The FIBA Europe Executive Committee and Competitions Commission met in Munich on Friday 27th May, to discuss several issues concerning the EuroLeague Women and also the dates of the European Championships for Men and Women 2005.
As a result of requests from several national federations around Europe and the obvious growth of the women’s basketball movement, the Competitions Commission examined the possibility of expanding the EuroLeague Women to allow more clubs to participate.
After much deliberation it was agreed that as of the 2004-2005 season the EuroLeague Women will be composed of 21 clubs. Of this number 18 clubs will be decided via the system of ranking of the national federations and the final 3 clubs by wild card. The calendar dates will remain as they are currently and an extra round of play-off games will be introduced to replace the 2 games removed from the Qualification Round.
The 21 clubs would be divided into 3 groups of 7 clubs. The top 5 clubs in each group advance to the play-offs, along with the best-placed 6th -placed team. Therefore 16 clubs qualify to the eighth-final play-offs. A graphic explaining the calendar and system of competition can be found in the last page of this press release.
The aim of this change is to allow more clubs to participate, giving an even more competitive edge to the EuroLeague Women. FIBA Europe wishes to ensure the high quality of the clubs and high standard of competition to help stimulate even more the growth of women’s basketball in Europe.
Furthermore, it was agreed that following the imbalance of the 2 groups in the Qualification Round of the EuroLeague Women during the season 2003-2004, the Offices of FIBA Europe will study the possibility of seeding the clubs for the upcoming Draw for the season 2004-2005 on 3rd July.
European Championships for Men and Women 2005
Following an iniative submitted by the Basketball Federation of Serbia and Montenegro, the Competitions Commission also discussed the feasibility of changing the dates of the European Championship for Men (Eurobasket) 2005 to be held in 4 cities in Serbia and Montenegro.
It was proposed that the Championship would be brought forward by one week, the dates thus becoming 16th – 25th September 2005.
The game dates of the Additional Qualifying Round Games in 2005 will therefore also be changed to 20th, 23rd, 26th and 29th August and 1st and 4th September.
The Additional Tournaments will be held 11th – 13th September.
As a result, the European Championship for Women 2005 will also move and will be played one week earlier, 2nd – 11th September 2005.
The game dates of the Additional Qualifying Round Games will be 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th and 21st August 2005.
The Additional Tournaments will be played 28th – 30th August.
The above proposals were approved by the Executive Committee.
European Championships for Women 2007
Finally, in order to bring the system of competition for the Final Round of the European Championship for Women into line with all other European Championships at all levels, as well as following a proposal from the FIBA Europe Women’s Commission, the Executive Committee decided to increase the number of teams competing in the above-mentioned Final Round to 16.
The system of qualification for the European Championship will therefore have to undergo some changes, however the Offices of FIBA Europe will prepare a full proposal to put before the Board of FIBA Europe at its next meeting in Tallinn, Estonia .