The Ligue Féminine de BasketBall is the only women’s professional basketball league in France. This season fourteen teams will compete for the title as Champions of France.
The season is split into two parts: a regular season followed by the play-offs. Regular season: All teams play each other on a home and away basis. The only exception is the first round of matches which is played on neutral territory as part of the LFB Open: Basket and the City.
The Play-offs: The teams that finish in the top 4 positions at the end of the regular season qualify for the semi-final of the French Championship. The semi-final and final are played as a best-of-three-format with each team playing at home.If a decider is required then this match will be played at the venue of the team who finished higher during the regular season.If any match is tied at the end of regulation time then overtime will be played.The winner of the play-off series will be crowned as French Champion.
For the teams that finish between places 5 and 12 they will play in a new competition called the challenge round where the 5th seeded plays the 12th, the 6th the 11th and so on and then the winners of each match will play each other. All the matches are played over two legs on an aggregate score basis, meaning that it is possible for the game to be tied at the end of the first leg. The winner of the challenge round will automatically qualify for Fiba Europe EuroCup Women 2008.
The teams that finish 13th and 14th will be relegated from the LFB at the end of the season.
10 years of Ligue de Féminine de BasketBall Logos
Short history of the LFB competition format from 1998 until 2007:
The Ligue Féminine de BasketBall was created in 1998 when it was decided to take women’s basketball in France up to another level. The league is governed by the rules of the FFBB but is run under a separate organisation with its own governing body.
For women basketball players in France the creation of this structure was the first step towards professionalism.
Since its creation in 1998 the format of the competition was revised a number of times. From 1998 until 2003 twelve teams participated in the league and at the end of the regular season the teams were placed into three groups of four teams. Group A was the teams placed in the top position while group B was the teams placed 5th to 8th and Group C was the play-down group.
At the end of this mini league series the top two teams in group A would play off for the title as Champion of France. These two teams and in some years the 3rd placed team qualified for the EuroLeague. Group B was simply a series of games to win a ticket into the now defunct Ronchetti Cup, while in Group C the bottom two teams were relegated.
For 2003 - 2004 Waïti Bordeaux went bankrupt and the league was played with only 11 teams. The following season it was the turn of Toulouse Launaguet Basket to go into liquidation and once again the championship consisted of only 11 teams. At the end of 2004 - 2005 Montpellier decided to contest their relegation and won their appeal. The LFB’s organising committee used the issue to revamp the league and enlarged the teams in the Ligue Féminine de BasketBall to 14 teams with the promotion of three teams from NF1 for 2005-2006.
With a new formula in place the end of season’s mini league was dropped in favour of a play-off series. With an even number of teams it was also decided that the first round of games known as the LFB Open could be worked into the timetable.
The play-off series would concern the first twelve teams and only the bottom placed team at the end of the season would be demoted. The first four teams at the end of the regular season would play in the Federation Cup and automatically qualify for the quarter-final.
This format was used for the last two seasons and has been modified for 2007 - 2008.