By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Following the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Basketball Champions League Board has approved a change of format for the 2020-21 Regular Season, as it was announced Thursday.
More specifically, based on the information received by the FIBA Medical Advisory Group for COVID-19 (MAG) which reviewed latest scientific data and publications provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to FIBA as well as the opinion of immunology experts, the Basketball Champions League has decided to adapt the format of its pan-European competition considering that the prevalence numbers, and respective restrictions, are unlikely to significantly change in the upcoming months.
In order, therefore, to protect the health and safety of players, coaches and officials, but also to provide a fair competition, and to properly organize game operations, the BCL Regular Season will be played in eight groups of four teams each, instead of four groups of eight.
While keeping the same gameday calendar (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), this change of format will secure weekly hosting of BCL games, reduce international travel of teams and offer them more flexibility without affecting the schedules of national leagues. The change is also aimed at protecting the integrity of the competition and safeguarding the completion of the season.
The eight new groups have been formed according to the current group composition following the Regular Season Draw in July, and divided according to the seedings and pots used during the Draw and established following the BCL Club Ranking.
The composition of the groups are as follows:
Clubs will play six games each in a Round Robin system (three games home, three away), with the two best teams in each group qualifying for the Round of 16, with the exact format of that stage of the competition to be confirmed after further assessment of the ongoing developments regarding the impact of COVID-19 on game organisation.
Twelve gamedays will be played from October to January, allowing two weeks between games for teams from the same group. The first gameday will take place on October 20-21.
The complete updated game schedule will be communicated at a later stage.