League fixtures meeting

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Mick Norris
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League fixtures meeting

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 15, 2017 10:25 am

In the Manchester League, we have always had a handful of officials meeting before the season to arrange the teams into divisions for the next season and do the cup draws, then give the info to the fixtures secretary to work out the fixtures for the season

There has been a proposal for our upcoming AGM to move to the system employed by the Stockport league, where the clubs/team captains all meet one evening to agree between them the fixtures for the season (which I'm not sure is practical for a league our size)

Are there other leagues that use the same or similar model to Stockport?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex McFarlane
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon May 15, 2017 10:37 am

The Glasgow League has for decades had a club/captains meeting to finalise dates for matches.

Teams would turn up and be given a provisional fixtures list (now posted pre-meeting on the internet).

If the dates did not suit then these would be altered. The reasons for changing dates include premises not being available (eg school holiday), a clash with 1st and 2nd teams, a clash with club Championship dates, 3 matches on the same night, etc.

If a team did not attend it is assumed they agree to dates and/or changes (though an official will check that a team doesn't have two matches in the same week).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 15, 2017 10:53 am

Mick Norris wrote: Are there other leagues that use the same or similar model to Stockport?
Berks holds a late August AGM which agrees the composition of divisions as part of its regular business. If there are no changes to teams and all promoted teams accept their promotions, the next season's composition is automatic, but such invariance is rare. A week or two later, there's a fixture meeting for captains or secretaries where representatives for teams are given a list of pairings with suggested bands of two to three weeks for playing fixtures but they are otherwise free to arrange fixture dates as they wish. If they follow the date bands, their fixtures will alternate home and away as they are based on the all play all "Berger" tables as found on the FIDE website and elsewhere.

At the end of the meeting a consolidated list is collected from the attendees and uploaded to the website. This (hopefully) enables any problems to be spotted.

There's no particular constraint in playing two matches in a week if that's what teams can handle.

If you have overlapping leagues in an area, it can make sense for one league to use the "diktat by controller" method and the other to use the "chaos meeting" method.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon May 15, 2017 11:10 am

Both the leagues we play in have a pre-season meeting to sort out number of teams from each club, division placements and things like that. The league secretaries then draw up a fixture list for the season which can be varied by mutual consent. Clubs can pre-select the day of the week to be used for their home fixtures and any other pre-notified constraints would also be honoured.

The Lancaster and District league kindly delays a decision until after the Blackpool & Fylde league fixtures are known.

Works pretty well. Things that can go wrong: sometimes a school holiday date gets used and can cause difficulties with people away on holiday. We have also often complained that the cup fixtures all get set up late in the season when there is less wriggle room and any spare day is also wanted for postponed matches from earlier in the season.

Alan Walton
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Alan Walton » Mon May 15, 2017 11:18 am

I would say that since the Manchester League is the central league for the area, with teams then participating in their different "local" leagues; then Manchester League fixtures should be decided centrally first; thereafter each of the other leagues can organize around these dates through the discussion meetings

If two teams participating within the same "local" league want to rearrange Manchester League matches between themselves to accommodate the "local" fixtures then fair enough; but this cannot breach the general league dates (i.e. end of season and/or cup allocated weeks)

By having a discussion meeting for a league which has teams participating in multiple leagues, you will require all fixtures for all league and to me this seems like chaos

Reg Clucas
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Reg Clucas » Mon May 15, 2017 12:21 pm

Alan Walton wrote:I would say that since the Manchester League is the central league for the area, with teams then participating in their different "local" leagues; then Manchester League fixtures should be decided centrally first; thereafter each of the other leagues can organize around these dates through the discussion meetings
I agree (and I play in both Manchester & Stockport Leagues). As long as Manchester League fixtures are published in good time, which they usually are, then there is no problem.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 15, 2017 12:36 pm

Reg Clucas wrote:
Alan Walton wrote:I would say that since the Manchester League is the central league for the area, with teams then participating in their different "local" leagues; then Manchester League fixtures should be decided centrally first; thereafter each of the other leagues can organize around these dates through the discussion meetings
I agree (and I play in both Manchester & Stockport Leagues). As long as Manchester League fixtures are published in good time, which they usually are, then there is no problem.
From my experience, this tends to happen in and around London as well (though it may vary in some areas). The examples I know of (in south-west and north-west London) involve the London League dates being fixed first, then leagues like the Surrey League, and lastly the Thames Valley League, which is more a 'local' league. Not sure when the Middlesex League arrange their dates, but yes, different leagues that overlap are aware of when other nearby leagues arrange their dates (and how) and usually try and co-ordinate in some way and set their dates one after the other, rather than all at once (which would lead to chaos).

