The South East Australian Basketball League is pleased to release the 2012 Championship fixture.

With a new women’s team, changes to the teams within conferences, and the women’s competition being broken into South and East conferences, the SEABL fixture has taken several drafts and considerable time to put together.

The 2012 season opens on Friday, March 16th, with a double header in Hobart between the Chargers and Sandringham, but the major highlight of the opening round is the women’s Championship rematch between Knox and Dandenong at Knox.

The season concludes 20 rounds later on Sunday, August 12th with an afternoon double header between Knox and Nunawading at Knox. The men’s Championship rematch between Bendigo and Nunawading takes place in round 9 at Bendigo. All men’s teams will play 28 games (14 home and 14 away) while the women play 26 games (13 home and 13 away). This gives all teams an extra home game this season.

With the incoming Canberra women’s team putting the number of teams up to 14, the league decided to break the women’s teams into two conferences. However, if the women’s conferences had been a direct reflection of the men’s conferences from 2011, the resulting women’s conferences would have seen a South conference with six of the bottom seven sides from this year and an East conference with five of the top six teams.

The league subsequently reshuffled the conferences in order to provide a more even breakdown of the top and bottom placed teams from 2011 in each conference in both the men and women’s competition. The league was also eager to have the men and women’s teams from the same club in the same conference. This avoids confusion and allows clubs to try and achieve dual conference championships by winning their conference in the men and women. The new system also achieves perfect parity, with all teams playing each other twice, once home and once away.

The new conferences take the following shape:
East: Bendigo, Brisbane, Canberra, Dandenong, Frankston, Geelong and Sandringham.
South: Albury/Wodonga, Ballarat, Hobart, Kilsyth, Knox, Mt Gambier, NW Tasmania (Launceston
for the women), Nunawading.

Both men and women’s competitions will now have identical finals structures: Nine finals across two conferences with the two conference winners playing off for the SEABL Championship. The Championship decider is scheduled for September 8th at a venue yet to be determined.

The women’s fixture will always mimic the men’s draw, except when a men’s team travels to NW Tasmania, the women will be in Launceston. Also, when a men’s team travels to Mt Gambier, the women’s team from that club will have a bye or will not be playing at the same time. When Mt Gambier travels to play, the men play a standalone fixture.

Other points of significance in the fixture include:

A snapshot of fixture highlights for each of the teams in the men’s draw:

Albury/Wodonga: First game vs Mt Gambier at home. Play eight of last eleven games on the road.

Ballarat: First game at home vs Albury/Wodonga. Four games on the road over rounds 11- 13. The rivalry between Ballarat and Bendigo (The Advertiser-Courier Cup) will take place in round 4 (@ Ballarat) and round 12 (@ Bendigo). The Miners also take on rivals Geelong for the K-Rock/Power FM Cup in round 15 (@ Ballarat) and 17 (@ Geelong).

Bendigo: First game away vs Frankston. Take on Knox in a replay of the East Conference final in round 10 (@ Knox), with the return leg in round 18 (@ Bendigo).

Brisbane: Due to stadium unavailability, the Spartans open with three straight games on the road (Canberra, Hobart, NW Tasmania).

Canberra: Start with two straight at home (Brisbane & Knox), followed by four of five on the road, and finish with three straight at home (Ballarat, Kilsyth, Albury/Wodonga).

Dandenong: First game is away vs Knox, followed by four straight at home (Nunawading, NW Tasmania, Canberra, Knox). In fact, the Rangers have seven of their opening nine games at home. Dandenong then play seven of eight away from rounds 8-12.

Frankston: First game at home vs Bendigo. Have four straight at home from rounds 15-18 (Albury/Wodonga, Mt Gambier, Canberra, Knox). The Blues take on Bayside rivals Sandringham in round 2 (@ Sandringham) and again in round 9 (@ Frankston).

Geelong: Open the season with a replay of the South Conference Final against
Nunawading at home. The Supercats meet the Spectres again in round 9 (@ Nunawading). Geelong plays four straight on the road twice. From round 4-6, and from round 9-11. 

Hobart: First game at home vs Sandringham. Play back-to-back road doubles across rounds 6 and 7 (Bendigo, Frankston followed by Ballarat, Sandringham). The Chargers take on Tasmanian rival NW Tasmania in round 10 (@NW Tasmania) and again in round 18 (@ Hobart). Kilsyth: Opening game at home vs Mt Gambier. Take on archrival Knox for the Cystic Fibrosis Cup in round 3 (@ Knox) and in the Battle for the Ashes in round 17 (@ Kilsyth). 

Knox: First game at home vs Dandenong. Play four straight at home from rounds 9-12 (Canberra, Bendigo, Brisbane, Hobart). The Raiders also host their mid-season spectacular against Brisbane in round 11. 

Mt Gambier: Opening game on the road vs Albury/Wodonga. In fact, the Pioneers play six of opening nine games on road, but then have four straight at home from rounds 11-14 (Brisbane, Hobart, Ballarat, Dandenong). The Pioneers play for the Presidents Cup against Geelong twice: once in round 3 at Mt Gambier and in round 6 at Geelong.

NW Tasmania: Opening game at home vs Sandringham. Play back-to-back road doubles across rounds 6 and 7 (Brisbane, Canberra, Geelong, Nunawading). The Thunder also plays six of seven away between rounds 15-18, including a road triple in round 15. 

Nunawading: First game is the South conference final replay against Geelong in Geelong. Championship rematch against Bendigo takes place in round 9 (@Bendigo) and again in round 14 (@ Nunawading). The Spectres also have four straight at home from rounds 4-7 (Frankston, Albury/Wodonga, Mt Gambier, NW Tasmania).

Sandringham: Open the season with the Tasmanian road double. Play six of first seven games on the road. Of those six road games, three are against 2011 playoff teams (Geelong, Kilsyth, Knox), plus trips to Mt Gambier, Hobart and NW Tasmania. However, 10 of the Sabres last 15 games are at home.

A snapshot of highlights in the women’s draw:

The women’s fixture will always mimic the men’s draw, except where the men travel to NWT, the women will be in Launceston.

Canberra, the league’s newest team, start with a game at home in round 1 against Brisbane on the 17th of March. 

The Championship final replay between Knox and Dandenong will take place in round 1 (@ Knox), and again in round 4 (@ Dandenong).

Defending champions Dandenong have four in a row at home from rounds 2-5
(Launceston, Canberra, Knox, Bendigo), but also play seven straight on the road from rounds 8-12 (Ballarat, Hobart, Launceston, Nunawading, Frankston, Kilsyth, Canberra). 

Launceston play back-to-back road doubles across rounds 6-7 (Brisbane, Canberra, Geelong, Nunawading). The Tornadoes also play five of six away between rounds 15-18. Opening game is against Sandringham at home.

PLEASE NOTE: Game times and dates may vary due to unforeseen circumstances and changes to stadium availability.