Time to talk about, and sow a few seeds for, Season 2 of the Winter League. It may be too early for teams to consider applying for membership of the Winter League but I am just sowing a few seeds of interest here to begin the long germination period before seeing that initial green shoot of interest hopefully later in the year.
Our rules indicate that the closing date for new team applications for the new season is the first Monday in July (5th). Although existing teams are expected to have their membership rolled forward automatically it would be sensible to get individual confirmation from them that they wish to be involved again. First season experiences of winter bowling in the League may not be to everyone's taste.
At present we have 14 teams in the League and feedback has been excellent from them. We will be sharing some of that feedback once we start the recruitment cycle in earnest. I would encourage bowlers and teams contemplating joining the League to talk to those that experienced it for themselves in Season 1. Unfortunately the rules about gatherings of no more than 30 people around the green excluded spectators from witnessing the spectacle at first hand so they will have to rely on the views of those that played in the League.
I believe that some clubs with teams already in the League are likely to enter more teams for Season 2 such has been the positive feedback in clubs. Of course clubs are not constrained by only being allowed two teams if you only have one green, as is the case in most leagues. Clubs can have as many teams as they can sensibly field although they should remember that bowlers can only play for one team in a season.
Another rule that will restrict membership is that all bowlers must have had their 60th birthday before they can play in the League. Apart from that we are pretty relaxed about who bowls in the League as we are open to all genders and all standards of bowlers. It is likely that the teams in divisions will be determined by ability for Season 2 after what we have learnt so far. Season 1 gave us some guidance towards that and the wishes of the bowlers is clearly now that they prefer to play against teams of similar standing.
Teams of 4 singles are the current format so you probably need a minimum 6-bowler squad to ensure a full team every week.
We have the luxury of 3 more clubs offering us their greens for use during Season 2 so it is unlikely that teams will be turned away due to a lack of a green to play on. Both Springwood and Milnsbridge have indicated that they will continue to host matches so that leaves us with a total of 5 greens and anything up to 40 teams that could be accommodated. We don't expect that to be the case but we do expect an increase in the number of teams after the experiences to date.
Still interested? You may care to view our League Rules to see if they prompt any questions or maybe answer your queries. If not try the direct approach to getting all your questions answered by contacting us. The seeds have been sown, the gestation period begins now.
Below I've updated the table included the last time we discussed Season 2. This identifies the number of greens required to support a set number of teams. I've added a further column to the previous version which provides the total number of weeks in a season assuming teams play each other twice and one set of fixtures per week. I believe that we have a maximum of 14 weeks to accommodate a one-game-a-week format during the winter season which allows for 8 teams per division. The option is there to play twice a week for 4 weeks (before Christmas?) to provide for 9-team divisions.