Are the sections correct?

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Ian Kingston
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Ian Kingston » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:31 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:I think Ian's suggestion was to turn the Minor into an U190. But you could enter both if you wanted. (I can't see in reality that anyone would.)
That was the idea. It attempts to solve the problem of there not being enough players for the U180 while also retaining something approximating the Minor Counties definition. The obvious problems are that (1) the number of competitions is reduced, potentially leading to less chess being played, (2) players graded over 190 who would previously have been able to play in the Minor Counties would be excluded, and (3) counties that currently enter the Open and the U180 might run into the same problem of overlap that some U180/U160 squads have.

Essentially it would help mid-sized counties like Nottinghamshire, who don't enter the Open or the Minor Counties, but suffer from the U180/U160 overlap. On reflection, perhaps Nottinghamshire should just abandon the U180 and enter the Minor Counties instead. There is, after all, a healthy MCCU Minor Counties competition to play in, whereas the U180 is just an annual match against Warwickshire.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:16 am

Ian Kingston wrote:On reflection, perhaps Nottinghamshire should just abandon the U180 and enter the Minor Counties instead. There is, after all, a healthy MCCU Minor Counties competition to play in, whereas the U180 is just an annual match against Warwickshire.
This would effectively kill the U180 in the MCCU.

I know that counties like Bedfordshire have a discussion each year about whether to enter the Minor or the U180. The U180 is basically a 1st-and-a-half team. Worcestershire had the same discussion at its AGM last season. I was in favour of joining the U180, but in hindsight, I'm glad I lost the vote. However, if the U180 is that close to being a county 1st team, it does suggest it is too high.

Mick Norris
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:26 am

What about smaller counties amalgamating?

I see we have had Huntingdon & Peterborough and Leicester & Rutland in the past - what about e.g Cleveland & Durham? What are the rules on this?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Ian Kingston
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Ian Kingston » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:54 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Ian Kingston wrote:On reflection, perhaps Nottinghamshire should just abandon the U180 and enter the Minor Counties instead. There is, after all, a healthy MCCU Minor Counties competition to play in, whereas the U180 is just an annual match against Warwickshire.
This would effectively kill the U180 in the MCCU.
It's on life support at the moment.

I recall that a few years ago the U175 didn't always happen. It did in 2009 (a jamboree for Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire), but since then the U180 has just been a two-way affair, with the rest of the MCCU opting for the Minor Counties. It's nice that both teams automatically qualify, and it makes life very easy for the team captains, but it feels a little unsatisfying turning up for a match that doesn't really matter.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:00 am

Mick Norris wrote:What about smaller counties amalgamating?

I see we have had Huntingdon & Peterborough and Leicester & Rutland in the past - what about e.g Cleveland & Durham? What are the rules on this?
Huntingdon & Peterborough have already amalgamated with Cambridgeshire. The statistics I provided back in post 1 of the other thread already added H & P players into the numbers for Cambridgeshire.

"Leicestershire" written everywhere is actually the Leicestershire & Rutland Chess Association.

If Cleveland can't raise a team, then you could just revert to the players south of the Tees playing for Yorkshire, and north of the Tees playing for Durham, as was the case before 1974.

Brian Valentine
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Brian Valentine » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:07 am

Two points:
1. Bedfordshire do not have a discussion on what to enter each year. The EACU rules of engagement are that the union winners play in the open with second and third qualifying for the Minor. The remaining team is free to take the place in the U180. While the Minor is generally devoid of Failed Major Counties (having to play Middlesex or Surrey even with the U180 average is a challenge for us) we aspire to punch above out weight in it. So much so that the last time we won the EACU was in 93-4, but we have won the Minor Counties 3 times since. Our performance in the U180 has never been so inspired.

2. Anyone with a little knowledge of geography and looking at Alex's Bedfordshire list up thread will notice a large number of Milton Keynes and Northampton club members. There are ways of amalgamation - make the county league attractive outside the traditional boundaries!

