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The Winter Cup 2024

Winter League

Arrangements are starting to take shape for the 3rd running of the Huddersfield Winter League's Winter Cup. The League's Management Committee met in December to begin making plans for this year's competition and there are a couple of changes to the previous running arrangements. These involve the handicap system and when the match draws are to be made.

It is still a straight knock-out competition for individuals who are all competing for the Winter Cup which was donated to the League by Kirkheaton Con bowlers Garry Senior and Tony Butterfield.

As for the last two years, each Division will be holding its own qualifying competition with four qualifiers progressing through to the Final stages. Those qualifying competitions will be staged on the usual host green and are provisionally scheduled to follow on the week after the last round of League fixtures.

There are two exceptions to that as determined by the two host clubs involved. In both instances the dates have been brought forward to accommodate further green maintenance work. At Lindley Lib the the Division 4 qualifying round will now be played on Tuesday 13 February. Then at Netherton Con the qualifying round will be held on the day after the last round of League fixtures to enable an early start on preparing the green for the 2024 summer season.

That currently means that the one-day qualifying rounds will be held on the following dates:

Division 1 at Milnsbridge BC on Wednesday 6 March at 11.30am

Division 2 at Springwood on Wednesday 6 March at 11.30am

Division 3 at Primrose Hill Lib on Monday 4 March at 11.30am

Division 4 at Lindley Lib on Tuesday 13 February at 11.30am

Division 5 at Netherton Con on Friday 23 February at 11.30am

Division 6 at Huddersfield RUBC on Thursday 15 February at 11.30am

The top four bowlers from each qualifying round will progress through to Finals Day 1 which will see the 24 qualifiers in a straight knock-out competition to get down to 8 bowlers who will progress through to Finals Day 2 which will comprise the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Grand Final. We rotate the venue for the Final stages and this year it is the turn of Lindley Liberal Club to host the climax of the competition. The two Finals Days are scheduled for Wednesday 10 April (Finals Day 1) and then Finals Day 2 will take place on the following Sunday 14 April.

Entry forms will be made available on match days later this month at each host green. An entry fee of £3 per bowler will be charged and that provides for the green fee, tea and biscuits and a raffle ticket. In addition 50p of that £3 goes to the League to cover trophy costs,

Only bowlers who have played a minimum of 3 League matches during the course of the season are eligible to enter. Handicaps will be introduced for Finals Days 1 & 2 and these have been refined a little from previous years. County and Inter-District bowlers will play off scratch. Other bowlers in Divisions 1 & 2 will have a +1 handicap and Divisions 3 & 4 bowlers will start with a +3 handicap and then bowlers from Divisions 5 & 6 will have a +5 handicap. All bowlers play off scratch in the six divisions' qualifying rounds and all matches throughout the competition are 21-up.

The handicap format has been changed this year as has the decision to make the draws for who is playing who at the green on matchdays. This is to prevent bowlers not having an opponent due to entries not showing on the day.

Last year we had 104 entries in the competition from the 5 Divisions that were in existence at that time and expectations are that this record total will be passed again with 14 more teams in the League this season than there was last time around.

The qualifying rounds are popular because the bowlers from the six Divisions are playing against the bowlers they play against each week through the season and on the green that they have played on all winter and then add in the fact that they could be drawn to play head-to-head with fellow teammates.

Thorpe Green bowler Ian Briggs is the current holder of the Winter Cup and we hope that Ian will be defending his title against a record number of entries in this very popular extension to the Winter League playing programme. We will be using Bowlsnet to record all the draws and results as the competition progresses. All the news of the competition will of course be made available throughout the remainder of the season here on HuddWeb so keep coming back for all the latest news and updates on entries and results.

Entry forms will be made available later this month on matchdays at each host green.

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