The Hindsight Poll - 3. The Leagues

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We move on to the questions related to the performances of the Leagues when the final lockdown was lifted and we all started to return to bowling. This was the batch of questions that created the most vocal of responses with substantial criticism of the leagues that decided not to support the return to bowling normality and changed their own rules for this one season.

In particular the leagues that decided not to have promotion and relegation were regular targets for criticism and then those that delayed reopening their competitions also attracted the wroth of local bowlers. Hindsight is wonderful isn't it?

We ran this 18-Question Poll, which closed on Friday, to put you in the unique position of being able to make decisions with the gift of hindsight. We repainted decisions that bowlers, clubs and leagues had to make at the beginning of the season and challenged you to decide if they were the best decisions made at that time. We received 36 entries with most of you answering all 18 questions.

We are now reporting back on the findings in three reports - one each about The Bowlers, The Clubs and The Leagues. Today is the final Feedback report - No.3 on The Leagues where we asked you 5 questions about how the Leagues responded to the return to normality. Here is a summary of the answers to each of the questions.

  • These answers were very League specific with 100% of the votes cast for the Mirfield League and Heavy Woolen League all supporting their decision to restart as soon as it was possible and retaining promotion and relegation in all divisions.

  • The Huddersfield Veterans League was also commended for similar action with 92% of the votes cast supporting their early May restart and retention of promotion and relegation.

  • Only 9% of the votes for the Huddersfield Saturday League supported their decision to delay a restart until 19 June and also abandon promotion and relegation this year with an opening to clubs to not join the league this year with no penalty and a guarantee of retaining their status for the 2022 season.

  • Three other leagues also got a majority of votes for supporting a return to bowling with the Liberal League (82%), Dearne & Don (88%) and Works League (66%) all scoring well in this category.

  • All three ladies leagues suffered in this area with low percentages for supporting the return to bowling although all three were up and running by mid-May but it seems the lack of promotion and relegation was not well received.

  • To the question on when the leagues should have restarted 43% said in April and 48% said early May. Others identified later starts and there was one vote to abandon the season altogether.

  • To the question about whether with hindsight, the decision to not have promotion and relegation was the correct decision, 68% advocated for the retention of promotion and relegation with 20% saying it was right to drop it for this season and 12% didn't know.

  • A number of responses included comments to the question 'With the gift of handsight have you any comments you would like to add about how the leagues handled the return to bowling in 2021?' which are listed below.

  1. Several teams could not raise a team every week due to isolation etc. and were punished by losing points through no fault of their own

  2. When leagues and member clubs felt it was right for them

  3. The absence of league competitions in the Ladies evening and afternoon league (individual and pairs) was a big disappointment.

  4. There were no Covid restrictions later on in the season to prevent these so the only reason these did not happen appears to be apathy.

  5. Lack of leadership and poor communications from the Huddersfield League

  6. All clubs need clear and up to date guidelines from BCGBA

  7. Why did some leagues start in April and the Saturday League not start until 9 weeks later. That was not what bowling or bowlers needed.

  8. Well done to Huddersfield Vets having promotion and relegation which enhanced the competitiveness of bowling. By comparison, the Huddersfield Saturday League seemed reluctant to get going and keep bowlers informed and no promotion etc - possibly a reason for the big reduction in teams and quite a few cancelled games. Will the teams return?

  9. The Huddersfield League introduced a return to abnormality

  10. I think all leagues have done well you can't suit everyone so well done to all the people that run leagues

  11. Cannot understand why the veterans league did not run their individual competitions. No additional risk would have been incurred and it was the individuals choice.

  12. All leagues except one that l played in handled the return to bowling very well but the Huddersfield League l thought was very poor and too late in starting and l feel has caused great harm to itself for the next few years,

  13. The league this season should have shelved neutral greens for this season and played home and away to support the clubs that entered teams into the leagues this year.

  14. Should have all started beginning of May.

  15. No comments

  16. Why didn't the Huddersfield League ask all the clubs what they wanted to do instead of listening to the elite ones only

  17. It was fine and I don't know of anyone who got covid while at a bowls match

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