The BBL plans to tip off its 2020-21 season on October 2.

With most of the eleven teams expected to be allowed limited numbers of spectators by that date, the campaign will open with the opening rounds of the BBL Cup competition with its Final still scheduled for January 2021 in Birmingham.

This season sees a change to the format of the opening rounds with teams being sorted into three groups rather than two, with the teams who finish bottom in each group being eliminated.

The BBL Cup competition format consists of all eleven BBL clubs taking part in initial group stages before moving to a knock-out format.
Group A – made up of five teams
Groups B & C – made up of three teams each
MVP understands the group of five will incorporate those teams, including Glasgow Rocks, who may require a belated start due to venue availability.
Only the teams that finish bottom of each group will be eliminated ahead of the Quarter Final stage where the following will apply:
Group A Winner vs Group B RU
Group B Winner vs Group A 3rd
Group C Winner vs Group A 4th
Group A RU vs Group C RU

League games begin on Friday November 13 with the BBL Trophy to follow. Last season was the first in the BBL’s history to end without a crowned champion when the coronavirus pandemic forced its cancellation in March.

“Planning for the new season has been something we’ve really looked forward to after the disappointment of the early end to last season,” Andy Webb, Chief Operating Officer of BBL, said.

“Seeing the talent that the clubs have been announcing only makes us keener to get going because there’s going to be some incredible games to come.”

Rocks delay

Glasgow Rocks face a lengthy stint of away games to start the new season after being told their Emirates Arena home is out of bounds.

And with a different rules in place for the opening of indoor sport in Scotland, Rocks owner Duncan Smillie has revealed that it could be early November before the league’s only Scottish franchise can open its doors.

“I am concerned about how we start because the Emirates isn’t due to open until mid-October and we are still having discussions over whether we can even access it to begin pre-season practice when the players arrive in five weeks time,” he said.

“We also need to assess the viability. We’ve always said as a league that it’s not viable to play behind closed doors. If we are allowed a one metre social distancing, we could get to around 50 per cent capacity in our smaller venue. We’ve been told it’s not commercially or logistically viable for us to use the 5,000-seater arena at the Emirates but we are hoping we can get enough in by the time of our first game.”

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