As the anticipation continues to build ahead of the return of BWB National League later this year, British Wheelchair Basketball has today announced the structure of the 2021/22 BWB National League.
The 2021/22 season will feature 54 teams across eight divisions when the new campaign gets underway with early October the planned start date, subject to Government and BWB’s Return to Play Guidance.
Ahead of the season, BWB would like to extend its gratitude to clubs and their volunteers who have tirelessly worked throughout the pandemic to ensure clubs are in a position to enter teams which is reflected in the strong number of team entries.
Despite the curtailment of the 2019/20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been movement across the National League structure with BWB taking into account the wishes of clubs and each team’s final positions from the season when creating the structure for the upcoming campaign.
The Premier Division will be made-up of eight teams with Glasgow Rocks and Thames Valley Kings both being promoted to the top-flight having been at the top of Division 1 North and Division 1 South, respectively, before the most recent season was cut short.
As in recent years, Division 1 and Division 2 are both split into North and South Divisions for the 2021/22 season, while Division 3 again features three divisions – North, Central and South.
The second team of the newly-named Mohawks, formerly known as the Tees Valley Titans, will play in Division 1 North following their upward movement from Division 2. The Bears will also play in Division 1 North following their move down from the Premier Division.
High Rollers and Plymouth Fusion, formerly Plymouth Raiders, join Division 1 South having been the top-two teams in Division 2 South. Plymouth Fusion 2 have been moved upwards to Division 2 South as have Swansea Storm and Thames Valley Kings 2 with Blackhawks also joining the division from Division 1.
Wakefield Whirlwinds 2 and Vikings are both rewarded with promotions to Division 2 North following their strong 2019/20 seasons, with Black Country Knights also being added to the division.
BWB is delighted to welcome seven new teams to the National League pyramid including Hereward Heat, Leeds Rhinos and Southport Wheelchair Basketball Club who all join Division 3, along with new teams from Aces, Mohawks and Thames Valley Kings.
Commenting on the return of BWB National League and the strong number of team entries, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Participation Director, Jo Richards said:
“It’s been a really challenging period for everyone over the past 18 months but we’re incredibly proud of how the wheelchair basketball community has come together especially all the hard work and resilience from clubs and their volunteers up-and-down the country.
“Without their hard work, we wouldn’t be in this position today because it’s fantastic to see so many teams entering into what promises to be another fantastic National League season. The fact that there will only be four fewer teams than during the 2019/20 season shows the appetite from players and teams across the UK to return to playing the sport they all love.
“It’s going to be amazing to see everyone back playing and we can’t wait for the 2021/22 National League to get started after such a long time without competition.”
The full 2021/22 structure can be viewed on the National League competition page here.