A question I’ve been asked a number of times now is why not reschedule Division One now that it has eight actual teams taking part yet the schedule is still built on ten slots. It seems like some people think this has never occurred to me while the truth of it is that there are some strong reasons why I considered and quickly rejected the idea as soon as it became clear we would have two Bye slots in Division 1.
There are a number of reasons:-
* Even if Division 1 were rescheduled, reducing its duration by four weeks, the season would still last the same time overall because Division 2 has nine teams and therefore has to stay built on a ten team schedule. There would still be four dead weeks compared to Division 2, the only difference now is that they are distributed through the year instead of all being together at the end when Division 1 would have finished but Division 2 still had four fixtures to go
* Several venues have two teams in the league and most of them cannot handle both their teams being at home. When both divisions are the same size it’s relatively easy to ensure automatically that a venue with two teams will never have both of them home at the same time (Ok, so I missed out doing this for the Waggon in this year’s schedule but that’s an oversight on my part). If the two divisions were different sizes there would have to be manual editing of the fixtures to protect venues with two teams where it’s usually an automatic thing in the schedule generation. Manual editing is a slippery slope which leads to even more strings of consecutive home or consecutive away games than can happen already with the structured schedule
* Finally, not all teams are electronically aware. It can take time to get information out to all team members and some teams still insist on having a paper copy of the schedule mailed out or don’t meet other players in the team until they are next at the venue. Releasing a new Division 1 schedule would have been a massive cause of confusion amongst teams with the attendant risk of a team going to the wrong place for a fixture.
Now onto a couple of practical things…
Any given week there will three active teams on a Bye (except for two times when the Division 1 Bye teams are scheduled against each other). They are encouraged to arrange friendly games. Friendly games do not need Pennies to be collected or the result reported.
With 17 active teams across both divisions there will be only one team eliminated from the cup competition at the end of the three qualifying rounds.