The fixtures for the 2021-22 WBBL season have been announced as two teams are added to the league’s eighth season.
Newcomers Gloucester City Queens are joined by Sheffield Hatters, who make their return after a year hiatus, as the number of games in the regular season played by each team increases from 20 to 24.
The season will commence on the weekend of 24-26 September with the group phase of the WBBL Cup with the 13 teams split into four geographical groups. Each group will be played at a central venue hosted by one of the teams in the group, though who exactly is still to be confirmed.
The winner of each group will advance to the semi-finals. Leicester Riders are the defending champions after beating Sevenoaks Suns in last season’s rearranged final.
WBBL Cup groups:
A: Caledonia Pride, Durham Palatinates, Newcastle Eagles
B: Manchester Met Mystics, Nottingham Wildcats, Sheffield Hatters
C: Cardiff Met Archers, Gloucester City Queens, Leicester Riders, Oaklands Wolves
D: Essex Rebels, London Lions, Sevenoaks Suns
One week later, the regular season will get underway on the weekend of 2-3 October with Gloucester set to host Cardiff in their first-ever league game, while Sheffield are scheduled to face Durham to mark their league return.
The regular season is scheduled to run until the end of April with last season’s league and playoff winners set to meet on the final day as Sevenoaks host London.
The two teams – along with league runners-up Leicester – have received byes through to the quarter-finals of the WBBL Trophy with the remaining 10 teams facing each other in the first round, as per last season’s league positions.
WBBL Trophy draw:
Nottingham Wildcats v Gloucester City Queens
Manchester Met Mystics v Sheffield Hatters
Essex Rebels v Caledonia Pride
Newcastle Eagles v Durham Palatinates
Oaklands Wolves v Cardiff Met Archers
Brad has been a writer for Hoopsfix since 2014 and has also had freelance roles at the BBL and with FIBA – working at two Women’s EuroBasket tournaments. Contact: [email protected]