After its Board Meeting held on 22 April, the Nigeria Basketball Federation released its activity calendar for 2024 and announced that the 2024 season of the Premier Basketball League will tip off in August 2024. 

In line with this, the Federation sent out the Conditions for Participation to all the 16 league clubs to prepare them for the season and to share the proposed structure, format and details of the 2024 basketball season. 

The prerequisites stated in the letter include legal documents that confirm club owners, bank account information, logo and colours of uniform etc. We will be on the look out for the websites of all of the 16 clubs since it is listed as one of the prerequisites. 

The league will be played in a three-phase format that we are all accustomed to - Regular season, Conference Playoffs and the Final Four. However, there are elements of this format that might deprive fans and clubs of two keys elements - excitement and fairness.

According to the NBBF, the Final Four featuring the top two teams from each conference will will be played on a league basis where each team plays against the other. The team that finishes at the top of the Final Four standings is declared the league winner. This means there will not be a semi-final or a league final game. Such an anticlimax and an unexciting way to end a professional league!!

An alternative approach will be to a have semi-finals between the four teams and a league finals. Even if we choose to have a league format to deliver more games for the Final Four teams, the top two teams in the Final Four standing should then play the league finals.

There has to be a championship game!!!

Also, according to the NBBF, the bottom four teams of each conference will play each other to determine which team will be relegated to Division 1. What this means is that a team can lose all of the 14 games in the regular season and still escape relegation while a team can finish 5th in the conference winning up to 7 games in regular season and still be relegated. 

There really is no fairness in this!!!

It is obvious that the Federation is trying to extend the league to increase the total number of games. But in doing so, teams must not be robbed of fairness, and fans must not be denied league excitement. 

The 2024 season is expected to hold from August - October. 

We can`t wait. 


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