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Hickson Trophy format change

Veterans League

The Hickson Trophy is a one-day knock-out competition for eight Inter-District 8-man teams hosted by a different District each year. Last year it was hosted by Skipton with Sheffield running out the eventual winners. The decision has been taken to change the format for the 2023 season.

The reason for change is solid after last year's experiences resulted in the two finalists starting their first match at 10am and coming off the green at 9.30pm having played three full matches at three different venues with travelling time to factor in between each. Remember these are all bowlers aged Over-65 playing 3 matches over a 12-hour period.

The new format involves four major changes:

  • The competition will now be played over 2 days;

  • Day 1 will see 4 groups of 3 teams play a Round Robin format on the same green;

  • The winners of each group will progress to the KO Semi-Finals to be played on Day 2 followed by the Final on another green;

  • The age of bowlers in the competition has been changed to Over-60s to bring it in line with the Inter-District League requirements.

The number of teams entered faltered after the pandemic but now West Riding and Leeds have indicated that they wish to return to the competition along with new interest from Harrogate who have never played in the competition before. That takes the number up to 11 and there are hopes that a 12th team can be found before the competition starts on Friday 7 July 2023 when the Round Robin matches will be played. The Semi-Finals and Final will be played the following week on Friday 14 July 2023.

The 2023 hosts are Halifax and the draw for the Round Robin phase has been made and is produced in full below.

  1. Castleford, Wakefield and A N Other

  2. Leeds, Halifax and Barnsley

  3. Huddersfield, Bradford and West Riding

  4. Harrogate, Sheffield, Skipton

The final table for the 2022 Inter-District League (below) shows that Group 3 contains 3 of the top 4 teams from the last full year of competition including the Huddersfield side. If this was a football competition Group 3 would become known as the Group of Death!


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