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Is it time to refresh the Veterans League format?

League News

I was recently told about a club that is talking about putting forward a rule change for the Veterans League to change the format from a 10-Man League to an 8-Man League as this club has particular problems in fielding a full team some weeks. They seem to be gathering some support from other clubs and are likely to propose a change at the end of the season.

Learning of this then coincided with contact from Jim Baxter of Milnsbridge B.C. who raised the potential for more wide-ranging changes in his own words:

I got into conversation with some bowlers at Thongsbridge who like me bowl in other veterans leagues and we were comparing league structures.

For instance, in the Oldham and Tameside leagues, pairs are not included, in place are ten singles games. One and a half points are gained for each away win with one point for a home win. The best aggregate score receives three extra points.

The away team is allowed 15 minutes of practice before the game to get a feel for the green. I know that the Huddersfield league has always played four singles and three pairs but in my opinion and that of some others, ten singles would be worth a try for a season in the future. There seems to be an acceptance that a club's strongest four bowlers make up the singles with the remaining six playing pairs.

In my experience, ten singles with the added reward of an extra half point for an away win is a good formula. Maybe this idea could be discussed at a future committee meeting and possibly put out to clubs for their feedback.

What do you think? Is it time to freshen up the format of the Veterans League? Would reducing the number of bowlers in a team to 8 help clubs struggling for bowlers or is it the start of a decline that should be resisted? Use the Comments section below to add your views, concerns and alternatives.

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Jun 29, 2021

I’ve always said that it is completely illogical for away bowlers to be deprived of say 10-15 minutes practice before the start of the game. Bowlers from other Leagues are surprised that this is not allowed. Those against this practice, give excuses of there’s not enough time , 10- 15 minutes makes no difference, captains because of their duties wouldn’t be allowed to practice etc. All these reasons can be overcome if there’s the will to do it.

In support of a practice I’m convinced that we’d have closer games. Those against say they like to have the advantage of knowing the green and chalking up a big win !!

I can appreciate teams finding it sometimes difficult raising 10 players…

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