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Britball with the Breen’s take a look at what the 2021 Britball league structure could look like as we emerge from the pandemic!

With the easing of lockdown beginning and the faint hope of some football being played this season, the optimism got the better of us. BAFA statements have covered the fact that competition will likely have to be more localised and places like Scotland which is currently running on a different timeline may have to be kept together and that the likelihood of a full season is virtually non-existent and as such there won’t be promotions and relegations in whatever the season may look like. So, with that in mind while we were feeling a bit hopeful, we decided to take a look at how exactly BAFA could restructure the entire British Leagues in order to create a season that reduces the need for travel as much as possible whilst sill keeping as much of a competitive balance as could be achieved.  

Some points of note before we get started, we did this with the view of trying to create as close to as many 4 team conferences as possible to allow 3 home and away games giving teams a 6-game season, making it more plausible. In instances of 5 and 6 team conferences, schedules could be balanced to reduce travel as much as possible.  
 
So, let us take a look at what I think could demonstrate an alignment for games in 2021. 


Scotland 

 

Premier – Edinburgh Wolves 

D1 – Aberdeen Roughnecks, East Kilbride Pirates, Glasgow Tigers, Inverclyde Goliaths 

D2 – Clyde Valley Blackhawks, Dumfries Hunters, Dunfermline kings 

Predicted 

League A

Aberdeen Roughnecks
East Kilbride Pirates 
Edinburgh Wolves 
Glasgow Tigers 

League B 

Clyde Valley Blackhawks
Dumfries Hunters 
Dunfermline Kings 
Inverclyde Goliaths 

 
Justification: As Inverclyde were promoted from D2 in 2019 they would remain with the D2 teams as to create an even split and in turn avoid a newly promoted team facing off against the Premier Division Wolves. Although ideally keeping the premier division as it is would be better, given the unclear timeline difference between Scotland and England it would be more sensible to keep Scottish teams together. 

England and Wales

Premiership North & South 

londonblitz.com

Predicted 

North 

Manchester Titans 
Merseyside Nighthawks
Sandwell Steelers 
Sheffield Giants 
Tamworth Phoenix 

 South 

Bristol Aztecs 
Kent Exiles 
London Blitz 
London Olympians 
London Warriors 

 
Justification: With Edinburgh being placed in a Scottish Division instead of the North, rather than replacing them, the teams remaining don’t have a huge amount of travel between them, therefore allowing them to remain together. This keeps balanced Competition without excessive travel and prevents them facing teams from lower divisions. 

In the South, as much as Bristol were the ideal candidates to drop out in order to reduce travel and keep 5 teams in the South therefore matching the North, Bristol do not have sufficient even competition surrounding them in order to make a sensible division. Therefore, they have remained in and Solent drop out and become part of a South Coast division which I will come to later 

North  

alexdanielphotos.co.uk 

North East 

D1 – Northumberland Vikings 
D2 – Gateshead Senators, Darlington Steam 

West 

Prem – Manchester Titans, Merseyside Nighthawks 
D1 – Lancashire Wolverines, Halton Spartans, Chester Romans 
D2 – Morcambe Bay Storm 

Central

Prem – Sheffield Giants 
D1 – Yorkshire Rams 
D2 – Leeds Bobcats, Knottingley Raiders, Doncaster Mustangs, Scunthorpe Alphas, Humber Warhawks 

Predicted

League A 

Darlington Steam 
Gateshead Senators 
Morecambe Bay Storm 
Northumberland Vikings 

League B 

Chester Romans 
Halton Spartans 
Lancashire Wolverines 
Yorkshire Rams 

League C 

Doncaster Mustangs 
Humber Warhawks 
Knottingley Raiders 
Leeds Bobcats 
Scunthorpe Alphas 

Justification: These splits were pretty tough Morecambe bay have closer competition but would leave them solely in a division with D1 teams. Having Northumberland in an All D2 division isn’t ideal either but is the best fit for travel and competition balance. Putting Yorkshire in another conference to Leeds may seem unusual however it allows a pure D1 division and a pure D2 division as well as having low travel. 

