English National Cup (basketball)

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The English National Cup is an annual basketball knock-out competition held between professional, semi-professional and amateur teams from the various divisions of the National Basketball League. For most of the competition's history, the draw has featured the elite of English basketball, but teams from the British Basketball League currently do not compete in the National Cup, as they compete in their own separate competition, the BBL Cup.

The final is usually played midway through the season, at a neutral venue. The winners of the tournament are awarded the George Williams Trophy, which is named for the man who donated the original cup.

History[edit]

The competition was originally launched as the National Championship Cup in 1936, as the first attempt to develop a regular national basketball competition in England. The National Cup was initially structured as an end-of-season event to allow regional champions to compete against their peers from across England and Wales and was organized by the Amateur Basket Ball Association of England and Wales (ABBA), a forerunner of the current Basketball England organisation. During World War II, the competition was put on hiatus; the last pre-war winners, Birmingham Athletic Institute, retained the trophy for the duration of the hostilities.[1]

Following the introduction of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1972, the cup began a gradual decline in its influence on the English game as alternative national competitions became more established. The introduction of the NBL's own end-of-season playoffs in 1979 resulted in the competition being restructured into a season-long knockout tournament similar to football's FA Cup, with the competition renamed the National Cup to avoid confusion with the league championship.[2] This structure continued through the introduction of the independent, franchise-based British Basketball League in 1987, though the cup was eventually truncated to a 16-team event for 1998 onwards, with the clubs holding a BBL franchise being joined by the top teams from the previous year's NBL Division 1 standings.

In 2003, the governance and competition structure of basketball in England underwent a period of reinvention, which included rebranding the NBL as the English Basketball League and introducing new rules governing the use of import players across all Basketball England competitions. These changes led to conflict with the British Basketball League, which withdrew the support of all top-flight clubs and started their own breakaway competition.[3] The withdrawal of the top-flight clubs led to the National Cup returning to a more open structure, with teams able to enter from all divisions of the NBL. This format largely remains to this day, with small variations in organisation during the early rounds.

Format[edit]

The current competition structure is a knockout tournament with pairings drawn completely at random – there are no seeds, with the draw for all the rounds up to and including the quarter-final taking place in May.

When there are an uneven number of clubs in the draw, some pre-selected teams will receive byes into the next round. In some seasons the number of entries has required a preliminary round.

Past Winners[edit]

[4] [5]

