The BDA (British Dragonboat Association) National League is a series of dragon boat racing events organised by the BDA over the summer season (April to September) at venues throughout the UK. Each event has a regatta format, with qualifying rounds, repecharges, minor and major finals to determine overall placings at the event. Races are typically held over 200m, 500m and 2000m distances.
All BDA Registered Crews are eligible to compete in the BDA National League. There are two divisions – Premier and Standard, plus a Junior Division. Points are won on placings at National League events to determine the position of the crews in the League at the end of the season. 16 points are awarded to the first placed crew at each event, 15 for second, and so on, in each league for each crew that has raced. A crew’s placing at the end of the year is decided on the sum of the crew’s best six points scored over the season.
In addition to the races for Registered Crews, at most events there will also be opportunities for Scratch crews (who have not registered with BDA) and Charity crews (who raise money for charity through their dragon boat racing) to enter races in their own classes. There may also be events for Ladies (all female), Mixed (between eight and twelve females) and Junior (under 18).
The BDA National Cup is a two day event held at the end of the season (late September / early October). All the crews that have competed during the season are invited to take part. Races are typically over 200m, 500m, and 1000m distances. There are races for Open, Ladies, Mixed and Junior crews. A round of heats determines which crews qualify for the Cup competition, and which go into the Plate competition for runners-up.