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:27 am

Brian Valentine wrote:1. Bedfordshire do not have a discussion on what to enter each year. The EACU rules of engagement are that the union winners play in the open with second and third qualifying for the Minor. The remaining team is free to take the place in the U180. While the Minor is generally devoid of Failed Major Counties (having to play Middlesex or Surrey even with the U180 average is a challenge for us) we aspire to punch above out weight in it. So much so that the last time we won the EACU was in 93-4, but we have won the Minor Counties 3 times since. Our performance in the U180 has never been so inspired.
I remember being told that a volunteer from Bedfordshire was "waiting to see which section Bedfordshire entered" before committing to volunteering for Finals Day. I think I misinterpreted that as a discussion, rather than waiting for the matches to finish to see where they ended up. Apologies for misunderstanding that.
Brian Valentine wrote:2. Anyone with a little knowledge of geography and looking at Alex's Bedfordshire list up thread will notice a large number of Milton Keynes and Northampton club members. There are ways of amalgamation - make the county league attractive outside the traditional boundaries!
Which of course, isn't actually one of the eligibility criteria:

B6. The qualifications for a player to represent a County in any of these Championships shall be one of the following:-
i) Birth in that county.
ii) Five years residence in that county at any time.
iii) Two months immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
iv) One month immediately previous and present residence in that County.
v) Present attendance as a teacher or student at a school, college or university in that County.

Presumably by virtue of playing in the Bedfordshire League, the team they play for has to affiliate to Bedfordshire. Hence they qualify under (iii).

There was discussion behind the scenes about whether the words "or affiliated to" should be removed from (iii), precisely because of things like this. That's for a different thread though...

Brian Valentine
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Brian Valentine » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:18 pm

I think the volunteer was graded above 180 in August. All clubs in the Beds league are automatically affiliated to the Beds CCA under the league rules.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:40 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:I think the volunteer was graded above 180 in August. All clubs in the Beds league are automatically affiliated to the Beds CCA under the league rules.
Which seems nonsensical to me. Playing for Northampton or Milton Keynes CC should not qualify one to play for Bedfordshire - any more than playing for my old club Littlethorpe in the Coventry league should not qualify you to play for Warwickshire.

What would happen if Leicestershire passed a rule that said all clubs in England are automatically affiliated to LRCA?!

Brian Valentine
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Brian Valentine » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:54 pm

Sean,
Where does the nonsense start? Bedfordshire no longer exists as an administrative county.

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:44 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Ian Kingston wrote:On reflection, perhaps Nottinghamshire should just abandon the U180 and enter the Minor Counties instead. There is, after all, a healthy MCCU Minor Counties competition to play in, whereas the U180 is just an annual match against Warwickshire.
This would effectively kill the U180 in the MCCU.
It's on life support at the moment.

I recall that a few years ago the U175 didn't always happen. It did in 2009 (a jamboree for Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire), but since then the U180 has just been a two-way affair, with the rest of the MCCU opting for the Minor Counties. It's nice that both teams automatically qualify, and it makes life very easy for the team captains, but it feels a little unsatisfying turning up for a match that doesn't really matter.
There's a possibility that Notts might enter the minor counties next season as we have a few 181+ graded players who would be willing to play. Our executive will decide in August which teams to enter once they have reviewed the new grading list and found out who's willing to captain.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:51 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:Why did Surrey dip into the < 160 players so much? Given their size, they had enough bums to put on seats within the boundary.
Guilty as charged. I played once for Surrey U180 this season - against Middlesex in the SCCU tournament.
In your numbers it might be better to limit it just to players with X, A or B grades. The rest of us don't play often enough to be realistically counted as potential county team players.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Mike Gunn » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:56 pm

>>>Where does the nonsense start? Bedfordshire no longer exists as an administrative county.<<<

Nor does Middlesex and they did rather well in the County Championships, this year!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:16 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: What would happen if Leicestershire passed a rule that said all clubs in England are automatically affiliated to LRCA?!
Why not? You don't get any more players for the county team unless you go out and recruit them. Basing Saturday afternoon regional competitions on birth and residence is going to give unbalanced pools of players, which is why the smaller pools are reluctant to compete.

Grading based sections are little help, because the larger counties can more easily field a team with every player near the top end of the upper limit.

As far as Beds is concerned, traditional county boundaries don't correspond any longer to travel realities, if they ever did. So the local Beds league is essentially an M1 league, thereby incorporating Milton Keynes and Northampton as well as Bedford and Luton.

In many ways, the winter competitions in the SCCU area are regarded by those that play in them as stand alone events. The narrow grade bands and non overlapping match dates make it possible for players in the "right" grading range to play more than the four, five or six matches implied by single round APAs.

William Metcalfe
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Re: Are the sections correct?

Post by William Metcalfe » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:53 pm

I do think the county champs needs to be reduced by 1 section Smaller counties really struggle to find 12/16 players in a 20 point rating band.That meens they are then forced to play a lot more players who are graded well below the grading bands in there teams.
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

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