Season Winners Runners-Up Venue Result
1935/1936 Hoylake YMCA London Polytechnic Birmingham 32 – 21
1936/1937 Hoylake YMCA Latter Day Saints Liverpool 23 – 17
1937/1938 Catford Saints Rochdale Greys Wembley Arena 61 – 47
1938/1939 Catford Saints Rochdale Greys London Arena 53 – 41
1939/1940 Birmingham Athletic Institute Central YMCA London Arena 35 – 30
1940–1946 No competition
1946/1947 Carpathians Birmingham Dolobran Birmingham 48 – 25
1947/1948 Latter Day Saints Latvian Society Barking 39 – 30
1948/1949 Latter Day Saints Birmingham Dolobran Leicester 44 – 35
1949/1950 Latter Day Saints USAF Burtonwood Nottingham 43 – 32
1950/1951 Birmingham Dolobran London Polytechnic Nottingham 34 – 33
1951/1952 London Polytechnic Birmingham Dolobran Wembley Arena 40 – 29
1952/1953 London Polytechnic Birmingham Dolobran Manchester 55 – 46
1953/1954 London Polytechnic Nottingham YMCA Birmingham 98 – 53
1954/1955 London Polytechnic Birmingham Dolobran London Arena 58 – 54
1955/1956 No competition
1956/1957 Central YMCA London Polytechnic London Arena 63 – 51
1957/1958 Central YMCA East Ham London Arena 48 – 40
1958/1959 Aspley OB Birmingham Dolobran Leicester 58 – 39
1959/1960 Central YMCA London Polytechnic Birmingham 95 – 62
1960/1961 London University Central YMCA South Ruislip 68 – 59
1961/1962 Central YMCA RAE Eagles South Ruislip 87 – 47
1962/1963 Central YMCA London University Royal Albert Hall 70 – 69
1963/1964 Central YMCA London University Royal Albert Hall 78 – 56
1964/1965 Aldershot Warriors Oxford University Crystal Palace 79 – 63
1965/1966 Oxford University Aldershot Warriors Crystal Palace 91 – 70
1966/1967 Central YMCA Vauxhall Motors Crystal Palace 64 – 62
1967/1968 Oxford University Aldershot Warriors Crystal Palace 61 – 59
1968/1969 Central YMCA Aldershot Warriors Crystal Palace 70 – 62
1969/1970 Liverpool Police Oxford University Crystal Palace 73 – 67
1970/1971 Manchester University Sutton Crystal Palace 88 – 81
1971/1972 Avenue Cambridge Crystal Palace 78 – 66
1972/1973 London Latvian SK Sutton Crystal Palace 70 – 69
1973/1974 Sutton & Crystal Palace Embassy All Stars Crystal Palace 120 – 100
1974/1975 Embassy All Stars Sutton & Crystal Palace Wembley Arena 82 – 81
1975/1976 Crystal Palace Embassy All Stars Wembley Arena 108 – 88
1976/1977 Crystal Palace Embassy All Stars Wembley Arena 91 – 90
1977/1978 Crystal Palace Team Fiat Coventry Wembley Arena 89 – 87
1978/1979 Doncaster Panthers Crystal Palace Sheffield Arena 73 – 71
1979/1980 Crystal Palace Doncaster Panthers Sheffield Arena 97 – 67
1980/1981 Crystal Palace Doncaster Panthers Coventry 91 – 74
1981/1982 Solent Stars Doncaster Panthers Leicester 127 – 91
1982/1983 Solent Stars Birmingham Bullets Leicester 98 – 97
1983/1984 Solent Stars Leicester Riders Royal Albert Hall 86 – 67
1984/1985 Kingston Kings Manchester United Royal Albert Hall 103 – 98
1985/1986 Kingston Kings Solent Stars Royal Albert Hall 113 – 82
1986/1987 Kingston Kings Portsmouth Royal Albert Hall 95 – 87
1987/1988 Kingston Kings Portsmouth Royal Albert Hall 90 – 84
1988/1989 Bracknell Tigers Manchester Eagles London Arena 87 – 75
1989/1990 Kingston Kings Sunderland Saints London Arena 103 – 78
1990/1991 Sunderland Saints Leicester Riders London Arena 88 – 81
1991/1992 Kingston Kings Thames Valley Tigers Sheffield Arena 90 – 71
1992/1993 Guildford Kings Worthing Bears Doncaster 82 – 72
1993/1994 Worthing Bears Thames Valley Tigers Sheffield Arena 92 – 83
1994/1995 Sheffield Sharks Thames Valley Tigers Sheffield Arena 89 – 66
1995/1996 London Towers Sheffield Sharks Sheffield Arena 70 – 58
1996/1997 London Leopards Sheffield Sharks Sheffield Arena 87 – 79
1997/1998 Thames Valley Tigers Leicester Riders Sheffield Arena 82 – 78
1998/1999 Sheffield Sharks London Leopards Sheffield Arena 67 – 65
1999/2000 Sheffield Sharks Manchester Giants Sheffield Arena 89 – 80
2000/2001 Leicester Riders London Leopards Sheffield Arena 84 – 80
2001/2002 Chester Jets Birmingham Bullets Sheffield Arena 112–105
2002/2003 Brighton Bears Chester Jets National Indoor Arena, Birmingham 89 – 79
2003/2004 Plymouth Raiders Teesside Mohawks English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 89 – 82
2004/2005 Reading Rockets City of Sheffield Arrows National Indoor Arena, Birmingham 76 – 75
2005/2006 Essex & Herts Leopards Reading Rockets National Indoor Arena, Birmingham 79 – 75
2006/2007 Manchester Magic Worthing Thunder National Indoor Arena, Birmingham 85 – 80
2007/2008 Manchester Magic Worthing Thunder Moorways Centre, Derby 104 – 89
2008/2009 Reading Rockets Manchester Magic English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 74 – 68
2009/2010 Bristol Academy Flyers Manchester Magic English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 63 – 61 (OT)
2010/2011 Brixton TopCats Bristol Academy Flyers Ponds Forge, Sheffield 77 – 63
2011/2012 London Leopards Bristol Academy Flyers Ponds Forge, Sheffield 64 – 63
2012/2013 Leeds Carnegie Bristol Academy Flyers Ponds Forge, Sheffield 66 – 64
2013/2014 Reading Rockets Newham Neptunes Worcester Arena, Worcester 93 – 72
2014/2015 Manchester Magic Reading Rockets English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 76 – 58
2015/2016 Manchester Magic Worthing Thunder English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 97 – 84
2016/2017 Team Northumbria Solent Kestrels Worcester Arena, Worcester 73 – 56
2017/2018 Hemel Storm Manchester Magic UEL SportsDock 94 – 77
2018/2019 Loughborough Riders Solent Kestrels University of Essex Arena, Colchester 82 – 63

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of the Game". Exeter District Basketball. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Men's Competition History". pawprint75.co.uk. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  3. ^ "James slams National Cup wreckers". getreading.co.uk. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Men's National Competition Winners". England Basketball. Archived from the original on June 18, 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Basketball England Statistics". Basketball England. Retrieved 9 February 2019.