Chairperson’s August Blog

I hope everyone is having a fun summer and has enjoyed all the UK and international tournaments. It's great to see some good results from our UK Clubs and GB teams in tournaments abroad. We have had entries for the National Champs on 9th / 10th Sept but at £50 per team for the Ladies and Open competitions, it’s a bargain weekend of polo. Haven’t had too many top teams so a chance for a div 2 or div 3 team to be National Champions 2017. Youth teams are entering too which is great. Eligibility for the Youth competition is that the paddler’s 18th Birthday falls in 2017 or they are younger. I hope everyone has had time to look through and understands the new National League structure, which went out to consultation earlier this year and was advertised last week. Through the feedback received from the consultation we changed a few minor things. I still believe it may need some small tweaking so we’ll review things at the end of the winter season. One improvement will be the opportunity to book the pools to completely meet our requirements rather than juggling the pools booked for last season’s format. We do however have a couple of pool bookings that will change like the Northern Youth dates, as currently they are double booked but we are working hard to resolve all this. Most of the dates are accurate but there will be a couple of pool date changes. We may also move a couple of teams not playing in their own area but only if other teams decide not to enter and there is space. And I missed that Welsh Warriors in Div 3 were not based in Wales but in the North!! Can’t believe I would be so stupid… I will try and move them back to the North once the entries are in but until the teams are all entered we won’t know where every team will be placed. So my quick guide to the new format:- Div. 1 The 10 Teams first play everyone in Division 1 over 3 tournaments (attending 2 out of three). This was at the general preference of the Div. 1 teams compared to two seeded tournaments so we changed it. Team are then split into an upper and lower half (5 teams in each) and play another two tournaments to decide the winners of Open Div. 1 and in the other two tournaments two teams will be demoted. Div. 1 teams have the opportunity to play only one tournament by playing each other in their top 5 and bottom 5 only once. This will save money but they may prefer to play each other twice. We will let the teams decide whether they want to play one or two tournaments on the second half.. The League organiser will send a note once all teams have entered and we have put 10 teams in Div 1. Div. 2 North and South Divisions:- Teams play one initial seeded tournament each to decide top 6 and bottom 6 in the division, then play a further 2 tournaments with the top 6 playing each other (seeding this way should provide more competitive and better quality games) and the bottom six playing each other. The top team in the top section of each of the Northern and Southern leagues will be promoted to Div. 1. There are two options for Teams in both Divisions 2 North and South to vote on. A is reduced travel but we will not be able to confirm the dates each team attend until after the first tournament or Option B the dates can be confirmed but there may be more travel and therefore cost involved for some. Again the League organisers will send an email to all teams to vote https://docs.google.com/…/15LGrk9o3ReCqSpS4xRn1ORANjR…/edit… Div. 3 Each team plays each other twice at local tournaments in each region (North, Central, South East and South West), then the top 3 North and top 3 Central teams play each other (1 tournament) and the bottom 3 North and top 3 Central play each other to decide on demotion (1 Tournament). The South East and South West will link up in the same way. Div. 4 This league structure will be depending on the number of entries but the basic structure is the same as Div. 3 but with no demotion. The reason the structure may change is we may have more or less than the 24 teams that fit the system. Each team plays each other twice locally, then the top 3 in each region play each other for promotion and the bottom 3 from each league play each other so each team plays three tournaments and gets 15 games. Ladies Div 1 is the same as the Open Div 2 but with only 10 teams depending on entries. Teams play one initial seeded tournament each to decide top 5 and bottom 5 in the division, then play a further 2 tournaments with the top 5 playing each other twice and bottom 5 playing each other twice. Ladies Div 2 Development. This structure will depend on number of teams entered but all teams should get at least 15 games in the season and we will try and do some coaching and refing courses where we can to help the teams. Youth As this is a new league we have started with two tournaments for North and Two tournaments for the South, then we will have a final tournament between the top teams. The dates Youth dates are currently provisional and will be amending as soon as we have confirmation of pool bookings. So there has been some talk on costs. I just want to explain that the money generated from the entries pays for the pools and the running of the Leagues. This includes the costs of the equipment, such as shot clocks, stop watches, balls etc. As we will no longer play outdoors as part of the Winter league season.. so the cost of the pools does increase the overall costs. We currently don’t have any income from other sources. We have tried to keep costs as reasonable as we can and it’s likely we will or just about break even depending on how many stop watches we have to replace from last year. That’s how close the costs are. Here are the options to reduce costs across some of the individual divisions: Div 1: as mentioned above there is the option to only play once after the split into top and bottom 5, whilst reducing costs this also reduce games from 17 to 14 games for the season. Div 2: the cheapest option is not knowing the date of the second half of the season and playing as local as possible whilst the other option is knowing the dates (both on same weekend) but having to travel further for one tournament which could incur more travel costs.. Div 3 and 4: we have tried to get local pools but we have had to utilise some previous bookings. Next year we will look to book even more local options again to safe travel costs as much as possible. In Div. 3 and 4 we are short of League organisers so we’re looking for volunteers and will be sending out a communication to relevant clubs in the affected divisions. Please do consider stepping forwards to help. So here’s some background stuff that may help in understanding where the committee is and to understand the challenges we face. Unfortunately we have had a couple of key members with family issues that has impacted on their ability to help us. We do need new people to join the committee. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to know more about the opportunities available. On a more positive note after restructuring the leagues, making a few mistakes and with the feedback provided we do know what we need to do next year to make things better. We will continue to ask teams to provide feedback, this is not just the committee’s sport it’s our sport and we want to try and get things right for everyone. Summer 2018 Update. We have learnt that we need to plan well in advance so here is some snippets on next years plans. Next year our National Champs will be the week after the BUCS event (April / May TBC) so that we can use the same infrastructure put in place, saving money and have the possibility of a marque and bar (If anyone knows when the BUCS is next year can they let me know). Also at the end of the year in September we will have a new event called the British Open at Nottingham for UK and Foreign teams to enter (likely to be alongside other disciplines at HP.) and one week later the ECA European Club Champs so again, using the same infrastructure and maximizing the resources and offering the opportunity for the ECA teams to come a week earlier entering our British Open event and increasing the quality of competition. We will also start booking 2018 Winter pools this winter so we get the dates we want. Well that’s all for now and I’ll see many of you soon at the Europeans or at the National Champs in September. Chris Arrowsmith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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