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Winter League's 5-Division format

Winter League The demand for new teams to join the Huddersfield Winter League means that the League has restructured its format to change from a 27-team competition to one of 40 teams for the new season. The League's Management Committee met last Thursday to discuss how they were to achieve that. The logical format is for 5 Divisions of 8 teams in each and the Management Committee quickly agreed that this was the model to follow.

Bearing in mind that the 2021-22 format was 3 Divisions with 9 teams in each means a considerable restructuring to accommodate not only the established teams but 13 new ones as well.

The Management Committee decided to honour all the promotion and relegation positions from last season but that did nothing to reduce numbers in each Division. This could only be achieved by adding more relegation places to force numbers down to 8 in each Division.

Once that was completed it left the decision on where to place the 13 new teams. Using all the player information available to them the Committee decided to place the new Lockwood Con team in Division 2 and the other 12 teams would be placed in the new Divisions 4 and 5.

Fitting the two new host clubs into the weekly programme was then agreed to leave the matchday format looking like this:

Division 1: Wednesdays at Milnsbridge Division 2: Wednesdays at Springwood Division 3: Mondays at Thorpe Green Division 4: Mondays at Lindley Lib Division 5: Thursdays at Netherton Con

Catering services are an important part of the Winter League experience and ensuring that each of the 5 host clubs catering teams are not bowling on another green on their hosting days is another criterion that had to be factored into the thinking.

Then trying to accommodate some team preferences for what day of the week they are available, because they play in other winter competitions or player availability, all adds to the conundrum of fitting 40 teams into 5 sensible Divisions based on playing strength, catering responsibilities and team availability.

The outcome of all that work is displayed in the new League structure below for the 2022-23 season and which has already been circulated to clubs. Once this structure has been discussed at the League's AGM on 3 August and the start date for each host green is confirmed then the fixture programme will be compiled for the 2022-23 season.

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