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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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Jeff Jacklin
Jeff Jacklin
Feb 13, 2021

I agree Alan. The community aspects of bowling are well supported in the 7 teams in a division approach which I also think is important. One thing I left out of the table which I have since added to my copy is 'The Number of Weeks in a Season'. This is a result of how many teams you have in a division and 9 teams in a division results in an 18-week league season. I don't think we have 18-weeks from October to February unless we bowl more often than once a week or extend the season. So still more work to do before we can firm up any satisfactory setup for next time. I will re-issue the table wi…

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Very interesting and thanks for it. I know that the “pink mat” format has caused some problems but I think it is the way forward because it allows for three rounds of matches to be played at much the same time involving six teams. This shortens the time for the match, which I think is good in winter. One of the things that I have enjoyed in the first season is meeting the players from the other teams each week and this would be lost with a staggered start. I think therefore that we should be aiming for not more than seven teams in a section.

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I had my 1st Jab this morning and I'm a mere 65 ( I had a tough paper round ) and at the last call was the youngster at Hudds Rec Club, and I was told I would be called back in 10 to 12 weeks so hopefully we should all be jabbed soon. An interesting read Jeff, I am going to have to read it a few times to absorb it so I am not surprised your head hurt. Many thanks for being on the ball.

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