Basketball Ireland this morning confirmed that the entrance fee for clubs participating in the Women’s Division 1 League has been halved.
Officials also revealed the competition will have a Conference format for the new season.
The Division 1 campaign will start in tandem with the SuperLeague season on the weekend of October 17th and 18th.
LYIT Donegal, who will be competing at Women’s National League level for the first time, are in the five-team Division 1 North Conference, alongside Belfast Phoenix Rockets, Swords Thunder, Griffith College Templeogue and Ulster University.
The six-team Division 1 South Conference has Limerick Celtics, NUIG Mystics, Portlaoise Panthers, Tipperary Knights, UL Huskies and St. Paul’s Killarney, who are returning to the Women’s National League for the first time since 2012.
Each side will play their Conference opponents on a home and away basis, with one match against each side from the opposing Conference. It means that the North Conference will have a 15-game regular season, while the South Conference will play one more. The top three teams in the North and South Conference’s will advance to the play-offs, with each Conference winner automatically into the semi-finals. The second-placed finisher in the North Conference will play the third-placed finisher in the South Conference and vice versa, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals.
Chair of the Women’s National League Committee (WNLC), Breda Dick, said: “We had a meeting with Division One clubs and there was universal backing for the Conference system. The WNLC are conscious that clubs are dealing with the challenges that Covid-19 poses and the Conference system will lead to reduced travel costs for clubs. We have also halved the entrance fee for participating sides in both the Super League and Division One.” Participation fees for the 2020/21 season will now be €250 per club.
Last Thursday it was announced that the Women’s Super League would expand to 12 teams. The North Conference features three Dublin teams - Super League champions DCU Mercy, Pyrobel Killester, Trinity Meteors – along with IT Carlow, Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics and Galway side Maree. The South Conference has Cork trio Ambassador UCC Glanmire, Fr. Mathews and Singleton Supervalu Brunell – along with Kerry’s St. Mary’s Castleisland, Kilkenny’s Marble City Hawks and Waterford Wildcats.