News in fom the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) annual general meeting (AGM) includes the addition of a new Elite League track and up to two grand prix riders per team.

After days of deliberations in Edinburgh, BSPA members have made public the results of their AGM. It's basically a message of 'as you were' but with a few tweaks.

The Elite League welcomes a new team subject to planning permission. And that team is Sittingbourne.

It's been rumoured for some time that Sittinbourne would be a 'new entrant' with Leigh Adams at number 1. Decide for yourself if that might ring true when you read the Grand Prix rider situation.

Teams are free to use the top GP stars next season but those clubs which ended the 2001 campaign with more than one Grand Prix rider have the option of using two.

That should please most clubs - Peterborough for example who could now have Mark Loram back - but some will still be forced to release one GP rider as Oxford, Poole and Kings Lynn all featured three GP riders throughout 2001.

Coventry will be faced with the choice of being without Billy Hamill, Greg Hancock or Andreas Jonsson in 2002 as Jonsson was given one of the 'permanent wild card' place for next year's GP series.

The top five finishing Elite League will end in a series of play-offs including a Grand Final which means everyone will know where and when the championship will be decided. No more Craven Shield by the looks of it.

Perhaps the major change to emerge from the AGM is the way rider averages are to be calculated. They will roll-on from the previous season and be calculated from the 15th of each month in a bid to stamp out any suggestions of 'average manipulation' that have been alleged in the past.

The Premier League has expanded to seventeen teams after the applications of Somerset and Rye House to step up from the Conference League were accepted.

In a bid to encourage riders to move up between the respective leagues, further talks will take place with a view to Elite League clubs signing two Premier League riders to fill one of their reserve berths in meetings. The same applies to Conference League riders moving into the Premier League.

The Premier Trophy competition will now be divided into four qualifying groups, details of which will be released later. The group winners will go through to the semi-finals.

On Knock out Cup competitions, the draw for the Elite League version will be made once the result of the Sittingbourne planning permission is know. The draw was made for the Premier League version, which came out as follows:

Preliminary Round: Rye House v Somerset. Round 1: Newcastle v Trelawny, Isle of Wight v Sheffield, Reading v Arena Essex, Edinburgh v Newport, Swindon v Rye House or Somerset, Berwick v Hull, Workington v Glasgow, Stoke v Exeter.

And in a forward thinking move, the BSPA are looking at ways in which a national training network can be put in place alongside the appointment of a national training officer.

That should certainly help young riders break in to the sport and be healthy for the future of British speedway talent.

Of the AGM, BSPA Chairman Chris Van Straaten said: "It was a very positive AGM and everyone is excited about the future of the sport in this country".

"We have made great progress over the past couple of years and the fact that so much has stayed the same at this AGM underlines the fact that we are getting things right".

"It's tremendous to see new clubs joining the Premier League and it goes without saying that the prospect of another Elite League club is very exciting".

"We are also delighted that the top Grand Prix stars will continue to appear in the Elite League and there is no doubt that these are exciting times for the sport".

"The idea of the averages being carried forward from the previous season should once and for all stop any rumours or suggestions of teams manipulating their figures in order to make team changes - I'm not saying this has happened, but obviously people talk."