Home Forums Consultation Matches Summer 2021 Reply To: Matches Summer 2021

Graham Standley
Post count: 10


We have 26 teams for the 2021 season – the same as in 2020. Wheatley Hills has entered a second team and Brigg 4 has withdrawn.
The season is now 17 weeks maximum if we commence matches on 3 May and finish on 27 August.
If we run the two cup tournaments, this will account for 3 weeks leaving 14 weeks for league matches.

There are various options, all of which have been considered:

Option 1A (3 Divisions)
Run three divisions as in 2019 (and planned for 2020) with 8 teams in Div 1 and 9 teams in Divs 2 & 3.
In Divs two and three, each team would play opponents once either home or away. In Divs 2 &3, there would be 8 matches played over 9 weeks, with each team having a “bye” week.
In Div 1, there would be only 7 matches played over 7 weeks. So in Division 1, first round cup losers would have only 8 matches in total during the season, if there was only a home or away fixture.
Conclusion: This fails to provide sufficient fixtures

Option 1B (3 Divisions)

There is the option in Div one to play each opponent twice over 14 weeks which still leaves three weeks for cup matches but no leeway (apart from cup eliminations).
Conclusion This fails to address the problem of too few fixtures in the lower divisions.

Option 1C (3 Divisions)

Not schedule cup matches and have home and away matches in 3 divisions however this requires 18 weeks so would only work if we started matches on 26 April or played into September when daylight is an issue.
Conclusion: We have undertaken to delay inter-club matches until May and we need to complete the league by the end of August so this is not feasible in 17 weeks.

Option 2A (4 Divisions)

Run four divisions as proposed at the 2020 AGM with each team playing opponents both home and away. For this to work equitably, there must be an equal number of teams in the third and fourth divisions (known as 3A and 3B) which are parallel. The first format considered was 7-7-6-6 (number of teams in each division).
This would give 12 matches over 14 weeks in divisions 1 and 2 while teams in the lower two divisions would have 10 matches over 12 weeks. This allows 3 weeks to schedule cup matches, the only leeway being bye weeks and cup eliminations in divisions 1 and 2.
Conclusion: Everything works but having only 7 teams in Division 1 in 2021 is likely to be difficult to manage transitioning into 2022.

Option 2B (4 Divisions) RECOMMENDED FORMAT

Run four divisions but with 8 teams in the first division and 6 teams in the other 3 divisions. This has the advantage of honouring the promotion from division 2 in 2019 while providing all divisions with an even number (as opposed to an odd number) of teams which makes scheduling more efficient as there would be no bye weeks.
There would be 14 matches over 14 weeks in Division 1 and 10 matches over 10 weeks in the other three divisions. Again, this allows for 3 weeks to schedule cup fixtures.
Conclusion: This appears to meet all the main criteria as far as possible within 17 weeks and the transition to 2022 will allow for additional teams to be accommodated in the lower divisions while retaining 8 teams in the first division in virtually all conceivable circumstances.

Each of these solutions has its merits and most would just about be workable though, as always, a rainy season would cause some pressure when rescheduling matches.
When recommending an option, the single most important consideration has been the potential transition from the 2021 season to 2022. Several clubs considered entering additional teams this season but with all tennis activity currently suspended, it is not an easy commitment to make. On the basis that more teams are likely to enter in 2022, now is a good time to move to 4 divisions.

So the recommendation is to go with Option 2B
Div 1 8 teams
Div 2 6 teams
Div 3A 6 teams
Div 3B 6 teams

The Knockout Cup Tournaments

Assuming all the teams still want to participate in the knockout tournaments, for the cup draw, as the only change is Wheatley Hills 2 replacing Brigg 4, the 2020 draw (which was witnessed and published) could still be used.

Dealing with two teams from the same club in the same division
With any of the above options, some matches involving two teams in the same division from the same club can be scheduled for late April to avoid strategic team selection leading to “helpful” results at the end of the season.