European professional club basketball system

Professional basketball clubs in Europe can compete in a number of different competitions, including national leagues, regional (multi-national) leagues, and continental competitions. It is therefore possible for clubs from some countries to take part in multiple levels of competition in the same season. Clubs usually qualify for European competitions through performance in their national or regional leagues, with exception of wild cards.

Continental competitionsEdit

Since the FIBA–EuroLeague dispute, there are currently four different competitions which are branded as Europe-wide, two controlled by Euroleague Basketball, and two by FIBA Europe. Clubs which compete in these competitions also play in their national and/or regional leagues. Clubs usually qualify for these competitions based on their performance in the national or regional leagues in the previous season.

The EuroLeague is the Euroleague Basketball's premier competition, and each year involves clubs from 10 countries.

The EuroCup is the Euroleague Basketball's secondary level competition, and currently made up of 24 teams from around Europe. Clubs from over 30 countries have taken part. The two finalists of the EuroCup qualify to the EuroLeague next season.

The Champions League, which began in 2016, is the FIBA Europe's premier competition. Initially, FIBA had intended to replace the EuroLeague, but this was rejected by the clubs involved. The Champions League involves 32 teams. To date, clubs from over 20 countries have taken part.

The Europe Cup is the FIBA's secondary level competition. 32 teams compete, and the teams which did not enter in the Champions League regular season have the option to drop down into the regular season of the Europe Cup. As of 2019, clubs from over 30 national federations have taken part.

The names of the various European and regional club competitions have frequently changed over time.[1]

List of competitionsEdit


Title holdersEdit


Title holdersEdit

Regional leaguesEdit

In addition to national leagues in individual countries, there are leagues which include clubs from several countries.

The ABA League, commonly called the Adriatic League, began in 2001, and consists of clubs from the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). At different times, the league has also included clubs from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Israel. Clubs generally also compete in their own national leagues in the same season, after the conclusion of the ABA League season. The winner of the league qualifies for the next season's EuroLeague.

The VTB United League is made up of mostly Russian clubs, as well as a smaller number of clubs from nearby countries - currently Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Poland. It serves as the top division of the Russian national league system. One club from the league qualifies for the next season's EuroLeague, in addition to CSKA Moscow, which holds a EuroLeague license.

Other multi-national leagues in Europe have included the Baltic Basketball League (2004-2018), the Central European Basketball League (2008–2010), and the Balkan International Basketball League (began in 2008).

National leaguesEdit

Each country generally has its own league system, with various divisions which involve promotion and relegation, as well as playoffs following the regular season.

The Spanish Liga ACB is generally considered to be the highest quality national league in Europe, and contributes at least four clubs to the EuroLeague each season. Other leagues among the strongest include Russia's VTB United League, Turkey's BSL, the Greek Basket League, Italy's LBA, and the LNB Pro A in France.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "European Basketball Main Page - eurobasket". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  2. ^ "World's best basketball leagues outside of the NBA". 7 December 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.

External linksEdit