Basketball Ireland recently announced an expansion to the men’s national league with four new clubs granted a licence and an overall increase to 24 teams across 2 divisions. It was accompanied by news of some new tweaks to the format including automatic promotion and relegation and the first division splitting into north and south conferences.
However perhaps the most interesting note in the minutes from the MNCC meeting was the line that stated:
it is agreed that a meeting of all National League clubs must be held before Christmas 2016 to actively consider in detail the merits of the Belfast Star proposal to adopt the “Australian” system for season 2017/18
What is this all about? The Australian system? Are Belfast Star proposing that we have a compulsory BBQ and Beer after every National League game? Not quite, although that wouldn’t be such a bad idea, but what is this all about and what would it mean for Irish basketball?
Up until the end of the 201-16 season the Australian league operated under a “Points” system. (It is moving to a salary cap system next season) At the end of each season every player is evaluated and awarded a score out of 10 with the best players in the league scoring a ’10’ and the end of bench reserves getting a ‘1’. Every club has 70 points to “spend” for an active 12 man roster.
The idea was introduced by the NBL with an aim of providing a level playing field for all teams by ensuring a more even distribution of talent and experience around the league. The main features of the system are explained below.
Player Points System
Each NBL player will be allocated a Player Points Ranking (PPR) between 1 and 10 prior to each season based on their performance in the NBL or based on the league they have participated in for the season just concluded. This ranking will be updated each year.
For the purposes of NBL player contracting, a player will retain his PPR as at the commencement of the contract and for the duration of that contract. Subsequent NBL playing contracts between the same player and the same club will use the allocated PPR at the commencement season of the new contract.
All initial PPR’s will be reviewed by the Points Appeal Panel prior to the rankings being released to the players. Players who dispute the PPR assigned to them have the opportunity to have such ranking reviewed by the NBL Points Appeals Panel.
The NBL Commission and NBLPA determined the TTP will be 70 points per club. The TTP calculation for each Club is to include all players on the club’s active roster, up to and including players 11 & 12 if contracted. Registered NBL Development players are exempt from the calculation of the TTP.
All first year Restricted Players (imports) shall be assigned a PPR of 10 for the duration of their initial NBL Contract. For subsequent contracts these players’ PPR will be determined using the PPR principles applied to all other contracted NBL players.
What would this mean for Irish Basketball? We haven’t seen the Belfast Star proposal but assume it will work something like the above system tweaked to suit the Irish game. Would it likely mean teams being allowed to play more than one non European on the court at the same time? Would it be a good thing for the Irish game or how would you like to see it implemented? Let us know in the comments!