Elite League remains unchanged for 2009

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches will find themselves in an unchanged Elite League in 2009, although changes to the play-off system and a new league points-scoring system are significant changes.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches will find themselves in an unchanged Elite League in 2009, although changes to the play-off system and a new league points-scoring system are significant changes.

The British Speedway Promoters' Association returned from their conference in Spain with a bullish approach as the sport enters its 80th anniversary season.

They are sticking to their three-year plan and clearly feel in buoyant mood with costs seemingly under control and a Sky television deal still very much in operation.


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The fact many top riders won't be competing in the Elite League this season doesn't appear to be of a big concern for British promoters who have changed the name of the Conference League to the National League and disposed of the 15-metre tactical ride rule in favour of a second tactical ride rule should a club fall 12 points or more behind.

There are set to be changes to the play-off system, with home and away ties likely to be on the cards from the outset.

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In 2008 the aggregate bonus point was dropped in favour of rewarding teams with three league points instead of two for winning an away match.

The idea wasn't hugely successful and as from 2009 a new league scoring system will be in place that will reward a team for even getting within six points of the home team.

So a home loss will result in no points, a home draw one point, a home win between one and six points, two points, a home win by seven or more, three points.

Away from home teams that lose by seven points or more will gain nothing, by six points or less, one point, an away draw will be rewarded with two points, while three points will be given to away sides who win between one and six points, while an away win by seven or more will get four points.

2009 ELITE LEAGUE TEAMS

Belle Vue, Coventry, Eastbourne, Ipswich, Lakeside, Peterborough, Poole, Swindon and Wolverhampton.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES FOR 2009

New league points-scoring system.

Formation of new third tier of speedway which will be known as the National League.

39.90 points limit for Elite League and 42.50 for Premier League.

Tactical gate rule for Knock-Out competitions in all leagues - a tactical ride from the tapes.

Disposal of 15-metre Tactical Replacement rule. One Tactical Ride remains for a team trailing by 10 points or more and a second has now been added which can be used if a team is trailing by 12 points or more.

Elite League teams may utilise one team place to be shared by any two riders contracted to a Premier League team with an average of 8 points or less.

A team's highest-averaged rider must always ride at No.1 in the team, while riders' averaged from second to fifth can be placed in any order in the remaining positions of the team. The two lowest averaged riders will remain at numbers 6 and 7.

A home team must declare their team formation to the visiting team first.

The Premier Trophy will be split into a North and South group with seven teams in each.

Promotion and Relegation race-off will remain.

Premier League's play-off system will remain the same while the Elite League have adopted a new play-off system (details to follow).

New National Senior and Junior team managers to be announced in January.

Super7even to continue for a third year, events and venues to be confirmed in January.

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