KUALA LUMPUR: The Senheng Purple League (SPL) is back for its fifth successive badminton season – with better and bigger participation.
The SPL make its grand entrance with a three-tier league structure with Division One (D1) and Corporate League (CL) introduced to add excitement to the already established league.
The top-flight SPL runs from Dec 20 to Jan 27 next year with RM1.5mil up for grabs.
The first stage of the SPL will see eight clubs battle in a round-robin format at the Gem in Mall, Cyberjaya, from Dec 18-Jan 27.
The six best teams will then advance into the knockout Grand Finals at the Arena of Stars in Resorts World Genting, from Jan 24-27.
Puchong United BC will be defending their title against the same seven challengers of previous season – runners-up Kepong BC, Ampang Jaya BC, Bangsar Hawks BC, Petaling Jaya BC, Cheras BC, Petaling BC, and Serdang BC.
The CL and eight-team D1 will be held separately in the second quarter of next year.
The number of teams have yet to be decided but SPL chief executive officer Datuk Jack Koh is expecting between 20 to 30 teams.
“The CL is the latest addition to our expanded league, inspired by the successful staging of SPL and Junior Purple League,” said Jack after the official launch, witnessed by deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim at a hotel here yesterday.
“We’ve engaged several banks, insurance companies and telcos, many are keen to join. We will finalise it later.
“The teams will be allowed to sign professional players to fill in half of their roster. The other half will be made up by their staff.
“This would appeal more because they get to form their own teams and battle for the bragging rights among their corporate rivals.”
To spice up the competition, the promotion and demotion system has also been introduced.
Two bottom teams from the SPL risk being demoted while the winners from the D1 and CL will have a chance to join the big boys in the top flight league.
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