The Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) is delighted to be making a number of changes for 2016-17, which are expected to add even more excitement and momentum to the impressive evolution of the top flight of the women’s game in the UK.
With two successful seasons now in the books, the third will see an extended 33-week season and one that will involve newcomers Oaklands Wolves and Basketball Scotland.
Tipping off at the start of October, the season will open with the fourth edition of the Betty Codona Classic.
There will also be a significant buzz around the launch of a whole new WBBL Cup competition.
This will see the last two teams standing in the competition make a trip to the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham next January, to compete as part of a super BBL and WBBL Cup double-bill.
The new WBBL Cup will be a straight knockout competition, with the lowest placed WBBL teams from last season in Cardiff Met Archers and Manchester Mystics playing in Round 1 along with rookies Oaklands Wolves and Basketball Scotland.
The changes mean that there will be a second mouth-watering BBL and WBBL Finals double-bill, with the conclusion of the WBBL Trophy taking place alongside the BBL Trophy Final at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow next March.
This season’s WBBL Trophy will see all 10 WBBL clubs enter in a geographically split, group format. Five teams will compete in each pool, playing one game against each rival either home or away. The top two from Group A and B will progress directly to the Semi-Finals in a crossover A1 v B2 and B1 v A2 setup.
The joint Finals theme will then continue at The 02 Arena in London next May, when for the second time in a row, the WBBL season will reach a climax at the same time as the BBL, with a Play-Off Finals double bill in the capital.
The 2016 edition of the Molten Finals attracted 13,000 spectators to the venue and was watched by more than 170,000 people online via the BBC Sport website and BBC red button.