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The Elite League is the top division of Speedway league competition in the United Kingdommarker and is governed by the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB), in conjunction with the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA). It is sponsored by Sky Sports. The league consists of nine teams who race against each other home and away twice between March and the end of October. Each team has a designated race day on which they normally stage their home fixtures and they commonly have home and away fixtures scheduled in the same week.

Brief history

The British League was formed in 1965 as the top division of speedway and matches are held over a series of races, with 2 riders from each team taking part in each race. In 1995, the top tier became known as the Speedway Premier League for two years, which was an amalgamation of the British League and the British League Division Two, before the Elite League became the top tier in 1997. The Championship was decided on a straight league table basis until 2001. A Play-off system was introduced in 2002, with the top four in the table taking part in a knockout competition to decide the champions.

League format

Teams are awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw and from 2008 three points for an away win. Each team races every other team in the league twice at home and twice away. The first of these home and away fixtures are called the 'A' fixtures, the second are the 'B' fixtures. Placings are determined by points accumulated over all matches. Where two or more teams are tied on league points, the team with the greater excess of race points scored over race points conceded is placed higher. The top four teams qualify for the Championship play-offs. The semi-finals are single matches with the top two league positions having home advantage (1st vs 3rd and 2nd vs 4th). Winners from the semi finals then meet in a two-legged Grand Final to decide the Elite League Championship winner.

From 2008 there will also be promotion and relegation between the Elite League and Premier League for the first time since 1991. The two teams that finish bottom of the league will face each other in a play-off over two legs, with the loser facing the Premier League play-off winner to decide promotion and relegation places.

Team building

At the start of each season, teams are built up to maximum points limit. The combined Calculated Match Average (CMA) of the seven riders declared in the team must not be higher than an agreed figure set at the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) Annual General Meeting.

2009 teams



Champions

Season Champions Second Third
Championship known as the Premier League
1995 Eastbourne Eagles Bradford Dukes Cradley Heath Heathens
1996 Wolverhampton Wolves Peterborough Panthers Eastbourne Eagles
Championship now known as the Elite League
1997 Bradford Dukes Eastbourne Eagles Swindon Robins
1998 Ipswich Witches Belle Vue Aces Coventry Bees
1999 Peterborough Panthers Poole Pirates King's Lynn Stars
2000 Eastbourne Eagles King's Lynn Stars Ipswich Witches
2001 Oxford Cheetahs Poole Pirates Coventry Bees
2002 Wolverhampton Wolves Eastbourne Eagles Coventry Bees / Poole Pirates
2003 Poole Pirates Coventry Bees Peterborough Panthers / Oxford Cheetahs
2004 Poole Pirates Wolverhampton Wolves Ipswich Witches / Eastbourne Eagles
2005 Coventry Bees Belle Vue Aces Peterborough Panthers / Eastbourne Eagles
2006 Peterborough Panthers Reading Racers Swindon Robins / Coventry Bees
2007 Coventry Bees Swindon Robins Poole Pirates / Peterborough Panthers
2008 Poole Pirates Lakeside Hammers Swindon Robins / Ipswich Witches
2009 Wolverhampton Wolves Swindon Robins Lakeside Hammers / Coventry Bees
2010 TBA TBA TBA / TBA


References

External links




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