Lynn Stars to take part in new youth development programme
Lynn Stars will be taking part in a new youth development programme in 2024 as part of a concerted effort from British Speedway to bring through the next generation of the sport’s stars.
All Premiership and Championship clubs have signed up to the new three-tier structure following discussions at this week’s AGM.
The Stars must decide whether they run a side in the National Development League, stage events in a new National Individual Series or take part in a youth programme to be run in second halves following senior meetings.
The Premiership will welcome two new clubs in 2024 as Birmingham and Oxford step up to join Belle Vue, Ipswich, Lynn, Leicester and Sheffield. But there will be no Peterborough or Wolverhampton due to their ongoing stadium issues.
The Premiership points limit has been raised to 40 (for six riders), with teams to be completed by a Rising Star, and the league will continue to stage the KO Cup competition plus an unchanged play-off format.
There will now be no restrictions on the number of riders from the Polish Ekstraliga who can be signed by any one club.
Premiership fixtures are being compiled and will be available over the coming weeks.
Other matters decided at the AGM will see all tracks bringing in the random electronic starting procedure as seen in the Grand Prix series.
Also, where a club has one absent rider in their top five, they now have the option to use a guest or rider replacement in any of those positions. Previously one absent rider fourth or fifth in the team order had to be covered by the rider replacement facility.
For heat 15, any rider in a team is now eligible, regardless of points scored at that stage or their position in the team.
There’s a change to the eight-day rule for guests too, as it will now not apply during the play-offs, meaning a club would be able to utilise the same guest were they to stage home play-off fixtures in successive weeks.
Guest riders may only ride for one team throughout the play-offs, or indeed a Cup semi-final and/or Final. This is in addition to the regulation that a rider cannot guest for another team in the play-offs if his own team is also involved.
The traditional end-of-August transfer cut-off has been replaced by a transfer window, which will close when a club has completed 75 per cent of its regular league matches.
British Speedway has also granted testimonials to Stars rider Thomas Jorgensen and former rider Kyle Howarth, in respect of their long service to the sport.