Commission meeting: Premier League, 2012 championships and more

Cycle speedway’s Premier League competition will be split into two divisions next year.

The Cycle Speedway Commission agreed this afternoon to promote a two-tier national league in 2012, using the established speedway titles, the Elite League and the Premier League, the Elite being the first tier league and the Premier the second.

Each league is expected to comprise six clubs. Although the composition of each league has yet to be finalised, it is believed new applicants Birmingham, Hull and Newport will be in the second tier Premier League. Despite East Newport’s withdrawal from the 2012 competition, one additional team will be demoted from the existing Premier League to the new Premier League. It is widely rumoured that Southampton have also expressed an interest in competing in the national league.

Team strengths will now be a major consideration. An objective formula, based on rider averages, will be introduced. Full details are expected to be published by British Cycling shortly.

2012 Championships
In a surprise move, East London won the bid ahead of Leicester and Poole to host the European championship finals at Canning Town recreation ground. The qualifying rounds will be held in East Anglia before the entourage transfers to London for the finals, to be held in conjunction with the 2012 Olympic celebrations.

As widely predicted, Newport will host the 2012 British men’s and women’s individual championship final on August Bank Holiday Monday with the corresponding under-16s and under-10s championships being held at East Newport and the senior qualifying rounds Filton in Bristol. Hull will stage the British team final and Coventry re-enter the national scene by hosting the Veterans Club Championship.

Match rules
In a an effort to improve the sport’s discipline, riders receiving red or yellow cards will be penalised four race points in addition to the usual penalties. It is hoped that this will instill some self-discipline within clubs.

Only two non domiciled riders wil be allowed to compete in team competitions with effect from next season. British championship can only be contested by UK nationals.