Following the success of its inaugural season, NBL1 is set to expand with the establishment of North and South conferences in 2020.
After a landmark agreement with Basketball Queensland, NBL1 North will replace the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) and there will be 13 clubs in the men’s and women’s league.
Participating clubs will be Cairns Marlins and Dolphins, Townsville Heat and Flames, Rockhampton Rockets and Cyclones, Mackay Meteors and Meteorettes, Southern District Spartans, Sunshine Coast Phoenix, University of Sunshine Coast Rip, Brisbane Capitals, Logan Thunder, South West Metro Pirates, Gold Coast Rollers, Ipswich Force and Toowoomba Mountaineers.
Basketball Victoria and the Hungry Jack’s NBL launched the 18 team men’s and women’s NBL1 in 2019 and that conference will be called NBL1 South for the forthcoming season.
Participating clubs will be Albury-Wodonga Bandits, Ballarat Miners and Rush, Bendigo Braves, Dandenong Rangers, Diamond Valley Eagles, Eltham Wildcats, Frankston Blues, Geelong Supercats, Hobart Chargers, Kilsyth Cobras, Knox Raiders, North West Thunder and Launceston Tornadoes, Melbourne Tigers, Mount Gambier Pioneers, Nunawading Spectres, Ringwood Hawks, Sandringham Sabres and Waverley Falcons.
NBL Chief Operating Officer Andy Crook said: “We are excited to announce the establishment of NBL1 North and NBL1 South conferences.
“This is a genuine partnership between the NBL, Basketball Queensland and Basketball Victoria and we look forward to the great rivalries that’s set to develop between the conferences.
“We are also in active discussions with Basketball South Australia, Basketball Western Australia and Basketball New South Wales about introducing the NBL1 concept in those states.”
NBL1 South will tip off on Saturday April 18 while NBL1 North will begin a week later on Friday April 24.
NBL1 South and NBL1 North will hold conference finals in August, before an NBL1 finals series will be played on the first weekend of September with conference champions from NBL1 South and NBL1 North at the State Basketball Centre in Victoria. Further details of the NBL1 finals series will be announced soon.
The NBL1 North logo will have a maroon colour while the NBL1 South logo will be navy blue, creating a connection between the conferences and their main state.
Basketball Queensland Chief Executive and Secretary Graham Burns said: “We can’t wait for the inaugural NBL1 North season and look forward to the growth the league will have under the NBL’s banner.
“Basketball Victoria and the NBL did an incredible job with NBL1 in 2019 and we are thrilled to be involved and continue the positive momentum.”
Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said: “It’s exciting to see the next phase of NBL1’s expansion begin this year with NBL1 becoming NBL1 South.
“From where Basketball Victoria and the NBL started last year, it’s brilliant to see the model expand to other states.”