The Board of the Basketball Champions League has taken important decisions in light of the 2017/18 season that will kick off on Tuesday September 19, 2017 with the first round of Qualification.
In order to improve the competitiveness and facilitate the understanding, one of the most important decisions taken is to reduce the number of participating teams (in the Regular Season) from 40 to 32 clubs, with a maximum of 24 clubs with a direct place in the Regular Season and 8 clubs qualified through the Qualification Rounds.
This will allow more competitive games and a clearer competition system with 4 groups of 8 clubs taking part in the Regular Season. The first 4 clubs in each group will then qualify to the Round of 16, with the 5th and 6th club having the opportunity to continue to the FIBA Europe Cup.
New set of regulations have been adopted for the 2017-18 season (available here). This includes notably new rules on eligibility. Each club shall enter on the score-sheet at least 5 Home Grown Players (in case of 12 or 11 players) or at least 4 Home Grown Players (in case of 10 or fewer players). Home Grown Players are players registered with the National Federation of the club in question at least 3 seasons between the age of 12 and 20.
The Qualifications will take place in three rounds (home & away for each round) on September 19 and 21 (round 1), 24 and 26 (round 2), 29 and October s (round 3).
The Regular Season will still be played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will start on Tuesday October 10, 2017. The Regular Season will count 14 Gamedays and end on Wednesday February 7, 2018 (with one additional week off early January as games will resume on January 9, 2018). A two-week break will be observed at the end of November for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, and a one-month break will be taken in February to respect National Cups and World Cup Qualifiers windows.
Once the Regular Season is completed, one single Round of 16 will be played, followed by the Quarter-Finals (both home and away), and the Final Four which is set to happen on the first weekend of May (4-6 May 2018).