I hope all your clubs are enjoying the opportunities to start playing tennis again. Now that club registration forms have been completed, the League Executive Committee has met to review the arrangements for the coming season. This note is to update you on the decisions taken.
Some clubs will be entering fewer teams this year than in previous years. As a result, the divisions have been restructured to remove division 9 and to consolidate the remaining divisions so that most will now have the full quota of 8 teams. At the time of writing, it is expected that divisions 7 and 8 will only have 7 teams each. The league divisions will be published very soon and are just waiting on some further communication with a couple of clubs.
We have received a couple of requests that this year’s league should run on a “friendly” basis with no promotions and relegations since some clubs felt it would be difficult to field full strength teams. After considerable discussion it was felt that to take this step would remove much of the competitive element of the league and would make it less attractive to some clubs and players. It was therefore decided that promotions and relegations will operate as normal in 2021. A review will be carried out at the half way point of the season and if it is found in practice that results have been badly affected by virus related issues then the Executive may reconsider this decision.
Since the league will be a competitive league, trophies will be awarded as for any normal year and it is hoped that, virus permitting, the league Presentation Evening will take place at Croston Sports Club on Thursday 28th October. Prizes from last year’s winter league will also be presented at that event. More details will be sent out nearer the time.
A further request was for the rules on conceding matches to be less strict for this year. The Executive agreed this would be a reasonable change for a year when clubs might have difficulty fielding teams for some fixtures. It was therefore decided that, apart from losing the points from a conceded match, no further penalties will be applied either to the conceding team or to other teams at the same club.
The early 6.30 starts are usually the first 3 and last 2 fixtures of the season but with the season starting a week later this year, this will be reversed so that it is the first 2 and last 3 fixtures that will have the earlier 6:30 start.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that there are still 5 vacant places on the League Executive and several clubs have no representation when decisions such as those above are taken. Volunteers for co-option to these roles would be welcomed, particularly from clubs that are not currently represented. If you would like to propose a volunteer from your club please send their name and contact details to the League Secretary, Pauline Pope.
Chairman, Southport & District Tennis League