DC have spoken with BAFA Director of Competitions, Russ Hewitt, to seek confirmation on the promotion and demotion situation between BAFANL Division Two and Division One.
With the Division Two Finals fast approaching there was a lot of confusion as to whether all four finalists had already earned promotion into Division One, or would require a victory in their respective regional championship to confirm a place.
Certainly two of the four programmes heading into this weekend’s finals believed their semi-finals victories had locked down promotion – despite lacking any official statement from the League/NGB to this effect.
Earlier in the season BAFA shared that promotion would be limited to regional champions – one team from the NFC2, one from SFC2 – and others at the discretion of the league. The 2014/15 league restructure had given many teams the impression of much greater mobility between tiers, and so it was possible many players heading to this weekend’s games may have believed themselves to be playing Division One ballin’ next year, only to have this snatched away from them at the last minute.
HOWEVER, DC is happy to share that Director Hewitt has confirmed all four programmes’ teams headed to Leeds this weekend have indeed locked down promotion ahead of stepping out on to the Gridiron on Sunday.
Director Hewitt noted all SFC2 and NFC2 finalists will be promoted into Division One for #Britball17, with two Division One programmes heading to associate status (Peterborough Saxons and Clyde Valley Blackhawks) and the possibility of two demotions (we assume Hertfordshire Cheetahs, and potentially the Gateshead Senators also following suit), the overall structure to be looked at and confirmed over the next month following discussions with programmes.
Certainly Director Hewitt confirmed that the intention is for the three six team conferences structure to remain in place for Britball17.
Ostensibly, this would leave the most likely three conference structure looking something like:
- Doncaster Mustangs (from MFC1)
- Manchester Titans
- Newcastle Vikings (from NFC2)
- Nottingham Caesars
- West Coast Trojans
- Yorkshire Rams
- Birmingham Bulls
- Coventry Jets (from Prem North)
- Leicester Falcons (from NFC2)
- Oxford Saints (from SFC2)
- Ouse Valley Eagles
- Sandwell Steelers
- Cambridgeshire Cats (from SFC2)
- Colchester Gladiators*
- Kent Exiles
- London Olympians (from Prem South)
- Solent Thrashers
- Sussex Thunder
*The assumption is that Colchester Gladiators remain in Division One based upon the Gateshead Senators’ two victories being awarded walkovers due to the withdrawal of Clyde Valley.
::Please note: This proposed structure is not official and just DC’s best guess at what the middle tier may look like next year::