Alistair Campbell
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon May 15, 2017 2:08 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Are there other leagues that use the same or similar model to Stockport?
As far as I know, the situation in Edinburgh & Lothians is as follows:

The composition of the divisions is decided somehow. I assume this is a decision made by the council, based on previous league positions, promotions and relegations, withdrawals and new entries and so on.

There is a fixtures meeting involving about 30 team captains - usually on the 1st Monday in October. (A brief amount of other league business is conducted as well).

A provisional fixture list is issued to each captain, with matches to take place in a 2 or 3 week window (so for example team A will play team B at home between 17 and 28 October, and team C away between 31 October and 11 November, and so on). I assume the secretary draws up the provisional list based on previous years' fixtures.

Captains seek each other out and agree the exact date(s) for their fixture(s). Each team's agreed fixture list is submitted to the secretary and soon appears on the website. Some captains will have "must avoid" dates due to clashes or venue unavailability, and there are some constraints - for example, clubs with more that one team in the same division have to play their fixture first to avoid the potential for collusion.

Occasionally matches are postponed for various reasons. I believe that this year the Edinburgh University first team were denied a postponement requested on the grounds of exams - they defaulted 2 boards but still won the league on goal difference.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon May 15, 2017 4:04 pm

Surrey used to have a cattle market, sorry, fixtures meeting. The main problems were that some clubs didn't send anyone to the meeting, and some people sent idiots. One guy arranging his team's match against Redhill III informed me that they would not play on our home night as it was inconvenient. I pointed out that we had home matches on home nights. Eventually, he spoke to his club colleagues, who looked amazed and he came back and fixed the date. Another one said, "We're at home to you", and I said, "No the match is at Redhill." He said, "that's right." "But you said..." He thought "we're at home to you" meant they were travelling...

The imposed fixtures are better, although there always seems to be an issue with clubs wanting to change fixtures as they play in other leagues, which is a nuisance and not really justified.

Mick Norris
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 15, 2017 4:31 pm

Yes, the way we have tried to do it recently is publish the fixtures early to allow other leagues to work around them

We don't have a problem in theory with teams wanting to rearrange matches, but we do have trouble fitting all the matches into the season; I think this has got worse as we have fewer clubs with more teams, plus complicated rules about how to do the fixtures
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex Holowczak
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon May 15, 2017 5:57 pm

Mick Norris wrote:which I'm not sure is practical for a league our size
The Birmingham League has a fixtures meeting. It is presumably a similar size to the Manchester League.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon May 15, 2017 6:03 pm

The Devon League has fixtures arranged by the pair of clubs in question. It is a somewhat frustrating experience in which to be a player.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon May 15, 2017 9:31 pm

Up here it would never happen, Jack! We'd never get a single match sorted!

Mick Norris
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 15, 2017 9:33 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:Up here it would never happen, Jack! We'd never get a single match sorted!
Yes, that's why it seems such a great idea for the Manchester League :roll:
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Nick Grey
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Re: League fixtures meeting

Post by Nick Grey » Tue May 16, 2017 12:43 am

My part of the world we have London League Fixtures before Surrey League fixtures by fixture programme - where we have significant players in our first team playing for London League & in Surrey we advise no clashes in the same week. It helps if at the Surrey agm that there are intentions on next season rather than at the league constitution meeting in August.

That leaves Thames Valley & having some idea of structure at agm also helps. If circulated as soon as available then the fixture co-ordinator can then arrange matches. I had all but 2 fixtures plus a cup (drawn on the night) sorted out before the meeting. We then got a late change because of other leagues but coped. Having a cup draws are fun.

I also think a very valid point this year is advance notice of even worse service in August on south-west trains for engineering work - so already making arrangements for not going to work & being at home.

The point from my perspective is that our first team had 7 fixtures in the Surrey League & 14 in the Thames Valley League this season & part of the issue is a number of teams having Monday nights compared to a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Not all of us want to play more than one game a week in a season & it is problematic if new players are not clear in their intentions.

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