I disagree fundamentally with you here.Sean Hewitt wrote:
But make no mistake; the number of teams competing in the National Stages is no measure of the health or otherwise of the county championships. We could change the rules to give each Union 4 nominations to the final stages but that wouldn't mean the competition is healthier than it is now. The only true measure is the number of teams entering the Union stages, and that has been in decline for some years.
If each Union were to be given four nominations to the National Stages, they wouldn't all be able to fill them, or, if they did, a significant number of the teams would not be competitive.
The beauty of the present set-up is that:
a) where a Union can stage a worthwhile competition at the Union stages, three competitive teams emerge therefrom for the National Stages;
b) even where a Union cannot stage a worthwhile competition at the Union stages, it can nevertheless nominate two competitive teams in the National Stages in almost all cases.
Hence the present number of nominations (two or three) is just about right.
The ECF is responsible for the National Stages. There were indeed significant problems a few years ago. The ECF has successfully addressed them.
Any problems that remain are at Union level and hence the responsibility of the Unions.
This discussion started because Nottinghamshire defaulted all their Open Division matches this season. There are a number of steps the MCCU might take to address that situation. Denigrating the SCCU is not one of the more sensible options.Sean Hewitt wrote:Though not in the SCCU, so that's alright.