Midlands 

shropshirestar

Premier: Tamworth Phoenix, Sandwell Steelers 
D1: Shropshire Revolution, Nottingham Caesers, Leicester Falcons 
D2: Crewe Railroaders, Staffordshire Surge, Hereford Stampede, Worcester Black Knights, Lincolnshire Bombers, Birmingham Bulls 

Predicted

League A 

Birmingham Bulls 
Leicester Flacons 
Lincolnshire Bombers 
Nottingham Caesars 
Shropshire Revolution 

League B 

Crewe Railroaders 
Hereford Stampede 
Staffordshire Surge 
Worcester Black Knights 

Justification: The Midlands is a bit trickier with a more of an East/West coast situation, however doing so Allows for one division of purely D2 teams with the other having a mixture of both, with the Bombers and Bulls joining up with three D1 teams.  

East Coast

Cambridge News 

Premier: None 
D1: Bury Saints, Cambridgeshire Cats 
D2: Northant Knights, Ouse Valley Eagles, Norwhich Devils 

Predicted

Bury Saints 
Cambridgeshire Cats 
Northant Knights 
Norwich Devils 
Ouse Valley Eagles 

 Justification: The 5 teams are a combination of D1 and D2 teams so would likely go together as one division. 

South East Coast/Essex

east-essex-sabres.co.uk

Premier: None 
D1: Essex Spartans 
D2: Ipswich Cardinals, Colchester Gladiators, East Essex Sabres, East Kent Mavericks, Hastings Conquerors 

Prediction

Colchester Gladiators 
East Essex Sabres 
East Kent Mavericks 
Essex Spartans 
Hastings Conquerors 
Ipswich Cardinals 

 Justification: Essex having just been promoted would fill back in with D2 teams to create an East Coast Essex Division. Although Hastings are nearer the South Coast, moving them in with the teams there would leave them as the only D2 team surrounded by D1 Opposition and a Premier Division opponent. Which quite frankly is unreasonable and not a smart move. As the division features 6 teams, its most likely a team wouldn’t face one of the others. For example, having Hastings and Ipswich avoid each other would drastically reduce travel.

London and Surround

Premiership: Kent Exiles, London Blitz, London Olympians, London Warriors
D1: Hertfordshire Cheetahs, London Hornets, Rushmoor Knights, Wembley Stallions
D2: London Blitz B

Prediction

Hertforshire Cheetahs
London Hornets
Rushmoor Knights
Wembley Stallions
London Blitz B

Justification: Although Blitz B are D2 they would take their place within D1 teams for the season. This will keep a local Division and Blitz B could get a free opportunity to show themselves.

 West Coast and Wales

Southwaleswarriors.co.uk

Premier: Bristol Aztecs
D1: South Wales Warriors, Oxford Saints, Berkshire Renegades
D2: Jurassic Coast Raptors, Cornwall Monarchs, Somerset Wyverns, Bristol Apache, Torbay Trojans, Swindon Storm

Prediction

League A

Cornwall Monarchs
Jurassic Coast Raptors
Somerset Wyverns
South Wales Warriors
Torbay Trojans

League B

Berkshire Renegades
Bristol Apache
Oxford Saints
Swindon Storm

Justification: There isn’t too much to say here. This division will look similar to what it did in 2019, with SWW fitting back in with Familiar Opponents. The only one moved will be the Apache. They will move with the Renegades, Saints and Swindon.

South Coast

portsmouth.co.uk

Premier: Solent Thrashers 
D1: Bournemouth Bobcats, Sussex Thunder, Portsmouth Dreadnaughts 

Prediction

Bournemouth Bobcats 
Portsmouth Dreadnaughts 
Solent Thrashers 
Sussex Thunder 

Justification: Although I’m sure Solent are keen to cut their teeth in the premier division and are Geographically much closer than Bristol, with them just being promoted, it made much more sense to have them in a south coast division with D1 teams and reduce the Premiership by 1 team similar to the North. This would allow for Hastings to go into the Eastern side of things into a much more competition viable division. Although this is a tough ride for Bournemouth having just been promoted, they will have 3 D1 foes they likely would have faced. 


Let us know what you think in the comments. What would you have done differently and what do you think the structures may look like? 

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Breen on 30th March 2021 at 7:10 pm

    A very thoughtful and interesting look at what may happen this season.
    Am sure there will be other ideas thrown into the mixing pot.
    With this blooming coronavirus totally wiping out the season last year am sure most teams just want to play, even if it is a shortened more regional season.

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