BNXT League enters super complicated cross-border phase

The national phase of the first season in the Dutch-Belgian BNXT League is over. It will now enter the cross-border phase that starts on Friday, March 4, and runs until Friday, April 29. The top 5 from each country will meet in the Elite Gold group. The other clubs find themselves in Elite Silver.

The national phase produced the following groups in the Netherlands:

The distribution of the Belgian clubs in Elite Gold and Elite Silver is as follows:

So how is the ranking determined in this new phase? Well, that’s a long story. It is probably the most complicated and fan-hostile among professional basketball competitions globally. Hold on, here we go:

CLASSIFICATION

The points obtained in the national phase are halved to determine the initial standings of the cross-border phase.

Since the Dutch clubs have played 20 games in the national phase compared to only 18 for the Belgian clubs, the points of the Dutch clubs are first converted to 18 games played and then halved (#points/20*18).

A distinguishing criterion is added to determine the ranking, customary for competitions in which the points are halved before the start of a second phase, namely the final ranking after the national phase. This means, therefore, that in case of a tie, the following criteria are used: 

  • points at the end of the national phase (after correction for NL clubs)
  • result in mutual games
  • goal difference in mutual games
  • points scored in mutual matches
  • total goal difference across all games
  • total points scored across all games

If an upper criterion is not distinctive, the underlying criterion is used.

To make a correct comparison between NL and B clubs, the correction (#/20*18) is also applied to the Dutch clubs on the following criteria:

  • total number of points scored
  • total points scored against
  • total goal difference over all games

FORMAT

Each club will play ten games in Elite Gold and Elite Silver. In Elite Gold, these are cross-border matchups only.

Due to the uneven number of clubs in Elite Silver, a number of Dutch clubs still have to play each other to reach ten games played. With ten game days, there is always one NL club free. Six clubs have one’ bye’, four clubs have two’ byes.’ To make sure all clubs play ten games, the schedule below is completed: 

  • 4 Dutch clubs play 8 games against Belgian clubs and 2 against a Dutch team.
  • 2 Dutch clubs play 9 games against Belgian clubs and 1 against a Dutch team.
  • the 5 Belgian clubs play 4 Dutch clubs away and at home. Against 2 other Dutch clubs they only play away or at home.

The calendar is based on an algorithm that assigns a weight to the clubs based on their ranking after the national phase and will be published on Monday, February 21.

STAKES

In Elite Gold, a place in the national playoffs is at stake. The two highest-ranked clubs from each country qualify directly for the semi-finals of these national playoffs. The three other clubs qualify for the quarterfinals. 

In Elite Silver, the final ticket for the national playoffs is at stake. The highest-ranked club from each country qualifies for the quarterfinals. 

The other clubs compete for their place in the cross-border playoffs. Only for the lowest-ranked club in the Elite Silver, the season ends after the cross-border phase.

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