As a French newspaper reported two weeks ago and as we related here on BallinEurope.com, the Euroleague will see a dramatic change in their qualification process.
According to today’s press release from the Euroleague, there will be an important number of changes from the upcoming season. I am quoting:
There will be two TV timeouts per half during Euroleague games, as well as two extra minutes added to halftime, which will now be 17 minutes long, for the purpose of advertising.
The use of video instant replay will be expanded to full-season use. The replay is only applicable in cases of doubt with no time left on the game clock.
Pending a final FIBA World approval, a rule limiting offensive fouls under the basket by using a semicircle, no-charging zone.
Besides these minor changes, there will be one way more important change from 2009-10 season on. I am quoting again.
The Assembly also approved a plan to restructure the license system that governs participation in the Euroleague, allowing for up to 16 indefinite licenses, up to 7 which will belong to national leagues and one awarded to the new Eurocup competition.
So the 24 places of the Euroleague will be fixed for 16 teams. Of course now, the question of which 16 teams will get these fixed spots in the main European competition remains. The three types of qualification licenses will be called License A, B and C. Here are the details:
License A features long-term licenses with no fixed-year limits for a maximum of 16 clubs. The criteria for such licenses will be based on results in Euroleague Basketball competitions, television revenue and arena attendance.
Only teams that have played at least four Euroleague Basketball seasons since 2000 will be eligible for those licenses when they are first applied in 2009.
A maximum of three teams per country would hold such licenses.
There will be a possibility for Euroleague Basketball to grant two licenses as wild cards.
Licenses will be lost when a team fails to participate in its domestic league’s first division or when it finishes last in a three-season ranking of its results in the Euroleague. The three-season ranking will first come into effect before the 2012-13 season, but each year thereafter, one team will lose its License A and a new team will take its place.
This means that Euroleague will be composed of 14 teams that are the real top teams of Europe plus two wild cards for teams like London, Berlin or whomever. ASVEL Villeurbanne has already announced that France will most likely get only one License B and no License A. The only opportunity to get a License A would be to get a wildcard spot, for which ASVEL is a candidate.
License B is another long-term license granted to a minimum of seven national leagues based on a ranking of that country’s results in Euroleague Basketball competitions and an assessment of the market’s potential for economic revenues. Licenses may be lost when a country finishes last in a three-season ranking of its results in the Euroleague.
This is very vague, as defining the ranking of the seven countries is not based only on sportive results. If the Euroleague wants to put the Swedish champion in the Euroleague, they will simply say that Sweden is at the top of this ranking. Clarification as to how this ranking will be established will probably follow within a certain time.
License C is a single license granted to the second competition organized by ULEB each season.
In fact, this is the EuroCup winner, who gets a one-year license to play in the Euroleague.