The British Basketball League (BBL) announced today that the remainder of the current 2019/20 season will be cancelled following the continued impact of coronavirus.
The move came after the member clubs unanimously agreed that there was no viable option to allow for the season to be completed in a safe and meaningful manner after the season was originally postponed on 17 March.
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE BBL
“The British Basketball League and its member clubs have been working hard over the recent weeks to identify the best and safest options to allow for the return to playing.
It is not without sadness that all clubs have unanimously agreed that the remainder of the 2019/20 season be cancelled and that when able to do so, competition should recommence with the new 2020/21 season.
The decision to cancel the remainder of the 2019/20 season was not taken lightly, with all available options to resume and complete the season in a safe and meaningful manner investigated. We have been working alongside Basketball England and Basketball Scotland as well as following advice from FIBA and the Government to explore all available options.
BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said, “Obviously this is not the way anyone wanted to see the season end and we worked hard to try to find an alternative solution. The 2019/20 season was one of the most exciting and competitive we’ve seen and shaping up to a very exciting finish, and we look forward to building on that as we move into the new 2020/21 season.”
“But we looked at every option, including playing behind closed doors or restarting the season in the summer, in order that we could get to a League and Playoff winners, but with the continued uncertainty, we just ran out of time and options. The clubs were united that now was the right time to bring the current season to a close.”
Following the cancellation of the season, and based on multiple teams mathematically capable of winning, the independent directors of the BBL Management Board have agreed that there will be no winner of the championship title.
We understand that this has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone in our community and we thank you all for your patience and understanding as we have worked through this challenging time.
As we move forward and look to the 2020/21 season, the vision is that the Cup and Trophy competition formats remain as they were in 2019/20 with the Championship returning to a format where teams play each other three times over the course of the season.
At present, we’re working towards starting in the autumn as we would be normally but we will only set our launch date when we have information from the Government that it is safe to do so.
Playing to full arenas would be ideal but there is currently no certainty on when that will be, and we are exploring all options in close consultation with our Clubs. The atmosphere at games across the League is always electric and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible. The safety of players, coaches, club staff and fans is paramount and we will be adhering to all guidelines to allow you all to return safely. We do understand that these plans can change and so we’re doing appropriate contingency planning while retaining flexibility, so that we can act quickly and safely when we need to.”