The Big Bash League in Australia likes to do things a little differently and that is reflected in a rather complex set of BBL finals format which follows the regular season.
How do the BBL Finals Work?
The finals follows the regular season where each team plays each other twice on a home and away basis. Each side plays 14 matches and the top five teams in the table will then reach the five team finals series while the remaining three are eliminated from the tournament.
1. What is the Eliminator?
The Eliminator is a match between the fourth placed team and the side that finished in fifth place from the eight teams competing in the regular season.
The regular T20 match rules apply with the potential for a Super Over if the scores are tied at the end of the game.
In the Eliminator, the title of the match gives us a clue as to what to expect. Whichever team loses that game will be eliminated from the Big Bash for that season while the winner will remain in the competition and move on to the next phase.
2. What is the Qualifier?
The Qualifier offers a straight route into the final of the Big Bash. It will usually follow on the very next day following the Elimination match with two new teams involved.
Here, the side that finished at the very top of the table at the end of the season will take on the runners up. The winner of the Qualifier will progress to the final of the Big Bash for that campaign.
The losing team will remain in the tournament and receive a second chance to progress.
3. What is the Knockout?
In a tight schedule, the Knockout game will generally follow on the day after the Qualifier. Effectively, this is a second elimination match with the losing team set to depart the competition. The teams taking part are the third placed team in the season, together with the winner of the Eliminator.
Once the knockout has been completed, the team who wins progresses to the next stage of the finals series. The losing team is now eliminated from the competition and has to wait until the following year for another chance of winning the title.
4. What is the Challenger?
There will usually be a gap of around three days before the last game of this playoff series takes place. It is the Challenger and is so called because it gives us the identity of the team who will progress to challenge the side who has already made it through to the final.
The teams taking part are those that have appeared in previous games and have yet to be eliminated from the competition. Therefore, the Challenger takes place between the loser of the Qualifier and the winner of the Knockout.
This is a ‘winner takes all’ game. The winning team progresses to the BBL final while the losers are knocked out of the competition.