St Catharines, Ontario – The Canadian Elite Basketball League announced Thursday that its seven teams will convene at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario starting July 15 to play the CEBL Summer Series, a round robin competition that will culminate in crowning the second-year league’s 2020 champion. The timing of the Summer Series, subject to the status of the province of Ontario’s phased in reopening, will make the CEBL the first professional league in Canada to return to play following the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
The teams from Ottawa, Hamilton, Guelph, Edmonton, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), and Fraser Valley (Abbotsford) will join the hometown Niagara River Lions on July 15 for the opening of each team’s training camp. While the game schedule will be announced at a later date, the 26-game CEBL Summer Series tips off Saturday, July 25. Each club will play the other once, and the team with the worst record will be eliminated and the remaining six will be seeded into a bracket. The third and sixth seeds, and the fourth and fifth seeds, will face each other for the right to advance to the semifinals against the first and second-seeded teams. The CEBL Championship game is scheduled for Sunday, August 9.
All seven teams will be accommodated in St. Catharines, playing games at the Meridian Centre, and practicing at a nearby facility. They will be separated from the general public, and strict screening and COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to under the supervision of medical officials. Extensive health and safety measures will be maintained for the participants, including social distancing and other specialized practices designed to limit interactions amongst participants. The 2020 CEBL season has been on delay since mid-April with its originally scheduled tipoff date of May 7. Each club had been scheduled to play a 20-game schedule leading to a final four CEBL Championship Weekend in Edmonton, August 14-16.