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Planning for 2024-25 season starts now

Winter League


With the Winter League's 4th season now up and running our thoughts turn to looking further ahead and making plans to expand the League even further in the 2024-25 season.


With 54 teams playing this season on 6 greens we are now at our maximum number of teams that we can support. To accept even one more new team would pitch the balance over the 9 teams per division model that we consider to be our maximum. Our preferred model moves towards 8 teams in a division providing matches every week for every team over a 14-week season.


Our expectation is that we will need a minimum of one new host club increase for next season but more likely to be two new greens required to meet the increasing demand.


The number of teams in the League has increased every year. We started in 2020 with 14 teams in two divisions of 7 teams. The number of teams we are able to support has increased each year since and there is no indication that the demand is reducing at all.

SEASON

TEAMS

DIVISIONS

INCREASE

HOST CLUBS

2020-21

14

2 x 7 teams

+14

Milnsbridge & Springwood

2021-22

27

3 x 9 teams

+13

Milnsbridge, Springwood & Thorpe Green

2022-23

40

5 x 8 teams

+13

​Milnsbridge, Springwood, Thorpe Green, Lindley Lib & Netherton Con

2023-24

54

6 x 9 teams

+14

Milnsbridge, Springwood, Lindley Lib, Netherton Con, Primrose Hill Lib & Huddersfield RUFC

Our current planning assumes that we will receive bids to join us from at least 10 more teams. We already have strong indications from two new teams about the 2024-25 season. That means we should be planning to support two new divisions which will require two new host clubs to come forward. You can never start planning too early so today we ask any club that may be interested in learning more about hosting a division of the Winter League in the 2024-25 season to come forward.


As for new teams joining the League, at present we can only accept new team applications to add them to a waiting list which is dependent on sufficient new host clubs stepping forward. So any team thinking of entering the League for next season would be advised to put forward that application now to ensure that they are further up the waiting list. We are very hopeful of meeting the future demand as we have done each season so far but nothing can be guaranteed.


There are a number of reasons that any club takes on the role of a host green but the prime incentive is undoubtedly the financial one. Experience shows that host clubs can expect to make between £2,000 to £3,000 clear over a 16-week winter bowling season. That is just bowling one day a week from October to February. For lots of clubs that will provide a financial winter lifeline when none existed before. For those that are already financially sound then the funding can be used to enhance your green and facilities.


There is a lot more to learn about winter bowling and we would be delighted to meet informally with any club that would like to learn more. There are two steps that anyone can take before declaring any interest to anyone.

  1. Learn more by reading The Ultimate Guide to Winter Bowling

  2. Experience the Winter League model for yourself by visiting any of our match days all of which have an 11.30am start time. Mondays at Primrose Hill Lib (open now) and Lindley Lib (from 16 October) Wednesdays at Milnsbridge and Springwood (both from 25 October) Thursdays at Netherton Cons (from 19 October) and Huddersfield RUFC (open now)

Then if you have more questions or want to learn what the next steps are then please get in touch. We would be delighted to come and talk to you about an exciting time in local bowling. You can be part of it. The League can only expand and satisfy the increasing demand if it has sufficient capacity to satisfy the number of teams coming forward to enjoy the extension to their bowling seasons. New host clubs and new team applications are welcome now. Come and join us!

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