Very interesting conversation going on in the Oxford AGM thread regarding ways in which they can safeguard their league and maybe even increase the number of teams (as well as the league's competitiveness).
One proposal has been to reduce team sizes to three so that there may be an A and a B side in most pubs. There is a suggestion that this would make for a more competitive league with fewer game postponements/cancellations.
I do not know how many players were actually signed on, in Northants, for the most recent winter league season but it seams that, if we were to consider this proposal, we may be able to end up with:
4 teams at The Cock 2 teams at The Fox 2 teams at Rushden 3 teams at The Headlands 1 at Burton 2 at The C&A
Thus an increase of teams from 10 to 14.
This could yield two divisions of seven or even three divisions of 5, 5 and 4.
This could mean that all divisions are highly competitive - more to play for and mor interest.
I would say, on a purely personal basis, that I would be against it on several fronts. Firstly and most importantly how do we split up the team? We have played as the same basic group of players for many years and that is the main reason I still play. Deciding who plays with who could cause major problems especially in a side like ours with 3 county players and a couple of part-timers. I'm not sure you could argue that it would be 2 equally competitive sides. At the moment we would struggle to make 2 teams anyway. Also there is the factor of away fixtures. As you know we like to travel away as a team (usually arriving late). This was the norm a few years ago and we continue this tradition mainly so that we can drink more often. Having 3 in a team will mean more drives and less drinking. There will also be the situation that you get in the summer league where most of the evening is taken up with playing or scoring. On a general note, I'm not sure how much more competitive it would make the league. There would, generally, be the same group of players in each division as there are now. It would, I think be even worse with 3 divisions with each division playing each other over and over during the season. I enjoy playing all the teams in the league, to play the same few people week-in, week-out would get a tad boring I reckon.
I know it is easier to argue against an idea than think of your own and there are probably many positives with it but I am struggling to think of any. This is not a critisism of you Lorin as I realise you are reporting what is happening elsewhere but I remain to be convinced.
Hang on a minute..........I might win the Nene Cup :o ;D
Husband of NBBL Best Newcomer - 1985 Northants Pairs Champion 2012 (with my mate Chas)