Best of three Grand Final for Wattle Valley WNBL Championship

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The first WNBL Review Working Party (RWP) has met to discuss a number of recommendations as per the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) report into the Optimal Competition Model for the game.

Of the report’s 53 recommendations, a number were referred to the RWP allowing for further discussion.

The report, and the road map it has provided, remains central to Basketball Australia’s plans to allow the Wattle Valley WNBL Championship to be able to thrive and truly deliver on its promise as one of the best competitions within the sport worldwide.

Among the immediate changes to come into effect for the 2015/16 season, the winner of the Wattle Valley WNBL Championship will be decided in a best of three series, changing from a one-off game. Basketball Australia’s General Manager of WNBL & Competitions Paul Maley said that an extended Grand Final Series would have a number of benefits for the league.

“A best of three series adds excitement to what is an amazing league, and the culmination of the season deserves the added hype and legitimacy of a three game series,” he said. “The support from member teams on this addition was unanimous.

At the same time, the RWP was able to reject the recommendation to move the competition to winter, not limited to the fact that such a shift would clash with both the SEABL and WNBA. The length of the regular season will also remain unchanged.

“Although the working party accepted some of the rationale behind the recommendation for a move to winter, each member had sought feedback from their respective stakeholders and nobody felt that enough weight had been given to the factors against a change in season,” explained Maley. “We were also unanimous in agreeing that the current position within the Australian summer calendar has a number of significant advantages.

“As for the recommendation to limit the number of regular season games, the report also provided compelling evidence from around the world as to the ideal number of games,” he continued. “Together with the implications for club revenue as the league grows, this provided a clear direction for the working party.”

This first meeting of the RWP was deemed a success, with a second due next month.