BSPA AGM. Full statement

It is usually at this time of the year that speedway fans from around Great Britain are on tenter hooks waiting for news of radical changes from their sports AGM, but refreshingly this year's outcome has been about stability and the future if nothing else.

It is usually at this time of the year that speedway fans from around Great Britain are on tenter hooks waiting for news of radical changes from their sports AGM, but refreshingly this year's outcome has been about stability and the future if nothing else.

Alex Harkess summed up his first AGM as the new chairman of British Speedway 'It was quite clear from the start that every single club in the country believes that the fundamentals of our sport are absolutely correct and we didn't need to spend our time tinkering with rule changes, instead we concentrated on taking the sport forward in a positive manner and the appointment of a youthful Management Committee reflected exactly that!'

The new management committee includes vice chairman, Matt Ford, who has led Poole to become one of the most successful teams in the Elite League over the past decade. Jonathan Chapman, who has been a key part of the King's Lynn Stars and their amazing growth over the past 5 years, which has included opening the world's first speedway study centre for their local community. Jon cook, who has transformed Lakeside into one of the freshest and well supported teams in the country. And Neil Machin, who is renowned for his solid experience and guidance after making Sheffield one of the most stable clubs in the country.

The 2008 AGM produced a whole new league scoring system which proved to become one of the most successful adoptions ever trialled, it was decided at the 2009 AGM that it will remain in place for the 2010 season and beyond. Matt Ford is pleased his fellow members made that decision 'we spend lots of time debating ideas like this but very few of them actually go any further. Thankfully in 2008 we felt this was worth the risk and in all honesty it has ended up being the most successful change our association has made in a long time, what is even more pleasing is that we have decided to keep it without any temptation of tinkering with it in any way'.


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It was also decided that in order to keep in line with the FIM and other speedway nations the traditional white helmet colour will return in place of the green one, 'I am sure that even though we did this for the right reasons fans will be pleased of the change' said Jon Cook.

The really exciting news is that British Speedway is growing once again with the opening of Leicester speedway confirmed for March 2010, their approval for joining the Premier League was unanimous and this will help boost the profile of Speedway in yet another major city.

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All league formations will continue as in 2009 with the encouraging news that the Elite League and Premier League are sticking to their 3 plans for team building purposes with the Premier League remaining at 42.5 points and the Elite League increasing to 40.95 points, without any further loading on averages during the season (limit will also remain at 40.95 for the whole season).

Jonathan Chapman is looking forward to the challenge ahead 'I hope the new management committee can strike a balance with the promoters, the sponsors and the fans where they feel the sport is stable and in safe hands so that we can actually push on with helping the sport grow. We will do this by developing the youth, reducing rider's costs, helping clubs produce a better product for the public to enjoy and many other things. What people will hopefully understand though, is that this will not just happen overnight but will be a slow progression over the next few years.'

2010 Summary

New Teams

- The acceptance of a new venue and track at Leicester (due to be completed by March 2010)

Elite League

- Membership will remain at 9 teams

- Points limit will increase to 40.95, this will remain in place for the whole season and no loading will apply to averages (as adopted in 2007 as part of the Elite League 3 year plan).

- The league programme will consist of 2 home fixtures and 2 away fixtures with the top 4 teams qualifying for the play offs which will decide the winners. The semi finals will be completed over two legs without any points advantage being given to any team regardless of their final league position. The lowest placed team will face a premier league team for a promotion and relegation race off.

- KOC competition remains the same.

Premier League

- Membership will increase to 15 teams with the addition of Leicester.

- Points limit will remain at 42.50 (as adopted in 2008 as part of the Premier League's 3 year plan).

- The season will commence with the Premier Trophy competition. The 15 teams are divided into 3 groups, the winner of each group will automatically qualify for the semi finals with the highest scoring runner up from the three groups will also qualify for the semi finals

Group 1: Rye House King's Lynn, Newport, Somerset and Leicester.

Group 2: Berwick, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Glasgow and Workington.

Group 3: Redcar, Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Stoke and Birmingham.

- The league programme will consist of 1 home fixture and 1 away fixture. The top team will be crowned league champions. The top 4 teams will qualify for the promotion and relegation quarter finals, the winner of each will face each other in the semi final and the winner will then meet the lowest placed elite league team in the promotion and relegation race off final. Teams finishing in 5th to 12th position in the league will qualify for the Jack Young Shield which will run as a straight knock out competition.

National League

- Membership of the National League will consist of a minimum of 8 teams.

- Competitions and rules to be confirmed at a later date.

Confirmation Of Significant Rule Changes

- The green helmet colour will return to white.

- No team changes will be allowed after 15th September except for riders returning to their team place if returning from an injury.

- The trial of tactical gate positions in the Premier League KOC competition was deemed unsuccessful and therefore removed, teams will now have no tactical options available to them in any way for KOC matches.

Super7even and National Events

- The Elite Riders Championship will replace the ELRC and will feature the top rider from each Elite League team plus 7 invitations which will be open to all Grand Prix riders plus any other rider racing under the FIM.

- Qualification for the British final will strictly be via two semi finals with no seeding, an invitation will be sent to the top 32 British riders based on averages.

- Venues and dates for all Super7even events will be announced on 29th January 2010.

Team GB

- Successful re-appointment of Rob Lyon as national manager (all other applications to be confirmed after full review of national team set up )

Youth Development

- A commitment has been made to investigate the possibilities of opening more training tracks around the country which will operate with smaller sized engines and create a junior league in conjunction.

- Encourage young grass track and motocross riders to try speedway.

Environmental

- Introduction of a new FIM homologated silencer which reduces the noise level from 125 to 115 decibles (subject to approval by SCB). This will bring the UK in line with all other countries racing speedway under the FIM which have also adopted the new silencers.

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