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Alternative playing order system

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Every team seems to have one. The bowler who always gets drawn against their opponents 'best bowler' every time that they lose. It is the luck of the draw whether you get the best bowler or the Rabbit. But isn't there a better way of determining the playing order other than the luck of the draw?

Current practice is that one of the team captains will place the scorecards face down on the table and these are then covered by the opposing captain with his scorecards. No-one sees any names until the scorecards are turned over. Who you play is entirely the luck of the draw.

How would players/clubs feel about playing in a league where playing order is based on averages? So your team bowler with the worse average this season would bowl at number one, as would the same bowler from the opposing team. That works through the teams with the bowlers in each team with the best averages meeting in the final match.

There are lots of different ways this can be applied such as the average for last season determining the position each game or alternatively the average built up this season only or even the average over the last 4/6/8 matches counting.

There are problems with this of course around availability on the day if your best bowler can only bowl early one week but these things are not insurmountable. The benefits being that you get bowlers more likely to be playing against opponents of similar quality. In addition, you could use the worse average position to be taken by a new or novice bowler and they are less likely to be thrashed and so have a better experience than they would if they had been drawn against a top bowler.

There are negatives about this approach but also some very strong positives. There are a number of leagues that use this method to determine the playing order in all their league matches and some of them have used this system for many years.

You could tinker with this approach a little more for those that like life to be complicated by having different averages based on Home and Away records but that might be a step too far for some at the outset. There may be variations on this that you could suggest as well. Is it worth trying out?

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03 ago 2021

Sounds attractive - but - I just see too many problems.

eg what if a singles bowler who is out of form and selected to play for the second team - he has no second team average and so what position should he have ?,

If it’s the average for the last 4/6/8 matches it creates another job for the captain having to keep the averages up to date

Players drop out at the last minute and so captains would have to rejig the order.

Averages for home and away matches just make it messy.

I am sure there are other issues which reduce the attractiveness of this.

Clearly some Leagues, as you say, operate this system and so perhaps…

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