Speedway Elite League


Speedway Elite League

Infobox individual sports league
logo =
pixels =
caption =
sport =Speedway
founded =1997
fame =
motto =
competitors =9
country =United Kingdom
champion =Coventry Bees
folded =
website = [http://www.british-speedway.co.uk/ BSPA Website]
The Elite League is the top division of Speedway league competition in the United Kingdom and is goverened by the Speedway Control Board (SCB), in conjunction with the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA). It is sponsored by Sky Sports.cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = New speedway deal
work =
publisher = Sky Sports
date = 10 August 2007
url = http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12269_2652418,00.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-01
] The league consists of nine teams who race against each other home and away twice between March and the end of October. Each team has a designated race day on which they stage their home fixtures and they commonly have home and away fixtures scheduled in the same week.

Brief history

The British League was formed in 1965 as the top division of speedway and matches are held over a series of races, with 2 riders from each team taking part in each race. In 1995, the top tier became known as the Premier League for two years, which was an amalgamation of the British League and the British League Division Two, before the Elite League became the top tier in 1997. The Championship was decided on a straight league table basis until 2001. A Play-off system was introduced in 2002, with the top four in the table taking part in a knockout competition to decide the champions.

League Format

Teams are awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw and from 2008 three points for an away win. Each team races every other team in the league twice at home and twice away. The first of these home and away fixtures are called the 'A' fixtures, the second are the 'B' fixtures. Placings are determined by points accumulated over all matches. Where two or more teams are tied on league points, the team with the greater excess of race points scored over race points conceded is placed higher. The top four teams qualify for the Championship play-offs. The semi-finals are single matches with the top two league positions having home advantage (1st vs 3rd and 2nd vs 4th). Winners from the semi finals then meet in a two-legged Grand Final to decide the Elite League Championship winner.

From 2008 there will also be promotion and relegation between the Elite League and Premier League for the first time since 1991.cite web
title = Elite League line-up
publisher = Sky Sports
date = 1 December 2007
url = http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12268_2935949,00.html
accessdate = 2007-12-01
] The two teams that finish bottom of the league will face each other in a play-off over two legs, with the loser facing the Premier League play-off winner to decide promotion and relegation places.

Team building

At the start of each season, teams are built up to maximum points limit. The combined Calculated Match Average (CMA) of the seven riders declared in the team must not be higher than an agreed figure set at the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) Annual General Meeting.

2008 Teams

*Belle Vue Aces
*Coventry Bees
*Eastbourne Eagles
*Ipswich Witches
*Lakeside Hammers
*Peterborough Panthers
*Poole Pirates
*Swindon Robins
*Wolverhampton Wolves

The Elite League was reduced to nine teams for 2008 after the mid season withdrawal of the Oxford Cheetahs in 2007 and with the decision by the Reading Racers to drop down to the Premier League.

Previous Champions

References

External links

* [http://www.british-speedway.co.uk/ Official BSPA (British Speedway Promoters Association) Homepage]


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