All change to Elite League play-offs

IPSWICH'S chances of qualifying for the Elite League end-of-season play-offs have been struck a severe blow by news that only four clubs will now take part.

IPSWICH'S chances of qualifying for the Elite League end-of-season play-offs have been struck a severe blow by news that only four clubs will now take part.

Originally it was agreed that the top six would compete to see who would be champions for 2009.

With a number of teams being accused of manipulating averages to gain an advantage for the second half of the season it is no great surprise that the authorities have acted.

There is no evidence this has taken place however, and the official line is that club bosses were asked to vote on a proposal to reduce fixtures because of concerns over the time it would take to schedule a system with six teams.


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Now the semi-finals will be raced over two legs - the league leaders will have choice of third or fourth placed teams as opponents and will also enjoy a bonus of eight-points.

And the second placed side will have four-points added to their total so the system offers plenty of incentive for clubs to finish as high as possible.

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The semi-finals are due to start on September 21 and, depending on TV schedules, should finish on October 12.

A British Speedway Promoters' Association spokesman said: “We can confirm all Elite League clubs were asked to vote on this issue and the majority were in favour of four teams rather than six.”

Ipswich are currently third from bottom - 10 points behind the team above them and 13 behind Coventry who are currently in fourth place.

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