Speedway in the United Kingdom


Speedway in the United Kingdom

The sport of Speedway in the United Kingdom has changed little since the first meetings in the 1920s. With three domestic leagues, its own Speedway Grand Prix and an annual entry into the Speedway World Cup it remains one of the popular motorsports in the country.

History

The first meeting in the UK is generally acknowledged to have taken place at High Beech on 19 February 1928. There are, however, also claims to have held meetings in 1927 from Camberley in Surrey and Droylsden in Manchester. Despite being described as 'the first British Dirt Track meeting' at the time, the meeting at Camberley on 7 May 1927 differed in that the races were held in a clockwise direction. Races at Droylsden were held in an anti-clockwise direction and this meeting appears to have a strong claim to be the first Speedway meeting in the UK, but it is generally accepted that the sport properly arrived in the UK when Australians Billy Galloway and Keith McKay arrived with the intention of introducing Speedway to the Northern Hemisphere. Both featured in the 1928 High Beech meeting.

It is probable however that the first speedway meeting in the UK to feature bikes with no brakes and broadsiding round corners on loose dirt, probably the main tests of real speedway, was the second meeting held at High Beech on 9 April, where Colin Watson, Alf Medcalf and 'Digger' Pugh demonstrated the art for the first time in Britain.

The sport boomed in the early days with new tracks opening in England, Scotland, and Wales. Notable pioneer venues of 1928 were Stamford Bridge and Celtic Park. The sport contracted in the early 1930s but revived just before the war. A few tracks, notably Belle Vue, Manchester operated in these dark days and the end of the war signalled activity at a number of tracks such as Odsal Stadium in Bradford, Brough Park in Newcastle, Owlerton in Sheffield, Cleveland Park in Middlesbrough and White City in Glasgow.

A post war boom came to an end in the early 1950s thanks to television and Entertainment Tax but a revival with the advent of the Provincial League in 1960 has been largely sustained ever since.

Governing body

The Speedway Control Bureau (SCB), in conjunction with the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA), part of the Auto-Cycle Union who oversee all forms of track racing, govern the domestic leagues in the United Kingdom. International events are directly governed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).

Green sheet averages

Green Sheet Averages are a list of riders Calculated Match Averages (CMA) issued or assesed periodically by the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) and are used to determine the riders averages for team building. They are called Green Sheet Averages as traditionally they are printed on green paper. The CMA of a rider is calculated as follows:cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Green Sheet Averages | work = | publisher = Speedway FAQs | date = | url = http://www.speedway-faq.org/british.html | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-03-12 ] cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = SCB Speedway Regulations | work = | publisher = Speedway Control Bureau | date = January 2007 | url = http://www.acu.org.uk/uploaded/documents/The%20SPEEDWAY%20REGULATIONS%202007%20Final%20Print%20Version.doc | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-03-12 ]


left ( frac{hbox{Total points{hbox{Total rides ight ) imes4

For both the Elite League and Premier League there is a points limit in place for team building purposes. This points limit is created to prevent teams becoming too powerful, therefore creating a competitive league. All Elite League and Premier League teams must declare 7 riders before the start of the season. For the 2008 Elite League, the combined averages of the 7 riders must not exceed 38.85. A 2008 Premier League team's combined average must not exceed 41.5.cite web | title = 2008 Elite and Premier League Points Limit | publisher = BSPA | year =2008| url = http://www.british-speedway.co.uk/news.php?extend.1093.2| accessdate = 2008-03-12 ] At the start of a season, a rider retains their last recorded CMA (or assessed CMA if they have never previously established one) until they have competed in six home and six away matches. A new CMA is then issued that comes into effect seven days later.

Competitions

Team

*Elite League::The highest domestic league
*Elite League Knockout Cup::The highest domestic league cup competition
*Craven Shield::The highest domestic league cup competition
*Elite League Pairs Championship::Top two riders from each League club compete to become division Pairs Champions.
*Premier League::The intermediate domestic league
*Premier Trophy::The intermediate domestic league cup competition
*Premier League Pairs Championship::Top two riders from each League club compete to become division Pairs Champions.
*Premier League Fours Championship::Top four riders from each League club compete to become division Fours Champions.
*Conference League::This is the lowest domestic league, intended to nurture young talent.

Individual

*Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain::One of the Speedway Grand Prix, the first Grand Prix of Great Britain was held in 1995.
*British Speedway Championship ::The top British Riders compete to become British Champion.
*Elite League Riders Champion::Top riders from each League club compete to become division Champion.
*Premier League Riders Champion ::Top riders from each League club compete to become division Champion.
*Conference League Riders Champion ::Top riders from each League club compete to become division Champion.
*British Speedway Under 21 Championship ::The top British Riders under the age of twenty-one compete to become British Under-21 Champion.
*British Speedway Under 18 Championship ::The top British Riders under the age of eighteen compete to become British Under-18 Champion.

The National Team

Every year the BSPA nominate five British riders to take part in the Speedway World Cup. The definition of British in this case is any rider holding a British Passport.Cite web|url=http://www.speedwayworld.tv/en/swc/a972|title=SWC Rules & Regulations|accessdate=2007-02-06|publisher=Benfield Sports International|work=FIM Speedway World Cup]

Notes

ee also

*Motorcycle speedway
*Speedway Elite League
*Speedway Premier League
*Speedway Conference League
*London Riders' Championship
*British Speedway Championship
*British Speedway Promoters' Association
*The Speedway Control Board

External links

* [http://www.british-speedway.co.uk/ BSPA homepage]
* [http://www.speedwayworld.tv/ speedwayworld.tv] - Official site of Benfield Sports Internation (SGP and SWC rights holders)


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