English Basketball League, including the Plymouth Raiders. Both teams made a refreshing impact on the old boys, with the Heat qualifying for the Play-offs in their rookie season.

During the same season Newcastle won 30 of their 40 regular season league fixtures to clinch the Championship crown – the previous season saw the Eagles win 31 matches but lose out to Chester Jets in the final week, by just two points. That title was one of four pieces of silverware won during the dubbed "clean-sweep" season of 2005–06, the Eagles marching on to claim the BBL Cup, BBL Trophy and Playoff's – the complete set.

Current setup (2012–present)

The intervening years saw the perennial success of the Newcastle Eagles, the reemergence of the Leicester Riders as a dominant force in the domestic game, and the rise and fall of teams based in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Essex, Durham and Worthing. Long term franchise Milton Keynes relocated to London, to become a 2012 Olympics legacy tenant at the Copper Box Arena, and a new incarnation of the famous Manchester Giants name re-entered the league in the same year.

The 2015 Playoffs Final took place at The O2 Arena, London, following a string of sell-out attendances at Wembley Arena between 2012 and 2014. The event saw a record breaking crowd of 14,700.

The past decade has seen sustained growth across the league, with the biggest advances in facilities. Some clubs have now built their own venues, including Worcester, Newcastle and Leicester. Cheshire, Surrey and Glasgow have moved into much improved facilities, while Plymouth, Sheffield, Manchester and the most recent election from the EBL, the Bristol Flyers, have all announced plans for their own arenas. The 2018–19 season saw, for the first time in 11 years, British participation in European competition when Leicester competed in the Basketball Champions League and FIBA Europe Cup.