Firstly, I would like to thank all the clubs who replied to my email asking for feedback on decisions to be made regarding the 2020 tennis season.
Your comments were all voiced and discussed at this week’s Executive Committee meeting and whilst a few clubs said they would want the season postponed what became clear was that the majority of clubs would like to play some form of competitive tennis this season if it is at all possible.
As you are aware, we have to be guided by the LTA. In particular the rule that states people may only get together in groups of 6 makes any kind of competitive matches impossible. So far, the LTA have not amended any of their guidelines although they have said they are in discussions with the government and have indicated that some relaxation may be possible in mid to late July. For this reason, there is still no start date for any competitive matches being played anywhere including our Southport & District League.
Should the guidance change, we would hope to arrange some kind of inter-club competition for this year although it will inevitably look very different from our usual league!
At the moment we are thinking along the following guidelines:
* There will be no league play before August at the earliest.
* Teams will consist of 4 players, 2 men and 2 ladies.
* This year’s matches will have no effect on the normal S&D league which will start in 2021 (assuming that is allowed) in the same position as it would have started in 2020.
* Once we have the “go ahead” all the clubs and teams who wish to enter into a league in this exceptional year will be assessed and split into a number of temporary divisions
(the number of divisions will depend on the total number of teams entered).
* Which league each team is in will be decided by
a) standard of players in each team – (clubs will be asked for honest opinions of team standards and players’ positions in 2019 may be taken into account) and/or
b) geographical to reduce the amount of travel needed.
* Most eligibility rules will be relaxed, for this year only, and clubs will be trusted to ensure that the team being fielded is a fair reflection of the expected standard.
* Cups will not be awarded this year but we are thinking of some suitable prizes to add a small incentive to the competition. Suggestions welcome!
* No decision has yet been taken on cup matches but, again, we will try to fit these in if it becomes possible.
The committee has agreed to meet again on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 to review the situation at that time and we will release a further update
after that meeting. Any input from clubs before that date is very welcome.
League Secretary – on behalf of The Southport & District Executive Committee