By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
The related announcement by FIBA is as follows:
A few weeks away from the first Final Four, pinnacle event of this inaugural season of the Basketball Champions League, the preparations for next season are going full swing.
The Board of the Basketball Champions League has taken important decisions in light of the 2017/18 season that will kick off on Tuesday 19 September 2017 with the first round of Qualification.
In order to improve the competitiveness and facilitate the understanding, one of the most important decisions taken is to reduce the number of participating teams (in the Regular Season) from 40 to 32 clubs, with a maximum of 24 clubs with a direct place in the Regular Season and 8 clubs qualified through the Qualification Rounds.
This will allow more competitive games and a clearer competition system with 4 groups of 8 clubs taking part in the Regular Season. The first 4 clubs in each group will then qualify to the Round of 16, with the 5th and 6th club having the opportunity to continue to the FIBA Europe Cup.
New set of regulations have been adopted for the 2017-18 season (available here). This includes notably new rules on eligibility. Each club shall enter on the score-sheet at least 5 Home Grown Players (in case of 12 or 11 players) or at least 4 Home Grown Players (in case of 10 or fewer players). Home Grown Players are players registered with the National Federation of the club in question at least 3 seasons between the age of 12 and 20.
The Qualifications will take place in three rounds (home & away for each round) on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 September (round 1), Sunday 24 and Tuesday 26 September (round 2), Friday 29 September and Monday 2 October (round 3).
The Regular Season will still be played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will start on Tuesday 10 October 2017. The Regular Season will count 14 Gamedays and end on Wednesday 7 February 2018 (with one additional week off early January as games will resume on 9 January 2018). A two-week break will be observed at the end of November for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, and a one-month break will be taken in February to respect National Cups and World Cup Qualifiers windows.
Once the Regular Season is completed, one single Round of 16 will be played, followed by the Quarter-Finals (both home and away), and the Final Four which is set to happen on the first weekend of May (4-6 May 2018).
Improved financial benefits for the clubs
Finally, the Basketball Champions League has taken the decision to double the prize-money for the end-winner of the competition (from €500,000 to €1 million). In addition, the Basketball Champions League will continue to offer high-level TV production and will take over both the administration burden and the financial costs of officiating for each and every game.