Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

Winter League

I had my first vaccine jab earlier this week at the John Smith Stadium. Eight nurses and one patient - me. All went smoothly until I asked if they cut hair as well, as they weren't very busy. The jab was deep and rough - no sense of humour some people.

With passing that major step forward in my path back to normality it made me think about the Winter League and what was the way forward. Along with many others I would dearly like to complete the first season but it increasingly looks unlikely and nothing can be decided until after the 22 February when Boris delivers his Road Map Back to Normality.

So no reason to waste time in thinking that through until then, so my mind turned to next season. The level of interest indicates that there will be a next season for a start, so that's great. We already have three additional greens that have been offered to us and I would like to think that the demand will be there for us to take up at least one of those offers.

Thinking through the number of teams and on to the potential formats and how many greens that would mean we would need, I came up with the table below. This indicates that you would need to introduce a third green when you reach 19 teams although you could have a choice of 2 or 3 greens with 18 teams.

The point where you would definitely need to upgrade to 4 greens is when you have 28 teams, that is double the present number. Although again you would have a choice this time for either 3 or 4 greens from the point where you had 24, 25. 26 or 27 teams.

All this is before you try and factor in the playing format options. 'Staggered Fixtures' or 'All in Together' as we have used in Season 1? At this stage my head began to hurt so I thought I had better stop but at least it starts the process of planning for next season.

In the next few weeks we will be opening the doors for applications for new teams for the 2021-22 Winter League season. At that time I expect to dig out this table and use it as a reasonable guide for determining what the format could look like for Season 2. Hopefully by then the barbers will have reopened and I will have had that haircut.

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