|FIBA Europe head of Competitions Richard Stokes introduced the format changes for the EuroLeague Women season 2014-15|
In the General Assembly of EuroLeague Women clubs, which was held in Munich, Germany on Thursday, 4 July, the clubs in attendance and representatives of FIBA Europe reviewed the last season and gave an outlook on the next two seasons.
The 2012-13 season was considered a success with 69% of all games over the season being televised and the Final Eight in Ekaterinburg proving another showcase event for women's basketball.
The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) was introduced by FIBA Governance & Legal Affairs Senior Manager Benjamin Cohen and Representative of the BAT Secretariat Andreas Zagklis.
Cohen and Zagklis gave an overview of how the BAT is organised and stressed the importance of how contracts are set-up for potential conflicts that are taken to the BAT.
A good discussion evolved around how the league can be improved and especially how the Final Eight can be organised even more attractively in the upcoming season with a number of clubs making remarks and suggestions.
The clubs were also informed of the recent decision of the FIBA Europe Competition Commission endorsed by the FIBA Europe Board about the competition system for 2014-15.
In order to guarantee a high level of competition and stabilise the number of teams playing in the competition, it was decided to reduce the number of participants to 16 starting with the 2014-15 season.
The limit of teams participating from one country will remain unchanged at three, while a ranking will be established to decide the participants.
The regular season will see two groups of eight playing for qualification to the play-offs, which will be played in a best-of-five modus.
The play-off series will be played in a 2-2-1 format, meaning that the first two games will be hosted by the better placed team in the ranking, before the series moves to the lower placed team's venue.
With the number of teams decreasing, the peak of the season will change, from the current Final Eight to a Final Four.
FIBA Europe head of Competitions Richard Stokes commented:
"We are very happy with how the league has developed in the last years, but we are also concerned about the frequent changes of format and number of teams participating.
"With a smaller league that includes the best teams on the continent, we believe the standard of the competition can be held up and the league will gain in attractiveness towards teams, fans and potential sponsors."